People often ask us about free or relatively inexpensive things to do with their loved ones or families, aside from the many events that we highlight monthly here as well as in our weekly Friday afternoon Local Lowdown on social media. To gather some ideas, we spoke to a few of our favorite local musicians who are fun people with children in the 3-12 age range. Try out some of their ideas if you haven’t already, or be inspired to share with us your favorite ways to enjoy the Cape with your loved ones.
Monica Rizzio and Pete Fasano, founders of The Vinegrass Festival, try to incorporate their 11-year-old into experiences that are fun for all three. While Monica can be found playing her original music at a local venue throughout the month, and Pete likes to grab a pint of Cape Cod Beer’s Porter at the Red Nun following a vicious game of kickball in the Cape Adult Sports League, you can find all the Fasanos at O’Shea’s Olde Inne on Sunday nights for the traditional Irish Seisun (pronounced session) for a night of family music and good eats. Once the snow melts, fishing on Bass River is another favorite, or a movie at the locally owned Chatham Orpheum.
Todd Nickerson of 6 East likes to take his two girls to the All Ages Open Mic hosted by Kathleen Healy at the Harwich Junior Theatre on the first Friday of every month. The open mic is open to all, with students encouraged to attend. Admission is $5 and proceeds benefit the HJT scholarship fund. In addition to the 5-10 minute opportunities for performers of all ages to sing, dance, or present any other talent, a featured artist performs and answers questions about their process and career to inspire budding musicians (tonight is Alicia Mathewson).
For a free outdoor adventure, Todd suggests a long walk to the conch tree (you’ll know it when you see it) at Long Beach, which is equally beautiful in winter, or disc golf at Burgess Park in Marstons Mill (probably best to wait until it’s warm).
When they are not hanging around Sarah Swain and The Oh Boys! gigs with their mom, Sarah two girls love being a part of The Gills Club, a hidden treasure on the Cape. The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy’s signature action project “connects girls with female scientists, sharing knowledge, and empowering them to take leadership positions and inspire shark conservation.” The best part? It’s a free through the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History.
Sarah also recommends the guided tours at the Wellfleet Audubon, even in winter for a snowy walk, to learn about the incredible natural world on Cape. We love the Swains own totally free twist on nature walks: head out to a field, beach or hiking area near you and pretend to be documentary filmmakers: Narrate your walk, use funny voices, and get creative! And for a night out with the whole family, they say Orleans Bowling Center can’t be beat.