Welcome to our newly-designed and easier-to-use 100+ Things To Do With Kids in Rhode Island!
(Plus Massachusetts, and Connecticut!)
Consider 100+ Things To Do with Kids in Rhode Island Kidoinfo’s Bucket List, filled with things to do with your children before they grow up! Fun, food, culture, and history–all unique to our area: these are things we believe every young Rhode Islander should see and do. Plus bonus ideas in nearby Massachusetts and Connecticut! For easy planning in any weather and any mood, our list is divided into the following categories:
- Active Activities
- Art, Music, & Theater
- Animals & Aquariums
- Biking & Hiking
- Books, Reading, & Writing
- Fairs & Festivals
- Food & Farms
- History & Museums
- Parks & Playgrounds
- Water, Beach, & Sun
If you have or run a favorite activity that is missing from our list, please let us know at email@example.com.
The guide is easy to use–print it out, check things off as you go, add date of visit, make notes, and add your own favorite spots! (Note – this print out version is the previous design of the 100+ things to do list. We will be updating it soon.) Follow Kidoinfo on instagram @kidoinfo with the hashtag #kido100things to keep track of all the adventures we try. Feel free to tag your instagram photos so they become part of the collective #kido100things photo collection!
Many free or discount passes are available at the library.
Click on photos to enlarge them.
- Go ice skating outdoors at the Providence Rink during the winter or indoors at the Cranston Veterans Memorial Ice Rink during the summer.
- Take the Underdog Tour. Visit all the Providence locations used in the film. (Free)
- Play at Adventureland in Narragansett, including mini-golf, bumper boats, go-karts, batting cages and a carousel.
- Visit the shops, feed the animals, and picnic at the Fantastic Umbrella Factory in Charlestown. (Free Admission.)
- Go duckpin bowling (no ducks involved). Find a list of Rhode Island Duckpin bowling alleys at our Bowling Alley page.
- Jump for joy at an indoor trampoline park: Skyzone in East Providence and Launch in Warwick.
- Strap on skates and roll to the tunes at United Skates of America in Rumford.
- Visit every carousel in the Rhode Island area: Crescent Park Looff Carousel (East Providence), Flying Horse Carousel (Watch Hill), Slater Memorial Park Carousel (Pawtucket), Carousel Village, Roger Williams Park (Providence), Easton’s Beach Carousel (Newport).
- Book a group tour of the Johnston Landfill. (Free)
- Watch the drawbridge raise and lower for boats in downtown Mystic, CT. (Free) Bonus: Toy store, ice cream, playground all nearby.
- Scramble across glacial rock formations at Purgatory Chasm in Sutton, MA. (Free)
- Zoom! Car racing and bumper boats at the Grand Prix in Seekonk, MA.
- For even noisier, faster fun, watch a race or demolition derby at Seekonk Speedway in Massachusetts. You might get dirty.
- Visit Nash Dino Land in South Hadley, MA.
ART, MUSIC & THEATER
- Visit the window displays of Big Nazo Lab, located in downtown Providence at the corner of Eddy and Fulton Streets. If you’re lucky, you may get a sneak peak inside. (Free)
- Visit the original Shepard Fairey mural (commissioned by AS220 in 2010) painted on the side of the Pell Chafee Theatre on Aborn Street. (Free)
- Make art and enjoy live music at AS220’s annual FooFest in downtown Providence. Takes place over the course of one weekend each August.
- Pack a picnic supper and dine on the lawn of the John Brown House in Providence while listening to Concerts Under the Elms, Thursday evenings in the summer.
- Experience the Newport Folk Festival at Fort Adams State Park.
- See Shakespeare in the Park during the summer in Wilcox Park in Westerly. (Free)
- See a show at Providence Performing Arts Center (PPAC) in Providence. Check the schedule to attend the brown bag lunch organ concert series. (Free.)
- See Kaleidoscope Children’s Summer Theater at Scottish Rite Auditorium in Cranston. Tuesdays during July and August.
- See a show at Stadium Theater Performing Arts Centers in Woonsocket.
- Take in a dynamic show with Providence’s young talent at Everett’s Friday Night Live (all ages improv comedy Fridays at 7 PM – break during summer) and Manton Avenue Project, where local actors perform plays written by young playwrights.
- Do a Craft Bash on the last Saturday of each month at the Artists’ Exchange in Cranston. Different theme each month – fun art activities with enriching learning opportunities. Free. They also offer classes and camps.
- See the haunting art and music of WaterFire in Providence.
ANIMALS & AQUARIUMS
- Visit the Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence: meet the animals and play in the Big Backyard space.
- Visit Save the Bay Exploration Center & Aquarium in in Newport.
- Pack a tailgate picnic and head to Glen Farms in Portsmouth for the Newport International Polo Series. During time-outs, kids run on to the field to stomp down divots. Every Saturday evening in summer.
- Visit the Norman Bird Sanctuary in Middletown.
- Visit a blue lobster at the Audubon Environmental Education Center in Bristol.
- Go on a Save The Bay Seal Watch from October to April.
- See Harbor seals in Narragansett Bay from Rome Point from October through April at low tide. (Free)
- Visit the Kettle Pond Visitor Center in Charlestown to learn about wildlife refuges in RI and the animals that inhabit them.
- Visit Mystic Aquarium in Mystic, CT, to see and learn about water inhabitants from beluga whales to sea lions and see movies in a 4-D theater.
- Visit Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary in Lincoln, MA for trails, farmyards, and play spaces.
- Visit nearby zoos in Massachusetts: Southwick’s Zoo in Mendon, Capron Park Zoo in Attleboro, and Buttonwood Park Zoo in New Bedford.
BIKING & HIKING
- Go for a ride on a Rhode Island bike path! (Free) On the East Bay bike path from Providence to Bristol, make ice cream stops in Riverside, Warren, and Bristol.
- Take a hike! Visit Rhode Island Families in Nature to choose from almost four dozen trails throughout Rhode Island. (Free)
- Stroll the Cliff Walk in Newport and imagine living in the opulent mansions. (Free)
- Take a hike up the old ski lift at Diamond Hill Park in Cumberland. (Free)
- Go bouldering in Lincoln Woods. (Free)
- Walk along spectacular ocean views on a natural “cliff walk” at Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge and check out the visitor center, just up the road from Second Beach in Middletown.
BOOKS, READING, & WRITING
- Attend story time any time of year at Barrington Books, Books on the Square, or your favorite library. (Free)
- Go to an event at a Barnes & Noble bookstore: Smithfield, Warwick, or Middletown.
- Read the Kids Reading Across RI book and attend events at local libraries. 2018 kick off is 2-4 pm May 19 at the RI State House.
- Enter the Write RI short fiction contest for students in grades 7-12. Deadline is in December each year.
FAIRS & FESTIVALS
FOOD & FARMS
- Shop from a local farmer. Many outdoor farmer markets open May through November with a handful open indoors the remainder of the year. (Visit www.FarmFreshri.org for a complete list of markets.)
- Pick your own berries, and make your own jam.
- Enjoy local food, community, and often music from November through May at the Pawtucket Wintertime Farmers Market at Hope Artiste Village.
- Venda in DePasquale Plaza in Providence. (In summer, eat near the fountain.)
- Have wood-grilled pizza at the legendary Bob and Timmy’s in Providence. Eat more yummy pizza at the recent pizza additions to the city: Flatbread Pizza Company or Providence Coal Fired Pizza.
- Have ice cream at Gray’s or The Daily Scoop on Thames Street in Bristol.
- Buy a house made hotdog from The Wurst Window at Chez Pascal — take it to go to enjoy by the fountain in Lippitt Park in Providence.
- Eat crepes or cupcakes at the Duck & Bunny. Eat out in the back garden, weather permitting.
- Have a food truck lunch or dinner. Use this link to find a list of trucks and their routes.
- Have supper at Champlins.
- Enjoy live music and a fun meal at Buster Krab’s Burger Shack and Beach Bar in Narragansett.
- Order a coffee cabinet at Delekta Pharmacy in Warren.
- Have a Del’s lemonade. Find the Del’s nearest you with the tool on this page.
- Have breakfast or lunch at Crazy Burger in Narragansett.
- Buy lobster off the boat in Point Judith in Narragansett.
- Have clam cakes at Aunt Carrie’s in Point Judith in Narragansett.
- Buy pie at Schartner Farms in Exeter.
- Have a lobster roll at Blount Clam Shack on the waterfront in Warren, or at Crescent Park by the carousel in Riverside, RI.
- Devour homemade ice cream and visit the cows at the original Gray’s in Tiverton.
- \Have lunch at Stanley’s in Central Falls, open since 1932.
- Have a doughboy and walk the beach at Iggy’s in Warwick (open year round) or in Narragansett (seasonal).
- Have breakfast at the classic Modern Diner in Pawtucket.
- Sample RI’s favorite donuts at Allie’s Donuts.
- Pick-your-own seasonal flowers, berries, pumpkins, and more at Four Town Farm in Seekonk, MA.
- Learn how ice cream is made at Bliss Dairy in Attleboro, MA.
- Play the Rhode Island Farm Scavenger Hunt. Take a road trip and explore 28 of RI’s 1,200 working farms. Visit www.RIFruitGrowers.org to download the map and clues or pick up a pamphlet at a participating farm.
- Visit a real working dairy farm: Wrights Dairy Farm and Bakery in North Smithfield (Blackstone Valley).
- Visit Casey Farm in Saunderstown. (Free for Historic New England members and Saunderstown residents.)
- Visit a working family farm: Watson Farm in Jamestown (Free for Historic New England members and Jamestown residents.)
- Visit a real working farm: Dame Farm and Orchards in Johnston.
- Visit Kenyon’s Grist Mill in Usquepaug. (Free with a food or clothing donation for the Jonny Cake Center.)
- Head to Sweet Berry Farm in Middletown to wander the grounds and pick various berries and apples. The beautiful market includes a café of prepared foods and baked goods.
HISTORY & MUSEUMS
- Travel back in time by visiting a 1790s New England farm: Coggeshall Farm Museum in Bristol.
- Visit Touro Synagogue, America’s oldest synagogue, in Newport.
- Visit the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport.
- Visit a former military fort with a history dating back over two centuries at Fort Wetherill State Park in Jamestown. (Free)
- Welcome spring by attending Daffodil Days at Blithewold Mansion in Bristol. Bring your camera!Step back into history and explore Smith’s Castle in Wickford.
- Visit the Jamestown Fire Department Memorial Museum in Jamestown.
- Visit the Biomes Marine Biology Center in North Kingstown.
- Visit the Frosty Drew Observatory on Friday evenings to get closer to the night sky.
- Visit RISD Museum of Art and think like an explorer. Find the mummy or hunt for food motifs. (Free on Sundays and third Thursday of the month.)
- Visit the Edna Lawrence Nature Lab, just around the corner from the RISD museum. See an amazing variety of specimens on display, including birds, bears and bones. (Free.)
- Visit the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology in Providence.
- Visit the Museum of Natural History and Cormack Planetarium in Providence.
- Visit the children’s room in one of America’s oldest libraries: Providence Athenaeum on Benefit Street in Providence. (Free.)
- Learn why we honor Gilbert Stuart by visiting the Gilbert Stuart Birthplace & Museum in Saunderstown. Open May through October.
- Visit the Museum of Work and Culture in Woonsocket.
- Play at the Providence Children’s Museum. Explore the Discovery Studio (inside) and climb the Climber (outside). (Free admission after 5 on select Fridays during the year.)
- Visit the Johnson and Wales Culinary Museum on the Providence-Cranston line.
- Children provide the power and operate miniature machinery in the Apprentice Alcove at Slater Historic Mill the birthplace of the industrial revolution in Pawtucket.
- Visit the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center in Mashantucket, CT.
- Visit Battleship Cove in Fall River, MA.
- Visit the New Bedford Whaling Museum in New Bedford, MA.
- Visit Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, MA.
- Visit Plimouth Plantation in Plymoth, MA.
- Visit the Discovery Museums in Acton, MA.
- Visit the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA.
- Visit the Ecotarium: Museum of Science and Nature in Worcester, MA.
- Visit deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, MA
- Explore the Adventure Park and Hidden Hollow at Heritage Museums and Gardens in Sandwich, MA.
- Visit the Museum of Science in Boston, MA. (Free with your Roger Williams Park Zoo membership.)
- Visit the Boston Children’s Museum in Boston, MA. (Free with Providence Children’s Museum Family PLUS membership!)
- Visit PaperHouse, a house made ONLY of paper, in Rockport, MA.
- Visit Mystic Seaport in Mystic, CT
- Enjoy films from around world, and learn about filmmaking at the annual Providence Children’s Film Festival. Takes place during the month of February. (Each year, some screenings are free.)
- Watch Movies on the Block outside on Thursday evenings (June-September) in downtown Providence. (Free)
- Watch a film at the Rustic Tri-View Drive-In, Rte 146, North Smithfield. Open May through September.
- Watch an IMAX movie at Providence Place Mall.
- Watch children’s films at Cinemaworld in Lincoln every morning at 10AM, all summer long. (Children are FREE.)
- Visit the Navy Submarine Force Museum in Groton, CT. (Free)
PARKS & PLAYGROUNDS
- Visit Roger Williams National Memorial in Providence. Learn why the founder of Rhode Island was also a champion of the ideal of religious freedom. Bonus: Lovely spot for an outdoor picnic in season. (Free)
- Stroll through Swan Point Cemetery in Providence, and find the resting place of famous souls like horror, fantasy, science-fiction writer H. P. Lovecraft. (Free)
- Jump aboard the sunken ship The Hannah in Burnside Park (downtown Providence). Open all year long. (Free) Bonus: Attend Kidoinfo Storytime and Art in the Park during July and August. (Free)
- Watch the sunset over downtown Providence from Prospect Terrace. Park or hike to the top of Neutaconkanut Hill for another great view of the city. (Free)
- Explore Slater Park in Pawtucket to see the animals at Daggett Farm, ride the swan boats on the pond, enjoy the playground, and visit the home of the Rhode Island Watercolor Society.
- Run in the breeze at India Point Park in Providence. Find the pirate ship in the 49-foot ceramic mural located near the playground. (Free)
- Play at Dexter Park located next to the Cranston Armory in Providence. (Free)
- Fly a kite at Breton State Park along Ocean Drive in Newport.
- Check out the tide pools at Beavertail State park in Jamestown. (Free)
- Explore Green Animals Topiary Garden in Portsmouth, the oldest and most northern topiary garden in the United States.
- Visit the Chapel-By-The-Sea in Colt State Park in Bristol. (Free)
- Go camping in Hope Valley’s Arcadia Management Area.
- Have a picnic at Goddard State Park in Warwick. (Free)
- Visit the tiny pirate playground in Warren. (Free) Followed by ice cream at Imagine.
- Visit the imPossible Dream Playground in Warwick. (Free)
- Enjoy a garden oasis all year long at the Botanical Center in Roger Williams Park in Providence.
WATER, BEACH, & SUN
- Tour downcity Providence sights from a new perspective with Providence River Boat Company. Daytime, sunset, and Waterfire cruises available.
- Experience Waterfire in downtown Providence. Get there just before sunset to see the iconic bonfires as they are being lit. Take a gondola ride or boat ride.
- Rent a swan paddle boat, canoe, kayak at Roger Williams Park in Providence.
- Spend the night at the Rose Island Lighthouse in Newport.
- Spend the day at Easton’s Beach in Newport. Enjoy the carousel, water slide, skateboard park, and playground.
- Join URI Marine Scientists at Fort Getty in Jamestown on a summer day at low tide for a two-hour beach walk.
- Have a picnic at Roger W. Wheeler State Beach in Narragansett at sunset. (Free after 5pm)
- Swim, fish, play, or go boating at Ninigret Park in Charlestown.
- Swim at the Spring Lake Beach Facility and play in the arcade in Burrillville.
- Go fishing at Sabin Point Park in East Providence. Search for seaglass and play on the playground. (Free)
- Take the ferry round trip to Block Island for the day.
- Ride the Prudence Island Ferry round trip from Bristol for a delightful daytrip.
- Journey with Blackstone River Cruises to learn about the river’s Industrial Revolution past and recovery to vibrant ecosystem. Stay overnight on a canal boat.
- Cool off at the Waterpark at Yawgoo Valley in Exeter.
- Brandon’s Beach at Burnside Park is a nautical-themed playground. The playground is appropriate for toddlers and young children of all abilities, and offers a wide variety of sensory-rich equipment, including pagoda bells, drums, and music pipes. It also features classic swings, slides and spinners. This playground was built in memory of Brandon Goldner and made possible by the generosity of his family and friends.