family vacation

Whether it’s the thought of impending boredom or general angst, being stuck on an island with family is a nightmare-come-true for many teens. They’re too young for island nightlife, but too old to be caught enjoying time with their parents (or worse, younger siblings). We can’t help out with an aging potion, but there’s progress to be made in the family bonding area. Here are some tips on ways to survive a Martha’s Vineyard vacation with a teenager.


Knock ‘Em Down at the Barn Bowl Bistro 
Barn Bowl Bistro

The Barn Bowl Bistro has a cool factor that makes anyone glad to wear bowling shoes for a few hours. Yes, even your teen. This gem takes bowling night up a notch with Italian bistro dishes delivered right to the lane’s comfy couches as you play. Between the lanes, darts, and ping pong (plus a full bar for the grownups), it’s no wonder the alley’s website greets visitors with a “not your grandfather’s bowling alley” salute.


Lead the Way on an Island Bike Ride

One classic tactic to surviving a Martha’s Vineyard vacation with a teenager is simply to tire them out. With complimentary bikes from Vineyard Square, or rentals found in downtown Edgartown, this mission is easily accomplished. Pedal along one of the many island biking routes, or direct the wheels to a nearby beach for a dip in the water and a competitive game of frisbee.


See Where the Wind Will Take You on Mad Max

You won’t find Mel Gibson or Tom Hardy on board, but the whole family is still in for an adventure on this Mad Max ride. The catamaran sets sail right from Edgartown Harbor with afternoon or sunset sailing options. Marvel at views of whaling villages and the shores of Chappaquiddick Island before you’re completely surrounded by the deep blue sea. A word to the wise: resist the temptation to throw anyone overboard, no matter how teenager-y anyone gets.


Find Balance on a Stand Up Paddle Board

Another go-to tactic for surviving a Martha’s Vineyard vacation with a teenager is to distract them with a new challenge. Between learning how to maneuver the paddle and getting the courage to stand up without falling, a stand-up paddleboarding excursion is just the ticket. We’d suggest saving that Jaws night for later, though.


Enjoy Downtime with a MovieEdgartown Cinemas

If a vacation day turns rainy or everyone needs some rest, Martha’s Vineyard has a few terrific movie theatres to visit. If nothing on the marquee catches your teen’s interest, head back to Vineyard Square to pick from our collection of DVD’s and create your own movie night in the comfort of your room.



Planning a Martha’s Vineyard family vacation with a teenager in tow seems tricky, but our tiny island is packed with entertainment for all ages. Having the best of Edgartown just outside the door may even make them forget they’re on a family vacation.


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