top 10 things to do on nantucket with toddlers & preschoolers  

well friends, that time of year all bostonians live for is on the horizon: SUMMER!  i think it's fair to say we new englanders have some long winters to endure but once it's over, it's fun to start thinking about summer vacation!

luckily for those who live in the boston area, like kristin quinn (mother & author behind the blog misadventures in mommy hood ) and her family, there are plenty of fun beach jaunts close by.  kristin shares her favorite places to visit with kids in nantucket, ma.  if you're planning a trip to the island soon or even someday, here are kristin's favorite places to keep the kiddos happy on vacation.  


nantucket beaches

jetties beach
4 bathing beach road, nantucket ma 02554

visiting this beach is a must! it's a favorite location for kids on island. it features a super convenient, stroller-friendly walkway down to the water, a playground in the sand, and (most importantly) a fully equipped restaurant/bar with bathrooms, changing tables, and even a toy store. the best part is that you can sit outside, dine, and enjoy adult beverages while your kids play in the sand next to you. opens mid-june.


children's beach
15 harbor view way, nantucket, ma 02554

with no waves and shallow water, children's beach is a no-brainer for families with little kids. it's a short walk from town and features a playground, bandstand (look for kids' yoga classes and shows), and a lifeguard on watch. there's a food and toy store next door at the children's cafe (amazing egg sandwiches!). you might be tempted to spend every day at children's beach because it's so easy, but make sure to check out some of the bigger beaches – they are just too beautiful to miss.

dionis beach
eel point road, nantucket, ma 02554

kids love this off-the-beaten-path beach, and being the only ones for miles. it's a wonderful place to build sand castles in the perfect sand, fly a kite, and even to send of a message in a bottle. there are bathrooms available before heading down a long, structured path to the beach.

the downyflake
​18 sparks avenue, nantucket, ma 02554

do yourself a favor and eat at the downyflake. this family-owned diner is perfect for the kids. grab a toy or a book from the box on the way in, and be sure to try the light, airy, and warm donuts.  serves breakfast and lunch.

millies in madaket 
326 madaket road, nantucket, ma 02554

millie's is a great family-friendly restaurant with excellent mexican food and solid kid options to boot. sit outside and save room for ice cream next door at the general store. if you're up for it, try to stay until the sun goes down for an unforgettable sunset experience. while you're in madaket, type "6 massachusetts ave" into your gps. you'll find a secret location for the kids to wade in ankle-deep water and hunt for crabs, conch shells and other sea creatures. bring a net!

cisco brewers
5 bartlett farm road, nantucket, ma 02554 

aside from the obvious appeal for adults (homemade beer, vodka, and wine – yes, please), there's a mini outdoor stage that kids of all ages love to dance in front of when bands are playing in the afternoons. the brewery even provides ride-on toys for the kids, and it's dog-friendly, too. bring cash for the food trucks.

bartlett's farm market
33 bartlett farm road, nantucket, ma, 02554

nantucket's oldest and largest family-owned farm features some of the best produce you can get. it's down the street from the brewery and features an awesome swing set for the kids to play on outside. take a peek at the beautiful cows grazing next door, or take a tour of the cut flower fields and pick your own custom bunch. the market also features a pretty extensive toy section, too.

the nantucket athenaeum
1 india street, nantucket, ma 02554 

the island's unique and beautiful library boasts a lovely children's section complete with a reading room, dvd rentals, and a big, fluffy animal chair. check out the children's program calendar for weekly events like a fun music class and toddler story times. get there early; the spots fill up quickly.

critter cruise 
slip 1017 straight wharf, nantucket, ma 02554

don't miss the boat! climb aboard the monomoy for a nantucket adventure in the harbor. see what the naturalist pulls up from the bottom of the ocean, and touch, feel, and fish for crabs off the side of the boat. there's a bathroom on board and a small covered portion for when little ones need a break from the sun. the tour lasts a perfectly timed hour. 

something natural 
50 cliff road, nantucket, ma 02554

it's the perfect lunch spot on island with kids. let the kids play in the big red boat that's perched on the lawn after eating piled-high sandwiches on homemade bread, and award-winning cookies (seriously, don't skip the cookies).


one more bonus tip! Rent all of your baby equipment at petite travelers of nantucket– bring NOTHING. becky has it all and delivers/picks it up. we also bought nets there for crabbing.


see you on the island!!!

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