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Great Things to Do in Rhode Island -- find fun activities year-round

Art and children's and cooking museums; historic houses; nature trails; boat cruises; historic Newport tours; unusual shopping, and more fun activities on land and water, year-round. Be sure to phone ahead or look at the website of places you want to visit to check hours and other details, especially for activities affected by weather.

1098 Fall River Avenue Seekonk, MA, 02771 Phone: 508-336-8307

Seekonk Grand Prix's got Go Karts and games

Experience the wildest Go Kart action at this state of the art facility offering competitive fun at an affordable price. Challenge family and friends on more than 60 arcade games including Guitar Hero, Ski Ball, Air Hockey and Dance Dance Revolution. The Family Track, the longest in New England, features tunnels, hairpin curves and straight-aways and new two-seater go-karts. Little guys and gals get in on the action with the new Rookie Track, with the Kiddy Track and Beginner Track just ahead. Bump and bounce your buddies in bumper cars and boats and finish the day off with a friendly game on the adventure mini golf course.

211 Airport Access Road Middletown, RI, 02842 Phone: 401-843-8687

See Newport from above – and beyond.

Get a bird’s eye view of Newport’s treasures from above, inside and on the sea. Enjoy breathtaking views of the Mansions from a front row seat in the sky. Various tours and packages abound. View, tour and taste the wines at Newport Vineyards. Propose to your beloved on a romantic ride above Aquidneck Island and Newport Harbor. Step inside The Breakers or Rough Point. Enjoy a 90 minute cruise of Newport Harbor and Narragansett Bay’s East Passage. Set sail on a 12 meter America’s Cup yacht to see Fort Adams and the Newport Bridge, lighthouses and aircraft carriers. The Ultimate Newport Package includes all tours, admission to the Breakers or Rough Point, and a delicious wine tasting.

159 Atlantic Avenue Misquamicut, RI, 02891 Phone: 401-596-2610

A summer place for everything your summer self desires

A summer of sun, fun, and surf is upon you and Paddy’s Beach Club on Misquanicut Beach has it all. Join the gang as the sand and waves come alive and let the prime beachfront location and expansive tented deck overlooking the ocean keep you smiling, tanned and dry. There’s seating for 350 for your next party or event and a top notch staff and casual atmosphere your summertime dreams demand. Paddy’s is kid friendly and there’s always lots of parking and great events including beach Volleyball, July 4th Fireworks and the always popular DJ Deck Parties. Enjoy great food, drinks, and entertainment in the Tikki Beach VIP area. Then rent a cabana, daybed, or chaise Lounge and just chill.

1000 Elmwood Avenue Providence, RI, 02907 Phone: 401-785-3510

An Historic Zoo with Fun for the Everyone

The Roger Williams Park Zoo was founded in 1872, and is one of the oldest zoos in the United States. This beloved Rhode Island institution is home to more than 100 species of rare, endangered and fascinating animals from around the world. Open year round, the many family-friendly special events, naturalistic animal exhibits, close-up animal encounters as well as tasty treats and gift shops make this Zoo one of Rhode Island’s top tourist attractions. The Zoo participates in collaborative conservation and breeding programs to help ensure the survival of many species, and is known for its conservation work around-the-world. Additionally, the Zoo is a valuable center for science and environmental education, providing experiential learning to thousands of students yearly. For more information and hours please visit rwpzoo.org.

680 Bellevue Avenue Newport, RI, 02840 Phone: 401-847-8344

An Heiress’s mansion is her gift to the public

The oceanfront estate of heiress Doris Duke was built by Frederick Vanderbilt in 1887 with the grounds landscaped by Frederick Law Olmstead’s’ firm in 1890. It was then the largest summer house in Newport. In 1922 James B. Duke purchased the house then left it to his 12 year-old daughter upon his death. Upon her death in 1993, Doris bequeathed the estate to the Newport Restoration Foundation which opened the estate as a museum in 2000. The house is decorated with French furniture, European art, Chinese porcelains, and Flemish tapestries. Opening April 2017, you’ll see Nature Tamed in the landscape, gardens, and collections, an exploration of the history of the grounds, plus fashion and objects inspired by the natural world.

Multiple Centers & Dock Locations Providence, Newport, Westerly, RI and Fall River, MA Phone: 401-272-3540

Hands-on fun on beautiful Narragansett Bay

Narragansett Bay is 400 miles of unparalleled beauty and home to one of the most diverse and biologically productive ecosystems on earth. Save The Bay connects the community and the Bay through hands-on and on-the-water experiences for families, groups, students, and schools. Enjoy 360º views of Rhode Island State Marine Mammal – harbor seals - on Winter Seal Watch Cruises. Take in the beauty and history of Narragansett Bay on Summer and Fall Lighthouse Cruises. Get up close with hundreds of critters that call Narragansett Bay home, at the Exploration Center & Aquarium in Newport, open year-round. And week-long Summer BayCamps give youngsters the perfect mix of fun and marine science education along the Bay’s shoreline, and on and in the water. Join Save The Bay in protecting and improving Narragansett Bay, keeping it swimmable, fishable and accessible to everyone.

Boat tours depart from Newport, Westerly, Providence RI and Fall River, MA.

686 Cushing Road Newport, RI, 02841 Phone: 401-841-4052

Discover the naval history of Narragansett Bay and much more

The United States Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island is the oldest institution of its kind in the world. The Museum, located in historic Founders Hall and built in 1820, offers magnificently preserved and displayed exhibits, artifacts and documents that trace the fascinating naval history of Narragansett Bay, the Naval War College itself, and the broader history of global naval strategy from the 1500’s to the present day. Open to the public year-round at no charge, the museum tour is self-guided though guided group tours are available by reservation seven business days in advance except for those with base access.

Year round hours: Monday -Friday 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The museum is also open on Saturdays from noon to 4:30 p.m. from June through September.

909 East Main Road (Route 138) Middletown, RI, 02842 Phone: 401-848-5161

Raise a glass, have a laugh, enjoy the view

More than a place about wine, for more than 20 years Newport Vineyards continues its traditions of outstanding wines with daily tours and tastings, and adds the Brix Restaurant, The Marketplace, Vineyard Cafe, a new Tasting Room and Tank Room, new and expanded venue facilities for public and private event, and a unique wine shop. The vineyard is the largest grower of wine grapes in New England producing and bottling over 20,000 cases of estate-grown wine each year through sustainable farming methods on nearly 60 acres of historically preserved farmland. The region’s leading agritourism destination, the vineyards are alive with seasonal activities including music, comedy, annual clambakes and celebrations of every kind.

It's a Nice Place to be Alive, Too

The paths and gardens of Swan Point Cemetery off Blackstone Blvd. in Providence make for one of the most peaceful and interesting walks in all of Providence. Within the gates of this 200-acre garden cemetery are manicured lawns that flank the Seekonk River, replete with laurel, rhododendrons, azaleas and other flowering shrubs. A walk through Swan Point is always educational; the grounds are home to an abundance of rare and beautiful trees with plaques for easy identification, and the gravestones are pieces of artwork by themselves. Here you’ll find the final resting places of everyone from Civil War officers and early state politicians, to the writer H.P. Lovecraft.

American Whiskey Reborn, Says the Sons

Pumpkin spice whiskey? Hop flavored whiskey? Seasonal whiskies? If you’re curious, here’s a way to taste these ideas. Sons of Liberty Spirits Co. at 1426 Kingstown Road in South Kingstown was born because of a few unanswered questions: “Why is no one distilling single malt whiskies from the beers we love?” and “Why are there so many seasonal beers, but no seasonal whiskies?” The distillery is the owners’ answer to this gap in whiskey tasting. Come for tours and tastings on Saturdays, noon to 3:30 p.m. or Friday Night Flights on Fridays from 4:30 to7:30 p.m. and create your own spirits sample flight. Phone: 401-284-4006.

Duck, Dive, and Soar. Indoors!

Launch Trampoline Park at 105 Pace Blvd. on Warwick is place to work off pent-up energy for adults and kids. The indoor park is four dozen adjoined trampolines that span the floor and walls to create one giant bouncing surface. Come of open jump hours and bounce off the walls. Play dodge ball, Make a day of it for housebound kids with more activity at the arcade room and the café, serving kid-licious finger food from burgers to chicken fingers. For adults, the park offers structured workout classes that promise to help you burn 1,000 calories an hour. Open daily except Tuesdays; hours vary. Phone: 401-828-5867.

Providence Hops!

Like many of New England’s hip zones, Providence cultivates its share of places to drink excellent and unique beer. Among them, the Malted Barley (craft beer and gourmet pretzels) at 334 Westminster Street in the arts-rich DownCity neighborhood; Nick-A-Nees (live music and no cover) at 75 South Street, also in the DownCity section; and E & O Tap (expert bartenders and classic pinball machine), at 289 Knight Street in the Federal Hill area, which is the city’s truly authentic Little Italy.

Distinctive Wines in an Island Setting

Newport Vineyards at 909 E Main Road in Middletown Is a showcase of the excellent wines and hospitable vineyard operators in New England. Since its founding in 1978 this family-owned orperation has grown to 50 acres of varietal and hybrid grapes. Visitors are offered public tours every day. These include a tour in the vineyards, a behind the scenes look at the winemaking process and a tasting of five wines. The winery features an art gallery and retail shop, occasional Paint Nites, yoga sessions, clambakes, farmers market on Saturdays in season. Open year around. Phone: 401-848-5161.

Rhode Island Bird Watchers Flock to the State’s Islands

The Ocean State offers many places to look for sea birds and migrating birds, and a great place to start is the Norman Bird Sanctuary in Middletown, a neighboring town to Newport, both on Aquidneck Island. On the Atlantic flyway, this sanctuary offers free guided bird walks on alternate Saturdays. March, April and May are the best months to observe warblers, shore birds, swallows, and more. Fall months are equally busy for migrating species. Also on Aquidneck Island is the Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge in Middletown, a place to see snowy owls (pictured) in winter. The Block Island National Wildlife Refuge on the northern tip of the Block Island is a stopover for young songbirds and a large gull colony. A visit to Block Island requires a ferry ride out of Point Judith on the mainland. Ferries run all year. A top bird-watching sites on the mainland is Trustom Pond National Wildlife Refuge in South Kingstown.

Play With Nature at Providence Children’s Museum

If your family includes young folks under the age of about 12, you owe them a tip to the Providence Children’s Museum at 100 South Street in Providence’s quickly reviving “Knowledge District” (a second home to Brown University’s medical college). There’s a ton of stuff for kids to enjoy every day at the museum, along with special events and celebrations linked to holidays and seasons. Children may play with water and magnetic; explore plant life; climb a two-story-tall maze or into a tree house; burrow into a world of subterranean creatures; learn how to build a bridge; play with marionettes, and much more. The museums’ website tells you the special events coming up on the calendar. 401-273-5437

Five Diamonds for One Magnificent Hotel

Ocean House on Bluff Avenue in Watch Hill [Westerly] has been named a Five Diamond Lodging by AAA. This is among the most prestigious awards any lodging can receive, and the first received by a Rhode Island establishment, according to AAA. "Five Diamond lodgings feature extraordinary physical attributes and meticulous personalized attention,” said an AAA spokesman. The Ocean House is the last of the grand Victorian hotels, where life is still lived much as it was a century ago, a tranquil timetable of tides and sun, teatime and cocktails, sailing regattas and strolls on the beach. The hotel first opened in 1868 and was closed in 2003 in a state of disrepair. Later that decade it was restored to its original state and reopened. Phone: 401-584-7000

Bookstore on the Square Is Actually Pretty Groovy

Books On the Square at 471 Angell Street I Providence is a privately owned independent bookstore in the charming Wayland Square neighborhood of Providence’s East Side, tucked behind the picturesque Brown University neighborhood. The store feels neighborly – it is not large; parking is easy; and there are many nearby cafes to enjoy a coffee or smoothie with your bookish boodle. Fans note that the store is clean, organized, and easy to navigate. And it’s not packed to rafters, so you don’t feel so overwhelmed. The store hosts author talks and other social gatherings, and it is very welcoming to children. Read on! 401-331-9097

Coastal Beauty and History Too

Like so many places in Rhode Island, Fort Wetherill State Park in Jamestown offers stunning ocean views and coastal walking trails. Situated upon 100-foot-high granite cliffs overlooking Narragansett Bay, the site was first used as by the colonists during the Revolutionary War. Now visitors can explore the labyrinth of empty concrete gun emplacements set into the side of the hill. It’s a military ghost town, but it’s fun to climb all over the abandoned forts and take in some breathtaking views of Newport Harbor. And don’t forget your scuba gear; this spot is a favorite amongst divers.

Feed Your Inner Explorer at Biomes

The marine biologists at Biomes Marine Biology Center at 6640 Post Road in North Kingstown really want to teach you what they know about sea life, particularly the plants and creatures who live in Narragansett Bay. The Biomes Center is New England's only private marine education facility and the most hands-on aquarium zaround. The scientists here host demonstrations throughout Saturdays, Sundays, school vacation days, and every day during the summer, noon to 5 p.m. Daily events include pufferfish and octopus demonstrations, and feedings of tortoises, shark, horseshoe crabs, skates, stingrays, and sea horses. Discover the marine biologists in yourself or your family! 401-885-4690

Light Atop the Bluffs

Please don't miss this Block Island icon. That is, Southeast Lighthouse, perched atop the Mohegan Bluffs, which rise abruptly to a height of about 200 feet above the sea and stretch for nearly three miles along the southern shore. The lighthouse was moved from the edge of the bluffs in 1993 as natural forces eroded the bluffs closer to the structure. You can go into the lighthouse in July and August. A short distance west of the lighthouse along the Mohegan Trail is the top of a chain of stairs built into the side of the bluff, leading to the beach far below. If you are fit to climb lots of stairs and are looking for a fun thing to do outdoors, the hike to the beach is fantastic. Phone: 401-466-5009

Sophisticated Jazz Sounds

Since 1965, Chan’s Fine Oriental Dining on Main Street in Woonsocket has been a legendary place to take in a Chinese dinner followed by a close-up, live performance by masters of jazz, blues, folk, cabaret, and comedy in a sophisticated nightclub setting. Your host is John Chan, son of the founder, who greets and seats guests in family-style tables close to the best music to be found anywhere on the East Coast. Music is live and vibrant every weekend and some weeknights, including open mic nights once a month. Some upcoming performers include Duke Robillard Band, Commander Cody, Bellevue Cadillac, Ana Popvic Band, Lil’ Ed and the Blue Imperials, and more great jazz and blues. Silk ties and high heeled shoes are right in style at this place of glitter, fun, and excellent music. Phone: 401-765-1900.

Real Paintings and Frivolous Fakes on Display at Cliffside

On a getaway to Cliffside Inn on Seaview Avenue in Newport, you expect deluxe guestrooms, wonderful furnishings, and beautiful gardens. At the Cliffside, a member of the Distinctive Inns of New England, you also find yourself in a singular art museum. Built as a home in 1876, the Inn was bought in 1907 by the Turner family of Philadelphia. Beatrice Turner, who was 18 in 1907, later would become an artist and a Newport legend. Many of her works of art are on display at the Cliffside Inn. The Inn also is home to a collection of fakes and forgeries -- original works painted by Newport artists that are either serious copies or tongue-in-cheek humorous interpretations of known works of art. Fun browsing for art lovers.

Gourmet Kitchenware; Humble Prices

Old-time Rhode Islanders remember the tasty joys of Wickford Gourmet, a kitschy food emporium in the seaside village of Wickford. The retail shop is no more, but it is remember by Wickford Gourmet Factory Outlet at 21 West Main Street. Cookware, tableware, linens, barware and good-quality decorations for 30 to 70 percent off retail prices. Williams Sonoma? Fuggeddaboudit, as we Ocean State people would say. This outlet will do you more and better and much lower prices. And the people and profits stay local. Great for gifts! Call for hours. 401-294-8430

The Most Authentic Diner of All

The original diner -- a horse-drawn wagon that served food in the middle of the night in the 1890s to workers at the Providence Journal -- was born in Providence. The Haven Bros. Diner, a four-stool operation, is honored as the most basic diner of all in the diner’s hometown. Haven Bros. Diner is towed to a curbside location next to Providence City Hall every evening and towed away at 5 a.m. the following morning. This legendary eatery has been serving minimalist food to late-night downtown denizens since 1893 (seriously). It is considered perfectly acceptable to take your burger and coffee and sit on the front steps of City Hall while dining.

Dine on the Deck With Your Dog

Rhode Island allows your canine buddy to accompany you when you dine in outdoor seating areas of restaurants, for restaurants that allow it. Cool! Bring your mutt, on leash, and let him or her relax under the table as you and your human friends enjoy RI delicacies, from calamari to Campari or whatever leisure foods and drinks make you smile. Among the Ocean State restaurants that welcome dog companions are Wildflour Vegan Baker and Juice Bar in Pawtucket (dog treats on the menu); Garden Terrace at Vanderbilt Grace in Newport (Yappy Hour daily at noon); Luxe Burger Bar in Providence; and Portsmouth Publick House in Portsmouth.

Cinema for Elite Tastes

People who love movies: do yourselves a favor and get out of those multiplexes that look and feel like a walk through the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport. New England has a healthy scattering of proudly small, independent movie theaters that show new releases along with independent films, shorts, and other cinematic art that doesn’t necessarily include exploding helicopter scenes. Among these is the Jane Pickens Theater at 49 Touro Street in Newport, Rhode Island. This is a historic and glamorous movie house for a glamorous town and it is a fun thing to do on your next family vacation or romantic weekend getaway. It presents a mix of first run movies, documentaries and art films. And when you walk out after the show, you have lovely Newport all around you. Phone: 401-846-5252.

A Quiet and Beautiful Walk on Block Island

Maze and Clayhead Preserve off Corn Neck Road in Block Island is secluded spot to take in the peace and quiet of nature on the island. The preserve is 190 acres of walks and rambles where you can see some of the most spectacular scenery on the island. Within the preserve is a sandy beach that’s off the beaten path enough to be almost deserted. You can walk along picturesque bluffs or wander a series of interconnected, unmarked paths. During the fall, the maze is one of the best spots on the continent to see migratory songbirds. To reach the trail, look for a post marker on the right side of Corn Neck Road, about 3 miles from town and across from a big yellow farm house. Turn right down the dirt road and go straight for one-third of a mile until you reach a parking area.

Enjoy the Heart of the City – on Ice Skates

From late November to late February, everyone is welcome to come ice skate outdoors in the very heart of Providence’s restored downtown. The rink is at City Hall Park in Kennedy Plaza, bounded by Exchange, Francis and Washington streets. The 14,000-square-foot skating rink is twice the size of Rockefeller Plaza’s ice rink in New York City and the beautiful urban cityscape on all sides is just as inspiring. Skate rentals are available. May close pending weather conditions – call first. Phone: 401-331-5544 ext. 5.

Know Your Ecosystem

People who are fascinated by Rhode Island’s complex coastal ecology should high-tail it to the Kettle Pond Visitor Center on Bend Road in Charlestown, the local habitat of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Located on the north side of U.S. 1 between Burlingame State Park and Ninigret Park, the center offers an interactive gallery of dioramas, murals, and giant photos of sandy beaches, rocky shores, and other Ocean State ecosystems. Hiking trails and gift shop. Phone: 401-364-9124.

Hit the Trails at Stepping Stone Ranch

Arcadia Management State Park in the wooded depths of West Greenwich is the nearby neighbor and trail host for visitors to Stepping Stone Ranch at 201 Escoheag Hill Road in West Greenwich. The ranch offers very individualized horseback riding lessons for everyone from beginners to advanced riders. Bring your horse or use one of the ranch’s horses. Rates are reasonable. If you love the atmosphere, stay! Guests are welcome to do horse camping, and trails of the 14,000-acre state park are perfect for woods rides. A four-day Cowboy Rendezvous is held every fall. Phone: 401-397-3725

Visit the Arcade for Classic and Classy Urban Shopping

In basic terms, the Arcade, at 130 Westminster Street in the Financial District of downtown Providence, is a place for shopping and dining. But it so much more than that. Built in 1828, it is the country’s oldest indoor shopping mall, and it is surrounded by ornate 19th-century city architecture that is the essence of classic urban beauty. The two-story Arcade, with its arched glass ceiling and fancy ironwork, is typical of the lavish public spaces of 200 years ago. Stores offer interesting and creative clothing, jewelry, artwork, gifts, and vintage household decorative items. Lots of places to find coffee and lunch. 401-454-4568

Murder! At the Museum??

Murder at the Museum is an entertainment every Saturday evening, year-round, at the Newport Art Museum 76 Bellevue Avenue in Newport. In this family-friendly and interactive performance, the Marley Bridges Theatre Company guides you through a murder mystery created specifically to be performed in the John N. A. Griswold House –the first Newport commission of architect Richard Morris Hunt. Using historical characters, the story stimulates the imagination and invites guests to explore the visual arts through a detective’s eyes. Fun for older children, too. Phone: 401- 848-8200.

Purple Cat Winery Welcomes Adventurous Explorers

Lots of people don’t know how much inland beauty is found in Rhode Island’s western regions. A drive out to the wonderfully named village of Chepachet will get you to the famous Ancients and Horribles Parade on July and also to the new Purple Cat Vineyard and Winery at 11 Money Hill Road. The Purple Cat offers small batch handcrafted wines, available for tasting and purchasing in the tasting room daily, year-round, from noon to 8 p.m. The Cat also has a delightful bistro featuring a healthy menu with teas, javas, and smoothies; and a theater company presenting performances by local people. Come to the pretty inland places of Rhode Island. 401-566-9463

Sacred Labyrinth on Block Island

Off Corn Neck Road on Block Island is a labyrinth of paths lined by stones, with a beautiful view of the North Light and Sachem Pond. The labyrinth, unlike a maze, is a single winding path that leads to the center point and back out. Walking the labyrinth is a universal ritual that has survived unchanged for thousands of years. People report that labyrinths can heal body and soul. It's on the west side of the road, just a little bit south of Sachem Pond. Look for wooden steps over the stone wall.

Audrain Automobile Museum Shows 160 Choice Cars

You’ve heard plenty about Newport’s sailboats and mansions, but, hold onto your steering wheel: Since late 2014, the city also has been home to the Audrain Automobile Museum, at 222 Bellevue Avenue, where exhibits of racy and classic cars could blow the socks off the car enthusiast in your family. With more than 160 of the rarest vehicles in history, the collection shows vehicles from 1900 to today. Recent exhibitions were titled “American Muscle,” “Supercar Evolution,” and “Customs and Hot Rods.” You can arrange a private, guided tour for one to 50 people. Cool event for a car club or just a group of like-minded friends. Open year-round, daily. 401-856-4420

Food Artistry of the Past

Johnson & Wales University in Providence offers specialized education in food arts and science. At its campus at 315 Harborside Blvd., the university also runs the Culinary Arts Museum. This is a 250,000-piece collection of culinary work: cookbooks, menus, antique appliances of many kinds, advertisements, photographs, waitressing uniforms, and utensils. A permanent display, "Diners: Still Cookin’ in the 21st Century," honors the roadside diner, proudly founded in Providence. The museum is open Tuesday to Saturday, but it will close permanently on February 27, 2017. 401-598-2805

Love That Sport -- Tennis, That Is

After a major renovation, the Museum at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in the Newport Casino, 194 Bellevue Avenue, Newport re-opened in May 2015 with a fully engaging immersion in the art and history and heroes of tennis. The renovation showcases the Newport Casino, a National Historic Landmark, with exposure of three magnificent fireplaces and use of original furnishings from 1880. A highlight of the new museum will be a holographic theater in which visitors feel as though they are in the room tennis great Roger Federer. Tennis aficionados also can test their knowledge of the sport; learn about tennis history and tennis in other parts of the world; and view 25,000 artifacts. Open daily, year-round. Phone: 401-849-3990.

Make Yourself at Home at Yellow Kittens Tavern

When people go on vacation and say they really want to mix with the local folk, the Yellow Kittens Tavern – in this case on Block Island – is the very place they are talking about. Yellow Kittens has been a watering hole on Corn Neck Road since 1876. Obviously, it is doing something right. Clme for the drinks, dancing, chat, people-watching and general, all-around feel-good summer vibe. From 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Yellow Kittens serves tasty Mexican food and legendary frozen margaritas! on the outside deck. Later in the evenings, the live music kicks in and the dance floor gets crowded. Don’t miss it!

Food Trucks of Providence – Downcity, That Is

Food trucks are rolling with delicious, creative chow in the streets of Providence. Find these in Downcity, which is the area bounded by Weybosset, Exchange, Washington, and Empire streets.
Friskie Fries are not like any French fry you’ve met before. Try Buck Naked with a sauce or the Cluck U fries topped with crispy chicken, buffalo sauce, and blue cheese. Find Friskie Fries at Snow and Washington streets Friday and Saturday nights. Email: friskiefries@gmail.com
Tricycle Ice Cream is on a three-wheeled journey to perfect the ice cream sandwich, using ice cream and cookie combinations that are delicious and unique. Email: tricycles.ri@gmail.com. Find the Tricycle. And for pure sophistication, there is O’Crepe, a little bit of Paris on the street of Providence. Find it.

Primitive Country Furnishings and a Warm Welcome

Brown & Hopkins Country Store on Putnam Pike in Chepachet defines itself as “purveyors of fine primitive country wares, period lighting & reproduction furniture [with] everything from penny candy to primitive cupboards.” The store, in business since 1809, sells primitive country home accessories, curtains, furniture, lighting, quilts, framed prints, fabric by the yard, candles, florals, garlands, primitive dolls gourmet specialties and, of course, penny candy. The shopkeeper, Liz McIntyre, promises: “Stop in soon... old fashioned hospitality awaits you!” Open daily. Phone: 401-568-4830

Paint the Town

Rhode Island may be the smallest state, but it sure packs a punch when it comes to art and relaxed fun with a group of friends. Paint and Vino at 150 Main Street, Pawtucket offers a unique ladies' night out at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. nearly every day of the week and weekends. Practice the art of painting in a relaxed, social atmosphere. Even if you've never picked up a paintbrush before, Paint and Vino can provide you with a full evening of creative fun and wine tastings in Pawtucket’s buzzing art scene and night life. Local artists teach these group painting classes step-by-step, and New England wine will be served during the party. Reservations are required. Phone: 401-680-0856

Lots of Fantastic; Umbrellas on the Side

Fantastic Umbrella Factory at 4820 Old Post Road in Charlestown is a very personalized collection of shops and gardens. The place was established in 1968 by Robert Palmer Bankel, who had a mission to provide South County with good Karma, a fun atmosphere, eclectic shops, and an interesting staff of artisans and locals. The property offers great things to do, extensive gardens, shops, and resident animals. Bring a sense of exploration and adventure. The shops include Umbrella Factory Main Store, Small Axe Productions, Umbrella Factory Gardens, Cheap Frills, and Vintage Eyewear. Open year-round but hours vary seasonally. Phone: 401-364-9199.

On a Peninsula in Narragansett Bay

Beavertail State Park, at the southern tip of Jamestown Island, is a refreshingly beautiful place starting with the fact that the commercial footprint is very light. The tip of the park has the neat Beavertail Lighthouse. Every side of this peninsula tip has great views of life on Narragansett Bay: sailboats, rocky coasts, distant shorelines with beautiful houses and harbors. It’s easy to clamber around on the rocks and visit the sea life in the tide pools near the water or to stay up on the higher ground and fly a kite. Provided you’re dressed for it, a trip to this park is fine in all seasons; people sometimes go here to watch big weather coming up the Bay. Phone: 401-884-2010.

Colonial Village in Warwick Charms Visitors

Pawtuxet Village is a small, historic neighborhood at Post Road and Narragansett Parkway on the border of Warwick and Cranston, famous for the annual Gaspee Day parade in June, when dozens of fife and drum corps commemorate the burning of the British revenue schooner HMS Gaspee in 1772. Other times of the year, it is a cozy section of historic buildings on a tiny cove of the Upper Narragansett Bay filled with interesting shops and eateries. Small Pawtuxet Park, facing the cove, is a lovely place to rest with a book or enjoy your purchases.

You Have One Hour

Who says Rhode Islanders can’t escape? Escape Rhode Island in Providence invites you and your friends to a challenging game in which you have 60 minutes to escape from a locked room. The only way out is to work together to solve the many puzzles, riddles, mysteries and games confined within the room. This location offers four themes: Ex Machina, The Study, The Gallery and The Mausoleum. Challenge your mind, work as a team, confound your senses and think creatively. Once you are in, there’s only one way out, so team up! Ages 10 and up. Players under 15 must be with an adult, and 15-17 must sign a waiver. Phone: 401-572-3889

Historic Blackstone Valley

The Blackstone River Valley, extending from Providence, RI, to Worcester, MA, is a crucible of American industrial history. The town of Pawtucket is where the Englishman Samuel Slater built our country’s first cotton spinning mill in 1790, based on plans stolen from England. Over the next centuries, the river became an industrial zone for early mills and a magnet for immigrant workers from French Canada and elsewhere. Today, visitors can enjoy tours of historic sites -- principally the Slater Mill -- along with biking and water sports along the river. The boat Blackstone Valley Explorer offers cruises from its base in Pawtucket. The Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor is eager to tell the story of this region that so much exemplifies the American story. Six visitor centers, in Pawtucket, Lincoln, Woonsocket, RI and Uxbridge and Worcester in MA help you plan your tour. Choose a self guided tour and follow this map of the corridor. Phone: 401-762-0250.