Providence, Rhode Island
Providence, Rhode Island, offers easy options for budget-friendly day trips.
Skating is available seven days a week at the Bank Newport City Center-Providence Rink. City Center Manager Brent Gawrys says it’s one of the few outdoor activities available in Providence during the winter. Admission is $7, as are skate rentals $7. There are also lunchtime specials and college discounts on Wednesday nights.
If you’d rather leave the skating to the professionals, try a Providence Bruins game. They’re the AHL affiliate of the Boston Bruins, and their home games are downtown at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. The team regularly offers giveaways and ticket deals for budget-conscious fans.
When it’s time to eat, Bayberry Beer Hall is highly reviewed on Yelp for its welcoming attitude toward kids. Owner and founder Tom Dennen says he and his wife wanted to create a space where they would feel comfortable bringing their own children, even if they weren’t perfectly behaved. He also describes the food as modern American with many ethnic influences, including German and southeast Asian.
Skiing in Rhode Island
Yawgoo Valley is the only ski resort in Rhode Island. You can spend the day skiing, snowboarding or snowtubing on their different trails and lanes.
Winter Hikes in Rhode Island
Go for a winter hike during vacation week to see the beautiful views Rhode Island has to offer. At the Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge, visitors can explore over three miles of nature trails. The Weetamoo Woods & Pardon Gray Preserve has 750 acres of diverse wildlife. Whether you want to walk or cross-country ski, the Pulaski State Park has 10 miles of beautiful trails near Peck Pond.
Museums in Rhode Island
The Museum of Natural History and Planetarium is Rhode Island's only natural history museum and has scientific and cultural exhibits to explore. The RISD Museum offers art exhibits from diverse cultures from past to present to teach children about the world.
Parents planning quick New England getaways over upcoming school breaks might want to consider Mystic, Connecticut. The quaint shoreline community offers scenic views, charming streets and educational experiences for kids and adults.
Mystic Seaport Museum, for example, has 19 acres of nautical history. Volunteers say that includes a maritime village, a Viking ship and the last wooden whaling ship in the world. Right now, the museum has a special exhibit featuring about 100 watercolors from iconic British artist J.M.W Turner. It’s the only museum in North America to have the exhibit, which closes on Feb. 23.
Mystic Aquarium is another option for families looking to make the most of the day. Staffers say their mission is to inspire people to care for and protect the planet through conservation, education and research. The aquarium is home to a diverse array of animals, including a beluga whale, sea lions, tropical fish and African penguins.
The penguins are available for visits in an “up close” program that gives visitors a chance to take photos with the birds and even help train them. Tracy Camp, the assistant supervisor of penguins, says she hopes encounters like those encourage people to take better care of the environment.
And if you’re looking for a bite to eat, Mystic Pizza prides itself on being a family-friendly restaurant. The pizza shop was made famous by the 1988 movie starring Julia Roberts. The founder’s grandson recommends the house special pizza, loaded with cheese, onions, sausage, meatball and peppers.
Skiing in Connecticut
If you are looking to ski in Connecticut, there are plenty of choices. Powder Ridge Mountain Park & Resort has four different terrain parks to try. Mount Southington offers activities and lessons for children of all ages. At Ski Sundown, families can choose from 70 different ski areas. The Mohawk Mountain Ski Area provides has space for both skiing and snowshoeing.
Winter Hikes in Connecticut
Museums in Connecticut
Connecticut has no shortage of museums.The Wadsworth Antheneum Museum of Art is home to more than 50,000 pieces of art that span 5,000 years. At the Mark Twain House, learn about the history of one a defining cultural figure. The Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center teaches visitors the history of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe.