Don't miss out! Get the best events & activities in your inbox weekly...
Submit Event
View Newsletter

Things to do in Providence with Kids

Family adventures about a hour south of BostonThings to do in Providence with Kids
There are lots of things to do in Providence, Rhode Island with kids.  Just an hour south of Boston, Providence makes for a fun day trip from Boston.  Here are some of our favorite Providence adventures and venues to consider exploring:
  1. Roger Williams Park Zoo: This is a popular attraction in Providence and is home to over 100 species of animals. The zoo is spread over 40 acres and has a variety of exhibits, including a giraffe enclosure, a rainforest exhibit, and a farmyard.

  2. Providence Children's Museum: This museum is designed specifically for children and offers a variety of hands-on exhibits and activities. The museum is located in the Jewelry District and is open daily.

  3. WaterFire Providence: This is a popular event that takes place during the summer months in Providence. The event involves lighting over 100 bonfires along the river in downtown Providence, creating a beautiful and unique atmosphere.

  4. RISD Museum: The Rhode Island School of Design Museum is a great place to take kids who are interested in art. The museum has a large collection of art and artifacts from all over the world.

    photo courtesy of RISD

  5. Roger Williams Park: The award-winning Roger Williams Park, designed by Horace Cleveland in 1878, attracts more than 2 million visitors per year. Enjoy a covered Victorian carousel, peaceful botanical gardens, lagoon boating, miles of walking paths, a natural history museum, and of course, the zoo.

    roger-williams-park-providence-bostoncentral-stacey-saophoto credit: BostonCentral
  6. Providence Performing Arts Center: If you have older kids who are interested in theater, consider taking them to the Providence Performing Arts Center. The theater hosts a variety of Broadway shows and other performances throughout the year.

  7. Providence Ghost Tour: For older kids who are interested in history and the paranormal, consider taking them on a Providence Ghost Tour. The tour takes you through some of the city's most haunted locations and includes stories of ghosts and other supernatural phenomena.

  8. Bike the East Bay Bike Path: Rent bikes and take a ride along the scenic East Bay Bike Path. Starting at India Point Park, this 14.5-mile paved trail takes you along the shore of Narragansett Bay, and is a great way to see some of the beautiful scenery around Providence.  There are a number of play areas and ice cream stops along the way.

  9.  Discover a new Donut:  Did you know that Providence-Warwick are has more donut shops per capita than any other metro area in the country?  Head on over to popular shops like  Ma's Donuts, Allies Donuts, Glaze n' Daze, PV Donuts or Knead.  You are bound to find a delicious new donut to enjoy during your visit to Providence.

  10. Burn off those donut calories and  Hike to the highest point in all of  Providence.  Neutaconkanut Hill, is situated amid 88 acres of woodlands in the Northwest corner of the city.  The apex offers fantastic city views with a 1.7-mile loop hike is easily doable for kids and families.

  11. Take a trip to Newport: If you have a full day, consider taking a trip down to Newport, Rhode Island. Newport is about 40 minutes south of Providence and makes for a lovely excursion. This seaside town is home to many historic mansions, beautiful beaches, the Cliff Walk, and other attractions that are great for kids.

We hope that this list provides inspiration to plan an adventure with the kiddos in Providence.  Again, it's only about an hour south of Boston and is a fun way to mix it up and explore a whole new area of the Northeast.

For more ideas about Daytrips from Boston, visit our guide to all sorts of destinations within an hour's drive or ferry ride from Boston.  Of course, Boston is our home base, so be sure to check out our guide to things to do in Boston with kids!  And if you are into savings, our popular Free things to do in Boston guide is one you won't want to miss. 

For an even broader list of ideas, visit our guide featuring Museums in Massachusetts and New England, or sign up for our free weekly events newsletter so you can stay in-the-know about family friendly events & activities happening free near you.


Stacey SaoStacey Sao has been the Managing Director of the family-friendly events and activities website, BostonCentral for over 20 years.  She continues to enjoy discovering and exploring new places to visit in the Greater Boston area and beyond; and shares it with you here.