There are times when you need to escape. Forget your worries. Act like a kid again. Those times call for a trip to the Cape or one of the islands.
Each locale offers sun-splashed beaches and a laid-back attitude, yet all are unique in their own right.
Famous for its rolling dunes and gable-roofed, gray-shingled houses, Cape Cod is where you’ll find outdoor activities and loads of fun family attractions. On Martha’s Vineyard, a 45-minute ferry ride from the mainland, you’ll stumble upon quaint shops, natural sites, fine dining and lively nightlife throughout six picturesque towns. Then, of course, you have Nantucket. Located 30 miles off the Massachusetts coast, this island is characterized by cobblestone streets, antique stores, lighthouses and acres of conservation land.
Plymouth Brockton Bus
Events and Festivals
Winter Film Festival
As always, the MVFF dishes up cutting edge cinema in a cocook-like space complete with cozy couches, live music, and incredible meals. There is something for everyone during this weekend of films that the entire family can enjoy.
Chilmark Community Center, Martha’s Vineyard
Annual Daffodil Festival
Millions of blooming daffodils transform the island into a brilliant yellow paradise. Events include Annual Antique and Classic Car parade, tailgate picnic, hiking, fishing and bird watching.
Cape Cod Maritime Festival
Highlights of the event, held on the Hyannis waterfront in Aselton Park, include wooden boat displays in and out of the water, boat-building demonstrations, harbor cruises, crafters and artists, musical performers, kids’ activities, walking tours, a raw bar and more.
508-362-0066 or 888-33CAPECOD
A celebration of the return of summer weather to Cape Cod. The day of family fun will kick off with the Quahog Prognostication – an announcement from the Secretary General of Quahog Republic as he receives word from the “official quahog” on how many weeks of Cape Cod beach weather lie ahead.
Mashnee Island, Bourne
Provincetown Portuguese Festival
Celebration of Portuguese heritage; Blessing of the Fleet; historic exhibits, games, crafts, parade, and food. (Fee for food events)
Barnstable County Fair
Annual county fair! Highlights include blacksmith demonstrations, agricultural exhibits, carnival rides and games, crafts, food, flower exhibits and main-stage entertainment.
Falmouth Road Race
7.1 mile race from Falmouth to Woods Hole. Come cheer on the runners.
Oak Bluffs Memorial Day 5K Road Race
An invigorating 5K race that begins at 10 a.m. at the Wesley Hotel on Lake Ave. in Oak Bluffs. Entry fee includes T-shirt.
Taste of the Vineyard
Sample extraordinary cuisine and beverages from the Vineyard’s finest caterers and restaurants.
Old Whaling Church, Edgartown
Tisbury Street Fair
Come spend the day at this terrific old-fashioned fair. Great food, drink and crafts.
Annual Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival
The Martha’s Vineyard African-American Film Festival (MVAAFF) is a four day, fun filled retreat dedicated to showcasing and honoring the works of independent and established filmmakers.
Nantucket Wine Festival
An elegant festival on the “faraway island.” Enjoy wine tastings in island homes, dinners and seminars. A final grand tasting at the Sconset Casino.
Annual Sandcastle and Sculpture Day
Watch islanders and visitors create masterpiece sandcastles and sand sculptures; ribbons awarded in various categories. Pre-registration required.
Annual Bourne Scallop Festival
New England’s largest scallop festival. Enjoy arts and crafts, specialty foods, entertainment, rides and games and plenty of scallops.
Enjoy world famous Wellfleet oysters fresh from the sea. Oyster shucking contest, booths of delicious seafood fare provided by local restaurants and live music and dancing. Test your endurance in the 5k road race and bid on local items at an auction.
Lighting of the Pilgrim Monument
Watch as one of the most recognizable landmarks on Cape Cod is illuminated with 5000 lights. The lights go on at 6:00pm followed by entertainment and refreshments.
Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival
Combining the laid back beach style of the island of Martha’s Vineyard, a passionate audience of film and culture enthusiasts with the buzz and excitement of a festival celebrating films from across the globe – The Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival is an amazing experience not to be missed.
Annual Holiday Festival
The largest Holiday Art Show on the Vineyard with over 85 Island Artisans. Balsam wreaths and ceramic ornaments to start off the holiday season and gifts galore from the Islands finest artists and craftsmen. Fine jewelry, glass, ceramics, fine art, clothing, book arts and much more.
Agricultural Hall, West Tisbury
Falmouth Holidays by the Sea
Bring the family to enjoy carolers at Nobska Light, the lighting of the town green and annual Christmas parade, the largest Christmas parade in southeastern Massachusetts.
First Night Chatham
Bring the whole family and enjoy the traditional noise parade, musicians, storytellers, clowns, poets and dancers. Fireworks at midnight at Oyster Pond.
Holiday festivities extend throughout the month and include caroling, holiday craft shows, exhibitions, and performances. Horse drawn carriages, a gingerbread house contest, and the world famous Christmas Stroll (December 4-6) give this event an old fashioned New England atmosphere.
Late November-Early December
Annual Cape & Islands Orchid Show
Magnificent orchid displays, exhibits, educational workshops, plants for sale and more.
Sea Crest Resort, North Falmouth
Christmas in Edgartown
With its streets all decked out for the holidays, Edgartown celebrates with its traditional holiday parade starting at 10 am. Hot chocolate and hot cider for sale to benefit MV Big Brothers, Big Sisters. Photos with Santa too!
Annual WMVY Big Chili Contest
Some like it hot! Taste some of the best chili from area competitors. Mild warmth to blazing burn. Spice up a winter’s day at the Atlantic Connection.
Atlantic Connection, Oak Bluffs
Ocean Quest Hands-On Discovery Cruises
Cruise around Woods Hole aboard the Venture Inn II; explore three stations of learning within the 90-minute tour; biological, natural history, instrumentation. 800-376-2326.
Wellfleet Drive-In Theatre
First-run double features every night at the only drive-in on Cape Cod. Built in 1957; 100-foot by-44-foot screen, state-of-the-art FM stereo system, playgound and snack bar. 508-349-7176.
Seal and sea lion show, native wildlife, aquarium, petting zoo, and Cape Cod tidal pool. 508-775-8883.
Cape Cod Duckmobile
Narrated land and sea tours aboard amphibious vehicle. 508-790-2111.
Cape Cod National Seashore
Twenty-seven thousand acres; 40 miles of sand beaches; bicycle and nature trails, marshes, woodlands, and sand dunes. 508-255-3421.
Island Cove Mini Golf
Glacially formed, multicolored cliffs; a national landmark.
World of Reptiles & Birds
Santuary for exotic creatures; 21-foot python, turtles, alligator, and exotic aviary. 508-627-5634.
Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge
Best known for its historic lighthouse, miles of white-sand beaches, and world-class fishing; 14 miles of trails plus beach front, including plenty of wildlife. 508-228-5646.
Mariah Mitchell Association’s Aquarium
View marine life of island slat marshes, harbors, and near-shore waters; marine life clollecting trips. 508-228-5387.
Maria Mitchell Association’s Natural Science Museum and Gif Shop
Natural history museum of Nantucket’s hapitats, flora and fauna; nature classes, wildflower and bird walks and natural science lectures. 508-228-0898.
Nantucket Historical Association Whaling Museum
Restored 1847 candle factory and museum; exhibitions on nantucket whaling history, decorative arts, Nantucket folk art. 508-228-1894.
Cape Cod Museum of Art
Paintings, graphics, and sculpture by Cape Cod artists. 508-385-4477.
America’s oldest professional summer theater; children’s performances. 877-385-3911.
Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra
Classical and pops symphony performances led by renowned conductor Royston Nash. 508-362-1111.
Provincetown Art Association & Museum of Art
Permanent collection of more than 400 Provincetown artists; exhibitions. 508-487-1750.
Heritage Museum & Gardens
Celebrating its 40th anniversary; antique and classic cars; 1912 carousel; American history msueums; art museum; gardens; trails. 508-888-3300
John F. Kennedy Haynnis Museum/ Cape Cod Baseball League Hall of Fame & Museum
Multimedia exhibits relating to the president’s life on Cape Cod. New home of the Cape Cod Baseball League Hall of Fame & Museum. 508-790-3077.
Pilgrim Monument Tower & Provincetown Museum
Granite tower commemorates Pilgrms’ first landing place. Cliimb the 252-foot tower for views fo Cape Cod Bay and Provincetown Harbor. 508-487-1310.
African-American Heritage Trail
Guided and cultural tours that chronicle the experiences of African American people on Martha’s Vineyard; 17 sites island-wide. 508-693-4361.
Cottage Museum & Tabernacle/Martha’s Vineyard Gingerbread Cottages
Thirty-five acres of brightly painted cottages dating back to the mid-1800s; tour a gingerbread home; performances at the Tabernacle. 508-693-7784.
Martha’s Vineyard Museum
Housed in 1765 Thomas Cooke house; antique furniture, scrimshaw; ship models. 508-627-4441.
African Meeting House on Nantucket/The Museum of Afro-American History
Built in 1827; was originally a church, school for African children and a meeting house. 508-228-9833.