Coastal Family Fun
It's time to plan your visit to the Ocean State. Here are some ideas to pack your stay with family fun on the coast!
In South County, you have so many beaches to choose from and each beach is unique. Some have playgrounds, some have tidepools, concessions, and more. Bring a bucket and shovel, or boogie board, and have some fun! After the beach, you can stop at a clam shack, like Aunt Carrie's or Iggy's for some yummy fried clams, clam cakes, chowder, and more. Or you can grab a cold treat at Brickley's, The Sweet Spot, or Del's Lemonade. The shops, gardens, and bamboo forest at The Fantastic Umbrella Factory are wonderful to explore as you walk by, around, and amongst the chickens that live there. You could spend a day at Adventureland Family Fun Park between the mini-golf, carousel, and pavilion, batting cages, and more. And for a fun evening under the stars, bring the family to the Misquamicut Drive-in Theater for an outdoor movie. Another enjoyable (and educational) thing to do at night is stargazing at Frosty Drew Observatory in Charlestown. For dining ideas, try Crazy Burger (great vegan options), George’s of Galilee (live music on the weekends, and kids can keep an eye out for the fishing boats that come in and out of Point Judith), Gansett Wraps, and Bluebird Café. There's also The Mews Tavern, Cap'n Jack's, and Two Ten Oyster Bar.
For children, the fun starts before you even reach Block Island. The ferry ride is full of amazing views and being on the open water is always exciting for little ones. Once you arrive, there's plenty to do for fun. You can visit the beautiful beaches and have some fun in the surf and sand. For older kids, there are watersports like parasailing and kayaking, and you can rent surfboards and stand-up paddleboards (and book lessons) at Diamondblue Surf Shop. Next, take in the views 200 feet above the sea at Mohegan Bluffs near the Southeast Light, or take the stairs all the way down to explore the secluded beach below (probably best for older children). Pay a visit to see the animals at 1661 Farm & Gardens, an easy walk from the ferry. You can explore some of the 28-miles of Greenway Walking Trails or the sunken, glacial meadow of Rodman's Hollow. Keep your eyes open for the countless species of birds that live on and visit Block Island, as well as for the glass floats hidden around the island. Visit the Block Island Maritime Institute in New Harbor for marine science and maritime activities for all ages, as well as outdoor touch tanks containing local marine creatures. Dining options on BI include Bethany's Airport Diner, Los Gatitos, Persephone's Kitchen, Block Island Pizza Pie Company, Dead Eye Dick's, and The Scoop Shack.
Newport & Bristol
In Newport, the beaches are fantastic. Some have playgrounds, concessions, and Easton's (First Beach) has a carousel, beach store, public facilities beach wheelchairs, and more. If you have a rainy day, Ryan Amusements is a fun arcade featuring more than 50 games. Newport Indoor Golf, located in the Newport Car Museum in Portsmouth is another good rainy day option. While in Portsmouth on a non-rainy day, check out Green Animals Topiary Garden (little ones will love it), and take a railbike journey down an old railroad corridor on Rail Explorers - great for all ages and abilities. For food in the area, try Diego’s for great Mexican fare or Gary's Handy Lunch for breakfast or lunch in a fun, '50s diner setting. From Portsmouth, you can cross the Mount Hope Bridge and visit Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum. Or, you can take the Jamestown Bridge over to Jamestown and explore Beavertail State Park for great views. While in Jamestown, you can check out Fort Wetherill State Park for more great views. It's also a great place to hike, explore, and picnic. Other fun things to do in the Newport area include tours of the Newport Mansions, the International Tennis Hall of Fame, Lighthouse Tours, and Fish'n Tales Adventures. Other food spots include the Red Parrot, Cru Cafe, and Cupcake Charlie's in Newport, Blount Clam Shack in Warren, and Flat Waves Food Shack in Middletown.