Traveling anywhere with children to entertain, can run the entertainment bill off the charts — as a mom of four, I am speaking from experience! That’s why I am always on the look-out, and here to share some affordable family activities that can be enjoyed during a Martha’s Vineyard vacation… without breaking the piggy bank!
Take Me Out To the Ballgame – Martha’s Vineyard Baseball
Daah-Dum, Daah-dum… So, you know that Martha’s Vineyard was originally made famous in the 70’s by hosting the filming of the movie Jaws, right? That was a long time ago, and now The Sharks that we are most proud of are our very own FCBL (Future Collegiate Baseball League of New England) team. We have summer college league baseball, at it’s best!
I realize that this may not strike you, at first, as a “Vineyard thing to do” but there is nothing like the good old fashioned nostalgia of going out to a ballgame with the kids. Although you can do this in other parts of the country, do you actually find the time to do it when you are not on vacation? Sorry, Little League games don’t count!
The FCBL is made up of top collegiate baseball players from around the country. So not only will you see great baseball talent, but more than likely, you will see some future stars of Major League Baseball! Tickets for the bleachers are only $6 for adults and $4 for kids 12 and under – so it’s an inexpensive night out for the family.
There is also inexpensive food at the ballpark (3 concession stands) if you want to tie in a dinner out, and there is entertainment before and after the game as well as in between innings. Kids love to hang out in the “Kid Zone” – a fenced grassy area on the third base side of the field, where you will see many running off energy and trying to catch foul balls.
Put on Your Dancing Shoes
Family Dance-O-Rama is just that — and what youngster doesn’t like music or the chance to dance on a stage? This event is FREE and takes place every Wed. night in July and August 4-6pm at Flatbread Co. They also have frequent dance parties outside of the summer months; so if you are here in the shoulder season, check their page for a current schedule.
DJ Shizz spins favorite pop dance tunes for a jammin’ good time! The weekly party is known to appeal to all ages (OK, maybe not your teenagers…) and is a crazy, fun loving time. While you are there, you can tie in some affordable family dining, because Flatbread Co. has some of the best pizza on the island. If you haven’t been to a family dance party at the Family Dance-O-Rama, make plans to check it out this Wed. night.
The Tabernacle Rocks for Family Fun in Oak Bluffs
The Tabernacle is the centerpiece of the Martha’s Vineyard Campground Association and the area is a National Historic Landmark. Also known as “The Campground” or “the Gingerbread Cottages”. If you are unfamiliar with it, you need to come on our Oak Bluffs tour or download the audio tour of Oak Bluffs!
Beyond the history, The Tabernacle is still host to many family and community events throughout the summer season. Most of the MVCA sponsored activities are a free will offering – so yes, affordable. There are Community Sings every Wed night in the summer, and there are also frequent family movie nights and a variety of activities and concerts. The Tabernacle is a fabulous venue for an outdoor movie or a concert, so check it out if you are here for one of their events.
Take a Ride on Flying Horses and Grab a Brass Ring
The Flying Horses are another national landmark, and a must see regardless of your age (although very popular with the younger set). The carousel is the nation’s oldest platform carousel, and houses antique and beautifully restored hand carved wooden horses. A ride on The Flying Horses is $2.50, but if you manage to grab the brass ring, you will get another ride for free! But be forewarned – there is also a small arcade, and a concession stand with goodies to delight kids, such as cotton candy.
So have I hit upon one of your favorite family activities yet? If not, never fear… this post is part one of a series. If you have an affordable family favorite, please comment so that I will be sure to include it in a future post.