Free Activities Newport, RI

Things to Do for Free

They say the best things in life are free, and when you look at the abundance of things to do in our destination without opening your wallet, you’ll agree wholeheartedly.

Cliff Walk

Stroll along Cliff Walk’s 3.5 miles where the beauty of Newport’s unspoiled coastline meets the architectural wonders. Along your journey, stop and scan any of the 16 provided trail markers which provide information on the Gilded Age mansions and numerous surrounding geographic and geological features.

Fort Adam's State Park

Whether taking in Mother Nature’s best work by car, bike or on foot, scenic Ocean Drive’s 10 extraordinary miles features parks, beaches, historic estates and Fort Adams State Park.

Prescott Farm

Throughout the summer you’ll find a series of Windmill Wednesdays, family-friendly evenings that include johnnycake tasting, hands-on activities for kids and the opportunity to see inside the 1812 Prescott Farm windmill. Learn about the importance of grist milling on Aquidneck Island and explore how the windmill works. Bring a picnic dinner to enjoy while listening to live music!

Bristol-Warren Art Night

Bristol-Warren Art Night Features artist studio tours and galleries in both charming towns on the last Thursday of every month from 5:30pm-8:30pm. Explore the talents of Rhode Island artisans, craftspeople and performers. Board the Art Night trolley for a guided tour of every stop featured on the event, complete with great entertainment and good company.

Ballard Park

Experience Newport’s first “Green Drive-In:” Movies on the Rock at Ballard Park. Every summer you can see much loved films in Ballard Park’s Quarry Meadow under the stars, reminiscent of the days of the drive-in. Movie goers are invited to bring a blanket or lawn chair and picnic dinner. Not a movie night? Explore the park’s 13 wild acres essentially tucked “behind” legendary Ocean Drive and the five varying trails weaving through serene pastures, rocky outcroppings, native trees, thickly wooded ravines, ponds and small streams. Parts of Ballard Park have spectacular views out to the Atlantic Ocean!

Newport Gallery Night

On the second Thursday of every month, art aficionados of all kinds stroll the streets of our bustling wharves and eclectic neighborhoods to experience Newport Gallery Night. Take in the work featured in 25+ galleries. You’ll experience diverse galleries, museums and cultural institutions displaying art of varying kinds from varying eras.

Jamestown Windmill

Open weekends through mid-October for guided tours from 1-4 p.m., the historic, 225+ year-old Jamestown Windmill welcomes visitors to climb to the top to see the gears that translate the force of the wind into power that ultimately turns the mill stones. Signage and displays funded by a grant from the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities will help guide your trip, explaining the history and the technology of the mill.

Fort Adams

The largest coastal fortification in the United States, historic Fort Adams makes history come alive for visitors. Walk around this engineering and architectural masterpiece to see where the soldiers lived. While you’re there, explore the Bay Walk – the two mile walking and biking path set along Narragansett Bay. Free to explore, fee charged for guided tours.

International Yacht Restoration School

See why Newport is still the sailing capital of the world as you observe tomorrow’s shipwrights in training at theInternational Yacht Restoration School in the heart of downtown. The time-honored craft of wooden boatbuilding is the lifeblood of this internationally recognized experiential learning institution. Coronet, a 153-foot historic yacht built in 1885, is currently under restoration at IYRS.

Newport Art Museum

On “Second Saturdays” of the month, Newport Art Museum (10am - 12pm) offers family-friendly programming specifically designed for children 3-10, but open to all ages.  Enjoy thematic art-making activities, performances, gallery activities and tours for youngsters in the setting of the Museum's historic Griswold House.