Kid-friendly beaches in Cape Cod
August 23, 2020 7:11 AM   Subscribe

We will be on Cape Cod in Sandwich, MA with 3yo and 4yo kids for a low-key week of going to the beach and (cautious, socially distanced) exploring the cape. My understanding is that cape-side beaches are better for kids due to smaller waves and more tidal pools to explore. Any recommendations for specific beaches and/or other activities that are reasonably kid friendly and less likely to be super crowded? We will be there Monday-Friday so hopefully mid-week crowds will be more reasonable.
posted by jpdoane to Travel & Transportation around Massachusetts (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Hi, my parents live in East Sandwich and my brother's family lives on Buzard's Bay. Let me reach out to them both.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:21 AM on August 23, 2020 [1 favorite]

When I was a kid (1950s), we vacationed in Dennisport, on the Nantucket Sound side. The waves are bigger, but also the water is warmer, and wind is mostly onshore. The lifeguards would not allow any kind of floating toys in the water on the few days that the wind was offshore. I've not been on the Cape in a long time, but I think that the Dennisport area is now mostly year-round homes and not weekly rentals.
posted by SemiSalt at 8:05 AM on August 23, 2020 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Wasn’t able to make it on Cape this year, but these are our familiy’s favorites:

Corporation Beach - picturesque beach with warm waters, nice sand, great tidal pools.

Grey’s Beach - there’s a looooong boardwalk that overlooks the marsh which is very beautiful. Bring some chicken drumsticks if you want to catch some crabs.

Ridgevale Beach - this is in Chatham so it’s kind of a hike, but it is a beautiful beach that has great shallow parts for small kids.

Have fun!
posted by photovox at 8:10 AM on August 23, 2020 [4 favorites]

Cotuit, a hidden gem on the cape!
posted by bittennails at 9:41 AM on August 23, 2020

Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary has a great big sandflat at low tide that is level enough to allow lots of shallow wading before you have to worry about it getting too deep.
posted by notquitemaryann at 10:12 AM on August 23, 2020

Hey! I'm actually from Cotuit, so I'm familiar with that area. It's on the ocean side, but has a harbor that keeps the surf calm. That said, the two public beaches in town have rocky shores that are tough on small feet, and very strong currents depending on the time of day.

In general, a thing to look out for is that many inner Cape beaches have "residents only" parking. So if you're coming in from out of town, you either want to find a beach that will let you park without a sticker, or you want to find a rental or motel that's walking distance from the beach.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 11:22 AM on August 23, 2020 [1 favorite]

More mid-Cape, but we have spent time at Skaket Beach with toddlers. For Skaket (and maybe some of the other Cape-side beaches) be sure to check the tides because at some points, it is just tidal pools and you have to walk like a half mile (not an exaggeration) to get more than your ankles wet. When the tide is in is still a good, calm, gradual beach.
posted by Caz721 at 5:28 PM on August 23, 2020

My mom called me yesterday and mentioned Town Neck Beach. It's a public beach, so you would have to pay for parking, but it's in the Cape side, so the surf wouldn't be rough; there's also a boardwalk which she said would be good for a stroll, and it's close to the entrance to Cape Cod Canal so you could watch all the boats traveling through the Canal (which may be fun for the kids if there's something really big that comes through).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:01 AM on August 24, 2020 [1 favorite]

(Oh, and my Mom not only lives in East Sandwich, she is a retired preschool teacher, so she took this question very seriously.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:02 AM on August 24, 2020

I have family who lives in Sandwich and spent large chunks of my childhood there. I would also say Town Neck Beach. It’s rocky, so it’s a less “beachy” experience than you may be used to, but as a kid I loved building rocky castles, climbing around on the jetties, and looking for interesting shells at low tide.

There was also a playground near the marina the last time I went (very close to the canal on the bay side.) My then-3-year-old enjoyed it.
posted by tchemgrrl at 5:16 AM on August 24, 2020

When we're in Orleans or Wellfleet we bring the kids to First Encounters beach.
posted by KevCed at 7:43 AM on September 1, 2020

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