One of the greatest little free-things-to-do activity sites opened quietly over the summer of 2019, and just as quickly as people were starting to catch on, it closed for the season. But the Westport Point Life-Saving Station makes its return this July.

The Buzzards Bay Coalition, in partnership with the Department of Conservation and Recreation, saw nearly 600 visitors at the Life-Saving Station during its first summer but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was not able to open in 2020.

The Westport Point Life-Saving Station is a volunteer-run, hands-on learning and activity center offering families plenty of options to explore the surrounding areas near Gooseberry Island and Horseneck Beach. On Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays visitors passing by on their way to Gooseberry Island may have noticed the little while building had its doors wide open, welcoming people in if they were curious enough to stop by.

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What is inside this tiny white building is nothing short of awesome if you have a little explorer on your hands. Inside the space was a large touch tank, similar to what you’d find in an aquarium, full of crabs, snails, small fish, and sea stars. It was as fun for a three-year-old as it was for a 63-year-old to see these sea creatures up close.

There is a second exploration table set up with bins of sand, shovels, and magnifying glasses for exploring various shells and horseshoe crab remains. All of the fun things you want to find when you go to the beach are neatly on display under one roof.

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Kristen Pacheco/Townsquare Media

But that’s not all that is tucked inside of the small building. On the wall are black backpacks with giant blue Buzzards Bay Coalition badges and a laminated tag hanging off of the zippers. The tag notes that these backpacks were “Exploration Backpacks” and have a bullet list of contents including a journal, binoculars, magnifying glass, bucket, shovel, net, sand sifter, and pencil among other things – all the stuff you would need to head out for an hour of exploration along the shoreline. The best part about these nifty Exploration Backpacks is that they are free to check out, like a little adventure-lending library.

It was disappointing not being able to take advantage of the Life-Saving Station last year but fortunately, with restrictions loosened and shareable items being allowed again, little beachcombers can have some hands-on, real-world learning fun.

If the ocean is not your playground and your kids need more monkey bars in their lives, consider hitting one of the dozens of amazing playgrounds in our area.

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