A-List: Editor’s Picks

 

Anisa’s list of favorite things for families in and around Rhode Island.

Tell us your favorites.

food

Breakfast
Three Rivers (CLOSED)
267 Water Street, Warren, RI
(401) 289-2067
Simply divine. Delicious menu choices, fresh baked bread from the Bristol Bakery, the coffee rocks and there is a fabulous view of the water. Be prepared for a wait on the weekend – lovely area to walk around with your kids while you wait for your table. Open for breakfast and lunch only.
2010 Update: Three Rivers closed and the Sunnyside restaurant opened in the same fabulous location.

Blue Elephant
Lunch
Blue Elephant (CLOSED)
312 Wickenden Street, Providence, RI
401-383-8149
website
Fun food items for children like The Bird’s Nest and Stars and Moon pancakes. Crayons available for kids of all ages to draw on the paper tablecloths. Magazines and comic books available for your reading pleasure while you wait for your food.
2010 Update: Blue Elephant closed and the yummy Duck & Bunny opened in the same fabulous location.

Dinner
Union Station Brewery
36 Exchange Terrace, Providence, RI
(401) 274-2739
website
Our kids love the train motif, and we enjoy the food and the beer. When the weather is nice, the outdoor seating is a great spot for people watching.

Hot Dog
Hewtin’s Dog from the Chez Pascal Hot Dog Cart (Spring – Fall only)
Lippitt Park (across from Chez Pascal – 960 Hope Street ), Providence, RI
website
Nothing compares to eating these Grote & Weigel all beef 10-inch hot dogs on a nice day in the park.
2012 Update: Visit The Wurst window during the day at Chez Pascal for the same delicious hot dogs and more. Located across the street from the park.

Pizza
Antonio’s Pizza By the Slice
256 Thayer Street, Providence, RI
(401) 445-3600
So many toppings to choose from. Sit at the counter while watching the Thayer Street activity.
Gelato-Venda

Gelato
Venda Ravioli
265 Atwells Avenue, Providence, RI
(401) 421-9105
website
Eating the best gelato in town while sitting at the fountain in DePasquale Square and listening to Italian music is divine.

Ice Cream
Three Sisters Café
1074 Hope Street, Providence, RI
(401) 273-7230
Conveniently located at the end of Blackstone Boulevard, near Lippitt Park. Very child friendly – toys and coloring books provided in special kids corner.

Milkshakes-Johnny Rockets
Milkshake

Johnny Rockets
269 Thayer Street, Providence, RI
(401) 276-0003
website
Available with and without whipped cream. The wait staff gives your kids nickels for the jukebox and hats and balloons when you leave. Watching the staff dance if the jukebox plays “Respect” by Aretha Franklin is my kids’ favorite.

7-Stars
Coffee Shop

Seven Stars Bakery
820 Hope Street, Providence, RI
(401) 521-2200
website
I love coffee and this is my hands-down favorite spot to caffeinate. My boys love the muffins and slices of fresh baked pain de mie bread. Lots of seating inside and lovely garden patio outside when the weather is nice. My kids enjoy watching the birds while they snack.

Hot Chocolate
Pastiche
92 Spruce Street, Providence, RI
(401) 861-5190
website
A special place to sip cocoa by the fire.

Cookies
Cowboy Cookie – The Edge (CLOSED)
199 Wayland Ave., Providence, RI
(401) 490-2227
website
My favorite cookie here is filled with oatmeal, chocolate chops, and coconut. My kids, however, prefer the classic chocolate chip version.
2012 Update: The Edge is closed. Tea and Javas has opened in the same location.

Birthday Cake
LaSalle Bakery
993 Smith Street, Providence, RI
(401) 831-9563
website
Cakes with many themes to choose from.

outdoors

Park (Shady)
“Baby Park” (Gladys Potter Playground)
Humboldt Ave. & Elton St., East Side, Providence, RI
Shady, fenced-in park with lots of toys and play structures for young kids. Great place to meet other parents.

Park (Sunny)
India Point Park
End of Gano Street, East Side, Providence, RI
Great climbing structures, beautiful mosaic mural, lots of room to run around.
2010 Update: We added a few more favorites here.

Tourist Attraction
Waterfire
Downtown Providence, RI
website
Fun free outdoor event. Arrive at sunset and watch the bonfires being lit by black clad volunteers in boats. Roam the streets with your kids and watch the bonfires burn all night. Always a variety of street performers, street vendors and music.

City View

Prospect Terrace Park at Sunset. Also great spot to watch the fireworks on New Years Eve.
60 Congdon Street, Providence, RI

Kite Flying
Breton State Park
Ocean Drive, Newport, RI
website
See many colorful kites flying above the wide-open field across from the ocean. Our kids love the annual Newport Kite Festival in early July. For more information about the festival, visit www.buyakite.com.

Sledding
Roger Williams Park
Providence, RI
Choose from many hills, big and small. And when you are done sledding, you can visit the zoo.

Biking
East Bay Bike Path
Providence to Bristol
website
Since most of the path is flat and void of cars, it’s a great place for kids to bike. Yummy roadside stands for snack and ice cream breaks.

Sporting Event
PawSox Baseball Game
McCoy Stadium 1 Columbus Ave., Pawtucket, RI
(401) 724-7300
website
Real baseball, cheap tickets, pizza, hotdogs, and popcorn. Chances are your kids will get a glimpse of the mascot, Paws.

Hiking
Audubon Society of Rhode Island
Various locations
website
Lots of trails to choose from — make it a short or long hike depending on your children’s age, mood or ability.

Beach
East Beach / Ninigret Pond
Charlestown, RI

Strawberry Picking
Four Town Farm
90 George Street, Seekonk, MA
(508) 336-5587
website
Free tractor ride takes you to and from the strawberry fields. Strawberries are delicious. Save you basket and bring it back next year.

ApplePicking-HillsOrchards
Apple Picking

Hills Orchard
Hopkins Avenue, Johnston, RI
(401) 949-2940
website
These are our favorite apples, whether we pick them or not. The orchard is organized by apple variety. Lots of low branches make it easy for children to pick their own. Use a lacrosse scoop for hard to reach apples. When you don’t have time to pick you own, visit their farm stand at the Farmers Market at Hope High School on Hope Street (June to October).

Carousel
Crescent Park Carousel
700 Bullocks Point Avenue Riverside, RI
(401) 433-2828
website
The carousel was originally built as a showcase for prospective carousel buyers, so it has the largest and most elaborate collection of hand carved figures. This National historic landmark has been beautifully restored. Riders can try to catch the special brass ring for an extra ride.

indoors

Storytime
Books on the Square
471 Angell Street, Providence, RI
(401) 331-9097
website
A storytime geared towards different age groups almost every day of the week. Convenient to the baby park and coffee (Starbucks and The Edge)
2010 Update: We add the Kidoinfo Summer Storytime
in Burnside Park, downtown Providence.

Bookstore
Books on the Square
471 Angell Street, Providence, RI
(401) 331-9097
website
Great selection of kids and adult books. Great service and friendly staff. Discounts for book clubs and free shipping on special orders.

Toy Store
Creatoyvity
Hope Street, Providence, RI
(401) 351-5718
website
Newly remodeled — offering vast selection of toys, games, dolls and books for kids of all ages. Kids can play at the train table while you browse.

Shoes
Nordstrom
Providence Place Mall – Downtown Providence, RI
website
Wide selection and helpful service. TV and coloring materials available to keep your kids occupied if they get squirmy. Staff will order shoes from another store at no charge.

Bargain Store
Savers
1925 Pawtucket Ave., East Providence, RI
(401) 438-1955
Large and well-organized selection of used toys, clothes, books.

Bathroom
Nordstrom, 3rd floor
Providence Place Mall – Downtown Providence, RI
Large and luxurious. Clean changing table and lounge with leather chairs. Perfect for nursing or just taking a break.

more

Kids Birthday Venue
Bowling Academy
354 Taunton Avenue, East Providence, RI
(401) 434-5839
website
A bargain venue for a birthday party and lots of fun for the kids. The young staff is so friendly and helpful with the kids that I wish they were available for babysitting. The staff even Purells the kids’ hands before food is served.
2010 Update: We also love “at home” birthday parties!

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