Mommy Poppins Boston and Nantucket Bucket are pleased to offer the third post in a series about things for families to do on Nantucket. Nantucket Bucket is the premier online resource for all things child-friendly on Nantucket - events, activities, camps, classes and more.Happy travels!
Between transportation and accommodations for the traveling family, a trip to Nantucket has most likely exceeded your budget before you have even set foot on the island. Then there’s dining, souvenirs and activities to fill your time. While we cannot help with the fixed costs associated with getting here, we can assist with helping you save money during your stay. We think you will be pleasantly surprised to see just how much a family can do on Nantucket without opening its wallet! Here’s your ACKtivity guide for a weekend on Nantucket that’s fun, family-centric and free!
Kickstart the family weekend with Friday Stargazing at the Maria Mitchell Associations Loines Observatory on Milk Street for a one-of-a-kind celestial tour of Nantucket’s night sky. Open Nights are offered weekly from 9pm-10:30pm and while donations are appreciated, the event is free to the general public. No reservations required!
Saturday morning head downtown to Cambridge Street for the weekly Sustainable Nantucket Farmers and Artisans Market. It’s a feast for the senses with plenty to see, touch, smell, hear (live music) and taste. (Saturdays from 9:00-1:00pm). Next wander over to Children’s Beach for the 10:30 Nantucket Puppet Players puppet show. Their FREE 20-minute skit features songs, jokes and a whole lot of laughter for children of all ages.
Following the performance, make your way back into town to stop by the Nantucket Atheneum where there are always free events for children. From the Dance(sing) program with Marjory Trott to board games for tweens and crafts for teens, there is something for everyone. (Check our calendar for update-to-date programming information.)
Saturday afternoons are great for wandering the docks and shops on Straight Wharf and Old South Wharf. Window-shop at some of the island’s most eclectic boutiques and galleries and admire the boat traffic.
If your family is up for one more ACKtivity, discover hands-on learning at its best over at the Maria Mitchell Association’s Natural Science Museum on the corner of Milk and Vestal Streets (walkable from town). Free admission to the museum gives you access to the Live Animal Room, where you will see native fish, frogs, turtles and snakes. Other exhibits and crafts cover the island’s botany, beaches birds and more. Their team of Naturalists will give you a wonderful, informative tour of the facility, or feel free to wander about at your own pace. (Open Monday-Saturday from 10am-4pm).
Next pick your favorite Nantucket beach, grab some sandwiches from Something Natural and enjoy some family time while frolicking in the surf. (Petite Travelers has all of your beach supplies on hand for sale or rent…and they deliver for free!).
End the weekend with a free outdoor concert at Children’s Beach, which is held from 6pm-7:30pm every Sunday evening. Don’t forget the beach blanket!
All the activities listed above are kid-tested and parent approved, free and open to the public. Here are three suggestions for must-do activities that arenot free but are Nantucket Bucket List worthy (check our previous post for the full list):
If you're on the island for more than a weekend, you might also enjoy some great off-the-beaten-path suggestions.
Nantucket Bucket is the Island’s trusted information hub, bringing awareness to families by sharing up-to-date event and activity information. Kid tested, parent approved activities, camps, classes and more are featured throughout the site. Read firsthand reviews to discover what to do and how to do it. Follow craft bloggers for some great DIY project ideas and inspiration. Your inside guide and more. What’s in your Nantucket Bucket?
My kids have visited enough museums in their short lives that they now actually look forward to exploring new exhibits, taking part in scavenger hunts, workshops, guided tours and the like. So when I brought up the idea of learning about art but also staying outside and playing, they were more than game. The good news? Accessible, diverse, entertaining (and mostly free!) exhibits can be found throughout the Boston area, all appropriate for visiting with children.
The beauty of looking at outdoor, public art with kids is that, depending on your child’s mood, you can stop and investigate or just take it in at a glance as you pass by. For insights on making any public art encounter with children a good experience, Mommy Poppins Boston spoke with art expert Wyona Lynch-McWhite, Executive Director of Fruitlands Museum in Harvard. Read on for Lynch-McWhite’s thoughts as well as places in and around Boston where parents can take children for a great public art experience.
Summer in New England... Whether your kids will go to camp all summer or your family likes to figure out what to do day by day, the summer months offer ample opportunity to explore all that’s going on in and around Boston.
We've rounded up some of the best summer activities for kids and families in and around Boston. From outdoor film and concert series to our 50 Free Things to Do this Summer you'll find great stuff to do, much of it free!
It's August, and summer camp may be winding down, the family vacation just a memory, and back to school still a few weeks away. Restless kids and free, unstructured time can leave parents looking for things to do.
While we've uncovered plenty of summertime things to do in and around Boston, day trips can often be the perfect diversion - venture out to explore new territory, and return home in time to sleep in the comfort of your own bed (no hotel expense, either!). We’ve rounded up more than 15 places in Massachusetts that are all at the most two hours from downtown Boston. If your family has a favorite day trip to go with kids, please add to our list in the comments section, below.
Have you ever noticed how kids love themes? Themed birthday parties, weekly camp themes, bedroom themes – you get the idea. We have been taking themed trips since my kids were very young, and it seems to make our short getaways more special somehow.
We recently went on a themed getaway, but I didn’t realize it until the second day, when I noticed a definite thread running through our trip: Everything was related to children's books (otherwise known as kid lit). If you love children’s literature (and really, what’s not to love?), Western Massachusetts is the place to go. Springfield, Northampton and Amherst hold the secrets of favorite writers and illustrators like Dr. Seuss, Eric Carle, and Emily Dickinson. Here's an itinerary to discover those secrets and hidden gems. If you enjoy this children's literature getaway and want to try another book-lover's vacation, take a look at this itinerary with literary stops from Hartford to Boston (and just reverse it).
We're glad you're here at Mommy Poppins Boston, your free online resource for everything for families and kids in the greater Boston area. We'd love to hear from you with any questions or suggestions! — Tara and Audrey