Cape Cod is full of wonderful cultural events and activities this summer, no matter what your interests – or age! Whether you’re looking to take advantage of being outdoors or hoping to duck out of the sun for an afternoon, there’s always something fun to do.
Top Regional and National Music Acts on the Cape
Live music goes perfectly with summer on Cape Cod! The TD Bank Summer Concert Series takes place at venues across the Cape during July and August, and features fantastic local musicians including the Catie Flynn Band, Soul Purpose, and Groovalottos. At Wellfleet Preservation Hall, the Summer Concert Series includes jazz, Americana, folk, and singer-songwriters, plus the Cape Symphony presents Jazz at Lincoln Center on the Road.
The world famous Cape Cod Melody Tent has an incredible schedule for summer 2022, including KC & the Sunshine Band, Three Dog Night, and ZZ Top. At Payomet Performing Arts Center, Ani DiFranco, Graham Nash, and Mary Chapin Carpenter are among the headliners.
Cape Cod Museum of Art’s Music and More! Outdoor Concert Series features great artists including Sarah Swain and the Oh Boys, Grammy-nominated Kate McGarry and Keith Ganz, and the Cape Cod Jazz Quintet.
On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, the Cape Cod National Seashore presents Evenings at Salt Pond, a mix of concerts and lectures throughout the summer. On August 26, the Cape Symphony performs Symphony at the Seashore at the outdoor amphitheater.
You can hear live music at many other venues around the Cape, including The Beachcomber, Cape Cod Beer, Naukabout Brewing Company, The Music Room, Cultural Center of Cape Cod, Mashpee Commons, Cotuit Center for the Arts, Bread + Roses, and Cape Cod Coffee.
Theater Shines on Cape Cod
The Cape in the summer is full of high-quality professional and amateur productions with something for everyone. Cotuit Center for the Arts has shows for theater fans of all ages, including “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” “Victor/Victoria,” and “Wait Until Dark.”
The historic Cape Playhouse’s 2022 season features “God of Carnage,” “An American in Paris,” and “Murder on the Orient Express.” At the College Light Opera Company in Falmouth, a wide range of shows are on tap, such as “No, No, Nanette,” “Die Fledermaus,” “Assassins,” and “She Loves Me.”
More great theater can be found this summer at Provincetown Theater with the premieres of “The Lady Hamlet” and “Jerker,” while Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater (WHAT) performs “Marry Me a Little,” a tribute to Stephen Sondheim, and “Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus.”
The summer schedule at Cape Cod Theatre Company in Harwich, includes “School of Rock” and “Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds.”
Explore the Cape’s Museums & Galleries
Art lovers flock to Cape for the variety of work on exhibit in all mediums. The Provincetown Art Association and Museum presents a wide range of exhibitions this summer, including the paintings of Joel Janowitz, a Guggenheim Fellow, and the prints of Edith Lake Wilkinson, a part-time resident of Provincetown at the turn of the 19th century.
The Cultural Center of Cape Cod in Yarmouth, exhibits the work of many well-known local artists, including photographers Julia Cumes and Mark Chester, and painter Ric Haynes. And the Cahoon Museum of American Art displays “Scrimshaw: The Whaler’s Art” and the work of sculptor Mark Perry.
On the grounds of the Cape Cod Museum of Art in Dennis, enjoy the first Cape Cod Open Sculpture Invitational with 25 juror-selected, large-scale sculptures. Inside the museum, special exhibitions include the international juried show “All the World’s a Stage” and the docent-curated “Motus (Motion),” as well as exhibitions of artists Donald Stoltenberg and Jack Coughlin.
The Cape Celebrates the Fourth of July
Cape Cod is a wonderful place to celebrate the Fourth of July! In Barnstable, the villages of Cotuit, Hyannis Port, and Barnstable each hold their own parades, and the Hyannis Marina Boat Parade kicks off in Hyannis Harbor at 2 PM.
The Cape Symphony presents Joy4July at 8 PM at Aselton Park in Hyannis, conducted by Jung-Ho Pak and featuring special guests Mark Kopitzke and LaKisha Jones.
Celebratory fireworks are on offer in Mashpee, Orleans, Provincetown, and Falmouth Heights, and parades take place in Chatham, Orleans, Wellfleet, and Sandwich. The Cape Cod Baseball League holds free games across the Cape on the Fourth and all summer long.
Special Events & Festivals All Summer Long
Cape Cod has no shortage of events and festivals with something for everyone – Native celebrations, arts and crafts, music, and flowers! The annual Mashpee Wampanoag Powwow runs July 1-3 at the traditional Powwow Grounds, featuring special events, food, dancers, and drummers.
The Cape Cod Hydrangea Festival runs from July 8-17, with daily tours of private gardens, workshops and lectures presented by leading international horticulturalists, and more.
The 2022 Barnstable County Fair is July 18-24, with a busy schedule of livestock shows, live music, family-friendly activities, and carnival rides. And the 10th Annual Brewster Summer Arts and Crafts Festival at Drummer Boy Park, July 23rd and 24th, will have over 100 booths of juried American-made arts and crafts and specialty foods.
The Provincetown Jazz Festival takes place in July and August, with concerts happening at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod in Yarmouth, the Cotuit Center for the Arts, and the Provincetown Art Association and Museum.
The Sandwich Summer Arts & Crafts Festival is July 30th and 31st at the Henry T. Wing School and features the work of over 85 juried craftspeople. On August 6, Coast-Fest is a one-day festival of live music, featuring headlining act Crooked Coast, as well food, drink, and art at the Falmouth Bandshell overlooking scenic Falmouth Harbor.
Movie Magic on Cape Cod
Many of us associate the summer with movies – from “Jaws” to “Star Wars,” we have treasured memories of the first time we saw a particular film. Make new memories on the Cape this summer, whether you love big summer blockbusters or independent films.
The classic Wellfleet Drive-In Theatre lets you experience a movie under the stars; indoor shows are held at the Wellfleet Cinemas and both show first-run movies. The 2022 Woods Hole Film Festival runs from July 30 to August 6, with multiple film screenings both in theaters and online. In Provincetown, see movies at the Waters Edge Cinema, run by the Provincetown Film Society (and mark your calendars for the 25th anniversary of the Provincetown Film Festival in June 2023).
The historic Cape Cinema, showing movies to locals and visitors since 1930, screens new releases, classic films from the ’80s and ‘90s in their Throwback Thursday series, Metropolitan Opera encores, the National Theatre Live, and more.
You can also see many family movies for free, outdoors across the Cape. Movies on the Green in Hyannis are every Tuesday in July and include Oscar nominees “Encanto” and “Luca.” Summer Movie Nights at Mashpee Common are every Thursday from July 8 to September 2 and feature “The Incredibles” and “Coco,” among others. And at Peg Noonan Park, the Falmouth Village Association’s Movies Under the Stars kicks off on Wednesday, July 27, and runs weekly through the end of August.
Get Your Fill of Family-Friendly Activities
In addition to the beach, your family can take advantage of many fun cultural events and activities throughout the summer – some of the indoor options are especially good on those occasional rainy days!
The Cape Cod Museum of Natural History offers an interactive science lab, the Butterfly House and Pollinator Path, many fascinating exhibits, and guided family field walks. The Thornton W. Burgess Green Briar Nature Center & Jam Kitchen provides the opportunity to learn about local habitats and make jam with fresh local ingredients; make sure to come to the Once Upon a Time Family Fun Fair on July 28.
Heritage Museums & Gardens has over 100 acres of grounds and trails, plus the American Automobile Collection of extraordinary antique cars, a hand-carved wooden carousel, and Hidden Hollow, a certified Nature Explore Classroom. Highfield Hall & Gardens runs the Summer Storywalks®, with a new story every Monday throughout the season, and this summer also features the return of the Fairy Houses in and amongst the trees and gardens, open to the public for free.
Cotuit Center for the Arts has weekly puppet shows, pirate treasure hunts, and amazing animal ambassadors. The Cape Playhouse has performances on Friday mornings with magicians, singers, acrobats, and more. WHAT for Kids features a play for the whole family, “How to Cook Up a Good Idea.” The outdoor theater at the Cape Cod Theatre Company offers “Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse” and “Charlotte’s Web.”
Children’s “Cirque by the Sea” Summer Program at Payomet Performing Arts Center offers week-long circus camps for aerial arts, acrobatics, juggling, mini-trampoline, physical comedy, improv, object manipulation, rope climbing and physical training.
Yarmouth’s Sand Sculpture Trail features 32 family-friendly sand sculptures in 2022. Snap pictures and enter the Sand Sculpture Trail Photo Contest!
Whatever cultural activities you and your family enjoy, you’ll find plenty to do on Cape Cod this summer!
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