It started in 1981 as "The Newport Film Society," and by 1983, it had become the area's very first international film festival. Today, the tradition continues under the moniker of Flickers: Rhode Island International Film Festival. Despite the change in name and audiences' evolving tastes in popcorn, the event's mission remains constant: to showcase features, documentaries, and shorts by independent filmmakers from across the globe. Ranked as one of the top 10 short film festivals and top 10 international film festivals in Chris Gore's The Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide, RIIFF is also among the few such events recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to qualify short films for Oscar gold.
Retired NFL cornerback Ty Law has exchanged the gridiron for a far more forgiving, far more buoyant playing field. At his 18,000-square-foot Launch Trampoline Park, visitors of all ages bounce, flip, and twirl as they burn calories and defy gravity on three jumping courts—including one designed especially for kids and another for playing dodge ball—comprised of adjoining floor trampolines and angled wall trampolines. There’s also a mammoth foam pit so that you can be assured a soft landing should you attempt any feats of aerial wonder.
As fitness remains one of Law’s top priorities, he offers fitness classes that provide low-impact workouts while incinerating up to 1,000 calories each bouncy hour. For those seeking a break from bouncing, the park has an arcade and a café with free WiFi.
At Mulligan's Island Golf & Entertainment, 60 covered hitting stalls look out onto 11 acres of target areas, a sprawling configuration that helped earn the facility a spot on Golf Range Magazine's 2011 list of top 100 ranges. Golfers can use the driving range's 20 heated stalls to practice during off-season months without worrying about cooler temperatures stiffening their swings, or they can invest in lessons that use digital teaching methods such as computerized swing analysis to lower handicaps. A USGA-rated course tests participants with nine holes of regulation-size golf, while an 18-hole pitch-and-putt short course and two mini-golf courses help golfers calibrate aspects of their short game. The practice mecca also tests swings at 10 batting cages that feed baseballs and softballs at adjustable speeds to suit both little leaguers and professionals fishing for compliments.
In 1958, Ryan Family Amusements founder James A. Ryan opened a simple, eight-lane bowling alley, planting the foundation for a slew of entertainment centers throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island. At 10 locations, visitors enjoy a variety of arcade and skill games in addition to traditional candlepin, tenpin, or duckpin bowling. Every Friday and Saturday evening from 9 p.m. until midnight, bowling lanes take on an incandescent glow, allowing bowlers to experience futuristic entertainment without the inconvenience of rising jetpack-fuel prices. Bumper bowling is available for younger players, and an onsite concession stand refreshes responsible adults with glasses of beer and wine (though not available at Cape Cod Mall, Newport, or Oak Bluffs locations).
A New World Laser Tag and Underworld Gaming serves up family-friendly entertainment in an environment styled with an eye for the futuristic. Similar to zero-gravity dominos, the special effects in the 7,000-square-foot laser tag arena put an unconventional twist on the traditional game. The mysterious space is filled with drifting fog and atmospheric music, eerily illuminated by black lights. Technological advancements, including a competitive scoring system, multiple calibers of laser ammunition, and temporary shields, add an extra layer of progressive excitement to any campaign. Likewise, because New World's lightweight vests are fit for kids ages 3 and older, the whole family or naptime club can come play along, assuming their trigger fingers are ready.