As the weather warms up, our destination prepares for a month abundant with activity as many annual events return for the season, and some newcomers as well. Start the month off right with Newport's only nighttime race, embrace the arts with a variety of hands on exhibits, or immerse yourself in nature with two daffodil festivals and myriad nature walks. Whatever you choose, we're sure you'll work up an appetite; perfect for the return of Newport Restaurant Week and some food trucks throughout the month, too.
April 1: Newport Night Run
This 5k starts after the sun goes down and treks along some of Newport’s most tranquil roads. Funds raised benefit local public schools. Details.
April 1: Daffodil Days at Blithewold
Tens of thousands of daffodils trumpet the arrival of springtime along with afternoon teas and Friday evening garden parties. Details.
April 3: Chef's Table Dinner Series at Blithewold
Head to Blithewold for an intimate culinary experience where you'll have the opportunity to meet and enjoy a specially prepared menu by some of RIs top young talent. Each dinner will be an expression of the individual chefs unique style and will represent seasonal, local and preserved ingredients. The featured chef on April 3 will be Chef Matt Genuso from Chez Pascal. Details.
April 3: Waterfowl Watch at Norman Bird Sanctuary
April marks the largest movements of waterfowl across the United States as ducks, geese, and swans travel from overwintering grounds in the south to the northern breeding grounds. Join Norman Bird Sanctuary to search the Sakonnet River and nearby Gardiner Pond for migrating waterfowl. Details.
April 9: Second Saturday at Newport Art Museum
The Newport Art Museum continues to engage and inspire the whole family with "Second Saturday," an engaging family-oriented program designed to inspire young minds and satisfy the curiosity of every member of the family. This month, "Second Saturday" will join hundreds of libraries and schools nationwide in marking the 20th anniversary that El Día des los Niños/El Día des los Libros (Children’s Day/Book Day), an annual multicultural family literacy initiative, has been celebrated in the United States. Details.
April 1-10: Newport Restaurant Week
Treat your taste buds to this extraordinary culinary experience featuring seasonal menus highlighting local flavor at more than 50 participating restaurants throughout Newport and Bristol Counties. Pre-fixe menus offer $16 three-course lunches and $35 three-course dinners. Details.
April 13: Ray Rickman on Slavery in Newport
The 2016 Spring Life of the Mind Salon Series continues on April 13 with Ray Rickman, former President of the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society, who will discuss slavery in Newport and showcase the oldest slave document in Rhode Island. Ray Rickman is a former President of the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society and was the Secretary of the Rhode Island Historical Society for seven years. He was also the first Treasurer of the Heritage Harbor Museum, a Smithsonian affiliate. Details.
April 13: Eddie's BBQ Food Truck at Residence Inn
Food Trucks return to Residence Inn in Middletown every Wednesday from 6-8 pm starting with Eddie's BBQ on April 13.
April 14: Art After Dark & First Light Funeral at Newport Art Museum
Art After Dark, the Newport Art Museum's popular late night event, held each month on the second Thursday (Newport Gallery Night), will celebrate the advent of spring with "Primavera" and also bid a sad farewell to the Museum’s beloved 180 year old Fernleaf Beech tree, 5-9pm. Details.
April 14: Newport Gallery Night
Newport Gallery Night is the 2nd Thursday from February - December 5pm-8pm. It is easy, fun and is encouraging those people who might not regularly go to an art gallery, museum or cultural institution to participate in the monthly shows in the numerous member galleries, museums and cultural institutions. Details.
April 15: Daffodils at Dusk
Recurring weekly on Friday, Join Blithewold after hours for an evening filled with live jazz, a complimentary wine tasting, and the opportunity to explore the enchanting spring gardens at dusk. An outdoor scavenger hunt will be available for children and those who are still kids at heart.Daffodil Days sponsor Bartlett Tree will promote their Tree Planting initiative by giving a free tree each Friday night. Details.
April 15: Eyes on Amphibians at Norman Bird Sanctuary
Learn all about the natural history of amphibians and which species can be found in Rhode Island. After meeting the native Gray Tree Frog and Spotted Salamander animal ambassadors, hike out to Red Maple Pond to listen for frog calls and search for egg masses. Details.
April 16: Guided Tree Hike at Ballard Park
In celebration of Newport Arboretum Week. Friends of Ballard Park staff will share information about the thirteen acre site’s history and the various trees found in Ballard Park during a guided tree hike. Suggested donation is $5. Rain date: April 17. Details.
April 16-24: Newport Daffodil Days Festival
This multi-day affair includes a “daffy” dog parade, photography workshops, “doodle the daffys” art kiosks, a private garden tour, wine tastings, a bike ride, bouquet bar, home tours, car rally and classic car display, a garden party with live music and ballet and more. Details.
April 24: 15th Annual Neighborhoods of Newport House Tour
Gain exclusive entry to five private homes in Newport and meet internationally acclaimed author and garden connoisseur, Bettie Bearden Pardee. Details.
April 25: Eating with the Ecosystem's "School of Fish" at Hope & Main
Rhode Island chefs will educate you on different methods for turning a whole fish - straight from the sea - into a marvelous dinner you can share with your family and friends. Learn how to use plentiful local species like scup, herring, whiting, skate, dogfish, and sea robin. Held in the demo kitchen (a former school classroom) at Hope & Main in Warren, each workshop is also a dinner, complete with wine and good company. Details.
April 25: Leukemia Cup Regatta Kick-Off Party
World class sailor, television commentator and author Gary Jobson will welcome the local sailing community to kick off The Leukemia Cup Regatta's 22nd annual fundraising season at the Bristol Yacht Club. Details.
April 27: Havens Brother Food Truck at Residence Inn
Havens Brother Food Truck rolls into Residence Inn in Middletown from 6-8 pm.
April 27: Why America Can't Win a War Lecture at Redwood Library
The 2016 Spring Life of the Mind Salon Series begins on April 27 with Bing West, renowned author and former Assistant Secretary of Defense, who will discuss the state of American involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan after 15 years of war. Wine and cheese will be served at 5:30 pm, followed by the talk at 6:00 pm. Free for members; $10 for non-members. Please call the Redwood Reservation Line at 401.847.0292, ext. 112, to reserve your spot. Seating is limited. Details.
April 28: High Heels & Hot Wheels
Join Newport Hospital for a spring fundraiser at Audrain Automobile Museum to benefit their Women’s Health Program. Emjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres by Russell Morin Catering & Events and guest speaker author Lee DiPietro, author of Against the Wind: An Ironwoman’s Race for Her Family’s Survival. Mingle with friends while enjoying a new exhibit of Super Cars. All proceeds will help fund the purchase of 3-D mammography equipment for our Women’s Health program. Details.
April 29-30: Newport Craft Beer Festival
Savor beers and never-before-tasted brews by 35 of the region’s craft breweries plus a few from across the country. “Guild Row” is exclusively dedicated to Rhode Island-made beers. New this year: the VIB session at Newport Storm Brewery, an intimate evening with the brewers. Details.
April 29-May 1: newportFILM SPORTS hosted by International Tennis Hall of Fame
A weekend long sports film festival in Newport celebrating the positive role sports play in our society through documentary films and shorts, guest filmmakers, presentations and receptions. This inaugural festival will utilize venues on the ITHF campus including the Casino Theatre, the newly renovated USTA Wing, the indoor tennis Bubble, and the Horseshoe Court. You can expect 7-10 films and supplemental related sporting events for all ages throughout the weekend. Details.