The bustling capital city of Providence abounds with lots of family activities. Among the things to do with kids in Providence are sports games, zoos, and of course artistic endeavors. If you’re visiting Providence with kids, check out this list for inspiration—just like the city itself, you never know what you might find.
At Muse Paintbar, LUMIFY lightbox technology projects an image through the canvas, so aspiring artists can easily trace their subject before painting. The studio hosts regular kids and family events, with kid-friendly subjects such as emojis and unicorns, or have the kids join you at one of the other art sessions, as kids are welcome to any studio event.
At 14,000 square feet, the Alex and Ani City Center dwarfs the famed ice rink at New York City's Rockefeller Center and provides visitors with plenty of room to ice skate for hours. Located in Kennedy Plaza, skaters can enjoy a day of gliding against a backdrop of Providence landmarks during open skate sessions. But even when it’s warm outside, families can hit the rink in joystick-operated bumper cars.
The Rhode Island School of Design opened its first galleries in 1893, and since then, its collection of fine decorative art has grown to more than 84,000 objects. Parents can pre-register their kids for the 45-minute "Tours for Tots"—a guided excursion through the exhibits paired with gallery activities. Other family activities include an open studio for little ones and a study and sketch of particular works for kids 6 and up.
A National Historic Landmark built in 1788, the home of John Brown—from one of the wealthiest colonial families—has been transformed into a museum of sorts. Visitors learn what it was like to live in privilege during colonial America and learn about the slave trade and the revolution, amongst other events of the day.
More than 100 species of animals call this 40-acre woodland zoo home. And visitors aren’t relegated to peering through plexiglass at the resident fauna. In a few of the exhibits, they can get hands on.
Also on the grounds, a short distance away from the zoo, is Carousel Village, where little ones are charmed by rides on a historical carousel or real ponies.
More than 80 bonfires waft their toasty scent along Memoral Pakr where this expansive and permanent public art exhibit by sculptor Barnaby Evans is displayed along the rivers of downtown Providence—quite a spectacle to behold.
In 2009, a luminous display of 100 blue-star lamps was suspended from the trees to illuminate the exhibit. Visitors are invited to add their own blue lamps and candle lanterns with written wishes and dedications attached.
Since 1977, the museum has engaged parents and kids in learning about art, culture, history, and science, through hands-on exhibits. On the museum’s two sprawling floors, here are some of the must-see exhibits:
With a dock right where Providence’s two major waterways meet, Marcello and his boatmen at La Gondola commandeer Italian-style flat-bottomed boats, built in the city of Venice itself. The gondoliers play music and tell stories as they glide down the river, with the best tours taking riders past the brilliant glow of WaterFire, a public art display that features more than 80 bonfires.
The Triple-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox plays at McCoy Stadium during the regular season.
Take a self-guided tour of the farm and see cows being milked in the comfortable milking parlor—and make sure you stop for some farmstead ice cream before you go.
Pro tip: There’s also a bakery on site—with pastries that pair well with milk and ice cream.
This hands-on aquarium, where kids can watch the feeding of pufferfish, horseshoe crabs, and stingrays, specializes in local marine life.