Play All Day in Providence

14 awesome activities for all ages


1. Visit a World-Class Museum
Picasso, Warhol, Monet, Manet, and Van Gogh are just five of the thousands of notable artists represented at the RISD Museum. This year marks the ten-year anniversary of the museum’s opening of the Chase Center, the game-changing configuration that connected the institution’s four buildings with a glass bridge and a downtown-facing entrance. With over 100,000 works of art ranging from ancient artifacts to contemporary paintings in its main collection, the sprawling galleries are sure to keep you and your brood inspired for hours. Free for kids 18 and younger, $15 per adult. North Main Street

2. Create Your Very Own Art
Inspiration comes easy at family day at Muse Paintbar. In addition to its daily paint-and-sip schedule that’s geared for adults, the studio offers kid-friendly sessions on select weekends, holidays, and school breaks throughout the year. The premise is pretty much the same: Everyone starts with a blank canvas and follows the art instructor’s step-by-step directions for about two hours. Add in a beer, wine, and appetizer menu and everyone is an artist. There’s plenty of room for mistakes and/or custom touches, which makes the process just as memorable as the finished products. $25 per person. North Main Street

3. Dress Your Family in Black and Gold
First and foremost, a Providence Bruins game is a surefire way to catch some great hockey and see the future stars of the NHL. But it’s not all face-offs and hat tricks. Theme nights add a little extra fun to a family’s time at the Dunk, plus cool giveaways. The Bruins are doing really well in their division, so whether you’re coming for the hockey or the free thundersticks, you’re sure to leave feeling like a winner. Family combo tickets available. Downtown

4. Get Hands-On With Science
After years of operating as a pop-up, the Rhode Island Museum of Science and Art (RIMOSA) has put down roots on the West Side, making it a convenient one-stop shop for curious kiddos. Exhibits let visitors roll up their sleeves and get hands-on with scientific concepts, funky gadgets, and animation. The activities are presented without instruction, allowing kids and their imaginations to run wild. Westminster Street

5. Gaze Into the Final Frontier
Everything in outer space is far away, but on the East Side it all feels a whole lot closer. Ladd Observatory opens its doors every Tuesday night to the public, letting imaginations take off into hyperspace as visitors explore the stars and our closer celestial neighbors through a vintage telescope. All aspiring Jedi, Starfleet cadets, or wannabe guardians of the galaxy are welcome. Doyle Avenue

6. Go For a Spin on Roller Skates

It’s impossible to be bored at United Skates of America. The loud, bright, and often-crowded spot offers roller skate/blade rentals, arcade games, laser tag, a rock-climbing wall, and a concessions stand smack in the middle of it all. If your children can’t roll out of the gate, don’t fret: the rink also offers public skating lessons on Saturday mornings. Pawtucket

7. Touch Everything at a Museum
Your little ones get to put their curious hands on pretty much everything they see at the Providence Children’s Museum. This two-story house of fun encourages kids to learn the best way they know how: by playing. From tossing balls into swirling water tanks to making stuff fly through air tubes, kids get to be kids here. Jewelry District

8. Rock Out at Karaoke
The Dean Hotel is arguably the coolest spot in Providence, offering hip grown-ups next-level dining and nightlife. Cool kids can also get in on the scene at The Boombox. The karaoke lounge welcomes families to belt out songs for free in the public area or rented private rooms between 5 and 9pm. The bar serves sake cocktails for adults and tasty Asian candies for all. Fountain Street

9. Interact With Life-Sized Puppets

You don’t just see Big Nazo – you experience Big Nazo. The larger-than-life troupe are known to steal the show at outdoor festivals like PVD Fest and the Hope Street Stroll. Creatures take up year-round residence at the Big Nazo Lab, a storefront studio where the public is always welcome to walk in. Pop in for a chance to meet the artists behind the masks and interact with the creatures they’ve built. Westminster Street

10. Hear a Story in Your Pajamas
Bedtime is a breeze with the help of Barrington Books Retold in Garden City. The bookstore hosts a Pajama Storytime with storyteller Miss Alyisha every Monday evening at 6:30pm. Kids five and younger are encouraged to come in their coziest footsies and enjoy a lively tale before they wind down for the night. Sweet dreams are sure to follow. Cranston

11. LOL at Improv
Celebrate the end of the school and work week with a side-splitting performance at Friday Night Live at the Everett Company. The one-hour, all-ages show features live music, improv comedy, sing-alongs, and other unpredictable family fun. $5 per person, 7pm every Friday. Duncan Avenue

12. Make Gaming a Reality

Your children are the center of your universe, but sometimes you need a break from reality. Base Station VR Lounge, Rhode Island’s first virtual reality arcade, provides a quick and pretty awesome escape. Here’s how it works: select a kid-appropriate game from the catalog, grab a headset, and head to a station that can accommodate up to four players. In an instant, you are all transported to the alternate universe of your choice. Fear not, the rule of parental law still applies in a virtual world. Thayer Street

13. Take a Walk on the Wild Side
The world is a wild and exciting place – and so is Roger Williams Park. The Museum of Natural History and Planetarium lets guests get up close to specimens and artifacts from around the globe and ponder the mysteries of worlds beyond our own through exhibits that explore the natural world and weekend planetarium shows. The Botanical Center, New England’s largest indoor greenhouse, exhibits a rotating assortment of plant life from around the world – like kid-favorite carnivorous plants! Elmwood Avenue

14. Knock it out of the Park

Enjoy the long running Rhode Island tradion of a Pawsox game at McCoy Stadium, From group outings to parties to the endless activities kids can partake in as part of their “Kids Corner” (Club Friday Events, Run the Bases, Clinics, Little League program and more), this minor league club is a gem that’s located right outside the city. Pawtucket

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