Family Fun

Kids’ Cove is a special area of the Festival set aside just for kids activities, but there are other things happening throughout the Festival all weekend long that kids and families will enjoy. Check the schedule for the specific times of these activities. Kids’ Cove is open throughout Festival during regular hours.

Inside Kids’ Cove

Kids’ Boatbuilding
A perennial favorite and right of passage for all kids! Kids of all ages can design, build, rig and sail away with their own small wooden boat. Select a hull, a mast, some sailcloth, and before you know it, life slows down while you help hold a nail, and share the joy of building a boat! Then take the boat to the water to enjoy the sweetness of kids playing with boats on the water.

NEW! Fish Painting T-Shirts
In partnership with the YMCA and PTMSC, we are able to offer fish painting on t-shirts again! Come to Kids’ Cove, buy a t-shirt for $4, paint your fish, and print it on your t-shirt. Then hang your shirt on the line to dry while you tour the Festival, and stop back to pick it up on your way out.

Puppet Theater
Let imagination flow in our puppet theater filled with nautical puppets and sea creatures. Open to all kids for play.

Storytelling, Face Painting, and More!

Throughout the Festival

NEW! The “Bon Voyage! Passport to Adventure” Scavenger Hunt!
Cupola House
Join us for a new Bon Voyage! Passport to Adventure Scavenger Hunt this year, sponsored by Washington State University Extension and the Jefferson County Marine Resources Committee. “Passports” can be picked up at the WSU Extension/Marine Resources Committee tables, located at the head of the Point Hudson Marina on Friday and Saturday until 4 PM. Then ‘travel’ to specified Festival locations, learn something about the marine environment, and collect a stamp for your passport. Visit all 8 sites and return to your starting point to collect a prize! It’s fun for the whole family, and an interactive way to learn more about what you can do to take care of our marine waters!

Sea Life Snorkel
Sponsored by the Port Townsend Marine Science Center, this popular activity involves divers going off the beach and bringing back marine life samples for kids to examine and explore (before returning them to their home). Meet at the Compass Rose on the First Federal Commons, and check the schedule for exact times.

Plankton Lab
Get an up-close view of the microscopic foundation of the marine food web with Plankton Lab! Learn how scientists collect plankton, then observe live samples with microscopes. Use ID guides and experienced staff and volunteers to identify common Salish Sea plankton species and learn about their importance to the health of the ocean.

Oceanography On the Dock
For anyone with the curiosity and enthusiasm of a scientist! Led by Port Townsend Marine Science Center staff and volunteers, this activity provides the opportunity to get familiar with basic principles of oceanography. Use actual scientific equipment to measure salinity, pH, dissolved oxygen, temperature and more. The data collected during the program helps participants understand the health and characteristics of our local waters. Check schedule for exact times.

Captain Pirate’s Treasure Hunt
Cupola House
At high noon on Sunday, young pirates from near and far make their way to the Jolly Roger Flag at the Cupola House. Anyone dressed like a pirate can join the hunt, scouring the grounds and beaches for the “X” that marks the spot of buried treasure. Sunday from noon–1 PM.

North Star Stage Plays
Artist Row
Come see Captain Cloud’s Latest Adventure – another long-time Festival favorite. This short play will engage kids of all ages, and often encourages enthusiastic audience participation! Located behind Artist Row on the way to The Point.

Paddleboard & Bumble Bee Sailboat Rides
Paddleboard Pool on the Point
All ages can try out a paddleboard in the paddleboard pool on the Point. This is great for those who have never been on a paddleboard before. New this year, ages 5 and under can try out the Bumble Bee sailboat. Sign up at the pool.

Longboat Rides
Basin of the Marina
A classic Festival experience – Journey back in time aboard replicas of Captain George Vancouver’s boats from 1792. Work together as a crew to row and sail aboard these 26’ open boats with 8 rowing stations. Ages 12 and up. Signups start at 9 AM each morning at the longboat dock in the northeast corner of the marina.

Boat Rides on Martha J
NWMC Dock | Sign up at the Free Rides Booth behind the NWMC
These free rides are very popular—sign up early! Signups start at 9 AM for morning rides and noon for afternoon rides. This is a great way to get out on the water and see the Festival. Sign up at the Free Rides Booth on the Commons in front of the NWMC.

Sea Shanty Circle
Join with other song lovers for an evening of singing sea shanties! Held both Friday and Saturday nights in the Marina Room (on the way to The Point), the singing starts at 7 pm. No experience is necessary to join the fun – experienced song leaders will have the whole group singing along to rousing age-old sea shanties in no time!

Music and Dance Stage
Music is a big part of the Festival experience, and the Main Stage in Bar Harbor offers live music all day, every day! Enjoy everything from sea shanties to rock n’ roll, and everything in between. Children are welcome in the all-ages section, where there’s always plenty of room to dance!

Child Care During the Festival

Too much festival for your little ones? Firefly Preschool is open for you to drop off your children in a safe, convenient, educational environment! Friday from 8:30–9:30 PM and Saturday 2:00–9:30 PM. RSVP to or call 360.471.6778 or 360.379.1129. See for more information. Cost is $10/hour or an unlimited weekend pass for $100, with a 50% sibling discount. Conveniently located at 842 Washington Street—next to Haller Fountain.

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