While it’s easy to fill summer days with trips to the beach or treks down the bike path, nights in Falmouth can be trickier to navigate. The truth is, our town has plenty of after-dark activities to check out—as long as you know where to look.Written by Brian Engles | Photography by Dan Cutrona
1. WATER STREET KITCHEN
If you’re craving a quality meal—paired with a creative cocktail—then get yourself a table at Water Street Kitchen, where head chef John Wilson sources local ingredients to make delicious dishes like pan-roasted haddock. In fact, almost all the food on the menu is made from scratch. No matter which entrée you choose, you have to start things off with the rosemary focaccia bread. A slight alteration in the baking process results in its heavenly taste.
The candlelit interior of the restaurant is cozy and intimate. Views of Great Harbor and a nostalgia-heavy playlist of Ella Fitzgerald and Django Reinhardt will make any diner feel at ease. Woods Hole native and owner Molly Wilson has turned Water Street Kitchen into a community-supported, year-round space that’s the perfect place to dine out on summer nights.
56 Water St., Woods Hole, waterstreetkitchen.com
2. GRUMPY’S PUB
Life is like the music scene at Grumpy’s Pub: you never know what you’re gonna get. Whether it’s an up-and-coming indie band like Boston-based Milk, local legends Crooked Coast, or the acclaimed reggae artist Yellowman, this dive bar has become a hotspot for live music in Falmouth. The credit goes to owner Dave Fenstermaker who cultivates the eclectic lineup of acts.
The bar is designed to showcase bands, with its dark ambience and spacious dance floor. Make sure to notice the graveyard of signs on the wall from Falmouth businesses that have gone under. It can make for an interesting town history lesson while you groove.
With a healthy turnout for shows, there’s always a chance for locals to run into high school adversaries or former flames, but thankfully there are pool tables and arcade games if you need to peel off from the crowd.
29 Locust St., Falmouth, Like them on Facebook
3. FALMOUTH CINEMA PUB
Do you ever wish you could cap off a long day with a plate of chicken fingers, a pint of beer and the latest Star Wars movie on the big screen? What if I told you there’s a place in Falmouth where this can actually happen? It’s called the Falmouth Cinema Pub and it combines the traditional movie-going experience with the fun of dining out.
Patrons can choose from a selection of wine and beer if they want to have a drink while watching a film. And apart from the usual concession-stand snacks, there is a full menu of tasty American food.
Each theater features a setup of big tables and comfy chairs so you can really relax. The layout also gives you that extra bit of personal space to let the tears flow when that heartrending scene comes along.
137 Teaticket Highway, Teaticket, entertainmentcinemas.com
4. CAPE COD THEATRE PROJECT
Cape Cod Theatre Project offers more than live entertainment—it’s an opportunity for audiences to see new plays being performed for the first time. Each year, the group develops new scripts and performs readings throughout the summer, often attracting big names from Hollywood (past runs have included actors like Rip Torn and Maura Tierney).
A donation-based organization, CCTP has fostered an audience that spans generations. Managing Director Claudia Nimar suggests attending different nights of the same show to observe how the creative teams behind the plays make changes to their stories over the course of a run.
Four scripts are chosen each summer, with readings of each play taking place at Falmouth Academy’s new theater space, a well-lit and revitalized auditorium with plenty of seating. The energy of a packed house fills the room, balanced by the passion of actors feeling the initial rush of diving into a strong role.
Falmouth Academy, 7 Highfield Drive, Falmouth, capecodtheatreproject.org
5. FALMOUTH COMMODORES
Fan of our national pastime? Or just hungry for a dose of some good ol’ Americana? Check out a Falmouth Commodores game and admire the sunset from the bleachers while the country’s best college baseball players showcase their skills.
Board of directors member Steve Brocklebank says, “Attending a Commodores game is a great choice for families looking for an inexpensive entertainment option.” Admission to the park—located behind the Gus Canty Community Center—is free and there are low-cost activities available for kids.
It’s special to watch a Cape League game because many of the rising players will go on to the Majors. (Before he was a Red Sox or Yankees player, Jacoby Ellsbury was a Commodore.)
Insider tip: don’t miss out on the topnotch French fries you can buy at the concessions stand.
Guv Fuller Field, 790 Main St., Falmouth, falmouthcommodores.com
6. SMITTY’S ICE CREAM
Ice cream is a staple of the Cape Cod summer diet, and the best spot in Falmouth for the frozen treat is undeniably Smitty’s, where the homemade whipped cream might make it hard to ever have the topping from a can again. There is a wide variety of ice cream flavors to choose from, but Coffee Oreo is a favorite of the regulars.
If you drive down Route 28 at night you’ll spot the charming storefront with its yellow shutters. Kids run around the lawn under the glow of hanging lights, and friends gather at the picnic tables, enjoying their summertime desserts together.
The shop has been around for almost 30 years and the owner, whose name really is Smitty, employs over 50 high school and college-age kids each summer among his three locations on the Cape. When you stop by, keep an eye out for the custom-crafted fish chair.
26 East Falmouth Highway, East Falmouth, smittysic.com