A must for tots to preteens is the unique Flying Horses Carousel in the center of Oak Bluffs. For an atmospheric minigolf course, visit Island Cove Mini Golf, on State Road, outside Vineyard Haven (tel. 508/693-2611), a family-friendly setup with a snack bar serving Mad Martha's ice cream, an island favorite. A round costs $9 for adults, $8 for children 3 to 12. A climbing wall costs $6. Island Cove is open 10am to 10pm in season; it is closed October through March.
On Tuesday to Sunday, from 10am to 3pm, children might enjoy visiting the World of Reptiles and Birds, off Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road, on Bachelder Avenue, Edgartown (tel. 508/627-5634; www.reptilesandbirds.com), where they'll meet various snakes (including a 21-ft. python), turtles, and even an alligator. There's also a bird park. Admission is $5; hours are Tuesday through Sunday 10am to 3pm. World of Reptiles is closed October through March. Nearby the Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary, on Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road, is always a popular destination with its exhibit room and self-guided trails. On Sundays in season, there are natural-history talks and activities geared to children. Native Earth Teaching Farm, 94 North Rd., Chilmark (tel. 508/645-3304; www.nativeearthteachingfarm.org), features rare ducks and other animals, and children can participate in the "chore of the day." It's open Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday 10am to 6pm. Many families plan their vacations around the Agricultural Society Annual Livestock Show and Fair (tel. 508/693-9549; www.mvas.vineyard.net), in West Tisbury, in mid-August. It's an old-fashioned country fair with animals, food, and entertainment. An island event that your kids will always remember is Illumination Night, in Oak Bluffs, when all the cottages in the campground are lit up with Japanese lanterns. The exact date is a secret, but it's usually a Wednesday evening in late August, at 7:30pm.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.