Load up the family truckster and make your Newport County experience one you'll be taking about for years to come. Here's a sample itinerary of just some of the unique places to enjoy!
- 10am: Embark on a Scavenger Hunt at the Tennis Hall of Fame that guides young explorers through the museum and the grounds while answering questions about the history of the sport of tennis! When you've found everything, collect a special prize. Scavenger hunt maps are provided at the Admissions Desk. Kids 16 years old and under are admitted into the Tennis Hall of Fame for free and adult ticket prices are $12.
- 11:30am: Pack picnic for waterfront lunch at Newport Countys many free and fabulous picnic spots: Fort Adams State Park, Brenton Point State Park, Storer Park, Battery Park and countless more.
- 12:30pm: Fly a Kite at Brenton Point State Park (if you don't have one, Kitts Kites is located on Fair Street, just off of Thames Street in Newport). Brenton Point on Ocean Drive offers spectacular views and the perfect location to relax with the family on a large grassy turf. The park is open daily from sunrise to sunset. Admission is free; restrooms and free parking are available.
- 2pm: Sail on over to Rose Island for a picnic and a tour of the historic Rose Island Lighthouse. Learn how this eco-friendly lighthouse was home to keepers and families for over 100 years. You'll also find beaches full of tide pools just waiting to be explored, as well as a natural habitat for many endangered birds and crustaceans. Admission fee for the island is free for children 5 years old and under, $4 for children ages 6-12, and $5 for Adults. Picnics welcome but everything is carry-in carry-out. Rose Island is accessible by the Jamestown Newport Ferry and is open from 10am-4pm daily. For ferry rates and info, CLICK HERE.
- 4pm: Return to Newport for a little rest and relaxation or get your game on at Ryan Family Amusements with over 50 of the coolest arcade and games that the entire family can enjoy. Open daily 10am-midnight.
- 6:15pm: Experience Family Night on the Rails! The Friday Night Ice Cream Dinner Train includes pizza and ice cream sundaes with a backdrop of scenic views of the Narragansett Bay. Families of all ages are served dinner by staff members aboard the train and entertained by the Candyman Conductor. The train departs every Friday evening at 6:30pm. Tickets are $19.95 for children 10 and under, and $26.95 for adults.
- 10am: Hit the beach (and bring a few extra dollars for Rhode Islands own a Del's Lemonade)! Easton's Beach in Newport offers unlimited fun on and off the sand with a carousel, beach volleyball court rentals, surfboard and paddle board rentals, and a snack bar (Parking: weekday $10; weekend/holiday $20 ). Island Sports rents surfboards and paddle boards right out of their company truck on the beach. For those who don't want to get wet, just beyond the sand sits a skate park frequently visited by avid skateboarders, bikers, and roller bladers. The beach is walking distance from Cliff Walk, a 3.5-mile path along the Atlantic Ocean that also offers a sneak peek of manicured Newport Mansions. Cliff Walk is open from sunrise to sunset. Second Beach in Middletown, is another option for family beach-goers and admired for its natural beauty. On the beach's far right side rests what locals call Surfers End, where Rhody Surf provides surf lessons, paddle board excursions, as well as rentals by the hour. At the beach's center stands a concessions building that offers public restrooms, food, and showers. Parking: weekday $10; weekend/holiday $20 Burn those vacation-induced calories at Ballard Park in Newport or Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge and Norman Bird Sanctuary in Middletown. Both have amazing trails, engaging events for the w hole family that are usually free or low cost, and offer unforgettable views and experiences. For more information on events like movies, yoga and bird walks, visit www.ballardpark.org, www.fws.gov/sachuestpoint and www.normanbirdsanctuary.org.
- Late afternoon: Experience the 22nd season of the Newport International Polo Series where teams from around the world compete against the home team every Saturday evening at 5pm at Glen Farm in Portsmouth, just 15 minutes from Newport. Tailgating is not only a tradition but its encouraged, or you can buy tickets for the tented enclosure for table service. Through September (4pm).
- 10am: Take the kids to The Breakers and try the Family Audio Tour which transports listeners back in time. You'll be guided throughout 78 rooms within the mansion, learn its secrets, meet family members and staff that lived in the house, and experience imaginative characters such as the dolphin hiding under the grand staircase and the dragon in the dining room. Kids can learn the rules that the children there abided by, and experience a glimpse into their lifestyle. Go at your own pace and to only listen to topics of interest. Tours are offered in many languages and available during open hours, from 9am to 6pm.
- 2pm: Delve beneath the walls of historic Fort Adams, the largest coastal fortification in the country, and into its underground tunnels. View the Quarters where officers and their families lived, then ascend to the scenic overlook for a breathtaking view of Newport Harbor & Narragansett Bay. The fort is open 10am - 4:30pm, guided tours depart hourly (last tour at 4pm). After, enjoy the new Bay Walk, a along the picturesque East Passage of the Narragansett Bay with unobstructed views of the sun setting over Conanicut Island (Jamestown). Sweet Berry Farm is a post and beam farm market sitting on 100 acres of preserved farmland and is filled with seasonal fresh fruits (and pick-your-own),vegetables and cut flowers. Bring your blankets or chairs to enjoy Tuesday Evening Supper Concerts--free concerts on the lawn.
- Before leaving Aquidneck Island, explore the Green Animals Topiary Gardens in Portsmouth where you'll find 80 pieces of topiary animals, birds, geometric figures, and ornamental designs, as well as a goldfish pond that dates back to the 1920's. Kids are given map upon entering the grounds offering a hunt for different landmarks of animals and shapes. In the main house on the property sits a room filled with childrens toys from the Victorian Era. Grounds are open from 10am - 6pm, Adults: $14.50, youth: $5.50 (ages 6-17)
- Other Ideas:
- Throughout the summer, every Tuesday night there are free concerts on the boardwalk at Easton's Beach, and Thursday is Beach Idol night for kids under 15. Action starts at 6pm!
- Tour Newport on a Trolley! Enjoy a scenic overview of our historic landmarks, Ocean Drive and the mansions on Bellevue Avenue all in a charming (and air-conditioned) trolley! Trolleys run daily, 10am, 11am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 3pm.
- Visit the Newport Fudgery located on Thames Street, where you can watch fudgemasters hand-make candy during all open hours of the day. Mon - Thu, Sun, 11am - 10pm; Fri - Sat, 11am - 11pm.
- Try an Awful Awful, Newport's most famous milkshake, at the Newport Creamery (Newport and Middletown locations as well as throughout Rhode Island). For those seeking a challenge, the famous Awful Awful Challenge is open to takers anytime: finish two shakes and get the third free! But we warn you, these shakes are hearty; its easier said than done! (oh, and Mondays are buy one, get one Awful Awful day!)
- Tap into your inner creativity at Accidental Artist, a do-it-yourself art studio where kids and adults paint personalized pottery of their choosinga perfect vacation memento. Shelves are lined with white pottery of every shape and size, waiting to be painted and fired in the kiln. Mon - Sat, 12pm - 6pm; Sun, 1pm - 5pm.
- Blow Your Own Glass at Thames Glass, where kids can create ornaments, paper weights, or a vase. Varied design choices are available and instructors will assist you and your family throughout the entire process. Each finished piece is unique, and one will never know what exactly it will look like so each experience offers an element of surprise! Reservations are necessary. Classes begin at 1 pm most afternoons and are not encouraged for children under 7 yrs. Lesson rates include $30 for an ornament (approx. 10-15 minute lesson), $55 for a paperweight (approx 15-20 minute lesson), and $145 for a vase (approx. 30-40 minute lesson). Finished pieces must be picked up two days after being made. Shipping options available.
- Take the kids on a ride they'll never forget in a Scoot Coup, a two-person, small, scooter car with three wheels that goes approximately 25-30 miles per hour (available at Scooter World or Mansion Rentals, both on Thames Street). Drivers licenses are required for the driver.