Our community strives to provide a wide range of fun and unique opportunities for children to get involved and explore the island. Especially during the summer season there is an eclectic offering of children’s activities. Below are some island favorites that are appropriate for both long and short term stays:
17 South Water Street, (508) 332- 4822
The Dreamland Theater has summer programs for Children’s Theater Education. Please visit their website to find out the range of different classes they offer for kids of all ages. A great opportunity for children and teens who are interested in acting and the theater.
Restored in 2005, the Nantucket Whaling Museum features an expanded top-quality exhibition space, a fully accessible rooftop observation deck overlooking Nantucket harbor, a 46-foot sperm whale skeleton, and a restored 1847 candle factory.
The candle factory was built by the Mitchell family immediately following Nantucket’s Great Fire in 1846 and close to the end of the island’s whaling era. Less than two years later, island businessmen William Hadwen and Nathaniel Barney purchased the manufactory and continued to operate it as a candleworks until the end of whaling in the 1860s. The structure served as a warehouse until its conversion into the offices of the New England Steamship Company in the 1870s. In 1919, the candleworks was outfitted to use as storage and housed an antiques shop. In 1929, the building was purchased and converted into the NHA’s Whaling Museum, and remained as such for more than seventy years.
In 2008, the Whaling Museum received accreditation from the American Association of Museums, an honor bestowed upon fewer than one of every twenty-two museums in the country.
Four Winter Street (located in the basement of the Coffin School, off Main Street), (508) 228-6600
Throughout the summer season, beginning June 24th, NCS offers a range of private and group sailing programs for children, teens and adults. With three locations (Polpis Harbor, Jetties Sailing Center and Children’s Beach Pier), this is a great way to explore different parts of the island on and off-shore. Visit the website to find the program to match your age, interest and experience. Keep in mind that space is limited and is decided on a first-come-first serve basis.
The waters of Nantucket are a dream for kiteboarding, hydrofoiling and wakeboarding. Nantucket includes miles of butter flat waters within the harbor, waist deep protected bays perfect for learning various water sports, and endless coastline made for wave riding. Whether you are a kiteboarder, surfer, sailor, or just want to relax, Nantucket has incredible conditions and activities to offer for the entire family. It is for this reason that Next Level Watersports is proud to call Nantucket home. We are partnered with the Harborview Nantucket Hotel and teach out on Nantucket Harbor every day.
One Dirt Road (Cisco Beach Parking lot), (508) 560-1020
The Island’s first premier school, located at Cisco Beach (parking lot, not end of the road), offers private and group lessons as well as week long kids camps. Students of all ages and ability are encouraged to come out and try a traditional surfing or Standup Paddleboarding (SUP) lesson. All equipment (boards, paddles, wetsuits) is provided and is also available for rent for personal use outside of lessons. Surf lessons are a great activity for those looking for a more active day at the beach, really testing your balance and core strength!
Nine Nobadeer Farm Road, (508) 228-1769
“Strong Wings’ mission is to provide outdoor adventure programming for Nantucket’s youth which promotes active lifestyles, physical fitness, builds strength, confidence, and character, fosters new friendships, and encourages respect and appreciation for nature.”
Strong Wings offers year round programming but is perhaps best known for it’s summer adventure camps. Campers will explore all parts of the island’s beaches, forests, hills and ponds as they navigate the outdoors with experienced counselors who have backgrounds in ecology, wildlife sciences, environmental students and outdoor recreation. Older students travel by bike and younger students by van. The Strong Wings Outdoor School has its own high-ropes challenge course and outdoor rock-climbing wall which are used to help campers build strength, trust and confidence in themselves and their peers. Check out their website for a comprehensive list of summer programs.
One India Street, (508) 228-1110
The Weezie Children’s Library is a great place to visit on a rainy day. The Children’s space is a cozy and fun place to hang out while you decide which books you want to bring home with you. Additionally, the library offers free programs run on a first come first serve basis. Story times, crafts, music and dance classes for all ages of children.
71 Washington Street, (508) 228-4485
Located on the serene Seaview Farm in Wauwinet, NISDA strives to share the spirit and creativity of the Arts with children and teens. With KinderArt classes for the little ones and more advanced visual arts classes for tweens and teens. A diverse offering of photography, jewelry, textiles, ceramics, painting, drawing and more, NISDA classes are a great opportunity to learn some studio techniques and explore your creative side while on island.
Taught primarily at the Children’s Beach Bandstand, lifetime student of the performing arts Marjory Trott teaches Dance(sing) Movement and Yoga classes for Kids. Marjory has been teaching at this location since 1995 with the vision to encourage playful and joyous exploration of movement and music. Her classes are sure to put a smile on you and your childs face. Marjory is also available for private parties and can often be found teaching at the Atheneum.
Four Vestal Street, (508) 228-9198
A non-profit dedicated to preserving the legacy of Nantucket native astronomer, naturalist and librarian Maria Mitchell. Through its two observatories, natural science museum, science center and aquarium, Maria Mitchell connects students to the outdoor world by investigating and exploring our local ecosystems. The Discovery program for children offers week-long camps that are thematically organized to explore all aspects of our local ecosystems. From Wild and Wacky Wetlands to Bodacious Bugs to Arts and Oceans, there are camps for all different ages and interests. Also check- out the drop in programs, nature walks and field trips.
NTW is an organization dedicated to promoting the performing arts in our island community. Through workshops, educational programs, events and many wonderful productions the Nantucket Theater Workshop has flourished as an on and off-season resource. Every summer season the group presents a production by and for children. Stay tuned as summer approaches for further dates and details.
24 Easy Street, (508) 228-9155
Clothing designer Cheryl Fudge holds summer camps that teach the basic principles of clothing design and fashion to aspiring fashionistas of all ages. Campers design the pieces, pick the fabrics and embellishments and the counselors do the sewing. These workshops are a unique chance to expand your child’s sense of creativity and style in a fun and encouraging atmosphere. Students get to take home their designs and sometime even model them on the Cheryl Fudge runway.
Murray Camp on Nantucket has been providing kids with fun programs and positive experience for two decades. This camp provides a place for children to learn, make new friends and have fun with a responsible and positive staff.