Tag Archives: Kids

For the kids: On the FARM on Martha’s Vineyard


When most people think of the Vineyard, they think sand, surf and sun. But the agricultural community on the island is truly thriving – from all of the working farms to the farmer’s markets to the community mantra, ‘go local!’

The FARM Institute takes it one step further, combining farming, education, conservation and kids. Their mission is:

The FARM Institute (TFI) is a teaching farm that educates and engages children and adults in sustainable agriculture through the diverse operations of a working farm. TFI provides year-round educational programs offering learning experiences in:

  • The culture and history of Martha’s Vineyard farming;
  • Farming (Field crops, produce, fruit, hay);
  • Land preservation;
  • Nutritional awareness;
  • Humane livestock management (cattle, poultry, swine, sheep, goats);
  • Entrepreneurial thinking and application

And if you’re coming to visit for the summer or even for a week or two, make sure to check out the FARM’s summer kid programs (download the 2009 brochure here):

  • WEE FARMERS for ages 2-4 – Info
  • SPROUTS for ages 4-5 – Info
  • FARMER FOR A DAY for ages 6-12
  • FULL DAY FARM-CAMP for ages 5-14 (FAQ)
  • HALF DAY FARM-CAMP for ages 6-14 (FAQ)
  • Work Income Sharing Project (WISP) for ages 11-15 (FAQ)
  • FUTURE FARMHANDS for ages 11-15
  • VINEYARD HERITAGE WEEK for ages 12-16

The FARM Institute is located in Edgartown’s Katama area where we have some great rental houses…it’s a beautiful area that features South Beach and a great bike path. Let me know if I can help you find the perfect rental.

What to do With Kids on Rainy Vineyard Days

Whether you’re here for the weekend or for the summer, rainy days do not need to mean being stuck in the house with bored kids and cabin fever. There are lots of great activities to do with your kids whether it’s lightly drizzling or you’ve got a daylong downpour.

It’s safe to assume that you’ll encounter a rainy day or two here on the Vineyard so be sure to pack rain gear for everyone – as well as books and a deck of cards. While everyone loves a day at the beach, families can have a great day spending time reading together (aloud or individually) or playing games – especially when you’ve had day after day of bright sunshine, this can be a relaxing break. Many vacation rentals come equipped with a bunch of games, but be sure to ask or bring your own.

If it’s somewhat wet, but not a total washout, it’s a great day for hiking on one of the many trails on the island. Put on the raincoats and boots and head to Cedar Tree Neck or the trails of Trustees of the Reservation and get the kids involved in the beautiful natural world here.

If it’s really pouring, travel to one of the town libraries to find new books or rent movies. Each town has it’s own library with great kid’s sections and most with extensive free movie rental. Town libraries have different hours so look up yours ahead of time. Also check to see what events they have going on for kids that day. There are often story times posted at each town library: Chilmark Library, Edgartown Library, Oak Bluffs Library, Vineyard Haven Library, West Tisbury Library, and Aquinnah Library (508-645-2314),

If renting movies and getting out the popcorn is your thing then Island Entertainment (508-693-7441) in Vineyard Haven also has a huge selection of movie rentals for the whole family. With everything from classics to new releases to cult and foreign films, you’re sure to find something to please even your family movie-buff. Hollywood Video (508-627-3533) in Edgartown’s Post Office Square also has a great selection and great rental rates.

If you are an arts & crafts family than a rainy day is the perfect opportunity to get down and be creative. Shirley’s Hardware in Vineyard Haven has a great selection of craft items from glue sticks to glitter and pipe cleaners to paper. There’s also Beadnicks (508-693-7650) off Main Street in Vineyard Haven where the beader in your family will think they’ve entered heaven. The shop’s mantra is “Don’t Worry, Bead Happy.” Sold individually and by weight, this huge selection of beads can be thrilling or somewhat overwhelming. Luckily there’s plenty of staff on hand to help you choose your beads and they’ll even sit down and help your kids create their masterpieces.

Rainy Day matinees are a tradition on Martha’s Vineyard. On sunny days, you won’t find a matinee anywhere on the island but on rainy days there’s usually at least one or two showings. There’s no rhyme or reason for which of the four movie theaters on the island will offer which movie but call 508-627-MOVY as one of them is sure to be showing something kid friendly.

Best of all? Martha’s Vineyard boasts some of the most breathtaking rainbows I’ve ever seen. So, when the rain does clear and you see that Vineyard sun poking through the clouds, make sure to go outside and look towards the sky.

Best Kid-Friendly Beaches on Martha’s Vineyard

Beaches are certainly the main attraction on Martha’s Vineyard in the summer. Some of them have big waves, some don’t. Some of them are pure sand, some are rocky where the waves break. This is your guide to the best kid beaches on the Vineyard. Don’t forget sunscreen, drinks, umbrella or tent, chairs, towels, toys and boogie boards! Here are my favorite kid beaches:

  • Lambert’s Cove Beach is located in West Tisbury. You need a sticker to park your car here or a walk-on pass to enter. Lambert’s Cove  is located on the Vineyard Sound so the water is warm and calm and there’s lots of great rock and shell hunting! Dogs are allowed on the beach in the morning and evening and life guards are on duty until 5 pm.
  • State Beach is found along the border of Oak Bluffs and Edgartown, this picturesque public beach is a wonderful place for swimming, building sandcastles and making new friends. Parking is plentiful and it’s an easy walk over the dunes and onto the beach. Your kids will want to stay here all day!
  • Menemsha Beach rests at the end of the main road in Menemsha, one of the last working fishing villages in New England, this stretch of public beach is a favorite for families. No fee or stickers are required and the water is calm and clear. There are also many great spots to grab lunch so leave the picnic baskets at home.
  • Long Point is in West Tisbury on a beautiful wildlife refuge, Long Point is a wonderful experience for the whole family. Arrive early during the height of the season as parking lots fill up quickly.
  • South Beach is the happening beach in Edgartown with some big Atlantic swells, beach volleyball and tons of families. The walk isn’t too bad from the car with various entry points along the road, and the beach is public so you’ll have easy access. There’s a great bike path from town through Katama to the beach.