Martha’s Vineyard has something for every kind of visitor, but if you’re planning a trip to the island with your family then you’ll want a very different itinerary versus coming with a group of friends from college! It can be extremely stressful to plan out a vacation that everyone remembers fondly - especially so if you have young kids. To help take some of that stress away, we’re going to share five of the essential activities to do as a family on Martha’s Vineyard.
The Flying Horses Carousel
This is the perfect activity for a family with younger children. The Flying Horses Carousel is the oldest platform-style carousel in the country. One of the longest-lasting attractions on the island, the Flying Horses Carousel has been a mainstay for visiting families since 1884. The carousel itself is an incredible piece of history and includes stationary carved wooden horses with manes and tails of real horsehair and inset glass eyes. Each horse is brightly painted and fixed to the rotating platform by a metal post. The operators do their best to keep the experience as close to the original 19th-century era tradition, and if you get the brass ring you’ll get to ride again for free!
Discover Your Favorite Island Beach
Above all else Martha's Vineyard is known for its excellent selection of beaches, so you'll have to find your family’s favorite one before you leave. If you’re visiting Martha’s Vineyard in the summer and you have toddler-age children with you the Owen Park or Oak Bluffs Town beaches are perfect places for you because of their calm waters and close proximity to plenty of different spots to eat. On the other hand, if your family is really into the beach and you want to come packed and set up for the day, then Edgartown’s expansive South Beach or the famous State Beach are both places to check out.
The Island Alpaca Company
Don’t miss out on this truly adorable destination on Martha’s Vineyard. The name says it all, when you visit you’ll be treated to dozens of friendly alpaca - an especially fun time for animal lovers! While even a quick visit here is worthwhile, if you’re interested in a longer stay you’ll have opportunities to learn more about these extraordinary animals from the on-site staff, take a self-guided walking tour, and watch an informative video-presentation.
The Gay Head Cliffs
It's hard to imagine any trip to Martha’s Vineyard without making the journey over to the island’s most iconic scenic destination. The major caveat for parents here is that this is going to be a 30 - 40ish minute drive from the most popular hotels in towns like Oak Bluffs and Edgartown and that’s if you’re driving the car yourself. Relying on the island’s bus network, the VTA, will take even longer. You won’t find a prettier family photo opportunity on Martha’s Vineyard but just make sure you have everything you need to keep your kids entertained while making the trip to the Gay Head Cliffs.
The Sunset at Menemsha Beach
In many ways, seeing the sunset at Menemsha Beach is just as key to a visit to Martha’s Vineyard as experiencing the Gay Head Cliffs. They’re both incredibly scenic outdoor locations, and crucially for parents they’re both a bit of a drive from many of the primary hotels on the island. That all being said as long as you and your family are up for the drive, watching the sun set is the perfect way to close out a day on Martha’s Vineyard. Of course, if you’re traveling with toddlers who have earlier bed times, you might not want to shake up their sleep schedule by keeping them up and away from bed this late, but this is an ideal spot for every other age group!
Those are our picks for some essential family activities here on Martha’s Vineyard. If you’re looking for a place to stay on your upcoming trip check out our many rental properties available today. We can’t wait to see you and your family on the island this summer season!