Fragrant apples fresh off the tree, crisp air and breathtaking foliage in bright red, orange and gold- welcome to the majesty of autumn in Rhode Island. It’s a very festive and unique time of year to visit the Ocean state- but gorgeous nature is not all there is to enjoy here. From unique art experiences to carved pumpkin extravaganzas- check out this list of what to do in Providence for some great family fun:
Apple picking is one of the best autumn activities to do with kids in Rhode Island. The orchards are ripe with delicious apples of every variety, and most offer an assortment of the country treats like homemade apple cider, pies, and even donuts to enjoy at the end of a long day. Since the apple picking season usually comes early here, be sure to hit the orchards before they’re all picked out.
The Roger Williams Park Zoo’s annual Jack-o-Lantern display is one of the biggest and most impressive in the country, with over 5,000 carved pumpkins laid out to create a quite the spectacle. Each year has a theme- this year it will be a journey through time so expect to see anything from dinosaurs to pyramids! Sure the lines are very long, but it is an experience your kids won’t soon forget!
Providence Children’s Museum
Set on inspiring children to learn through imaginative, hands-on displays and activities, this children’s museum is more than a fun place to spend an afternoon. The variety of displays and activities is very wide, stretching from the history of Rhode Island to Vietnamese mythology and culture (and everything in between). If you’re moving to Providence, RI expect to become a regular visitor to this gem of a museum- it is always serving up a fresh dish of educational fun.
Providence Bruins Game
For an action-packed afternoon, take your kids out to watch a Providence Bruins game! The season begins in October and provides awesome entertainment for hockey loving families and anybody who enjoys a good game. The Providence Bruins, a farm team for the Boston Bruins, are also the 2011 Stanley Cup winners, and a major source of pride for the people of Providence.
Scituate Art Festival
Held in the picturesque town of Scituate in north-west Rhode Island, the Scituate Art Festival is a traditional celebration of arts, crafts, and antiques which takes place annually over Columbus Day weekend. The festival features exhibitions of original creations by local artists and artisans, select antique vendors, traditional regional food and live music. Scituate itself is one of the most stunning places to see in Rhode Island during fall, so plan to have some time to walk around and take it all in.
This historic ride located in East Providence was first opened in 1895 and has since been enjoyed by generations of Providence children. It was even recognized as a National Historic Landmark in 1976. With 65 beautifully carved figures and four chariots the carousel is a joy to both ride and behold, and it is so affordable you would think maybe its pricing dates back to the seventies as well- only half a dollar for a ride! It’s just one of those places you can’t afford to miss when you travel with children.
WaterFire is an award-winning sculpture by Barnaby Evans situated on the rivers of downtown Providence. It is a free public art installation and performance work, an urban festival of sorts which includes haunting music, beautiful artistic lighting, gondola rides with singing gondoliers and obviously- a fire display. Autumn is the last opportunity to enjoy this must-see art phenomenon, which closes (like many outdoor activities in Providence) from around Columbus Day to May.