The Beach Times

Five Fun Things to do with Kids in Brewster
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, March 11, 2019


When traveling with kids, your first inclination is to look for ideas on keeping them occupied and stimulated, both mentally and physically. Luckily, Cape Cod is an all-ages destination with plenty of ways to ensure your children are busy, no matter the season or weather.

The town of Brewster, in particular, is loaded with activities for young kids, teens, and adults alike through its parks, beaches, museums, and entertainment venues. The result is that you'll never run out of things to do.

It doesn’t matter if you’re only on the Cape for a week or plan to spend the better part of your summer here, you can take advantage of everything on this list of the top five activities for children in Brewster.

 

1. Harbor Lights Mini-Golf

Located on Underpass Road, just off Route 6A, Harbor Lights Mini Golf provides an excellent outing for visitors with kids. The venue is open from 10 AM until 10 PM during the summer, so you can head over whenever you have some time to kill, even for dessert, since 11 different flavors of Gifford’s Ice Cream are available.

The course opens on weekends starting in the middle of April and then operates daily from mid-June through Labor Day weekend. A round of golf costs $8 for adults and $7 for kids 12 and under, making Harbor Lights Mini Golf an affordable way to spend a few hours.

As a bonus, Harbor Lights added new greens in 2018, ensuring everything is in great shape for your next round.

 

2. Cape Cod Museum of Natural History 

Just because it's the summer holidays doesn't mean your kids should neglect their education, and the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History makes it easy to learn something new while on the Cape. Here, there are exhibits on archaeology, biomimicry, honey bees, birds, butterflies, salt marshes, the Wampanoag people, and Cape Cod's landscape, so your children will return home knowing much more about this unique part of the country than when they arrived. Admission is $15 for ages 13-64, $10 for seniors, $6 for ages three to 12, and free for those two and under.

Or, if you've booked your Cape Cod summer vacation rental well ahead of time (and you should), you can enroll your kids in one of the museum's KidSummer Day Programs. Each session is five days long and between three and six hours each day, depending on the age of the child.

The classes run between late June and the middle of August, teaching students about the relationships found throughout the natural environment, including their personal roles in the eco-system. Since 400 acres of woods, marshes, beaches, brooks, and dunes surround the museum, your kids will have the chance to get up close and personal with these concepts and relationships.

 

3. Herring Run at the Stony Brook Grist Mill

When visiting the Cape in April or May, you might have the chance to check out one of the world-famous herring runs. The gist is that once temperatures reach the low 50s, herring swim up local streams and rivers, back to the same freshwater bodies where they were born, to spawn the next generation of fish. The exact dates of the migration are never known, since the herring run is weather dependent, but if you're lucky enough to be on Cape Cod when it's taking place, the herring run is something you must experience.

In Brewster, the best place to check out the herring run is the Stony Brook Grist Mill and Museum, which is in the west part of town on Stony Brook Road. The old mill is still in service and is home to an alewife migration every year. The venue features fish ladders and plenty of places to catch the action. Your kids will also marvel at the thousands of seagulls that flock to the area in search of an easy meal.

 

4. Nickerson State Park

With 19 acres of wilderness, eight freshwater ponds, an eight-mile bike trail, beaches, swimming, basketball courts, a playground, and horseback riding, Nickerson State Park has enough activities that you could spend an entire week there without running out of things to do. The park is just outside of downtown Brewster and even provides easy access to the Cape Cod Rail Trail, should you want to bike, jog, or walk a little further.

While at the park, your kids can swim at Flax Pond and Big Cliff Pond, as they both have small beaches. Sometimes, Jack's Boat Rental has stand-up paddleboards, canoes, and kayaks for rent at Flax Pond, while you can arrange other boat rentals at Big Cliff Pond. If you don't see any rentals available, Jack's storefront is only about 20 minutes away in Wellfleet and will deliver on rentals of three or more days. Parking at Nickerson State Park is $8 for Massachusetts residents and $15 for non-residents per day.

 

5. Brewster Sand Flats and Bay Beaches

Of course, you could always spend your days with your kids lounging on Brewster's beautiful oceanfront beaches. Brewster has some of the country's most impressive tidal sand flats, and when the tide is out, you can walk a long way out to explore. Your kids will also enjoy the warm, calm water because it makes for a relaxing beach experience.

Breakwater Beach and Crosby Landing Beach are perhaps the best locations to visit with children because the sand is close to the parking lot and there's enough room to find a space of your own. The sand flats also create warm pools of water everywhere. Paines Creek is excellent for younger kids who want to build sandcastles or play with their buckets, while Robbins Hill is a little rockier and, therefore, more so for families with teenagers.

Brewster town beaches require stickers for parking, and they cost $20 per day, $60 for a week, and $150 for the entire season for non-residents. Also, remember that none of the town's beaches on Cape Cod Bay have lifeguards.

 

Keeping Your Kids Busy

Brewster is a paradise when traveling with children because the beaches and water are so family-friendly, and there are other ventures away from the ocean, as well.

Nowhere else on the Cape has such a diverse selection of activities for your young ones, so be sure to make Brewster one of your stops on your next Cape Cod vacation.



Breakwater Beach Brewster Brewster Brewster Beaches Kids Mini Golf Nickerson State Park

The Top Family-Friendly Beaches on the Lower Cape
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, August 27, 2018


Breakwater Beach, Brewster Cape Cod

Vacationing on Cape Cod is all about enjoying some time in the sun, so when staying at a Lower Cape vacation rental with your kids, you’ll want to research safe and comfortable beaches for children. The majority of the Cape is family-friendly, but certain beaches attract a more teen-centric crowd and festive atmosphere, which you might want to avoid with younger children.

On the Lower Cape, in the towns of Chatham, Harwich, and Brewster, you’ll find many renowned beaches to take the kids where you won’t have to worry about parties or loud music becoming an issue.

Perhaps the best thing about Cape Cod is that there is something for everyone. Check out some of the following beaches if you’re spending some time here with the kids to ensure that you make the most of your vacation on the Cape this summer.

 

Hardings Beach in Chatham

The West Chatham area is home to Hardings Beach, a large oceanfront area that faces Nantucket Sound. The beach is popular with families because the water is warm and calm, making it comfortable for younger travelers. Lifeguards are on duty during the day and there is usually a food truck on-site in the summer. The beach also has a change room with showers.

When traveling with a boat or kayak, you are free to launch it anywhere outside of the swimming areas, making this the perfect place to start a day on the water. There is also a beach volleyball court, a bocce area, and whiffle ball, in addition to hiking trails nearby. Basically, it doesn’t matter how old your kids are, they’ll find something fun to do at Hardings Beach.

The beach has two on-site parking lots, and it will cost you $20 per day to park as a nonresident, or you can invest in a week’s pass for $75 or a season's pass for $175. There is a beach booth present where you can purchase parking.

 

Ridgevale Beach in Chatham

Just west of Hardings Beach is Ridgevale, and much like its nearby cousin, this beach features warm, calm water and has lifeguards on duty. Kids spend much of their time playing in the tidal pools here since the water in them gets quite warm, especially in periods of hot weather.

There is a large parking lot at Ridgevale Beach, in addition to a snack bar. The over-water pedestrian bridge between the beach and parking lot is a major attraction here, as it provides wonderful views of the water on a clear day. You can rent a sailboat at Ridgevale, should you feel like taking the kids out on the water for a few hours.

Parking costs the same as Hardings Beach and keep in mind that your weekly or seasonal parking pass bought at Ridgevale Beach or Hardings Beach is valid at any beach in Chatham.

 

Red River Beach in Harwich

Just off Uncle Venies Road in Harwich is Red River Beach, the town's largest oceanfront area and an outstanding place for families to spend a day. You’re probably sensing a pattern here, but the beach is also along Nantucket Sound, which means warm, calm water that is great for kids. The beach has lifeguards on duty and bathrooms, providing parents with added peace of mind. Once there, you’ll find that the beach has small waves and infinite shells to collect, so your kids will have plenty to do throughout their time here.

Parents will be happy with the short distance between the parking lot and the sand. When traveling with a ton of gear for your children, it's never fun to return to the car multiple times, especially if the parking area is far away. That's not a problem at Red River Beach because you can find a spot in the sand steps from where you end up parking.

One thing to remember is that Harwich has a much different parking situation than Chatham, as daily parking is only available for nonresidents at four beaches in the entire town. Otherwise, nonresidents must purchase a one-week, two-week, or full season pass. Luckily, Red River Beach is one of the four beaches offering daily parking, which you can buy once you get there.

 

Pleasant Road Beach in West Harwich

If your kids don't need a bunch of space, or if you're looking for somewhere a little less crowded on Nantucket Sound, Pleasant Road Beach is the way to go. This beach, which sits in West Harwich, has everything you'll need, including a bathroom with an outdoor shower and a decent-sized parking lot. The size and amenities at this location make it ideal for families with very young children.

Pleasant Road Beach is always spotless, a straightforward task because of its small size, and it slopes toward the water gradually, so you won't have to worry about steep drop-offs. There's also a lifeguard on duty during the day, and the parking lot is very close to the water.

Remember how we mentioned that only four beaches in Harwich offer daily parking passes for nonresidents? Well, Pleasant Road Beach is one of them, meaning you won't have to buy an entire week's pass when only visiting once.

 

Breakwater Beach in Brewster

We’ve focused entirely on beaches along Nantucket Sound with this list, so for something different, let’s look at Breakwater Beach in Brewster.

This public stretch of sand on Cape Cod Bay also features calm, warm water, along with tidal flats and pools, making it ideal for small children. When the tide is out, you can seemingly walk forever, and the kids will enjoy finding the shells left behind by various marine life. There isn't a lifeguard at the beach, however, and parents will want to keep a close eye on their little ones when near the water during high tide.

Breakwater Beach is quite large, so if it appears overcrowded at first, keep walking, and you'll find somewhere a little quieter. The parking lot is just off the sand and parents will find it easy to get to the water with little ones in tow.

Speaking of parking, you can purchase a day pass for $20 or invest in a weekly pass for $60 as a nonresident in Brewster. There’s also a nonresident season’s pass for $120, if you’ll be taking an extended vacation or visiting multiple times this summer. Since there is no attendant on duty at Breakwater Beach, you’ll have to buy a parking sticker before arriving.

 

Bringing Your Kids to the Lower Cape

As you can see, you won’t have to venture far from your Lower Cape vacation rental when looking for a family-friendly beach. This list is merely scratching the surface of things you can do with the kids since there are other similar beaches on other parts of the Cape.

Cape Cod prides itself on being a place where travelers of any age can have a good time, and the selection of beaches up and down its shores are no exception. Take the time to research a few beaches prior to your arrival, as we all know how important certain amenities are when traveling with kids, and you can be certain that your vacation on the Cape is something you’ll always remember.



Breakwater Beach Brewster Brewster Brewster Beaches Chatham Chatham Beaches Hardings Beach Chatham Harwich Harwich Beaches Pleasant Road Beach Harwich Red River Beach Harwich Ridgevale Beach Chatham

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