South Kingstown is the newest location opening in 2013 of Rock Spot Climbing’s multiple locations, where colorful footholds and route markers sprawl along artificial rocks create diverse climbing surfaces for every major discipline. Dozens of top-rope stations challenge climbers to scale the wall in safety, whether belayed by a human companion or hooked up to an auto-belay unit that reduces the risk of conversation. Meanwhile, others eschew ropes in order to tackle bouldering routes—low-altitude obstacles littered with arches, steep faces, and caves—and lead climbers set their own anchors as they scale the wall. The climbing courses vary for all skill levels, ranging from sheer faces with ample handholds to cliffs for expert climbers and lemmings. Cardio machines let athletes warm up or cool down between climbs, and instructors lead afterschool classes to teach kids the art of competitive climbing.
The land surrounding the Narrow River is a prime example of Rhode Island's varied natural splendor, which includes sandy beaches, lush forests, green fields, marshland, and sand banks. Narrow River Kayaks puts it all within reach, equipping locals and visitors with a variety of vessels, including canoes, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards.
Once boated up, you can paddle your way across the Pettaquamscutt Watershed area for a relaxed day of fishing, picnicking, spotting wildlife, or making kissy faces at your own reflection in the river. With outdoor showers, changing tents, and portable restrooms onsite, Narrow River Kayaks assures aquatic adventurers a comfortable time in the great outdoors. The shop also sells new and used kayaks, and can set up all boaters with items such as dry bags, waterproof containers, and personal flotation devices for jaunts past the John H. Chafee Wildlife Refuge and the Kettle Ponds.
Since 1989, the Biomes Marine Biology Center has immersed visitors of all ages in the lives of sea creatures through a range of hands-on programs. Though it recently moved to a new location, it has kept aquatic habitats focused on the denizens of Narragansett Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Amid tanks of native and tropical species such as octopuses, horseshoe crabs, lionfish, tortoises, and sharks, the staff treats visitors to a range of events—including educational demonstrations and hermit-crab-socialization seminars.
In a separate area for kids aged 3–6 , staff members lead animal-themed story times, and walk children through corresponding craft projects afterward. They also organize birthday parties, during which kids can pet tide-pool animals such as eels, horseshoe crabs, and small sharks.
Kingstown Bowl makes it easy to while away an afternoon or evening, encouraging visitors to stick around and shoot some pool, play some Wii Sports, or grab a drink between frames. Automatic scoring systems track the in-game action, and on Saturday nights, Rock-N-Bowl plunges the concourse into a nightclub atmosphere as a DJ spins requests and multicolored pins glow beneath concert-style lighting. The pub gives players a place to relax with bar food, free wireless Internet access, and the occasional U2 concert. The technicians at the pro shop offer advice on gear and perform services such as plugging and re-drilling finger holes.
Accredited by the National Surf Schools & Instructors Association, Peter Pan Surfing Academy helps beachgoers wade into the world of surfing and standup paddleboarding. Seven days a week throughout the year, instructors equip both children and adults with wetsuit rentals and a wide selection of hard, soft, epoxy, fiberglass surfboards. The company also holds surf and skimboard camps for intensive study.
For nearly 85 years, the South County Art Association has fostered the local arts community with exhibitions and classes guided by talented craftspeople. During a 2.5-hour bookmaking class, pupils choose from four different bookbinding styles taught by resident page-master Catherine Flores, making beautiful crane-shaped tomes in an origami day class or taking cues from the envelope-book course to fashion a pocketed book for holding secrets, treasures, or the key to your rock collection's safety-deposit box. An eight-fold accordion-book class leaves students with a handsome, folded mini album that functions like a traditionally bound book, and a non-adhesive book lesson teaches the delicate arts of bookmanship, including pamphlet stitching and the traditional Japanese side stab. Although class times vary, for those that take place from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., patrons are invited to bring along a beverage of their choosing, and enjoy in a warm and convivial atmosphere.