Life's a Beach: Nantucket has more than 80 miles of pristine beaches to explore, all free to the public. Beachcombers can find a variety of shells, pretty stones, beach glass and “mermaid purses.” Refer to our beaches section for details and amenities.
Spin your Wheels: Several shops on-island including Easy Rider Bicycle Rentals, Island Bike Company and Young’s Bicycle Shop rent bicycles by the half-day, day or week. Nantucket’s twelve bicycle paths range from 0.9 miles to 8 miles in length. Plan a day of exploration and exercise on your own or take a hosted ride with Nantucket Bike Tours. Check out our biking page for more information on bike path lengths and destinations.
Explore Nature: Join members of the Maria Mitchell Association on nature and wildflower walks and birding field trips throughout the warmer months or help them collect island marine life for their Aquarium. Strong Wings, Linda Loring Nature Foundation and the Trustees of Reservations also host natural history related tours, with Shearwater Excursions offering whale watching and seal cruises.
Past is Present: Nantucket boasts more than a dozen museums, many housing fascinating exhibits chronicling the island's rich and diverse history: among them, the Whaling Museum, Hadwen House, Quaker Meeting & African Meeting Houses, Greater Light, Maria Mitchell Natural Science Museum, and Greater Light. An Aquarium at 28 Washington Street exhibits marine life and runs family-oriented field trips. You can even stargaze at the Loines Observatory on Milk Street!
Tour de Nantucket: Tour the island by bus, van or on foot with one of our many tour companies and individual guides. The First Congregational Church offers a bird’s eye view of the island from its church steeple. Take a sightseeing tours by van with Ara’s Tours, Barrett’s Tours, Gail’s Tours, Nantucket Island Tours, Sabra’s Tours and Val’s Tours. If you prefer a walking tour, Nantucket Conservation Foundation, Nantucket Historical Association, Nantucket Preservation Trust and Nantucket Walking Tours all provide a variety of guided, themed tours.
Nautical is Nice: Nantucket Community Sailing offers windsurfing, kayaking and sailing at Jetties Beach and kayak rentals are available at Sea Nantucket Kayaks at Francis Street Beach. Endeavor Sailing, Mad Max Sailing Adventures and Shearwater Excursions offer family-friendly sailing excursions, including ice cream and pirate-themed cruises, around Nantucket Harbor. Or charter a family fishing expedition on a boat or with a guide available from All Hooked Up Charters, Althea K Charter Fishing, Capt. Tom’s Charters, Herbert T Sportfishing, Just Do It Too Sportfishing and TopSpin Sportfishing Charter which provide equipment and training for children and adults. Nantucket Island Surf School also offers surfing lessons at Cisco Beach. Pre-registration is suggested for all nautical activities.
Unleash your Creativity: The Artists Association of Nantucket, the Nantucket Island School of Design & the Arts, and Nantucket Community School offer a variety of creative classes in all types of media for all age groups. Nantucket Parks & Recreation sponsors free tie-dying clinics every Friday from 12-1:30 PM throughout the summer.
Ready, Set, Shop!: Visit one of our toy stores or book shops, including Mitchell’s Book Corner, Nantucket Bookworks, Island Variety, Marine Home Center, Nantucket Office Products, Pinwheels, The Spirit of Toys and The Toy Boat which carry games, puzzles, paint sets, construction paper & art supplies. And for your sweet tooth, candy abounds at Aunt Leah’s Fudge, Nantucket Candy Company and Sweet Inspirations.
A Night on the Town: Starlight Theatre & Café downtown offers first-run family-friendly films and the convenient option of catching dinner before or after the movie. On Friday nights at dusk, enjoy free G-rated movies at Children’s Beach. Theatre companies including Theatre Workshop of Nantucket, Children’s Theatre of Nantucket and White Heron Theatre Company produce a variety of shows throughout the year (with the opportunity for kids to perform in an original Nantucket themed production.) Murray Camp offers a “Kids Night Out” program for children ages 5 – 13 and every Sunday, from 6 – 7:15 PM, the Park & Recreation Commission organizes free concerts at the Children’s Beach Bandstand.
The Play(ground)'s the Thing!: Children’s Beach, Jetties Beach, Tom Nevers Field and Nantucket Elementary School all have playgrounds with swing sets, slides and climbing equipment. There is also a small playground on Essex Road and one behind St. Paul's Church on Fair Street.
Discovery Island: The Nantucket Historical Association and Maria Mitchell Association both offer classes for children. Kids discover what it was like to grow up on Nantucket two centuries ago, learn about native plants and animals, hike, explore the beaches and learn survival skills.
Need A Babysitter or Baby Rental Equipment? Nantucket Babysitter’s Service or NannyTucket can provide you with a qualified sitter. Enjoy Nantucket, Nantucket Babysitter’s Service and Nantucket Cribs also offer rental cribs, strollers, car seats, gates, highchairs, and more.
The island also offers a number of family-friendly accommodations! Check out the accommodations area for details!