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Parents & Kids Guide to Fun Stuff on Martha's Vineyard

Lots of links and fun activities for kids and families on Martha's Vineyard. A family guide to Martha's Vineyard.

Island Theater Workshop

Wow, just Wow. Phenomenal performances, children's camp, too! The Island's oldest theater company is true labor of love. World class! I always forget it is 'educational' because the shows are the real deal! Alumnae include many successful big names, so catch them here first! Every summer they put on an amazing show at the PAC center.  Always spectacular and not to be missed! Past shows include The King and I, Annie, Beauty and the Beast, and Mary Poppins! Yes, Mary flew!! And a plea on ITW's behalf: they excell at teaching theater and they are non-profit. Every cent they bring in goes back to the program and they exist thanks to the dedication of volunteers. They own no theater of their own. Many on the staff donate back their pay. If you are looking to become a Patron of a beloved and worthy organization, this is your opportunity!

Tickets MV

Take a Trustees Tour

The Natural history tours are spectacular! Kids especially have a blast!

Go to the Fair!

It is the real deal! Something for everyone! Food, arts &crafts, rides, games, animals, events, it is the big event! Check Facebook for details and news

Martha's Vineyard Book Festival

Rock Star quality authors! In Person! Q and A sessions, lectures, Wow! You can never be bored if you have books. Here is your chance to gain insight into the minds and processes of great authors. Book a sitter with MVKidSitters.com and go! You deserve it!

Ride the Chappy Ferry!

 Go down to Dock Street in Edgartown with donuts and coffee or after a stop at the  Ice Cream & Candy Bazaar and ride on the On Time III ferry across the Edgartown Harbor to Chappy.  It is a short, sweet trip and you can even get off on Chappy Point Beach and play in the sand or fish. It's only a couple of bucks and you get a multi-million dollar view and fully experience being on the harbor. Be prepared to take pics especially around sunset! This never gets old for kids, parents and grandparents. Best deal on the island. Fair warning: don't save this for last because you may make it a daily event. 

The Chappy Ferry starts running at 6:45 AM.  Click the link below to learn more and check out the really cool book about it, The Chappy Ferry Book by Tom Dunlop photos by Alison Shaw. It is fascinating and filled with adventure and history and how it works. To quote ferry owner Peter Wells: "If it can happen, it has happened on the ferry." And that is an understatement.  I promise you will be captivated by this book. 

Chappy Ferry

Martha's Vineyard Museum

The Martha's Vineyard Museum inspires all people to discover, explore, and strengthen their connections to this Island and its diverse heritage. Kid's programs, too!

Flying Horses

In Oak Bluffs, catch the brass ring for a free ride, or just see how many rings you can snag at once. Fun for all! 

Be a Pirate (for a day)

Also in Oak Bluffs,

From the pirates themselves:

Ahoy mateys! Join us as we set sail on a pirate's treasure hunt along the shores of beautiful and historic Oak Bluffs on the legendary island of Martha's Vineyard. On our custom built pirate ship your kids will dress and talk like a pirate, assemble a treasure map, battle rival pirates with water cannons and hoist sunken treasure from the ocean floor!

It's a fun, unique, memory-making adventure cruise designed for families by a family
(a pirate family of course). Come join our crew!

MVPirates.com   call 508-MVP-Crew email ahoy@mvpirates.com

 Offering pirate adventures out of Oak Bluffs for ages 2-10 ish and their families

Visit the Edgartown Lighthouse

Grab a picnic and put the little ones in a jogging stroller or beach wagon, park up near the Harborview Hotel on Starbuck Neck at the end of North Water Street. It is a stunningly beautiful vista. Don't be surprised if you see a painter with an easel set up and hard at work. You can watch the On Time ferry cross to Chappy and ogle the yachts in the harbor and sometimes see the really really big yachts anchored off the outer harbor. P.S. fishing folks, some of the island's best fishing is right there, too!

Outdoor Fun Links:

Go to the Fair

MV Baby Rent outdoor game and beach rentals

Katama General Store on the way to South Beach has everything you need

FARM Institute

Menemsha Hills Reservation. Hike with spectacular views for a clear day. Bring a three-wheeled all terrain stroller; it's hilly

Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation.

Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank Commission

Felix Neck Sanctuary They have terrific summer programming

Island Cove Mini Golf  508-693-261, 386 State Road in Vineyard Haven.

West Tisbury Farmer's Market.

Morning Glory Farm

Playgrounds are a great place to meet other families with young children. Please remember that our school  is in session later than most and the school playgrounds are not available during school hours when school is in session. Here are some playgrounds around the island.

Edgartown: the Edgartown School and Martha’s Vineyard Boys and Girls Club, 44 Robinson Road, Edgartown. They are both located on Robinson Road.

Oak Bluffs: the Niantic Park Playground is located at 63-69 Tuckernuck Avenue. The O.B. School playground is located at 50 Tradewinds Avenue.

Vineyard Haven: there is a playground at Veterans Memorial Park at 60-164 Causeway Road, and also at the Tisbury School at 40 West William Street.

West Tisbury: playgrounds can be found at the West Tisbury School at 401 Old County Road as well as at the Town Hall at 1059 State Road.

Chilmark: there is a playground behind the Chilmark Community Center at 520 South Road and at the Chilmark School at 8 State Road.

Indoor/Rainy Day Activities.

We try to schedule our rainy days in the off season, but a few show up in the summer anyway. We are very fortunate to have six charming towns with plenty of indoor activities and amusements. Here are some things to consider.

Bowling is back! In Oak Bluffs, The Barn Bowl & Bistro!

Our nice, new YMCA has an indoor pool and healthy food at the Y Café.  508-696-7171
Another indoor pool and spa can be found at the Mansion House. 800-332-4112

Fun toys, games, puzzles and craft supplies can be picked up at the Toy Box 79 Beach Road, Vineyard Haven, as well as at Granite 5 &10 at 242 Vineyard Haven Road, Edgartown and Alley's General Store, WT 

Flying Horses Carousel

MV Film Society

Vineyard Haven Public Library

Oak Bluffs Public Library

Edgartown Public Library

West Tisbury Public Library

Chilmark Free Public Librar

Aquinnah Public Library

The island has two(yes, two!) independant bookstores! The Bunch of Grapes in Vineyard Haven and Edgartown Books. Both on Main Street.

 www.mvarena.com newly refubished

Beaches

Here is a quick run down by town of public beaches and links to more extensive descriptions. Some beaches are a bit a walk from the parking area, but well worth the hike. Some guests have found joggers and beach wagons helpful in getting everything and everyone to and from these beaches. Please not that West Tisbury, Chilmark and Aquinnah all have private town beaches not included here. Please contact the towns for info on enjoying their beaches.

Please remember to use sunblock. We offer beach tents and beach umbrellas as well as beach chairs and sand chairs. Here is a link to our beach and outdoor rentals page. MV Beach and Baby Rentals. The sand toys are fabulous and jam packed.

In Edgartown enjoy easy parking and quick access at Bend in the Road Beach on Beach Road. Also nice, but with less parking, are Fuller Street Beach at the end of Fuller Street. Lighthouse Beach off North Water Street has a really nice view of the harbor and Chappaquiddick. It's a scenic trek from parking.

Norton Point Beach is a nice option for families with an over-sand vehicle. This beach is nicely situated with  the south shore on one side and the Edgartown Bay on the other. This beach connected Edgartown with the island of Chappaquiddick until a 2007 storm opened a breach in the barrier beach. An over sand permit must be purchased from the Trustees of Reservations. For information call 508-627-7689

Vineyard Haven guests may enjoy watching the ferry pass by as they swim in the lake or ocean at Lake Tashmoo Town Beach at the end of Herring Creek Road accessed from Daggett Avenue. Beach access is quick but parking is limited so arrive early or late in the day. It is a long drive down a bumpy slow one lane unpaved road but when you arrive you will be wowed.

In Oak Bluffs the Joseph Silva State Beach extends down the Beach Road toward Edgartown. Parking and access are easy here as well as at the Oak Bluffs Town Beach, which starts at the OB Steamship dock and extends out well beyond Ocean Park.

In West Tisbury, Long Point Beach offers ocean waves as well as swimming in Long Point Pond. The trek from the parking lot to the beach is long but  worth it and the view is guaranteed to impress. A Jogger, beach cart or beach wagon comes in handy here. Open to all, Long Point has an admission fee and parking does fill up, so plan to arrive as early as possible. Information at www.thetrustees.org

In Chilmark there is swimming at the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank’s Great Rock Bight Preserve. Parking there is very limited. Families may also enjoy swimming and watching the sun set at kid-friendly Menemsha Beach, right up the road and convenient to quaint shops, ice cream and fresh seafood. 

In Aquinnah, Moshup Beach is another Land Bank property. The walk is about ten minutes from the (pay) parking to the beach. While you are up there be sure to take in the view atop the cliffs and enjoy an ice cream cone or snack from one of the cliff shops. Please note this is a beach with surf. 

MVOL.com has a map and listing of beaches at www.mvol.com/beaches

Babysitting and Kid's Programs

If you would like some adult time or just an extra pair of hands, babysitters can be hired through Lori Sue at MV Kid Sitters, 508-627-7767. MV Kid Sitters.com is a licensed state agency and Lori Sue will help you find your dream sitter as well as other help and staff.

Resorts and home rentals with kids programs include the Winnetu Oceanside Resort and Mattakesett Properties at South Beach in the Katama area of Edgartown. The Winnetu offers programs tailored to kids of various ages in a spectacular ocean side resort with top-notch amenities and services. Guests can enjoy two heated pools, (one with a kiddie-pool!), clambakes, a pirate ship playground, and lots of games and activities such as antique fire truck rides, face painting, lemonade and cookies, and outdoor, life-size chess. The Winnetu has an on site ocean view restaurant, The Dunes, with a children’s corner and shops and a café for anything you may need. Their staff has always been super-friendly and helpful. Fair warning: you will want to return to this fine place. The Winnetu is a fantastic spot for families with kids of all ages. To learn more please visit www.winnetu.com or call 508-310-1733 for reservations and information. 

While the gang's all here consider creating a family portrait. Thanks to our popularity as a wedding destination, we have some great photographers in our community.  Try to schedule a mid week session for the most flexibilty.  Remember, the days are long but the years are short. If you are staying at the Winnetu, they will help you book it.

For the most up to date information check out our two local newspapers, the MV Times and the Vineyard Gazette.

Island Cove Mini Golf

If you think any of our items will be helpful on your adventures or lighten your load, here is a link:

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