Experience the Magic: Top 10 Autism-Friendly Activities for Kids on Cape Cod

What To Do With kids On Cape Cod

We love Cape Cod! Ever since my in-laws became owners of Captain Farris House Bed & Breakfast in 2016, it’s become like a second-home.

With its picturesque beaches and charming coastal towns, there are so many opportunities to for kid-friendly fun, exploration, and connection.

I know first-hand, however, that for families with Autistic children and/or adults, finding activities that are both enjoyable and accommodating can sometimes be challenging.

However, Cape Cod is a destination that caters to all, with a variety of autism-friendly activities that promise fun-filled experiences for kids on Cape Cod.

Activities for Kids on Cape Cod 2024 1

10 Autism-friendly Activities to Do With Kids on Cape Cod

  • Butterflies of Cape Cod (Bourne, MA): So this was a cute and somewhat magical experience at Butterflies of Cape Cod. There were tons colorful butterflies fluttering around the indoor garden. I really wanted it to feel like I was stepping into a fairy tale, but we were disappointed to discover that the butterflies are kept behind a screen, so we couldn’t touch them or have of them land on us.
    • No doubt, this is a safety measure meant to protect the butterflies, but it was still a bit of a let-down. However, if your Autistic child has a special interest in butterflies or if you’re a homeschooling parent, and you’re doing a unit on butterflies, it’s a great way for kids on Cape Cod to learn more about them. It’s relatively affordable, too. Fee: $8 per adult, $6 per child (ages 3-12).
    • My little one was asleep in his stroller the entire visit, and we were still required to pay for his visit. I thought, surely, they’d refund us after we walked out, and he was still asleep, but they didn’t. There is a gift shop on property, so you may want to bring extra cash if you want to bring home a keepsake.
photo collage of activities to do with kids on cape cod
  • Monomoy Island Seal Cruise (Chatham, MA): Ahoy, matey! Now this was so much fun. You’ll definitely want to hop aboard the Monomoy Seal Cruise for a wild adventure. The entire cruise is about 1 and 1/2 hours, and it’s a cold and windy ride.
    • Be sure to bring a sweater and sunglasses, and leave your hats at home. If you have a sensory seeking/movement loving child, then this won’t be the best trip for you, since your child will have to remain seated for much of the cruise.
    • The boat can hold 21 people, but it’s not a big boat, so you’ll likely be sitting relatively close to your neighbor. Our little explorers loved spotting playful seals in their natural habitat. It’s like a real-life safari, but on the water! Fee: $47 per adult, $40 per child (ages 4-12). $20 for kids 3 and under.
  • Stony Brook Herring Run (Brewster, MA): The Stony Brook Herring Run typically occurs during the spring months, from late March to early May.
    • Your kids will watch as the herring swim upstream in an enchanting parade. It’s a peaceful spot to unwind and enjoy nature’s show. It can get fairly crowded (when school is out of session), but there is plenty of room for sensory seeking and stimming.
    • If your kids love birds, be on the look-out for the swarm of seagulls overhead. It’s quite an exciting treat to watch as they swoop down en masse and snack on the herring. Best of all? It’s totally free for you and kids on Cape Cod.
  • Inflatable Amusement Park (Yarmouth, MA): Now this seriously one of the coolest spots on Cape Cod for kids and adults alike! Autistic sensory-seekers will be in bouncy-house heaven.
    • Picture this: a massive selection of inflatable rides, both wet and dry, just waiting to be explored. Located smack-dab in the middle of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, this place is packed with all kinds of fun stuff like giant slides, bounce houses, games, and even a mini-golf course.
    • They also have a gift shop, arcade, and a restaurant called Shark Bites. It’s like a whole world of inflatable awesomeness right here on the Cape. Fee: not currently listed on their website, so check here for more.
  • Cape Cod Museum of Natural History (Brewster, MA): We’ve visited this museum at least 10 times, and each time we find something new to enjoy. The diverse exhibits, interactive displays, and hands-on activities provide opportunities for sensory exploration and learning across a range of topics, from wildlife conservation to geology.
    • There’s an aquarium downstairs where kids can encounter both a bi-colored lobster and a blue lobster, both of which are incredibly rare. There are also nature trails out back, a butterfly exhibit, and a live bird feed of an Osprey and her nest.
    • We love it here so much our Autistic kids will be attending camp there this summer, so I would say it’s a must for all sensory-seeking and nature loving kids. Fee: $15 per adult and kids age 13+, $10 per child (ages 3-12). Free for Children 2 & under.
  • Walking Trails at Wellfleet (Well fleet, MA): The trails in Well fleet offer a scenic adventure through forests and marshes, perfect for kids on Cape Cod to burn off some energy and soak up the great outdoors.
    • Our oldest attended camp here last year and had the best time of his life. It was bird-themed (his special interest), so it was a hit! And the best part? It won’t cost you a dime!
  • Ryan’s Family Amusement (Hyannis, Yarmouth, Buzzard’s Bay, Oaks Bluffs, Plymouth, MA): Here you’ll find modern and classic arcade games, bumper cars, bowling, and great food all in one. Is it Autism-friendly? That depends on your child.
    • We went on a day when it was almost empty, so we didn’t have to deal with crowds and tons of noise. We also had a private room for bowling, which made it a go for us. My kids don’t get too overstimulated by noise and lights, so it worked for us.
    • We also kept our visit pretty short. As for food, they had a pretty diverse menu, so my kids had all of their safe foods available to them. It was an epic day of fun for the whole family. Prices vary depending on the activity, but there’s something for every budget, and a fun place to visit with kids on Cape Cod.
  • Woods Hole Science Aquarium (Woods Hole, MA): Get up close and personal with colorful fish, sea turtles, and even seals. It’s an ocean adventure kids on Cape Cod won’t forget.
    • Since it’s free to visit, it can get very crowded and parking can be hard to come by. My advice would be to go during school hours AND on a sunny day. We visited during the summer on a rainy day, so it was too crowded for us to enjoy fully.
  • Heritage Museum and Gardens (Sandwich, MA): This is, by far, our favorite place to visit on Cape Cod as a family. The grounds are absolutely breathtaking, so be sure to have storage on your phone for lots of pics and videos.
    • There are tons of activities that would be a hit with autistic kids on Cape Cod. Let’s start with the Children’s Garden – it’s like stepping into a magical wonderland.
    • And then there’s the Hidden Hollow Nature Play Area, where you’ll come upon a super cool treehouse to explore, which is perfect for imaginative play.
    • They also have these giant dirt/sandpits where kids can dig, build, and create to their heart’s content. It’s truly the perfect place for sensory exploration and discovery. And if your little ones love animals, they’ll be thrilled to visit the farm-themed play area, complete with life-size animal sculptures and interactive exhibits.
    • Not to be forgotten is the vintage carousel – it’s a timeless classic that never gets old. And if you or your kids love cars, don’t forget to stop by the Car museum. It was really cool learning about and sitting in vintage cars. Fee: $22 per adult, $12 per child (ages 3-11).
  • The Sandwich State Fish Hatchery (Sandwich, MA) You and your kids can learn all about fish at the Sandwich State Fish Hatchery. My kids loved watching the trout hatchlings swimming around. Be sure to bring some quarters so you can buy some fish food. Expect to spend about 20 or so minutes here, not a ton to do, but we liked it. Best part? It’s free!

See more from our time on Cape Cod with our kids HERE:

Where To Stay On Cape Cod With Kids

Red Jacket Beach Resort in Yarmouth, MA.

As I mentioned earlier, we typically stay with my in-laws at Captain Farris Bed and Breakfast, but it’s a historic property so it’s not the best place to stay with small children.

If your kids are preteens or teens, then give it a go! However, if you have little ones, and want the beach literally outside your door, you won’t do better than Red Jacket Beach Resort in Yarmouth, MA.

I have to forewarn you, though, this property is on the older side, so the rooms do have somewhat of a 80s/90s feel, but it was still worth the stay with my family. Their website also states that they have some newly renovated rooms, so things might be a bit more updated since our stay in 2022.

Red Jacket Beach Resort is super family-friendly, with cozy rooms and suites that have plenty of space for everyone to spread out. They also have a ton of activities to keep the little ones entertained, from swimming in the indoor or outdoor pools, to building sandcastles on the beach.

Plus, there are even kids’ programs and activities organized by the resort, so you can sneak in a little relaxation time while the kiddos have a blast. And when it comes to meals, they’ve got you covered with on-site dining options that even the pickiest eaters will love.

Where to Stay on Cape Cod with kids

Trust me, staying at the Red Jacket Beach Resort is a great beach getaway for you and your kids on Cape Cod.

That’s all folks, 10 exciting activities for kids on Cape Cod. Whether you’re exploring nature, learning about marine life, or unleashing your inner adventurer, there’s something for everyone to enjoy on the Cape.

What are your favorite activities to do with kids on Cape Cod? Share them below!

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