100 things to do with your kids in Rhode Island

[ 57 ] July 3, 2009 |

Plus bonus ideas in nearby MA and CT.buddai-risd

100-things-to-doHere is a list of 100 things I want to do with my kids in Rhode Island (and nearby area) before they grow up—some may call this a Life List (a list of things one hopes to accomplish in one’s lifetime). The fun stuff and the things I think are important for them (and me) to do. I like having a master list, knowing which ones are free organized by indoor and outdoor places.

Print it out (Printer Friendly List), check off the ones you do—adding dates and starring your favorites. Let me know if you have anything to add.


1. Fly a kite at Breton State park along Ocean Drive in Newport. Annual Newport Kite Festival in mid-July. (Free)

2. Go to the Roger Williams Park Zoo and imitate the animals. (Free with membership)

flamingo-zoo3. Have a picnic supper at the John Brown House while listening to Concerts Under the Elms, Thursday evenings in the summer.

4. Visit the window displays outside Big Nazo Lab. Located in Downtown Providence (corner of Eddy/Fulton Street). If you’re lucky you may get a sneak peak inside. (Free)

5. Take a photo in front of the Mr. Potato Head sculpture located outside the Hasbro Toy headquarters in Pawtucket. (Free)

6. Listen to concerts at Waterplace Park in downtown Providence. (Free)

7. Go for a ride on the East Bay bike path from Providence to Bristol. (Free) Ice cream stops in Riverside, Warren, and Bristol.

8. Take a hike. Choose from over a dozen Audubon wildlife refuges trails in Rhode Island and nearby Massachusetts. (Free)

9. Watch the Providence Grays play baseball old-fashioned style. (Free)

10. Visit a real working dairy farm: Wrights Dairy Farm and Bakery in North Smithfield (Blackstone Valley).

11. Experience Waterfire. Get there just before sunset to watch the bonfires being lit. (Free)

12. Have a picnic at Roger W. Wheeler State Beach in Narragansett at sunset. (Free after 5pm)

13. Visit every carousel in the Rhode Island area.

14. Think Edward Scissorhands, visit Green Animals Topiary Garden in Portsmouth.

15. Plan a tailgate supper and kids can stomp down the divots during time-outs at the Newport International Polo Series at Glen Farms in Portsmouth every Saturday evening in the summer.

16. Travel back in time by visiting a 1790s New England farm: Coggeshall Farm Museum in Bristol.

17. Visit Kenyon’s Grist Mill in Usquepaug, RI. (Free food or clothing donation for the Jonny Cake Center.)

18. Visit Casey Farm in Saunderstown. (Free for Historic New England members and Saunderstown residents)

19. See Shakespeare in the Park in Wilcox Park in Westerly. (Free)

20. Visit a former military fort with a history dating back over two centuries at Fort Wetherill State Park in Jamestown. (Free)

21. Visit the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport.

22. Visit the Audubon Environmental Education Center in Bristol. (Free with membership)

23. Experience the Newport Folk Festival at Fort Adams State Park.

24. Listen to music at SoundSession at various locations in downtown Providence in July. (Some events are Free)

25. Check out the tide pools at Beavertail State park in Jamestown. (Free)

26. Take a hike up the old ski lift at Diamond Hill Park in Cumberland. (Free)

27. Book a group tour of the Johnson Landfill.

28. Attend a PawSox youth clinic before the Red Sox minor league baseball team’s game. (Free)

29. Watch children’s films at Cinemaworld in Lincoln every morning at 10AM, all summer long. (Free)

30. Go bouldering in Lincoln Woods. (Free)

31. Watch a film at the Rustic Tri-View Drive-In, Rte 146, North Smithfield.

32. Watch Movies on the Block outside every Thursday evening (June-September) in downtown Providence. (Free)

34. Spend the day at Easton’s Beach in Newport. Enjoy the carousel, water slide, skateboard park, and playground.

35. Pick your own berries in season, and make your own jam.strawberry-picking

36. Visit the Chapel-By-The-Sea in Colt State Park in Bristol. (Free)

37. Stroll the Cliff Walk in Newport and gaze at the opulent mansions. (Free)

38. Rent a swan paddle boat (canoe or kayak) at Roger Williams Park in Providence.

39. Visit the Kettle Pond Visitor Center in Charlestown.

40. Go camping in the Arcadia Management Area in Hope Valley.

41. Step back into history and explore Smith’s Castle in Wickford.

42. Swim at the Spring Lake Beach Facility and play in the arcade in Burrillville.

43. Join URI Marine Scientists at Fort Getty in Jamestown on a summer day at low tide for a two-hour beach walk.

44. Take a walk through Swan Point Cemetery in Providence, and find the resting place of famous souls like science fiction pioneer H. P. Lovecraft. (Free)

45. Visit a real working farm: Dame Farm in Johnston.

46. Visit the shops, feed the animals, and picnic at the Fantastic Umbrella Factory in Charlestown. (Free to visit)

47. Visit a working family farm: Watson Farm in Jamestown (Free for Historic New England members and Jamestown residents)

48. Shop at the Providence / Hope St. Farmers’ Market on Saturday mornings, June through November. (List of other markets)

49. Swim, fish, play, or go boating at Ninigret Park in Charlestown.

50. Go fishing at Sabin Point Park in East Providence. (Free)

51. Take the ferry round trip to Block Island for the day.

52. Visit the Jamestown Fire Department Memorial Museum in Jamestown.

53. Have a picnic at Goddard State Park in Warwick.

54. Take a Gondola ride during Waterfire in downtown Providence.

55. Ride the Prudence Island Ferry round trip from Bristol for a delightful daytrip.

56. Go on a seal watch. See Harbor seals in Narragansett Bay.

57. Take a bike ride along the Blackstone River Bikeway (currently 10 miles from Providence to Cumberland). (Free)

58. Take a trolley tour of Providence.

59. Visit the Biomes Marine Biology Center in North Kingstown.

60. Visit Save the Bay Exploration Center in Newport.

61. Spend the night at the Rose Island Lighthouse in Newport.

62. Catch the view of downtown Providence from Prospect Terrace Park. (Free)

63. Visit the tiny pirate playground in Warren. (Free) Followed by ice cream at Imagine.

64. See the ceramic mural and play at India Point Park in Providence. (Free)

65. Visit Dexter Park located next to the Cranston Armory. (Free)

66. Visit the imPossible Dream Playground in Warwick. (Free)

67. Rent kayaks in Bristol and have ice cream at the new Gray’s.

68. Cool off at the Waterpark at Yawgoo Valley in Exeter.


69. Visit Providence Children’s Museum. (Free on some summer Friday evenings)

70. Visit RISD Museum of Art the last Saturday of the month for Free-For-All Saturday. (Free)

71. Visit RISD Museum of Art on a less crowded day to see the Buddha. [Note: Buddha in renovation until Spring 2014]  Now turn the museum visit into a scavenger hunt, such as “find all the art with animals.” (Pay what you wish on Sundays)

72. Visit the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology in Providence.

73. See Kaleidoscope Children’s Summer Theater at Roberts Hall Auditorium, RI College, Tuesdays at 11am.

74. Visit the Johnson and Wales Culinary Museum in Providence/Cranston line.

75. Go duckpin bowling at the Bowling Academy in East Providence.

76. Visit the Museum of Natural History and Cormack Planetarium in Providence.

77. Attend story time at Barrington Books.

78. Children can provide the power and operate miniature machinery in the Apprentice Alcove at the Slater Historic Mill in Pawtucket.

79. Visit the Museum of Work and Culture in Woonsocket.

80. Visit the children’s room in one of America’s oldest libraries: Providence Athenaeum on Benefit Street in Providence. (Free to visit)

81. Go ice skating indoors during the summer. (List of rinks)

82. See a show at Stadium Theater Performing Arts Centers in Woonsocket.

83. See a show at Providence Performing Arts Center (PPAC) in Providence.

84. Watch an IMAX movie at Providence Place Mall.

85. Attend story hour at Books on The Square in Providence. (Free)

86. Take the Underdog Tour. Visit all the Providence locations used in the film. (Free)


87. Eat gelato from Venda in DePasquale Plaza in Providence.fountaingelato

88. Have wood-grilled pizza at Bob and Timmy’s in Providence.

89. Have supper at Champlins in Galilee.

90. Order a cabinet at Delekta Pharmacy in Warren.

91. Try a tapioca treat at the Bubble Tea House in Providence.

92. Have breakfast or lunch at Crazy Burger in Narragansett.

93. Buy a huge hotdog from Hewtin’s Hotdog cart in Lippitt Park in Providence.

94. Buy lobster off the boat in Point Judith.

95. Have clam cakes at Aunt Carrie’s in Point Judith.

96. Buy pie at Schartner Farms in Exeter

97. Have ice cream at Lizzy & The Enchanted Creamery in Cumberland.

98. Have a lobster roll at Blount Clam Shack on the waterfront in Warren, or downtown Providence.

99. Have ice cream at the original Gray’s in Tiverton.

100. Have lunch at Stanley’s in Central Falls, open since 1932.


Many free or discount passes are available at the library.


Watch the drawbridge raise and lower for boats in downtown Mystic, CT. (Free)
Nearby: Toy store, ice cream, playground.

Visit Mystic Seaport in Mystic, CT.

Visit the Navy Submarine Force Museum in Groton, CT. (Free)

Visit the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center in Mashantucket, CT.


Cut flowers at Four Town Farm (priced per pound) in Seekonk, MA.

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.

See car racing at Seekonk Speedway in Seekonk, MA.

Visit PaperHouse, a house made ONLY of paper, in Rockport, MA.

Visit Nash Dino Land in South Hadley, 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 membership.)

Watch how they make ice cream at Bliss Dairy in Attleboro, MA.

Visit the Higgins Armory Museum in Worcester, MA.

Tags: , ,

Category: activities: indoor, activities: outdoor, food + recipes, rhode trip, seasonal

Anisa Raoof

about the author ()

Anisa Raoof is the publisher of Kidoinfo.com. She combines being a mom with her experience as an artist, designer, psych researcher and former co-director of the Providence Craft Show to create the go-to spot for families in Rhode Island and beyond. She loves using social media to connect parents with family-related businesses and services and promoting ways for parents to engage offline with their kids. Anisa believes in the power of working together and loves to find ways to collaborate with others. An online enthusiast, still likes to unplug often by reading books and magazines, drawing, learning to knit, making pop-up books with her two sons and listening to records with her husband.

Comments (57)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Maria says:

    Sorry if these are on the list already. I looked quickly, as one of my kids is home with the horrid stomach bug… Just seemed like they were missing.

    Daffodil days at Blithewold mansion, in Bristol. Bring your camera!

    Also, the Christmas lights at LaSalette Shrine.

  2. marcy coleman says:

    Need to spell Burrillville correctly on the Spring Lake entry.

  3. Matt says:

    Call me a biased beach goer, but let’s add ‘stopping at Allie’s to get a box of jimmie donuts on the way to the beach’ to this list. Kids love Allie’s.

  4. Matt says:

    Oh I just noticed somebody else had made that Allie’s comment; sorry bout that!

    And *WOW* the list lasts the test of time! 5 years strong and it still holds up! It’s my first time seeing it, and I want to do these things myself – even without kids!

  5. Jonathan says:

    How about the various events surrounding Gaspee Days (including an encampment!), not to mention Smith’s Castle (Bridge to the Past), Smith Appleby House, and the reenactment at the Nathanael Greene Homestead. Plus, there’s always the Louff Carousel in Riverside.

  6. Kathy Hickman says:

    Capron Park Zoo in Attleboro is an enchanting and doable small zoo with loads of attractions, food and playground abutting. Great way to spend 2-3 hours and easy to find, with lots of parking.

  7. Sharon says:

    How about enjoying an old fashioned Root Beer Float at A&W!!

Leave a Reply