Welcome to our December 2017 Vacation Guide!
Below are fun things to do with kids of all ages! We work to ensure that all of this information is up-to-date but it is always a good idea to check with event organizers before you go. If you have an event that does not appear in our Guide, please send along the information to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include the name of the event, a short description, as well as where and when it is and the costs. Don’t forget to include a website. Our calendar always has great events, so check it often throughout the year. – Susan Gale, Publisher
“A Christmas Carol” at Trinity Repertory Theater (Providence)
Didn’t get to see “A Christmas Carol” this year – you still can! Ebenezer Scrooge, a greedy, sour businessman is infamous for his lack of Christmas cheer. When three ghosts pay him a visit, Scrooge is given the chance to examine his life. He is inspired to change his ways and is wholly transformed by the spirit of Christmas.
Where: Trinity Repertory Company, 201 Washington Street, Providence
When: Daily through December 31. See website for curtain times
Cost: Ranges $25-$77.
Auduon December School Vacation Week (Bristol)
Special programs and activities are available each day and are free with admission. Registration is not required. Each day: nature crafts (10 am-2 pm); nature story (10 am and 2:30 am); animal interviews (1:30 pm). Special programs (listed below by date) for children ages 6 and up are held each day at 11:00 am:
- Dec. 27: Selection of short nature films, themes include monkeys, plants, marine life, and more.
- Dec. 28: Nature and animal games. Learn about the food web, predators and prey, animal adaptations and more.
- Dec. 29: Cooking for the Birds. Young nature enthusiasts become “bird chefs” and create unique and tasty dishes for feathered friends in their backyards.
- Dec. 30: Icy Investigation. Discover the science behind ice. Kids investigate what makes ice melt, why it floats, and more. Work together to build a sculpture out of colorful ice.
Where: Audubon Environmental Education Center, 1401 Hope Street, Bristol
When: December 27-30, 2017
Cost: Admission: Non-member adults/$6; non-member senior/$5; non-member child age 4-12/$4; children 3 and under/free.
BIOMES Marine Biology Center (North Kingston)
See the largest collection of New England marine life in the world. From native species, to tropical strays, everything in the center can be found right in our own waters. Various demonstrations held throughout the day on Saturdays, Sundays, school vacation days, and every day during the summer, and are always on hand if there is anything you’d like to know. Please plan at least 1½ hours to see all the exhibits.
Where: Biomes Marine Biology Center, 6640 Post Road, North Kingstown, RI 02852. 401-885-4690
Open: Daily, noon-5 pm. Closed Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas
Cost: Adults – $11; Children (ages 3-12) and seniors (65+) – $9; Children 2 and under, and members – free
Blue Door Studio December Vacation Art Camps (Smithfield)
Blue Door Studio is offering December Vacation Art Camps for children ages 3-14. In operation for over ten years, Blue Door Studio is owned and operated by Claudia Venditto (RISD MAT 1995.) With over 20 years teaching experience in the Cranston Public School System, Claudia and her staff create a positive and enjoyable educational atmosphere where students thrive and progress student’s development as artists. Blue Door Studio will be holding several December Vacation Art Camps December 27, 28 and 29 including; Prek-K art camp, Paint a Canvas, Draw, Paint & Sculpt and an Animation Design Camp.
Where: 115 Pleasant View Avenue, Smithfield
When: Dec. 27-29
Cost: See website for details.
Boss Ice Arena’s Public Skating (Kingston)
A skating program open to individuals of all ages, whether you are a seasoned ice skater or just trying it for the first time. Boss Ice Arena offers a friendly atmosphere where you can enjoy ice skating while listening to music and socializing with family, friends and possibly meeting new people.
Where: One Keaney Road, Kingston, RI 02881. 401-874-4988
When: Monday-Friday: 11 am – 12:50 pm and Saturday-Sunday: 1pm – 2:50pm
Cost: $6.00 General Public: $3.00 URI Students, Faculty and Staff (With Valid ID); $5.00 Skate Rentals. Frequent Skater Passes are available. Purchase a pass for 5 skates and get your 6th skate free.
Disney On Ice presents “Frozen`` (Providence)
Be magically whisked away to wintry Arendelle by dazzling special effects and astonishing skating as you sing and dance along to inspiring songs.
Where: Dunkin’ Donuts Center, 1 LaSalle Square, Providence
When: December 27-31, curtain times vary, see event website
Cost: Ranges $22-$115
Escape Rhode Island (Providence)
A cooperative, real-life mystery space where nothing is as it seems. You and your team are on a mission; you have 60 minutes to escape by solving a series of puzzles that will challenge your mind and confound your senses. Explore, adapt, work together, think creatively — and you just might succeed.
Where: 385 S Main St. Second Floor, Providence, RI 02903. 401-572-3889; email@example.com
When: Plays multiple times per day. See website for hours.
Cost: Must be age 10+ to play. Under age 15, must play with a responsible adult. Ages 15-17 can play alone but must bring a waiver signed by a parent or guardian. Adults/$28; Children, students, and active military/$22.
Gingerbread Lighthouse: A Sugar and Spice and Everything Creation (Newport)
Composed of 350 pounds of gluten-free, organic gingerbread, 20 gallons of royal icing, and 2,400 pieces of candy and giant lollipops, this 16-foot lighthouse came to fruition after 100 hours of baking, building, and decorating and shines its beacon inside the Newport Visitor Center. It was created by the culinary staff at the Newport Marriott in conjunction with Discover Newport.
Where: Newport Visitors Information and Transportation Center, 23 America’s Cup Avenue, Newport; 401-849-8048
When: Daily 9 am-4 pm until January 1; open until 5 pm on Friday.
Cost: Free to view, but visitors are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item to fill the sleigh for local community food pantries.
Launch Trampoline Park (Norwood, MA)
(Editor’s note: the Rhode Island Launch is closed at its current location and will reopen in a few months at 920 Bald Hill Road, Warwick (the old Bernie & Phyl’s building). We are providing the location of a Massachusetts Launch here.)
An indoor sports and family entertainment facility. Includes more than 15,000 sq. feet of connected trampolines forming one giant jumping surface and angled trampoline walls to bounce off.
Where: Launch, 570 Providence Highway, Norwood, MA 02062 – 781-255-5867 (JUMP)
When: Monday – Thursday, 3:30-8 pm; Friday 12:30-9 pm, Saturday 10 am-9 pm; Sunday 10 am-7 pm. Toddler Tiime hours: Monday, Thursday, and Friday 10 am-12:30 pm (*Intended for children 5 and under and one accompanying adult.)
Cost: $16/person for one hour; $21/person for one and a half hours; $24/person for two hours. Children ages 2 and under are FREE with paid parent admission ticket.
LEGOLAND Discovery Center Boston
With multiple attractions, LEGOLAND® Discovery Center is designed specifically for children aged 3-10 years to enjoy – everything is kid-sized. Allow two to three hours for your visit. No re-entry is allowed after leaving the attraction.
Where: 598 Assembly Row, Somerville, MA, 02145
When: Open daily, entry times are Sunday-Thursday, 10 am-5 pm and Friday-Saturday 10 am-6 pm. Museum stays open for two hours after last entry time.
Costs: Purchase tickets online for savings. Book your tickets online at least 24 hours in advance for the best pricing and to guarantee entry. Children 2 and under visit free. See website for costs.
New Year’s Eve Bonfire at Ninigret Park (Charlestown)
Open to both residents and non-residents. See website for information.
Where: Ninigret Park near the Criterion Bike Track, Old Post Road (Route 1A) Charlestown.
When: Dec. 31, 4:30-7 pm
New Years Eve - One Providence
Providence’s first-ever outdoor ball drop and fireworks is coming this New Year’s. Enjoy food trucks, as Financial Way will be closed, hot chocolate, face painting, music, a laser light show around the basin of Waterplace Park, the countdown with the first-ever ball drop, a fireworks finale and more. For the first time, Providence will host a classic New Year’s Eve “ball drop,” but with a special twist: the “ball” will be projected against the city’s iconic “Superman” building located at 111 Westminister, which may be viewed from the venue and Waterplace Park.
Where: Waterplace Park, One Financial Way, Providence, RI 02905
When: Dec. 31, 7 pm-midnight
Cost: Free for outside events
Museum of Natural History and Planetarium (Providence)
Winter Sky Views Planetarium Show – special December school vacation shows. Explore the night sky as never before! Take a tour of the skies and discover the constellations, planets, nebulae and other stunning night sky objects.
Where: 1000 Elmwood Avenue, Providence RI 02907. 401-785-9457
When: Dec. 27-29, shows at 2 pm each day. (Closed Dec. 31 and Jan. 1)
Costs: Planetarium Admission (includes museum admission) is $3 per person. Children under age 4 are not permitted in the planetarium.
Outdoor ice skating at Newport Skating Center (Newport)
The Newport Skating Center features a 9,000-square-foot skating surface large enough to accommodate up to 100 skaters at a time. Enjoy skate rentals, hot beverages, comfort foods, lighting for night skating, regular admission discounts, free parking and more.
Where: Newport Skating Center, 4 Commercial Wharf, Newport
When: Daily through February – See website for weather-related cancellations.
Cost: Adults/$7, Seniors & children 3-12/$5, children under 3/free. For $1 discount, bring a non-perishable foot item (good for up to $4). Free parking in lot across from entrance.
Providence Children’s Museum (Providence)
The museum offers a number of special events during December vacation in addition to the museum exhibits available daily.
Where: 100 South Street, Providence, RI 02903
When: Tuesday-Sunday, 9 am-6 pm; Select Friday evenings until 8 pm; Closed Monday except holidays and public school vacations. Closed Thanksgiving and December 24 and 25.
Cost: $9/adults and children; babies under 12 months/free; members/free.
Dec. 26: Spatial Games: Explore classic games and activities in a new way – use your body as the game piece in life-size adaptations. 10 am-3 pm.
Dec. 26: Circus Dynamics: This high-energy vaudevillian styled show includes hat tricks, juggling, poi spinning, hoop dancing, comedy, audience participation, and more! Full of laughs and incredible tricks. Performances at 1 and 2 pm; recommended for ages 4 and up.
Dec 27: Rhythm Room: The Rhythm Room weaves together the energy and power of world percussion, horns, drums, guitars, piano and keyboard to create rich melodies while providing a visually stimulating experience for audiences of all ages. Kids feel the rhythm as they join the band and try out different percussion instruments. Performances at 1 and 2 pm; recommended for ages 3 and up.
Dec. 28: Rolie Polie Guacamole: Join this award-winning “kindie” band from Brooklyn, NY, for a high energy, interactive show that’s a mix of funk, rock and folk music mashed into original tunes about natural living, eating healthy and staying active. Performances at 1 and 2 pm; recommended for ages 3 and up.
Dec. 29-31: New Year Noisemakers: Create shakers and instruments and make joyful noise to ring in 2018! Runs Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Be part of a parade every hour on the hour 11am, noon, 1 pm, 2 pm, and 3 pm.
RI Indoor Karting (Lincoln)
One of the fastest indoor go kart tracks in the United States with speeds reaching up to 40 mph. The facility has two tracks: one for “Adults” (karters at least 6 years of age and 58″ tall drive on reduced speed level 2; karters at least 16 years of age and 58″ tall drive on faster speed level 3) and one for “Minis” (karters at least 6 years of age and between 45″ – 57″ tall drive on reduced speed level 1). By having two track options and three speed levels available, it welcomes multi-skill level participants. Mike Hezemans, a world-renowned 3rd generation European race car driver, designed these tracks based on his 20 plus years of experience operating his karting facility in the Netherlands. All gear provided.
Where: 100 Higginson Avenue, Lincoln, RI 02865. 401-721- 5554, info@R1indoorkarting.com
When: Mondays-Thursdays 3 – 10 pm; Friday noon-midnight; Saturday 10 am-midnight; Sunday 10 am-10 pm.
Cost: See website for pricing.
Save the Bay Exploration Center & Aquarium (Newport)
This interactive marine science center is home to more than 40 species from Narragansett Bay, often including rare lobsters, crabs, seahorses, sea robins, terrapins and more. Three touch tanks allow you to get up close and
personal with little skates, urchins, spider crabs, sea stars, dogfish sharks and more – all from local waters. And, with Newport’s only ocean-facing beach just outside our front door, you can continue the beachcombing experience after your visit.
Where: Easton’s Beach Rotunda, 175 Memorial Boulevard, Newport
When: Winter Hours: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Friday-Sunday and Dec. 26-30
Costs: General admission is $8; discounts for military ID and senior citizens. Memberships available.
Save the Bay Seal Tours (Newport, Westerly, RI, and Fall River, MA)
Save The Bay one-hour, 75-minute, and two-hour seal tours and nature cruises out of Newport, Westerly and Fall River. Binaculars provided and expert guides offer an educational view of our winter marine visitors and the habitat they love. For information or for Gift Certificates, call 401-203-SEAL (7325).
Where and when: See website for details
Costs: Range from $5-$42
School Vacation Week at Tower Hill Botanic Garden (Boylston, MA)
Nature crafts, fairy train, story time, milk jug igloo, nature walks, sing-alongs, subtropical oasis, silly photo booth, scavenger hunt, flowers, wish tree forest, DIY decorations, gift shop.
Where: 11 French Drive, P.O. Box 598, Boylston, MA. 508.869.6111
When: See website for events and times.
Costs: Non-member admission rates: Adults/$15; Seniors/$10; Kids 6-18/$5; children five and under/free.
Seekonk Grand Prix
New state-of-the-art facility with Mini-Golf, Go-Kart tracks for all ages, Bumper Cars and Bumper Boats, Video Games, Ropes Course, and more. Don’t forget to sign-up to receive special promotions, discounts and important park information.
Where: 1098 Fall River Avenue, Seekonk, MA
When: Monday – Thursday: 12 pm – 8 pm; Friday: 12 pm – 9 pm; Saturday: 10 am – 9 pm; Sunday: 10 am – 8 pm
Costs: See website for details.
Volunteering as a family has so many benefits, you just have to do it! Learn how it can help your family.
Tips to handle health issues during your family vacation.
A reminder of how important parents are to all of us. Missing Larry Clement, Jr. – a caring father until the end.
How healthy are RI’s kids? Read about current statistics and get tips to help your own kids maintain a healthy weight.
This April vacation, try something new – a tour of the Rhode Island State House. Tours occur each weekday and are a fun and educational family activity.
The tour stops include the Rhode Island Charter Museum, which features the Royal Charter of 1663 and other historical documents and artifacts; the State Room, where Gilbert Stuart’s famous portrait of George Washington hangs; and the Rotunda, one of the world’s largest self-supported marble domes.
Meet some crafty animals and foolish people in this lively folktale medley. Sparky’s Puppets dramatize favorite children’s stories with colorful hand puppets, lively humor, and plenty of audience participation. They have entertained children and family audiences throughout New England for 35 years. See the show at 11 am-noon, Saturday, April 15, at the Artists’ Exchange, 50 Rolfe Square, Cranston. There is a suggested donation of $5.
This Saturday, April 8, see a variety of drumming performances, artisans, food, and more. Sample of performers: Velekete African Percussion, American Indian Drums, West Indian Drums, and Traditional Native Blues. Event will also include cultural artist vending in the American Indian, Latino, and African American styles. Put on by Neighborworks of Blackstone Valley. Takes place from 1-5 pm, 40 South Main Street, Woonsocket. It’s free! See Calendar event for website link.