Marblehead Things to Do: Maritime Attractions for Kids

Marblehead is the perfect place to take the kids for some sea-related adventures. They can find lots of fun things to do in and around this beautiful harbor town with its pirate-rich history. The Old Town in Marblehead, sprawling across the cliffs bordering the Massachusetts Bay will also ignite their imaginations.

Pirate Museum
74 Derby Street,
Salem, MA 01970-3635
(978)741-2800

This museum in Salem which is just about 15 miles from Marblehead, specializes in pirate lore. Kids will love reliving the swashbuckling adventures of pirates like Captain Kidd, Blackbeard and Quelch who sailed the waters off the shores of Boston's Gold Coast, and plundered merchant ships. The pirates of Salem are not as well known as its witches, but many say that they are the real villains of 17th century Salem.  

The museum is open from May through October and on weekends in November. It is a must-see for your kids during your stay at your cozy Marblehead Bed and Breakfast.

The Peabody Essex Museum
East India Square,
161 Essex Street,
Salem, MA 01970
(978) 745-9500

This museum in Salem - about 10 minutes by road (5 miles) from Marblehead, is a treasure trove for kids and adults alike. Here you can discover the fascinating maritime history of Salem and take a look at rare oddities collected from around the world by Salem's old sea captains. The kids will especially enjoy the numerous models of ships, some tiny and others as big as 20 feet across.

It has been said that the pirate skull in the museum belongs to the notorious pirate Blackbeard. The skull was donated by the widow of Edward Rowe Snow, a historian from New England. He had bought the skull in Virginia and it accompanied him on his lecture tours.

Fort Sewall
Front Street, Route 114
Marblehead, MA 01945

Once upon a time, this waterfront fort was used by the United States army to keep British invaders at bay, but today it is a serene park with some of the finest views of Marblehead Harbor. It has even been attacked by pirates. Kids will certainly find the dungeons in the fort fascinating.

Once a year, a re-enactment of the Revolutionary War is held at the fort.

Boston Whale Watch Cruise
1 Long Wharf
Boston, MA 02110
(617)227-4321
www.bostonharborcruises.com

Boston is merely 14 miles from Marblehead and offers a 3-hour whale watch cruise on a high speed catamaran. You could catch a glimpse of humpbacks, dolphins, finbacks and minkes from the deck equipped with modern comforts. The kids will learn about whale migration and behavior from experts on board. Tours depart daily from April to November, so make sure you've timed your Marblehead Inn stay for the right season.

Castle Rock Park
Ocean Street (Lothrop Street),
Marblehead, MA 01915

This park provides scenic views of the Atlantic Ocean as well as sailing and fishing. It used to be known as "Great Head" and served as a lookout for pirate and enemy ships. It is named after the magnificent private residence nearby which looks like a castle.