15 Things To Do With Kids in Newport RI

How To Wear A Tunic Sweater
By Jess
1 Feb 2024
things to do in newport ri with kids
fields at norma bird sanctuary in middletown

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. Needless to say, there are tons of things to do with kids in Newport, RI.

Whether you’re here for a week or visiting for a day trip, there is no shortage of fun. From beaches and parks to local farms and petting zoos, there are tons of things to do with kids in Newport. If you’re looking for more recommendations including dining, lodging, and shopping you can find lots of information here.

15 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 Hamilton Family Aquarium

The Save The Bay Hamilton Family Aquarium (formerly the Exploration Center & Aquarium) is now open in a new location. Located at 23 America’s Cup Ave, 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.

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.

Newport Playgrounds and Parks

If you are looking for easy and free things to do in Newport, RI with kids, there are plenty of playgrounds and parks to choose from during your stay in Newport. Some have been recently updated and renovated, others offer stunning water views, and another is conveniently located across the street from Sweet Berry Farm! Here’s a few parks and playgrounds to check out:

  • Aquidneck Park/The Hut (walking distance to shops/restaurants and the Newport Library)
  • King Park (on the harbor, has a playground and swings)
  • Howland Park (located across from Sweet Berry Farm, playground and swings)
  • Morton Park (recently upgraded, close to food, lots of open space)
  • Turnpike Playground (recently underwent a full renovation for all ages and abilities)
third beach middletown ri
third beach in middletown ri is family friendly

Spend A Day At The Beach

Newport is located on an island, Aquidneck Island, which is surrounded by beaches and shoreline on one side and a harbor on the other. There are plenty of fantastic family friendly beaches to choose from when you’re in Newport. If you like a little surf, check out Second Beach, if you prefer a mellow experience, try Third Beach (non-resident public parking only available at Peabody’s).

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.

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.

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. There’s also plenty of ice cream flavors to choose from and Newport Creamery serves food with a very kid-friendly menu!

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.

Fly a Kite at 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).

Play Games at Ryan’s 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.

Go Berry Picking at Sweet Berry Farm

A short distance from downtown Newport, Sweet Berry Farm 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 for the season 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.

Looking for more ideas and recommendations in Newport, Rhode Island? You might also like 15 Things To Do This Spring, The Best Seafood Resturants with a View, and The Best Kid Friendly Beaches.

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