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Four Ways to Spend A Spring Day in RI

Mar 28, 2023 | RI Favorites To Do

Springtime in Rhode Island can fly by in the blink of an eye and sometimes it seems that we jump directly from winter into summer. For that reason, I have found over the years that it is important to plan ahead to take part in a few springtime activities.  Since the weather in Rhode island in the spring can be “iffy”, plans should be as flexible as possible. Here are four of my favorite go-to spring activities:

For over twenty years, The City of Providence has been host to a truly unique event – WaterFire. On scheduled weekend evenings during the spring and into the summer and fall, the river that cuts through the capital city is lit up with displays made of fire (braziers).  As you make your way along the riverbank to view the displays, you will experience the aroma of burning wood and hear the crackling of the roaring fires.  A full lighting can feature 80+ braziers along the riverfront.  As you can imagine, on a warm summer evening this event can be quite crowded, which is why a visit early in the season can be extra special.  There are two springtime partial events planned.  The first will be on April 1 and the second on April 19th.  At the April 19th lighting, the full schedule for the summer season will be announced. There is no charge for this event.

Visit your favorite animals at the zoo.  The 40 acre Roger Williams Park Zoo is nestled within the 427 acre Roger Williams Park located on the outskirts of Providence.  I have found that visiting the zoo in the spring to be more enjoyable than any other season as the majority of the exhibits are open and the animals seem to be more active and out for better viewing. 

We recently visited the zoo around 11am and it seemed that the majority of the larger animals were busy eating breakfast.  This was certainly a highlight of our visit.  Roger Williams also has a petting zoo area where you can feed the goats by hand.  On our most recent visit, this was clearly a highlight for every child visiting the zoo that day. This was also a highlight for our little ones. The zoo opened it’s gates in 1872 and with only a few closures for major remodels, has been entertaining kids of all ages since.  In the spring, the zoo is open daily from 9 to 4.  There is plenty of free parking and many places to stop as you wander through to grab something cold to drink or a bite to eat.  When visiting with little ones, it is also fun to stop by Carousel Village at Roger Williams Park.  At the village you will find a train and carousel to ride.  In the spring, Carousel Village is open daily from 12-6 and 11-6 on weekends.

Take a stroll on the Cliff Walk in Newport.  This three and a half mile path wanders along the Atlantic Ocean and the mansions of Newport with fantastic views around every turn.  We try to take advantage of this walk a few times each summer but a walk in spring is special as the air can be warm and the crowds are minimal. Four legged friends are welcome but they must be leashed.  There is no charge to access the Cliff Walk and you can enter at 119 Memorial Blvd.  The walk is open from sunrise to sunset 365 days/year. 

Take a ride on the “rails” on Aquidneck Island. Rail Explorers provides the visitor with an unforgettable adventure in their custom “explorer” vehicles along the Old Colony Railroad.  An “explorer” is powered by pedaling and sits on a railroad track. These unique vehicles can be rented as a tandem (2 pedalers) or as a quad (4 pedalers). The rails run along an area that is, for the most part, flat so this is considered an easy activity. The scenic ride provides incredible views of Narragansett Bay and nearby Jamestown. The tours do have a guide for safety reasons but there is ample room between “explorers” so that you feel like you are on a solo adventure. Tours take about 90 minutes and can be booked from mid-April through October. 

No matter how you choose to spend a spring day in Rhode Island you will not be disappointed.  We may be only 1214 square miles of land but there is always something fun to do around the corner.

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It’s Pick-Your-Own Season in Southern New England

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