The lines between Massachusetts and Rhode Island are so fuzzy, sometimes we're not sure which state we're in. Lucky us, because Rhode Island packs giant family fun into a tiny package. Travel less than an hour in any direction, and you're in a completely different world.
We love exploring the parks, beaches, nature centers, museums, places to eat, and other things to do with kids in Rhode Island. As we explore, we'll share our finds with you, so take a look at where we've been and keep checking back for even more great places and family adventures in the Ocean State.
When you live somewhere for over 20 years, it can be easy to lose appreciation for your surroundings. We recently met up with a group of 8th graders from Richmond, VA, who were on a school trip to the Concord area and asked for their impressions as they visited historic sites in town.
Seeing the world from a 12 year old’s eyes can be enlightening!
Plus, we liked their itinerary - it was a good mixture of indoor and outdoor activities and covered many of the key sights for visitors trying to make the most of two days in town. Looking for more things to do in the area? Please see our 20 Things to do in Concord post.
Mommy Poppins Boston and Nantucket Bucket are pleased to offer the third post in a series about things for families to do on Nantucket. Nantucket Bucket is the premier online resource for all things child-friendly on Nantucket - events, activities, camps, classes and more.Happy travels!
Between transportation and accommodations for the traveling family, a trip to Nantucket has most likely exceeded your budget before you have even set foot on the island. Then there’s dining, souvenirs and activities to fill your time. While we cannot help with the fixed costs associated with getting here, we can assist with helping you save money during your stay. We think you will be pleasantly surprised to see just how much a family can do on Nantucket without opening its wallet! Here’s your ACKtivity guide for a weekend on Nantucket that’s fun, family-centric and free!
Kickstart the family weekend with Friday Stargazing at the Maria Mitchell Associations Loines Observatory on Milk Street for a one-of-a-kind celestial tour of Nantucket’s night sky. Open Nights are offered weekly from 9pm-10:30pm and while donations are appreciated, the event is free to the general public. No reservations required!
Saturday morning head downtown to Cambridge Street for the weekly Sustainable Nantucket Farmers and Artisans Market. It’s a feast for the senses with plenty to see, touch, smell, hear (live music) and taste. (Saturdays from 9:00-1:00pm). Next wander over to Children’s Beach for the 10:30 Nantucket Puppet Players puppet show. Their FREE 20-minute skit features songs, jokes and a whole lot of laughter for children of all ages.
Following the performance, make your way back into town to stop by the Nantucket Atheneum where there are always free events for children. From the Dance(sing) program with Marjory Trott to board games for tweens and crafts for teens, there is something for everyone. (Check our calendar for update-to-date programming information.)
Saturday afternoons are great for wandering the docks and shops on Straight Wharf and Old South Wharf. Window-shop at some of the island’s most eclectic boutiques and galleries and admire the boat traffic.
If your family is up for one more ACKtivity, discover hands-on learning at its best over at the Maria Mitchell Association’s Natural Science Museum on the corner of Milk and Vestal Streets (walkable from town). Free admission to the museum gives you access to the Live Animal Room, where you will see native fish, frogs, turtles and snakes. Other exhibits and crafts cover the island’s botany, beaches birds and more. Their team of Naturalists will give you a wonderful, informative tour of the facility, or feel free to wander about at your own pace. (Open Monday-Saturday from 10am-4pm).
Next pick your favorite Nantucket beach, grab some sandwiches from Something Natural and enjoy some family time while frolicking in the surf. (Petite Travelers has all of your beach supplies on hand for sale or rent…and they deliver for free!).
End the weekend with a free outdoor concert at Children’s Beach, which is held from 6pm-7:30pm every Sunday evening. Don’t forget the beach blanket!
All the activities listed above are kid-tested and parent approved, free and open to the public. Here are three suggestions for must-do activities that arenot free but are Nantucket Bucket List worthy (check our previous post for the full list):
If you're on the island for more than a weekend, you might also enjoy some great off-the-beaten-path suggestions.
Nantucket Bucket is the Island’s trusted information hub, bringing awareness to families by sharing up-to-date event and activity information. Kid tested, parent approved activities, camps, classes and more are featured throughout the site. Read firsthand reviews to discover what to do and how to do it. Follow craft bloggers for some great DIY project ideas and inspiration. Your inside guide and more. What’s in your Nantucket Bucket?
Heading to the Cape, Nantucket, or Martha's Vineyard? We've rounded up our Mommy Poppins posts highlighting the best, the most fun, and often the free (or cheap) things to do with kids on Cape Cod and the Islands.
If you don't see your destination here, come back and visit us soon: We will be adding posts featuring our favorite places to hang out with kids on the Cape.
Ever since I first saw the TV show Gilmore Girls, I have been searching for the fictional town of Stars Hollow – the quintessential New England small town, where everyone knows everyone, and you can walk (or bike) to just about anywhere you’d want to go. I had no idea that after years of looking, I would finally find a real-life Stars Hollow on the Lower Cape: Chatham, Massachusetts.
Chatham is a beautiful and enchanting town, rich in history and tradition. One of my favorite things about the place is its walkability. Main Street is bustling with adorable shops and good restaurants, and the beach and parks are just a short distance away. It may not be practical to live in a town like Chatham year round, but for a summer getaway, I daresay it’s the perfect place. (Especially if you've also been searching for Stars Hollow for the past 15 years!) Read on for 25 fun things to do while you’re there this summer. Whether you feel like getting in touch with nature and spending time outdoors, catching a ball game, or having some quiet time in a museum with a life-size Yoda, there's something here for everyone in the family (with a focus on the budget-friendly, of course).
Two of Rhode Island’s East Bay towns, Warren and Bristol, make a perfect day trip or weekend getaway. When we visit them, we feel like we’re worlds away from everyday city life. Classic New England, these neighboring towns have it all: Natural beauty, history, arts, culture, and plenty of activities for families. Looking for great shopping and dining? They have that too. Read on for our top 15 things to do with kids in Bristol and Warren.
Cape Cod has long been one of my family’s favorite vacation destinations. I’ve spent many glorious summer days enjoying all the fun of Wellfleet and the surrounding area of the Outer Cape, but until recently I had never explored the Upper Cape area. Interested in seeing how it compared, we spent a few weeks vacationing in Falmouth on Upper Cape Cod.
Martha's Vineyard is a place out of time. Celebrities, and even presidents, vacation there quietly side by side with ordinary folks. Elegant boutiques huddle next to rusty fish shacks. You won't find water parks or go karts, but there's still plenty to do with kids on this island off the coast of Cape Cod. Many of the highlights of your stay will be the local events that bring the community together. Or you may just choose to enjoy the beaches and lick ice cream from the local ice cream shack. Either way you'll have a great time.
Here are the best things to do on a family vacation on Martha's Vineyard:
We're glad you're here at Mommy Poppins Boston, your free online resource for everything for families and kids in the greater Boston area. We'd love to hear from you with any questions or suggestions! — Tara