A Children's Guide to Mashpee Commons - What to do with your kids in Mashpee!
About a week ago, I took the day to wander around Mashpee Commons looking for some local businesses that cater to children and their families on vacation. I found some great places…and even nicer business owners! Having lived on the Cape off and on since I was four and in Mashpee for the last six years, I’ve seen a lot of change throughout the years - Mashpee Commons has been one of them! I remember when the Commons had a few restaurants, a couple of stores, and a large grocery store. Today, it has over 90 individual stores, with many restaurants, apartments, and even a movie theatre. It really is a great place to wander around on your Cape Cod vacation.
My goal was to meet some new business owners who would allow me to highlight their stores and take some photos! I went into the day with a few ideas of where I wanted to go, but didn’t really have a game plan. I ended up relying on each store owner’s suggestions of places that they love and where they have great customer service and I was excited to find some gems! It was kind of like my own little Mashpee Commons treasure hunt.
The first place I went into was Fox & Kit. I remember when this store opened in March of 2018 - they were in another smaller location at the other end of the Commons. She did such a good job promoting her grand opening on Instagram that I went in to check it out when a few of my friends had their first baby. I remember the owner, Lindsay, was very sweet and excited about her venture.
Fox & Kit just recently moved into a new, larger space, and it looks amazing! Not only do they have really cute children’s clothing, they also feature Native shoes and Re-play tableware!
One Saturday a month, they also host a music class and Lindsay is excited about their “beat the clock” sale in July when clothing and shoes are up to 60% off! Check out their Facebook or Instagram accounts for more details!
After visiting at Fox & Kit, I wandered just a few stores down, and popped into Cupcake Charlies - If you haven’t been yet, put it on your list! The company has been in the Commons for nine years and has a pretty steady fan base.
It’s been uncommon for me to go in there, especially on a weekend, and not see other people staring into the cupcake case, trying to make their choices. You can also usually see little kids sitting on the chairs outside, biting into Cake pops!
The store smells great, has really friendly workers, and offers the best cupcake selection that I’ve seen in Mashpee!
I didn’t want to carry around a box of cupcakes for the rest of the day, so I decided to just take photos for now and come back later for my favorite - the Hostess with the Mostess!
My next stop was towards the end of the block - The Red Balloon Toy Shop. When you walk into this store, you’ll see right away that they have just about every toy imaginable! I saw Calico Critters, Curious George, puzzles, legos, logic games, and books - not to mention everything else.
The manager was very nice and went out of his way to make sure all of the customers were doing ok finding everything. Most of the Commons was pretty quiet on a beautiful weekday, but the Red Balloon Toy Shop always had people visiting while I was in there. Their best sellers are legos, puzzles, and stuffed animals - and they have many of all three!
This would be a great place to pick up a new toy on vacation or to spend a little while exploring to see what new interests your child might have. It looked like there was literally something for everyone!
After a quick stop for a coffee, I walked back up towards Fox & Kit and crossed the street over to Cape Kids. This store has been around for awhile, but it’s new owner, Amanda, has been in charge for about a year and a half. The store is very inviting as you walk in and you can see the great Cape Cod choices right away!
They have everything from swimsuits and flip flops to headband and accessories. It would be easy to want one of everything you see! I love that she features a lot of local artisans and Amanda was very willing to show me all of the unique things that they have in stock.
The store has a really fun beach vibe to it, but they also have many other options - products for newborns, younger children, or even just amazing gifts! Definitely check them out if you have a little one in your life.
I was starting to get tired but I had just a few more stops on my list…This next store was recommended by two different shop owners, and they’re new in town!
Kookooshka is just a few doors away from Cape Kids and this store is amazing! I met Brian, the owner and one half of the husband and wife team that hand make all of the clothing! Their main studio and retail location is in Cataumet, and that location has been open for more than 20 years.
Brian and his wife live on the Cape, but also travel to NYC for a few months in the winter to set up their pop up shop at Grand Central Station. If you’re around the Cape in the winter time, I’m sure you’ve seen some their jackets and awesome hats on many little heads!
The intricate work on all of their clothing is tricky to describe in enough detail. You definitely need to swing by and check it out for yourself! I thinkI stared at a scarf for about five minutes and noticed new things the whole time (…and they are super soft!)
I really loved every piece of clothing that I saw. I wouldn’t describe any of it as having a Cape Cod feel, although there was talk of a lobster dress coming soon, but all of the pieces would help you to remember visiting such a unique place on your vacation!
I loved all of the patterns they use and the amazing little details even on their sweatshirts!
The last stop of my day was also one of the most colorful! Color Me MIne is a paint your own pottery store and it’s located right on the corner of North St and Greene St in the Commons. This is a perfect rainy day activity but it’s probably even better to visit on a sunny day, when it isn’t as busy!
I went in with my sisters and my Mom a few years ago around Christmas time to paint old-fashioned Christmas trees - the ones with the little bulb lights - so I know it really is a fun place! They have just about anything a kid could want - unicorns, teddy bears, banks, plates - and so many other pieces of pottery.
Make sure you plan a visit towards the beginning of your vacation so you can plan your pick up a few days later, once your new friend has dried! The shelves were fully stocked on the day that I visited but I can only imagine how busy it must get once school is out and everyone is looking for new activities.
The owner was very nice and helpful and I know the workers that are there are also eager to help you get set up when you arrive. This would definitely be a fun stop on your vacation!
Visiting all of the stores and chatting with the owners definitely gave me a new appreciation for how much work is it to be a small-business store owner on the Cape! The summer is definitely their busiest time and I would image the are MUCH slower over the winter. Despite the craziness to come in the next few weeks, they were all so happy to share their businesses with me and I couldn’t appreciate it anymore!
Also, can someone please buy an outfit from each store to use during their photo sessions with me? I saw so many amazing things!…then head over to the Commons after your session for a quick cupcake, stuffed animal, or pottery reward!