This post was written by Discover Newport Intern Jessica Broadhurst


Spring is in the air! Now is the perfect time to get outside and experience the Nature of Newport and Bristol County. From tree hikes to seal and light house tours these events are fun for all ages. Whatever you choose we are sure you will leave with an unforgettable experience.  Don’t forget your camera!



Ongoing | 9:00-11:00 am

Wednesday Morning Bird Walks

Free; Audubon offers Morning Bird Walks every Wednesday with naturalist Laura Carberry. Each week a new bird destination will be chosen so be sure to visit the Audubon Society of Rhode Island’s Facebook Page for the location!



Ongoing (Saturdays) | 9:30-11:30 am

Birding for Beginners

Members: $60, Non-Members: $7; Audubon is offering a six-week class providing the basics of bird biology which includes visuals and identification techniques. The classes are led by Audubon senior director of education Lauren Parmelee. Bring binoculars and a field guide if you have them and make sure to dress appropriately for the weather. Details.



Ongoing | View the Schedule

Seal Tours with Save the Bay

Explore the 360 degree views of Narragansett Bay’s Seals resting on Citing Rock just off of Rose Island and the Newport Bridge during Save the Bay’s Seal Tours. One-hour seal tours are boat-based, while two hour tours include a tour of Rose Island lighthouse. Each trip aboard Save the Bay’s education vessel will provide you with immense information on the life of a seal as well as the laws and regulations involved in conversing the seals.  Details.



Ongoing through October | 1:30-3:00 pm

Wednesday Walk-Arounds at Blithewold

Experience breathtaking views of Narragansett Bay and see the Mansion decorated with original furnishings just as it was when the family lived here. Hear the story of the Van Wickle/Mckee family, the original owners of this beautiful seaside garden estate. The guided tour continues through the grounds where magnificent trees and a variety of colorful gardens demonstrate Blithewold's prominence in horticulture. 



Ongoing | View the Schedule

Lighthouse Tours with Save the Bay

Come aboard a narrated cruise to see Rhode Island’s historic lighthouse sites in Narragansett Bay. Experience views of the Newport Pell Bridge, Gaspee Point, Prudence Island and Fort Adams. Save the Bay Light house Tours are the only cruises that offer a tour of the inside of a lighthouse. Binoculars will be provided but don’t forget to bring your camera! Details.



Ongoing through May | 1:00-2:30 pm

Exploring the Spring Garden at Blithewold Mansion

Take advantage of one of Garden Manager Gail Read’s weekly guided tours of the gardens and grounds as the flowers and plants begin unfolding after their winter rest. From daffodils to flowering trees, fiddlehead ferns and native wildflowers, there will be something new to see each week as the gardens return to life.



Friday, April 15 | 6:30-7:30 pm

Eyes on Amphibians

Members:$8. Non-members: $10; 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



Saturday, April 16 | 9:45 am - 4:45 pm

Explore the Nature of Prudence Island

Members: $10/$5. Non-Members $14/$7; Experience Prudence Islands various habitats and natural beauty while learning about the unique cultural history. Enjoy various short walks as well as stops at some of the islands natural and historical features. These features include salt marshes, coastal meadows, 1800’s farm sites and much more. Details.



Saturday, April 16 | 2:00-3:00 pm

Tree Hike at Ballard Park

Free; suggested donation. Friends of Ballard Park is hosting a guided hike in celebration of Newport Arboretum Week. During the hike you will learn information about the thirteen-acre site’s history as well as various trees found in Ballard Park. To register call 401-619-3377 or email



Tuesday, April 19 | 1:00-2:30 pm

Afternoon Adventure: Charlie's Tree Safari

Suggested donation $5; Charlie Ridolf, forester for the City of Newport, will lead an expedition through Ballard Park for children. He will point out various species of trees and ways kids can identify them. Meet at the Hazard Road entrance. Details



Wednesday, April 20 | 1:00-2:00 pm [Also offered April 22]

Family Nature Discovery Walk

Join Blithewold Mansion for an afternoon of observing and making connections to the natural world, something important for both kids and adults in a busy world. Participants will be given a special nature observation kit, which includes a magnifying glass and observation box, to explore the vibrant world around them. Gardens Manager and tour leader Gail Read will guide you toward discovering the sensory delights of nature. Details.



Wednesday, April 20 | 6:00-7:30 pm [Rain date: April 21]

Geology Outdoor Lecture

Members:$8. Non-members: $10; Step outside with Norman Bird Sanctuary educators this spring to learn more about the natural landscape and watch the breathtaking sunset. Hike out to the staircase where the forest gives way to the rise of Hanging Rock Ridge. Once seated on the famous “puddingstone” that makes up the ridge, learn about the geology of the region, the most recent glacial activity in southern New England, and the formation of Hanging Rock and Red Fox Ridges. Don’t forget a blanket to sit on! Details.



Thursday, April 21 | 6:00-7:00 pm

A Walk with Blithewold Mansion's Director

Explore Blithewold’s incredible grounds through the eyes of Executive Director, Karen Binder, on a leisurely evening stroll. Karen will highlight the outdoor elements, including exciting updates to buildings and grounds, as well as point out seasonal specimens. Details.



Friday, April 22 | 10:00-11:30 am

Earth Day: April Showers & May Flowers

Member: $10 adult & child pair, Non-member: $12; Make your own rain sticks, plant seeds and visit the Norman Bird Sanctuary Good Gardens to learn about the changes that happen right outside your door during spring time. Details.



Saturday, April 23 | 2:00-4:00 pm

Daffy Bouquet Bar at Ballard Park

Friends of Ballard Park will host its 2nd Annual Daffy Bouquet Bar at Ballard Park. This event will be held in the quarry meadow where 19,000 daffodils will be blooming. There will be a flower bouquet bar as well as performances by musicians Ed & Ted. Spring flowers will be available for purchase at the bouquet bar. Details.



Saturday, April 30 | 2:30-5:00 pm

Great Swamp Walk

Members: $10/$5, Non-Members: $14/$7; Experience a springtime walk into the Great Swamp Management Area. Due to the high diversity of habitats, Great Swamp supports both resident and migrant birds. With winter coming to an end you will be sure to see many Amphibians and reptiles. Details.



Saturday, May 7 | 6:30am - 4:30pm [Rain date: Saturday, May 14]

Spring Migration Ecotour

Members: $60, Non-Members: $70; May is an exciting time to see droves of migrating warblers, swallows, shorebirds, and other species. Join Norman Bird Sanctuary on an itinerary designed to hit birding hot spots. Head toward Mt Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge. Whether you’re looking to get a jump on your year list or simply learn more about birding, you’ll enjoy this program. Participants can expect to walk short distances over level terrain at each stop. Details.



Saturday, May 14 | 8:00-10:00 pm

Sky Gazing with Robert Horton and Scott MacNeill

$5 suggested donation; $15 suggested per group/family; Robert Horton and Scott MacNeill from Brown University will bring their high powered telescopes to give a tour of the Spring skies. The moon will be one day past first quarter phase and Jupiter will be visible. Hazard Road entrance. Details



Sunday, May 15 | Seating at 8am, 9am & 10am

Norman Bird Sanctuary 34th Annual Birds & Breakfast

Tickets 25$ Adults; $10 Children ages 3-12. Norman Bird Sanctuary is hosting its 34th annual Birds & Breakfast. White Horse Tavern Executive Chef, Rich Silvia, will be creating a splendid breakfast. There will be walks led by experts, activities for children and an opportunity to meet one of the resident raptors. Details.



Thursday, May 19 | 6:00-7:00 pm

A Walk with Blithewold Mansion's Director

Explore Blithewold’s incredible grounds through the eyes of Executive Director, Karen Binder, on a leisurely evening stroll. Karen will highlight the outdoor elements, including exciting updates to buildings and grounds, as well as point out seasonal specimens. Details.



Friday, May 20 | 6:00-7:00 pm

What's Bugging You?

Members: $8, Non-members: $10; Meet a few of Norman Bird Sanctuary's new invertebrate animal ambassadors. Through hands-on activities, you'll learn about adaptations for survival, camouflage, and what it means to have no backbone. Details.



Saturday, May 21 | 10:00-11:00 am

Spring Plant Walk 

Members: $8, Non-members: $10; Join Norman Bird Sanctuary Naturalists on their hiking trails to discuss basic plant identification techniques, common native and invasive plants of Rhode Island and even look for some wild edibles. Details.



Saturday, May 21 | 2:00-3:00 pm [Rain date: May 22]

Spring Hike

$5 suggested donation; Friends of Ballard Park staff will point out blooming trees and flowers including our trail of Lily of the Valley throughout Ballard Park. Meet at the Hazard Road entrance. Details



Saturday, May 28 | 8:00-9:30 am

Bird Walk with patty O'Neill

$5 suggested donation; Join birder Patty O’Neill as she points out late migrant and breeding birds in Ballard Park. Wickham Road entrance directly across from Rogers High School. Details



Sunday, May 29 | 9:30-11:00 am

Naturalist Guided Photography Walk

Members: $10, Non-members: $12; Learn naturalist skills helpful for photographing wildlife and nature. Start by discussing ethics of wildlife photography, followed by a naturalist walk where you'll discuss translating your observations into pictures. This program will be focused on planning your nature shot and instead of camera mechanics. A DSLR or film camera is not necessary. Smartphones welcome. Details.