Top 13 Things To Do This Summer

Summer breezes in and out like a thief in the night, so you’ve got to make the most of each and every fleeting day. From beer gardens in Providence to outdoor concerts on the Newport waterfront, this is the one fun-in-the-sun list you can’t live without.
#1 “I’ve always loved yard sales and flea markets – the thrill of the hunt,” says Providence Flea founder Maria Tocco. After traveling the world and gaining inspiration from Marche Vernaison and the Brooklyn Flea, she decided to rain a little sunshine on Rhode Island via her upscale urban flea market. With food trucks on site, live music and a wide variety of vendors like Recovered Relics and House of Findings, this one’s a no-brainer. “Providence is the perfect location for a flea with all of the creativity, innovation and industriousness,” she says. “It just made sense.” Read about Caitlins Motif visit to this event on page 35 providenceflea.com. Sundays through August 25, 10 am-4 pm. South Water Street (across from the Wild Colonial), Providence.
#2 If you’re looking to get tipsy this summer, Fall River is the place to be. The Tipsy Seagull, everyone’s favorite dock-bar, is open for the season, serving up “Johnny Style” drinks (heavy on the booze, light on the mixer and served in a 16-ounce mason jar) and chilled out live music. “The Tipsy is one of our favorite places to play because although it’s a social atmosphere, the patrons really show an appreciation for the music,” says Jerilyn Karam-Kozak, lead singer of Deja Blue. “The vibe is very laid back and friendly. The folks who run it treat us like family… It feels a lot like we’re entertaining friends at a summer get-together!” One Ferry Street, Fall River, MA. thetipsyseagull.com.
#3 Kick your game up a few notches by impressing that special someone with an afternoon of wine tasting and smooth jazz. Oh yeah. Every Saturday throughout the summer, Portsmouth’s Greenvale Vineyards hosts Jazz Tasting events where you can sample wine by the glass and chill out in the grass. Feel free to bring along some food: chocolate truffles and bacon-wrapped figs are sure to be icing on the cake. $15. 1-4 pm. 847-3777,greenvale.com
#4 Whether you live on the West Side of Providence or not, you’re invited to the West Broadway Neighborhood Association’s 4th Annual Block Party, which is scheduled for June 29. This chill, family-friendly celebration features a great lineup of live music, performances by local artists, food, beer, sangria and a plethora of activities for you, your kids and even your furry four-legged friend. (Yes, your dog. We all know cats can’t be bothered to mingle with neighbors.) You can even screen print your own tee with the help of the folks from RiverzEdge Arts. Free.12-5 pm. Hollywood Road, Providence. wbna.org.
#5 Warren’s Second Story Theatre presents Murder In Rep, two thrillers running concurrently throughout July and August. First up is Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap, featuring Dame Agatha and the eight strangers whom she’s stranded in her isolated, snowed-in guesthouse. The Murder Room is a spoof of crime thrillers with some insanely bright repartee. File this away for a day when you’re nursing a sunburn and need to stay indoors. The Mousetrap runs July 5-August 30. $25. 3 pm, 7 pm & 8 pm show times. The Murder Room runs July 12-September 1. $25. 7 pm & 8 pm show times. 28 Market Street, Warren. 2ndstorytheatre.com.
#6 There’s nothing sexier than a greased up hot rod. The Steel Yard’s 8th Annual Cruise Night promises polished chrome, unbridled horsepower and a chance to do some good. (The event is part of their Works in Progress fundraising event series.) Bring a bib because you’ll be drooling over more than 70 custom and classic cars and motorcycles. You should also take advantage of the studio tours where you can be the first to find out about all the latest course offerings. Food, raffle prizes and music round out the bill. $5. July 12 (rain date July 13), 5-9 pm. The Steel Yard, 27 Sims Avenue, Providence. thesteelyard.org.
#7 Get all of your holiday gift buying out of the way by shopping ‘til you drop at the 51st Annual Wickford Art Festival on July 13 and 14. More than 250 artists come from around the states to hock their paintings, photographs, ceramics, sculptures and other fine arts. Once you’ve had your share of art, cool off with an ice cream on the dock or a cold beer at one of the many air-conditioned eateries. If you’re feeling adventurous, rent a kayak and take it for a spin. Just don’t drink and row. It’s only fun until someone loses an eye. Free. 10 am-6 pm. Wickford Village, North Kingstown. 294-6840, wickfordart.org.
#8 We will all float on at the 35th Annual South County Hot Air Balloon Festival down at the URI Athletic Fields on July 19. Sit back and relax as a parade of rainbow-colored balloons – including the High At Last – decorate the bright blue sky. Bring the kids – there will be carnival rides, games and inflatables for them to jump away their energy upon, plus a car show, animal show, cannon lady and more. It’s the perfect marriage between freak and geek. $10 adults; $5 kids. 6 am-6 pm. 3 Keany Road, Kingston. 789-1120, southcountyballoonfest.com.
#9 Beer, blues and barbeque. Sounds pretty awesome, right? Head to Newport on July 20 for the Newport Blues & BBQ Festival, a pack-on-the-pounds feast for the stomach and ears. You’ll enjoy wolfing down food from BBQ Alley and then washing it down with lots of ice-cold beer. Live blues music from bands including Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes and James Cotton Blues Band will cap off the day. $45 advance; $55 day of. 12 pm. 4 Commercial Wharf, Newport. 846-1600, newportwaterfrontevents.com.
#10 If you haven’t yet cultivated your inner green thumb, just try a different type of garden. Every Thursday afternoon from July through August, downtown Providence is transformed by the Burnside Park Music Series and Beer Garden. It’s the perfect way to spend a lazy day off or to unwind after work. Food trucks are on site and (duh) draft beer is for sale, so be sure to come with cash in hand. Live bands are always diverse, ranging from soul to blues to funk. Check online for an updated schedule or just come every week and be pleasantly surprised. Free. Thursdays, 4:30-7 pm. Kennedy Plaza, Providence. kennedyplaza.org.
#11 Newport Storm is best known for its delicious beer, but they’ve also got a sweet little distillery operation going on. Join Al from the Newport Distilling Co. in Newport at the Hotel Viking’s Top of Newport roof deck bar on July 24 for the Thomas Tew Rum and Cigar Night, your chance to class it up a bit for the evening and rub elbows with people who love to drink and smoke … just like you. If you haven’t yet feasted your tongue on this authentic pot still dark rum (made in a pot to replicate the way it was done in the past), run, don’t walk, to this event. 6-9 pm. One Bellevue Avenue, Newport. 847-3300, newportstorm.com.
#12 Ninigret Park is home to the Annual Charlestown Seafood Festival where you can eat as much seafood, lobsters, steamers, chowder, fish and chips, clam cakes, corn on the cob and raw bar as you (and your stomach) can stand. There will also be other types of food for the picky eaters in the group as well as continuous entertainment and events like rock wall climbing, a car show, amusement rides, bungee jumping, kayaking, children’s shows, a petting zoo and more. $8 adults, free for kids under 10. August 2, 12-11 pm, August 3, 11 am-11 pm, August 4, 11 am-11 pm. Old Post Road/Route 1A, Charlestown. 364-4031, charlestownrichamber.com.
#13 AS220 celebrates its annual Foo Fest fundraiser on August 10 in Providence. “Foo Fest is always an adventure,” says 2013 Artist in Residence Xander Marro. “Last year, I was not expecting to be so incredibly inspired and moved by Guillermo Gomez Pena’s reading or blown away by Big Freida … It’s not just a chance for the city to celebrate art, let loose and see a ton of great performances in one day, but it’s an opportunity to help AS220 do the work it does year round.” 1 pm-1 am. 115 Empire Street, Providence. As220.org/foofest2013.

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