Growing up in Newport, Rhode Island as a kid I have many fond memories of summer beach days with my cousins, pond skating in the winter and exploring nature trails in the fall at Norman Bird Sanctuary. The island is a magical place year round and has earned a reputation for being a fantastic travel destination for families. It’s an adventure playground during the summer season and has become a year round destination with festivals, live entertainment and plenty of activities that are fun for kids and families.
With the summer season approaching and travel planning in full swing I wanted to share some fun things to do with kids in Newport whether you’re here for a week or visiting for a day trip. If you’re looking for more recommendations including dining, lodging, shopping and more, check out my comprehensive Newport Guide. It’s the ultimate guide for visiting Newport, Rhode Island with a mobile-ready design that’s easy to use on the go, hundreds of hand-picked recommendations from a local (me!), and it’s updated seasonally so you’ll always have the best tips any time of year.
13 Things To Do with Kids In Newport RI
Stroll the Cliff Walk
Get outside and enjoy the absolutely breathtaking views from Newport’s famous Cliff Walk. Ideal for all ages, there are sections of the Cliff Walk that are stroller friendly, as well as more difficult rocky terrain for older kids and teens. Here’s a map with key information including entry/exit points, facilities, and various points of interest. *Note due to structural damage to a section of the Cliff Walk, detours will be in place between Narragansett Avenue and Webster Street for the foreseeable future.
Save The Bay Exploration Center & Aquarium
The Save The Bay Exploration Center & Aquarium is open again! Located at Easton’s Beach, it’s home to more than 40 species from Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island. A fun experience for kids and families with an up close look at some of the dogfish sharks, urchins, crabs and lobsters, seahorses, turtles, and more. After you check out the aquarium go for a walk on the beach and splash around in the water.
Explore Norman Bird Sanctuary
Norman Bird Sanctuary is a cherished community organization and nonprofit wildlife sanctuary. They have more than 300 acres of diverse habitats and 7 miles of hiking trails. During the summer months they have summer camps for kids, group walks, and more. A great place to bring kids for exploring and discovering the beautiful wildlife on Aquidneck Island. NBS is located in Middletown which is a 5 minute drive from Newport.
International Tennis Hall of Fame
If you’re looking for a family friendly indoor activity check out the International Tennis Hall of Fame. The Tennis Hall of Fame is home to the first US Open Championship held in 1881. The museum is open year round and has various exhibits and galleries. It has several interactive experiences making it a great place for kids. Tickets are available for purchase online.
Watch Sunset At Castle Hill
The Lawn at Castle Hill is a crowd favorite among locals and visitors alike. During the summer months, grab an adirondack chair and enjoy drinks while you watch a stunning sunset with views of Narragansett Bay and the Newport Bridge. There’s plenty of lawn space for kids to run around and play.
Take a Tour At Fort Adams
Visit Fort Adams for a guided or self-guided tour and learn about the history and restoration of the historic fort. Explore beneath the walls of the Fort and underground tunnels and learn about the military culture, architecture and engineering dating back to 1824. There’s also a 2.25 mile walk around the entire park, open year round with views of Narragansett Bay and Newport harbor.
Go For Awful Awfuls at Newport Creamery
A New England tradition, Newport Creamery is known for their “Awful Awful” a thick milkshake that’s been around since the 1940s. Choose from classic flavors like chocolate, vanilla, and coffee or specialty flavors like oreo and chocolate mint chip.
Visit The Newport Mansions
Take a step back in time and visit one of Newport’s historic Gilded Age mansions. Head to Marble House for a self-guided audio tour including an option for the Children’s Tour geared to young visitors under 13. The Breakers is the grandest of Newport’s mansions wkith spectacular views and opulent design. Tickets are available for purchase online.
Green Animals Topiary Garden
Green Animals is the oldest and most northern topiary garden in the United States. It has more than 80 topiaries in the shape of animals and geometric designs, as well as a wide array of flowering bulbs, perennials, annuals and shrubs that bloom colorfully throughout the seasons. A fun outdoor activity with kids and a great place for a picnic. Tickets are available for purchase online.
Breton Point State Park
A beautiful oceanfront, wide open green space with incredible views on the East Coast. A family friendly state park popular for picnics and flying kites in the warmer months. There’s also trails for hiking, picnic tables and restrooms (open May 31-October 31).
Ryans Family Amusements
I have some fond memories of heading to Ryans with my friends as a kid. In the heart of downtown Newport, Ryans Family Amusements is a great rainy day activity. With over 50 games and a prize counter there are tons of fun experiences for kids.
Sweet Berry Farm
A short distance from downtown Newport, Sweet Berry family is a family favorite with freshly grown seasonal fruits and veggies including pick your own blueberries, blackberries and strawberries. The pick your own season starts in June and continues through summer and fall. Sweet Berry has picnic tables to enjoy lunch as well as a farm cafe with lots of options for breakfast and lunch. They also have soft serve ice cream. Sweet Berry opens again in late May.
Simmons Farm Petting Zoo
Open to the public, Simmons Farm Petting Zoo is always a hit with kids of all ages. You can purchase grain-filled cones located near the Farm Stand and see dairy goats, ducks, geese and calves. Simmons Farm is also protected land using organic practices with a 350 year old history.