Harwich is a charming Cape Cod town, with sprawling cranberry bogs, lakes, and a coastline on Nantucket Sound. Its creative community features one of the Cape’s most popular destinations for live theatre, as well as artistic and musical events and, of course, a touch of history.
Enjoy Live Theatre Again
Celebrating 70 years since its founding, the Cape Cod Theatre Company/Harwich Junior Theatre is a year-round center for theatre arts education and outreach – and a semi-professional theater that mounts 10 full-scale productions each year for audiences of more than 20,000. In summer 2021, family shows will be presented on a newly-constructed outdoor stage, some in the morning and some in the evening, while plays geared toward adult audiences will be held inside the theatre. Check out their full schedule here.
Along Nantucket Sound: Galleries, Outdoor Art Fair, and Outdoor Music
Situated in an 1830’s Cape at 486 Route 28 in Harwich Port, Cross Rip Gallery features contemporary abstract and figurative fine art by award-winning and emerging artists. Throughout the season, Cross Rip Gallery hosts a series of events for the art-loving public: indoor and outdoor exhibit openings with refreshments and music as well as art salons, book signings, and demonstrations. Every few weeks this summer, Cross Rip Gallery will feature two artists in one gallery and display the work of a variety of artists in the other gallery rooms so that there will always be exciting new work for you to see whenever you stop by. Check out their upcoming exhibits here.
The Guild of Harwich Artists, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that encourages artists and those interested in art through education, fellowship, and exhibitions. Members of The Guild of Harwich Artists exhibit and sell original artwork in Harwich Port’s Doane Park in what has become a highlight event of the summer. Every Monday in July and August, Guild participants exhibit work in a wide range of artistic styles and mediums, and the artists are thrilled to engage with the public about their work.
From beautiful Doane Park, with gardens maintained by The Garden Club of Harwich, it’s an easy walk to Harwich Port center and the Art Gallery of The Guild of Harwich Artists at 551 Route 28. The 24 artists who exhibit at the Guild Gallery are all inspired by the light, air, and ocean that surround the Cape, working in various media including oil, pastel, watercolor, acrylic, paper/collage, ink, and graphite.
The Nines Art Gallery at 562 Main Street in Harwich Port is a contemporary collaborative Fine Art Gallery featuring large original oil paintings by Lauren DiFerdinando and limited-edition photography by Luther Bates. Lauren is a washashore from Pennsylvania who studied at Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia and holds a BFA from Syracuse University. Lauren is known for her paintings involving glass and water. Chatham native and Cornell graduate Luther is a fisherman and photographer who sees every day at sea as an opportunity to refine the subtle nuances of ocean photography. Together they began collaborating, with Luther’s photographs inspiring Lauren’s paintings, and they opened the Nines Art Gallery with a studio and workshop.
Further east on Route 28, the Seaside Marketplace at Saquatucket Marina features new vendors each week and a unique shopping experience offering a variety of goods including hand-made baskets, photography, Cape Cod décor, jewelry, and fine art. The Seaside Marketplace is open daily from late June through early September.
Every Wednesday evening in July and August, enjoy the wildly popular Port Summer Nights – local bands playing a variety of music in various locations up and down Route 28 in Harwich Port. Summer 2021 features fan favorites Sarah Swain and the Oh Boys, The Rip It Ups, Drumma Queens, and Monica Rizzio, among others.
Historic and Contemporary Art, Plus Outdoor Music
Brooks Academy Museum, at 80 Parallel Street near Harwich Center, is located in the Harwich Historic District, the first historic district on Cape Cod to be accepted into the National Register of Historic Places. The Museum features exhibits chronicling Harwich’s colorful history, including Cape Cod’s largest exhibit on cranberry cultivation! For train enthusiasts don’t miss, “All Aboard the Harwich Railroad,” a working HO scale model layout depicting the railroad’s journey through Harwich and the surrounding area.
The Brooks Academy Museum is home to the Harwich Historical Society, which preserves, collects and exhibits Harwich history and artifacts including clothing and textiles, works of art, and tools. Explore the story of the legendary Harwich bird carver A. Elmer Crowell at the reconstructed barn on the grounds of Brooks Academy Museum. Crowell set the decorative bird carving and painting standards, which many of today’s best carvers still try to emulate.
In Brooks Park at 1 Oak Street in Harwich Center, weekly band concerts take place with Harwich’s very own Town Band performing at the bandstand on Tuesday nights during the months of July and August.
Also in Brooks Park, mid-August is the Brooks Park Arts and Crafts Festival. The Festival will host approximately 120 local artists and crafters selling their amazing creations in painting, ceramics/pottery, photography, fiber/clothing, jewelry, metalwork, glass, sculpture, mixed media, wood, food, and much more.
Fall Arts & Music Festival
The story of arts and culture in Harwich would not be complete without a mention of a fall event: the famous Harwich Cranberry Arts & Music Festival which happens mid-September. It’s a two-day event held on the fields behind the Harwich Community Center at 100 Oak Street in Harwich Center, featuring 150 different vendors selling handmade craft items. Also located behind the Community Center, the simultaneous CranJam 2021 Music Festival features a wooden dance floor under a tent; bring your own chair and/or blanket to sit on. Both festivals are free to enter.
Harwich has so much to offer, between multiple arts festivals, lots of outdoor music, and a love of history, plus galleries galore! Enjoy your day trip or a week’s vacation soaking up all the arts and culture this charming Cape Cod town provides.
For places to stay on the Lower Cape, click here. For dining options on the Lower Cape, click this link. And for additional things to do during your visit to the Lower Cape, click here.