Barnstable Historical Society Museum: 3087 Main St., Barnstable Village; email@example.com; 508-362-2982. 1-4 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays. Mission is to create and foster an interest in the cultural heritage and maritime history of town of Barnstable. See portraits, tools, kitchen utensils, toys and even a wooden bicycle. Learn about early industries on Cape Cod. FREE!
Cape Cod Maritime Museum: 135 South St., Hyannis; 508-775-1723; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, noon-4 p.m. Sundays. Celebrating and preserving the Cape’s maritime past, present and future. The museum offers permanent and rotating exhibits, some with hands-on activities for children. Gift shop with nautical inspired gifts for all ages. Seasonal sails on the Crosby Catboat replica “Sarah" available seasonally by reservation. $6, $5 seniors/students, children under 3 free. capecodmaritimemuseum.org.
Coast Guard Heritage Museum: 3353 Main St. (Route 6A), Barnstable (1856 Custom House); 508-362-8521; coastguardheritagemuseum.org. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Extensive collection of artifacts, videos, ship models and oral history documenting over 225 years of the Coast Guard including its predecessor organizations: Revenue Cutter, Life Saving, and Lighthouse Services. Audio tour (free with $5 admission). New exhibit in 2018: Coast Guard Astronaut Program. Free admission for children under 10 and active duty Coast Guard.
Historical Society of Santuit and Cotuit, Samuel B. Dottridge Homestead: 1148 Main St., Cotuit; cotuithistoricalsociety.org. 1-5 p.m. Fridays through Sundays. The homestead reflects life in coastal Cotuit during 19th century. Fire museum houses oldest fire engine on Cape Cod. FREE!
John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum: 397 Main St., Hyannis; 508-790-3077; jfkhyannismuseum.org. 9 a.m.-5p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, noon-5 p.m. Sundays. Photographic exhibit, video and oral histories from the days JFK spent on Cape Cod. $12 ages 18-61, $10 seniors 62 and older, $6 ages 6-17, free ages 5 and under, $6 students with ID.
Toad Hall Classic Sports Car Collection: Simmons Homestead Inn, 288 Scudder Ave., Hyannis; 508-778-4934; toadhallcars.com. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Collection of over 40 sports cars from 1950s through 1980s; mostly English and all red. $8, $4 for ages 10-16, 9 and under free.
Zion Union Heritage Museum: 276 North St., Hyannis; 508-790-9466. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays; tours arranged by calling 508-776-4330. Mission is to celebrate African-American and Cape Verdean population as well as other ethnic and demographic diversity. Cultural exhibits with artifacts and art, local arts and crafts and opportunities to promote oral, public and local history projects. $5, $4 seniors, $3 ages 10-17, free under age 10.
Jonathan Bourne Historic Center: Keene Street, Bourne. 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesdays. An architectural “gem” given to the town by daughter of whaling magnate Jonathan Bourne, for whom the town was named. Building houses town archives as well as exhibits of artifacts from Bourne Historical Society.
Brewster Historical Society: 1799 Elijah Cobb House, 739 Lower Road; brewsterhistoricalsociety.org. 508-896-9521. 1-4 p.m. Saturdays. The restored Sea Captain’s House features five exhibit galleries and historic gardens. $5.
Cape Cod Museum of Natural History: 869 Route 6A; 508-896-3867; ccmnh.org. 11 a.m.- 3 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. Eighty acres abutting 300 acres of town-owned conservation land. Exhibits on flora and fauna of Cape Cod, including whales, sharks, indigenous birds, archaeological finds and coastal change. Aquarium with over 65 freshwater and saltwater marine animals. Marshview Room with amphibian terrariums. Interactive nature activities and seasonal osprey cam, gift shop and nature trails, Naturescape Gallery. $15 ages 13-64, $10 ages 65 and up, $6 ages 3-12, free age 2 and under.
Windmill Village: 773 Main St., Brewster (next to Drummer Boy Park). brewsterhistoricalsociety.org. 1-4 p.m. Saturdays. Visit historical Higgins Farm Windmill, Harris-Black House and working Blacksmith shop. FREE!
Atwood House Museum: 347 Stage Harbor Road; 508-945-2493; chathamhistoricalsociety.org. 1-4 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Restored 1752 Old Atwood House and modern galleries include an archival center, Chatham’s twin light, period furniture, tools, glass, china and art in the galleries. Gift shop features nautical items, jewelry, toys and books. $10, $5 ages 8-18, free ages 7 and under.
Marconi-RCA Wireless Museum: 847 Orleans Road; 508-945-8889; chathammarconi.org. noon-4 p.m. Saturdays. Discover “world’s greatest” maritime wireless communications station and its secret WWII mission. Guglielmo Marconi’s Restored 1914 Global Wireless Station offers hands-on exhibits, documentary films, demos and gift shop. $10 ages 22-65, $7.50 ages 66 and older, $5 ages 13-21, free ages 12 and under; other special discount rates available.
Falmouth Museums on the Green: 55 and 65 Palmer Ave.; 508-548-4857. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday. A treasure trove of artifacts and stories about town of Falmouth, featuring two 18th-century houses displaying period furniture, fine art, textiles and rotating exhibits. Campus tours: $5 each, includes guided tours of 1790 Dr. Francis Wicks House; exhibitions in c.1730 Conant House; Hallett Barn Visitors Center; Cultural Center; Colonial Gardens & Memorial Park. Children 12 and under are free. Members of Historical Society as well as of Historic Highfield can tour for free. Active servicemen and servicewomen also free.
NOAA’s Woods Hole Science Aquarium: 166 Water St. 508-495-2001. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays; closed federal holidays. Small public aquarium that displays approximately 140 species of marine animals found in Northeast and Middle-Atlantic U.S. waters. Self-guided tours of main exhibits and behind-the-scenes look at aquarium operations. Donations accepted.
Woods Hole Historical Collection and Museum: 579 Woods Hole Road; 508-548-7270; woodsholemuseum.org. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Exhibits and gift shop. Archives open for study 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays year-round and by appointment. Museum curators collect and maintain papers, photos and objects of cultural, historical and artistic value about Woods Hole. FREE!
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Ocean Science Exhibit Center: 15 School St., Woods Hole; 508-289-2663. 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. Learn about the institution’s ocean science research and the vessels and tools developed by WHOI engineers. Gift shop. Donations accepted.
Martha’s Vineyard Museum: 59 School St., Edgartown. 508-627-4441; mvmuseum.org. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday and Saturday, noon-4 p.m. Sunday. Museum, library and 18th-century colonial home featuring maritime, whaling and Wampanoag collections. Paintings, portraits, folk art, artifacts, historic photographs and the Oral History Center home of Vineyard Voices. Library open to public 1-4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays or by appointment: 508-627-4441, ext. 115. Museum admission by donation. Combo passes: $20 historic Edgartown pass with admission to museum, Edgartown or Gay Head lighthouse, and Preservation Trust properties. Lighthouse combo pass: $12; with admission to museum and Edgartown or Gay Head lighthouse.
Cape Cod Children’s Museum: 577 Great Neck Road South. 508-539-8788; capecodchildrensmuseum.org. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. The mission of the Cape Cod Children’s Museum is to provide a learning environment that stimulates curiosity, creativity and imagination, inspiring children and their families to engage with each other, their community and the world at large. $9 ages 1-59, $8 seniors 60+, free with military ID and under age 1.
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Museum: 414 Route 130. Open by appointment: 508-477-9339 (museum); 508-477-0208, ext. 101 (Tribal Historic Preservation office); mashpeewampanoagtribe.com/museum. Housed in a fine example of an old half Cape Cod house, the museum contains displays of ancient artifacts and other Native American heirlooms that form a chronological commentary on life among the Wampanoag for thousands of years. Displays include variety of tools, baskets, hunting and fishing implements, weapons and domestic utensils. Focal point in exhibits is large diorama depicting a typical scene from an early Wampanoag settlement. $5, $2 ages 6-18, $10 family, $4 seniors and educators.
Nantucket Historical Association: 15 Broad St., 508-228-1894, ext. 0; nha.org. The association maintains several historic buildings and properties, including Oldest House, Old Mill, Old Gaol, Greater Light, and Fire Hose Cart House; open 11 a.m.-4 p.m. daily through Columbus Day. All access pass includes Whaling Museum and historic sites: $20, $18 seniors and students, $5 ages 6-17, free under age 6. Historic sites only: $6, $3 ages 6-17, free under age 6. Walking tours of Old Historic District daily: 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Tours depart from Whaling Museum lobby and offered rain or shine. Tickets sold at museum front desk first-come, first served.
Whaling Museum: 13 Broad St. at Steamboat Wharf. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Ongoing exhibitions about Nantucket history, local decorative arts, scrimshaw and interactive, hands-on learning opportunities for children 12 and under. Museum includes a restored 1847 candle factory with its original whale-oil beam press, a 47-foot sperm whale skeleton, a fully rigged whaleboat, collection of whaling tools, the 16-foot Fresnel lens from Sankaty lighthouse and portraits of whaling captains and their wives. All access pass includes multiple entries to museum in one day: $20, $18 seniors and students, $5 ages 6-17, free under age 6.
Nantucket Historical Association Research Library: 7 Fair St. 1-4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and by appointment. Research assistance available on all aspects of Nantucket history: whaling, genealogy, house histories, art and architecture, and historic photographs. $5 user fee.
Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum: 49 Union St. 508-228-1177. nantucketlightshipbasketmuseum.org. 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Dedicated to preserving Nantucket’s rich history of basket making, supporting scholarship of this art form, and encouraging and mentoring new generations of lightship basket makers. Goal of museum is for collection to include representative examples of the work of noted basket makers from the pre-lightship era through current day contemporary artists. The museum’s collections are developed by acquisition through unrestricted donations, bequests or through exchange with other institutions. $7, $3 ages 6-17.
Maria Mitchell Association: Calendar of programs and events: mariamitchell.org. 508-228-9198.
Loines Observatory: 59 Milk St.: Check calendar for open night schedule. Visitors invited to join professional astronomers for tour of starry sky and telescopic viewing of the moon, planets, galaxies and more.
Natural Science Museum & Gift Shop: 7 Milk St.: open select dates (check online calendar). Cross between classic natural history museum, zoo and science center. Learn about plants, animals and birds of Nantucket. Visit gift shop to pick up educational toys and books as well as binoculars, field guides, insect vials and butterfly nets.
Historic Mitchell House: 1 Vestal St.: 508-228-2896. Open select dates (check online calendar). Built in 1790, this typical Quaker house was acquired by the Mitchell family in 1818. The home became a museum in 1903 when Maria Mitchell Association founders acquired the house to preserve the legacy of one of Nantucket’s most illustrious daughters. House contains many artifacts from Mitchells’ daily life in 19th century.
Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum: 1 High Pole Hill Road; 508-487-1310; pilgrim-monument.org. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Pilgrim Monument commemorates Pilgrims’ first landing in America. Visitors can easily walk to the top using a series of steps and ramps. Museum features history of Provincetown and the Outer Cape with exhibits on the Pilgrims and the Mayflower, Provincetown theater history, and artifacts collected by sea captains. Last monument climb 30 minutes before closing. $12, $10 seniors, $4 ages 4-12, free ages 3 and under.
Benjamin Nye Homestead and Museum: 85 Old County Road, East Sandwich, 508-888-4213; nyefamily.org. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Seventeenth century farmhouse built by Benjamin Nye, who came to Sandwich in 1637. The grist mill he built in 1669 was powered by the spring-fed stream that still runs in front of the homestead. Setting includes the mill site, nature trails and an 1889 Grange Hall. In the homestead, rooms have been restored to different time periods, with antique furnishings and Nye family memorabilia. Operated by the Nye Family of American Association Inc. $5, free under age 12.
Sandwich Glass Museum: 129 Main St., 508-888-0251; sandwichglassmuseum.org. 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Discover history of Sandwich within museum’s galleries. Displays of more than 6,000 glass pieces, glass-blowing demonstrations, multi-media theater, contemporary glass gallery, Levine Lighting Gallery, Hannah “Rebecca” Burgess Dining Room circa 1880, changing exhibits, museum store. $10, $9 retired military, $2 ages 6-17, (free for active military, AAM free with card, Mass Teachers Assoc. free with card, ROAM free with card).
Highland Lighthouse (Cape Cod Light): 27 Highland Light Road, North Truro; highlandlighthouse.org; 508-487-1121. Oldest and tallest lighthouse on Cape Cod. Lighthouse Climbs, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily. Must be 48" tall to climb lighthouse tower. Operated by Eastern National. $6, $5 seniors and students.
Edward Gorey House: 8 Strawberry Lane, off Route 6A, Yarmouth Port; 508-362-3909; edwardgoreyhouse.org. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, noon-4 p.m. Sundays. Previously owned and lived in by the late artist, author, playwright and set and costume designer Edward Gorey, the house celebrates and preserves his life and work, and honors Gorey’s passion and concern for animals. $8, $5 students and seniors, $2 ages 6-12, under age 6 free.
Whydah Pirate Museum: 674 Route 28, West Yarmouth; whydah.com; 508-534-9571. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays (last entry 4 p.m.). A 12,000 square foot science museum. Touch, see and interact with world’s only authenticated pirate treasure of 18th century. $18.95 ages 18-64, $16.95 seniors (65+), $14.95 ages 5-17, free ages 4 and under.
Winslow Crocker House: 250 Route 6A, Yarmouth Port. historicnewengland.org; 617-994-6661. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays. Trader and land speculator Winslow Crocker built the house around 1780 in West Barnstable and it was moved to its current location in 1936 by Mary Thacher, an antiques collector. Learn about a colonial Cape Cod house with a 20th century flavor. As featured in the current issue of early Homes Magazine, the rooms are filled with Mary Thacher’s collection of furniture, including Jacobean, William and Mary, Queen Anne and Chippendale styles. The house is owned and operated by Historic New England. Private group tours available by appointment. $5, $4 seniors, $3 students. Yarmouth residents free with ID.
Capt. Bangs Hallet House Museum: 11 Strawberry Lane, off Route 6A, Yarmouth Port; hsoy.org. 508-362-3021. 1-4 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays. New exhibit for 2018: “Let There Be Light: Early Lighting Devices,” from collection of Charles and Barbara Adams. The museum is the only furnished sea captain’s house regularly open to the public on Cape Cod, featuring the seafaring days to the Far East in the 1800s. Also an 18th century kitchen. Docent-led tours start at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. $5, free for children and Yarmouth residents.
Cahoon Museum of American Art: 4676 Falmouth Road (Route 28), Cotuit. cahoonmuseum.org. 508-428-7581. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 1-4 p.m. Sundays. Collection of 19th-century American art and primitive paintings by Ralph and Martha Cahoon. Regular exhibitions and part of permanent collection on view, as well as gift shop. $10, $8 seniors and students, free for ages under 12.
Cape Cod Museum of Art: 60 Hope Lane, off Route 6A, Dennis. ccmoa.org; 508-385-4477. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m. Sundays and 5-8 p.m. ARTfull Thursdays with no admission fee. Films in The Screening Room. Seven galleries of Cape artists, sculpture garden, special events, classes for adults and children. $9, $7 seniors and students 19+ with ID, $5 students 13-18, free for children 12 and under.
Highfield Hall & Gardens: 56 Highfield Drive, Falmouth; 508-495-1878; highfieldhall.org. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. weekends and holidays, and year round special events. Vibrant cultural center offering world-class music, contemporary art exhibitions, expansive gardens and walking trails, family, culinary and nature programs. Seasonal international and regional exhibitions in beautifully restored 1878 mansion and estate. $8, $5 seniors, free for children under 12 and active military. Free Friday, 4-7 p.m. July and August. Gardens, grounds and musical instruments on Beech Tree Path open daily from dawn to dusk free of charge.
Provincetown Art Association and Museum: 460 Commercial St.; 508-487-1750; paam.org. Noon-5 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays. A collecting museum and professional artists association. Exhibitions, workshops, lectures and demonstrations. $10, free for children 12 and under.
Buzzards Bay Discovery Center: 21 Luscombe Ave., Woods Hole; savebuzzardsbay.org/woodshole; 508-540-6222, ext. 220. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Interactive exhibits, includes touch tank and groundwater model. Learn about issues facing Buzzards Bay, discover how groundwater moves, and get up close with sea stars, hermit crabs, whelks, more. FREE!
Cape Cod Canal Visitor Center: Cape side of canal, 60 Ed Moffitt Drive, Sandwich; 508-833-9678; recreation.gov. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Guided walks, bike hikes and programs. Exhibits, real time radar, retired 41’ U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ patrol boat. Call for daily program information. FREE!
Mass Audubon’s Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary: 345 Bone Hill Road, Barnstable; 508-362-7475; massaudubon.org. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Live animal exhibits; year-round and seasonal programs, including kayaking, aquatic exploration cruises and other water-based programming; woodland and meadow walking trails; Butterfly Mosaic trail; bee observation hive; Nature Play Area for young children. Trails open daily dawn to dusk. $4, $3 seniors 65+ and children ages 2-12.
Province Lands Visitor Center: Cape Cod National Seashore, Race Point Road, Provincetown. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. 508-487-1256; nps.gov/caco. The center sits atop a dune off Race Point Road and offers exhibits; a 360-degree view from indoor and outdoor observation decks; orientation films; well-stocked bookstore featuring books, games, maps, puzzles, and other interpretive items, and staff to assist with activity planning. The center hosts talks and presentations featuring a variety of resource topics. Also access to recently renovated Province Lands Bicycle Trail.
Salt Pond Visitor Center: Cape Cod National Seashore, Route 6 and Nauset Road, Eastham; 508-255-3421; nps.gov/caco. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Exhibits, films, bookstore, museum. Expansive views of Nauset Marsh and the Atlantic; walking and biking trails nearby. Ranger-guided programs include archaeology, history and nature walks, marsh explorations, beach campfires, canoe trips, tours and open houses at historic buildings. Many free and family-oriented programs.
Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary: Route 6, South Wellfleet. 508-349-2615; massaudubon.org. 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. Nature trails open 8 a.m.-dusk; butterfly garden, exhibits, walks, seal and nature cruises, kayak tours, family programs, birding, workshops, lectures and gift shop. $8, $5 seniors, $3 ages 2-12.