Baby, it’s cold outside… and the kids are jumping off of the walls! Winter on Cape Cod is beautiful and cold. While many of the activities we love here in the Summer are closed for the season, there are still plenty of kid-friendly winter activities on Cape Cod.

cape cod beach during winter
© DenisTangneyJr from Getty Images Signature

When cabin fever sets in, turn to this bucket list of indoor and outdoor fun to help pick your next winter adventure. And as a bonus, this time of year the lines are typically shorter, and parking is more accessible!

Kick off the New Year in Chatham

First Night Chatham is a family-friendly event with a great mix of indoor and outdoor activities, including early fireworks at the kid-friendly time of 6pm!

Go Ice Skating

While the weather isn’t always conducive to skating outside, the Cape’s indoor ice arenas offer great ice for open skating. Visit Tony Kent Arena in South Dennis, Charles Moore Arena in Orleans, the Hyannis Youth & Community Center in Hyannis, Falmouth Ice Arena in Falmouth, and Gallo Arena in Bourne.

Take a hike

Winter hikes give you a whole new perspective on the Cape’s natural beauty. Check out all the great family-friendly recommendations shared by Get Outside Cape Cod.

Explore a New Town

Make it a day exploring a new area, visit a playground, check out the library, and top it off for a treat from a local coffee shop.

Go Bowling

Old school candle-pin or high-tech, the Cape offers some great bowling. We love The Alley Bowling and BBQ in Orleans for the food and fun retro vibe. Ryan’s Ten Pin Eatery & Arcade at the Cape Cod Mall is a blast with the most high-tech blowing experience I’ve ever had. The attached arcade and restaurant make it an easy pick for added fun. And don’t forget the Lanes Bowl & Bistro in Mashpee.

Go Out to the Movies

Thanks to streaming we watch many movies at home, but my kids especially love the experience of going to the movie theater. We were delighted last year when the Orpheum in Chatham hosted a winter version of their popular free kids summer movie series. Fingers crossed they bring it back again in 2024.

Cape Cod Children’s Museum

This play-and-learn museum has over 20 interactive exhibits that keep the kids engaged. The only reason my kids left the last time was because it was closing for the day!

Check Out New Playgrounds

On those warmer winter days, we love to visit some of our favorite “destination” playgrounds including Puma Park in Truro and Luke’s Love in Barnstable.

Visit the Beach

The novelty of snow at the beach (if we actually get some this year) isn’t lost on any age. Pick your favorite and make it a quick visit followed by hot chocolate at a local coffee shop.

Explore a New Library

Each of the Cape’s libraries has something different to offer and visiting a new one to explore their children’s room is a fun way to spend an afternoon. Plus, thanks to the CLAMS Network, you can check out and return books pretty much everywhere.

Join a Children’s Place Playgroup

From hiking to cooking to yoga, we have had so many great experiences participating in different groups run by the Children’s Place. Check their website for the most up to date listing, and be sure to register early.

Make Something Together

My 4-year-old and I recently took a class at Dot to Dot Art Workshop in Harwich and we are hooked. The kid-friendly space was filled with sunlight and fun for both of us. Also check out Kids Create in Centerville.

Cape Codder Waterpark

We went once almost two years ago and my kids are still talking about it. Check out the after-school special on weekdays for a special price.

Watch a Play

Cape Cod Theatre Company in Harwich and The Academy of Performing Arts in Orleans offer year-round kid-friendly entertainment.

Open Gym

Tumble Time Gymnastics opens up their gym to kiddos Monday through Thursday from 11am-1pm on non-vacation weeks. It’s a blast! Xtreme Athletics in Sandwich just started offering Jump and Play Monday-Friday from 11:30am -1:30pm.

Whydah Pirate Museum

Step back in time and learn about one of the Cape’s most famous shipwrecks, The Whydah. The Pirate Museum is fascinating for all ages, but better for older kids as there is a lot to read.

Woods Hole Science Aquarium

It’s tiny, but perfect for kids. Check the Science Aquarium website for hours, as it is not always open on weekends.

Visit Your Local Community Center

From open gym time for families to game rooms your local community center has much to offer.

Cape Cod Museum of Natural History

The museum provides a nice mix of indoor and outdoor fun with exhibits, family-friendly activities and a host of trails right outside their back door,  provides a nice mix of indoor and outdoor fun.

Salt Pond Visitor Center

The Cape Cod National Seashore’s Salt Pond Visitor Center in Eastham is open year-round. There is a museum and theater with films on rotation. Ask about the Junior Ranger program for added kid-friendly fun.

Green Meadow Forest

Enter the storybook world of Peter Cottontail and his friends all created by local author Thornton W. Burgess. This property in East Sandwich also has trails and a museum to explore.

Go to the Mall

Malls are failing in other parts of the country, yet from all appearances The Cape Cod Mall is thriving. It offers a great opportunity to walk around when the weather outside is not cooperative, and there are a few play areas that my kids love.


Explore the museum, kid-friendly outdoor play areas and trails at Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary in Barnstable and Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary.

New Indoor Airpark at Ryan’s

My kids jumped for joy when Ryan’s Amusements announced in October that they would be adding an indoor inflatable park at their South Yarmouth location in early 2024. We usually have to travel off Cape to go to places like this. Fingers crossed it opens soon!

Go Over the Bridge

Winter is a great time to head off Cape without the traffic headaches. No matter where you go, there is a lot to explore. If you are headed to Boston, visit our sister site for kid-friendly suggestions.

Ally Piper
Ally is a summer visitor turned year-round resident celebrating her 10th anniversary of calling Cape Cod home. She is a writer and artist squeezing her creativity into the cracks while raising two energetic curly-haired kiddos (currently 6 & 4). Her children’s book GOLDEN HOUR: A CAPE COD STORY tells the story of a typical summer day for her family while visiting her grandparents in Orleans. Now, Ally counts herself incredibly lucky to be able to share all the beauty and magic of Cape Cod with her husband and children. From hiking to boating, you’ll often find them exploring and taking advantage of everything the Cape offers families.


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