Providence Summer Staycation

No need to tank up the car – the city has everything you need for a season of fun

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Who’s ready to fill up on fun instead of filling up the tank? Providence has a lot going on all season long, and we don’t want readers to miss a beat. Our editors have compiled a calendar of happenings – mostly within city limits – sure to please a range of tastes and keep you busy almost every day from July to Labor Day. Along with listings by date, find activities and events happening all summer long, including an at-a-glance look of WaterFire dates, places to satisfy fried seafood cravings without crossing a bridge, and even how to take the RIPTA to the beach!

Whether you’re gliding along on skates to the beat at roller disco, getting fancy at a museum lawn party, whooping it up at a concert, or shopping local at a festival, show up by tagging our Instagram at #heyrhodyphotos and be sure to let us know if we missed your favorite summer thing to do by emailing us at Marketing@ProvidenceOnline.com

JULY 

July 1

Iced Coffee Celebration: Rhode Islanders love coffee and RI Food Fights is looking for the best iced in the state, with over 25 coffee shops competing for the crown through July 31. RIFoodFights.com

James Taylor: The king of mellow rock returns to the Dunkin Donuts Center ahead of his annual Tanglewood residency for An Evening With James Taylor. Expect classic tunes like “Fire and Rain,” “Your Smiling Face,” and “Sweet Baby James.” DunkinDonutsCenter.com

Through July 4

Asian Lantern Spectacular: Hurry up and see the zoo transformed with countless lit lanterns, inspired cuisine, and an interactive kids area all in celebration of Asian culture. All proceeds go to animal care and conservation initiatives. RWPZoo.org

July 10

Rosé Garden Party: Wear your “summer best” for this vintage-inspired soiree benefiting Lippitt House Museum where party-goers can roam the museum, enjoy live music, lawn games, light bites, and a variety of rosé wines. PreserveRI.org

July 7-10

Cirque du Soleil: Cirque returns with its coolest arena show yet – CRYSTAL. This one-of-a-kind performance blends circus art and ice skating and features astounding visual projections to a soundtrack that blends popular music with Cirque’s signature sound. DunkinDonutsCenter.com

July 10-23

Providence Restaurant Weeks: Take a break from the kitchen and  support Rhode Island's amazing culinary scene. Participating restaurants feature deals, special offers, signature cocktails, specialty products, and more. ProvidenceRestaurantWeeks.com

July 16: The Rocket Man Show: A must for fans of Elton John, Rus Anderson recreates a 1970s concert complete with singing, playing piano, and on-stage antics, all while donning circa-1973 stagewear from glasses to boots. PPACRI.org

July 17-30

FRINGEPVD: The indie arts summer festival is back with a variety of unique events to celebrate and promote local, national, and international independent performing artists. Learn more on page XX. FRINGEPVD.org

July 24

FirstWorks Summer Beats: Rhode Island rap and hip-hop phenomenon Flawless kicks off the summer series at the Roger Williams Park Bandstand. The band, recently featured on Netflix's smash reality TV show Rhythm + Flow covers a mix of fresh, modern songs. FirstWorks.org

AUGUST 

August 1

Search for the Best Scoop: Through August, RI Food Fights asks for help finding the Rhody creamery with the tastiest frozen treats from various locations. RIFoodFights.com

August 7

FirstWorks Summer Beats: DakhaBrakha, a world music quartet from Kyiv, Ukraine returns to Providence for a concert at a location to be announced. The band weaves ancient Ukrainian folk melodies into a subversive musical tapestry. FirstWorks.org

August 8-14

Flickers International Film Festival: This week-long festival in Providence draws film submissions from around the world, any of which could qualify for an Academy Award. Film-Festival.org

August 13

Barry Manilow: The Grammy Award-winner and music icon will be at the Dunkin Donuts Center for MANILOW: HITS 2022. Special guest David Koz also appears. DunkinDonutsCenter.com

August 14

FirstWorks Summer Beats: The continuing series celebrates the heritage of Puerto Rican music and its African roots with trombonist William Cepeda and his Afro-Rican Jazz Band, blending jazz and traditional Puerto Rican musical forms such as bomba, plena, Jibaro, and danza. FirstWorks.org

August 27

Brew at the Zoo: The state’s largest outdoor beer festival – described as a sudsy safari – takes place at Roger Williams Park Zoo. Sample 170 beers from 80+ local and national brewers and enjoy live musical entertainment by Cat Nip Junkies and Farm Dog Band. RWPZoo.org

ALL SUMMER LONG

Beyond Van Gogh: This immersive experience comes to Providence at the Rhode Island Convention Center through July 8, featuring 300+ artworks by Van Gogh in a family-friendly 3D exhibition. RIConvention.com

Haus of Codec LGBTQQIA+ Resource Fair & Art Marketplace: Once a month Haus of Codec, a nonprofit working toward ending transition-aged youth homelessness, hosts a market and clothing swap at Dexter Park. July 9, August 13, September 10. HausOfCodec.org

Lippitt House Museum Tours: On Fridays and select Saturdays, take a guided tour of this historic house museum, considered one of the best-preserved examples of Victorian-era houses in the US. PreserveRI.org

Roller Disco: Thursdays, Fridays, and select Saturdays through October, pulsing lights and spinning disco balls transform the downtown rink into an outdoor roller disco. Trinity Beer Garden keeps the party rolling with bevvies and snacks. Skate rentals available. TheProvidenceRink.com

Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition: Through August 2022, The Providence Art Club features works by six Southern New England artists in their courtyard. Free and open to the public. Hours vary. ProvidenceArtClub.org

Summer Lunchtime Music Series: On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays throughout summer, do your lunchtime errands or grab food while listening to live tunes along Thayer Street from noon to 2pm. Through September 1. ThayerStreetPvd.com

Teatro en El Verano: Rhode Island's only bilingual summer theater is back! Rhode Island Latino Arts presents La Mancha, an adaptation by Marcel Mascaró of Miguel de Cervantes' well-known novel Don Quixote de La Mancha. July 15 to 17 and July 22 to 24 in Central Falls, July 28 at Waterplace Park. RILatinoArts.org

Providence Ghost Tour: Walk with the ghosts of literary giants at Providence’s creepiest walking tour. Take in College Hill’s spectacular architecture – and the spooky stories that accompany them — on a balmy summer eve. Through September 10. ProvidenceGhostTour.com

Providence River Boat Tour: See the city from a different perspective — the water! Learn about historical, nautical, and architectural points of interest while cruising the Providence River and its surrounding waters, including Waterplace Park and Providence Industrial Harbor. Through October 29.

SUNDAYS

The Summer Flea: For 10 years this outdoor shopping event has been a sure sign of a PVD summer. Find curated vintage finds, goods and wares by local artisans, and much more at this upscale community market along South Water Street, weekly through September. ProvidenceFlea.com

TUESDAYS

Ladd Observatory: Brown’s observatory is open to the public, weather permitting, on Tuesday evenings. Free tickets are made available seven days before each scheduled event. Masks are required on university property regardless of vaccination status. Ladd.Eventbrite.com

THURSDAYS 

Concerts Under the Elms: Now in its 25th year, this weekly outdoor series hosted by the RI Historical Society features a varied lineup of performers. Food trucks are back and guests are still welcome to bring their own chairs and coolers. RIHS.org

Thursday Night Trivia: Grab your go-to team and test your collective knowledge at Trinity Brewhouse’s weekly trivia tournament at the beer garden, hosted by Stump! Trivia. TrinityBrewhouse.com

Stock’s Summer of Pop-Ups: Meet the makers who are lighting up Rhody’s culinary scene, enjoy free samples, and discover new locally made delights that will make your summer outdoor parties pop at Stock Culinary Goods, highlighting different vendors each week. Through August. PopUpRhody.com

FRIDAYS

Food Truck Fridays: Escape the heat of the kitchen and head to Roger Williams Park Zoo’s festive Carousel Village for live music and dinner where a convoy of food trucks is sure to offer something for even the pickiest eaters. Through September 24. RWPZoo.org

SATURDAYS

Open Air Saturdays: Enjoy live music performances, food trucks, beer gardens, marketplaces, outdoor games and activities, and more from 12-6pm on July 2, August 6, and September 3. Open Air Saturdays take place at multiple locations across the city: Grant’s Block, Aborn Street, Union Street, Biltmore Park, and the BankNewport City Center. InDowncity.com

Providence Artisans Market: Discover makers and artists of all mediums showcasing their work for sale in Lippitt Park, alongside the Hope Street Farmers Market. Facebook: PVD Artisans Market

GET LIT

Multimedia extravaganza WaterFire is on with full and partial lightings all summer long. Here’s the schedule through Labor Day Weekend.

Saturday, July 30

RI Defeats Hep C

Full Lighting

Sunset (8:06pm) – Midnight

Saturday, August 13

Celebrating Rhode Island’s Black, Indigenous, and People of Color Communities

Full Lighting

Sunset (7:48pm) – Midnight

Saturday, August 27

Clear Currents Community Paddling Night

Full Lighting

Sunset (7:27pm) – Midnight

Saturday, September 3

Labor Day Weekend

Partial Lighting, Waterplace Park

Sunset (7:16pm) – 10pm

HOT TIP

GOVERNOR’S BAY DAY

At press time, Governor’s Bay Day had yet to be announced but generally on the last Sunday in July, parking is free at all state beaches and RIPTA waives the roundtrip fare on all service to South County beaches on Route 66 (URI/Galilee) on a first-come, first-served basis. No promises so check here: Governor.RI.gov

MUSEUMS FOR ALL

Through Museums for All, those receiving food assistance (SNAP benefits) can gain free or reduced admission to more than 850 museums throughout the United States simply by presenting their EBT card. Providence museums include John Brown House Museum, Lippitt House Museum, Providence Children’s Museum, and RISD Museum. Before visiting a museum, please call or check their website to see if they are open or require advance registrations. Learn more at Museums4All.org 

BUS TO THE BEACH

Feel like heading to the shore  but don’t want to be  stuck behind the wheel enduring  beach traffic? Take the bus! RIPTA offers access to some of Rhode Island’s beaches. Whether you want to head to Salty Brine, Lincoln Woods, Easton’s Beach, or others, chart your adventure at RIPTA.com/BeachService

FERRY TO NEWPORT

Skip the traffic hassles and take the ferry on your next jaunt to Newport. Parking at the terminal is free and right on-site, plus there’s a complimentary shuttle bus service between the Providence train station, convention center, downtown, and the Providence to Newport ferry terminal. Seastreak.com

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