Get Out Of The House!: Field trip ideas for summer vacation

Summer is an exciting time for kids. They get an entire ten weeks of little to no educational responsibilities. While exhilarating for children, it can be taxing for parents trying to plan meaningful activities. Here are some ideas to keep children active while also creating lifelong memories.

Audubon Society protects almost 10,000 acres of wildlife habitat and teaches conservation in ways that should let Rhode Islanders enjoy this land for years to come. They offer public workshops, walks and activities for all. While their headquarters are located in Smithfield and their Nature Center and Aquarium located in Bristol, their website offers trails throughout the state. The Nature Center and Aquarium is situated on 28 acres and features a natural history museum that offers interactive exhibits that explore the wildlife found in RI.
Audubon Society is located at 1401 Hope St in Bristol. Call 401-949-5454 for more information. 

Blackstone Valley Explorer features unique experiences and multiple options to explore Blackstone Valley’s history and beauty. They offer 50-minute Explorer Nature & Heritage Tours (Sundays only), Evening River Cruises (Saturdays only), and 1.5- or 3-hour kayak rentals (open most days during the summer). The tours have educated guides, hands-on biofacts, remote-controlled mini-subs, and activity sheets to keep children engaged.  

Blackstone Valley Explorer is located at 15 Madeira Ave in Central Falls. Call 401-724-2200 for more information.

Pinball is a game that should never grow stale or boring. Electromagnetic Pinball Museum and Restoration introduces kids to the wonderfully fun and frustrating game of pinball, giving parents the chance to relive part of their youth. Their mission is to “foster a love and appreciation for history, science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) through interactive pinball exhibits. They currently have over 60 pinball machines and 30 arcade games, along with other surprises.
Located at 881 Main St in Pawtucket. Call 401-743-8067 for more information. 

Frances Fleet Whale Watch will take a bit of planning and some luck from both Mother Nature and Poseidon to have a nice day and see whales and dolphins in their natural habitat. Leaving out of the Port of Galilee in Narragansett, the Frances Fleet is a 4.5-hour trip with a high probability of seeing Finback whales, as they travel to the warm waters where they feed. There is also a chance of seeing other whales, giant ocean sunfish, sharks, Portuguese men o’ war, loggerhead turtles, and dolphins.
Located at 33 State St in Narragansett. Call 401-783-4988 for more information.

The Sandra Bornstein Holocaust Education Center should be put high on the list due to the importance of the subject. They teach people, especially children, about the Holocaust and the impact that it had (has) on the world. While they do a lot of outreach programs to about 10,000 people a year, they also have a brick-and-mortar space, the Education Center, which includes a library, and a sculpture and memorial garden. The library features several hundred titles, audio and visual material, and poster sets. Their hope is that the memorial garden and sculpture give people a chance to process the information they learn about in the library. Tours are available by appointment.
Located at 401 Elmgrove Ave in Providence. Call 401-453-7860

Legion Bowl and Billiards has been giving the day a third ball with duckpin bowling since 1977. The shorter, thinner, and lighter pins make getting a strike difficult and a perfect game thus far impossible, but it’s a lot of fun to try. Plenty of lanes are available and they offer Rock and Bowl Friday and Saturday nights. With duckpin bowling, billiards, an arcade, and an available menu (and often live music) at the attached Pub on Park, Legion hits all the buttons for a quality field trip.
Located at 655 Park Ave in Cranston. Call 401-781-8888 for more information. 

Downtown Providence has some great spots. It is relatively small and easy to spend a day just walking around viewing the art, culture, and architecture. It’s worth a Google search to personalize local spots downtown worth checking out, but I suggest a picnic at Roger Williams Memorial Park. There is plenty of grass in the four-acre park and a short brick path that offers panels full of information about the life and influence of Roger Williams. One side has the modern downtown while the other has a more historical view of North Main St.
Located at 282 North Main St in Providence. Call 401-521-7266 x207 for more information. 

Sweet Berry Farm is an easy place to spend a day at. The summer picking schedule is pretty full, with at least two fruits to choose from. Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, peaches, and blackberries are all ripe for the picking during the summer months. They also feature a farm market, café, and ice cream to suit all hunger and snacking needs.
Located at 915 Mitchell’s Lane in Middletown. Call 401-847-3912 for more information. 

Opened in 1958, the Tomaquag Museum aims to educate the public about Indigenous history. Open to the public on Wednesdays and Saturdays (other days except Sunday available by appointment), the museum offers drop-ins, private, and a variety of group tours. They aim to teach and promote culture and understanding in a way that broadens perspectives. They feature thousands of cultural objects and hundreds of thousands of archival materials. While they aim to educate about all Indigenous peoples of RI, they highlight the Narragansett tribe.

Located at 390A Summit Rd in Exeter. Call 401-491-9063 for more information. 

Opening July 1, Yawgoo Valley features RI’s only water park. There are two waterslides that empty into a three-foot splash pool, a full-range swimming pool and a small splash pool for younger children. The strength of the water park is the beauty surrounding it. Trees are everywhere, bringing you the comforting feel of nature instead of banal concrete everywhere.
Located at 160 Yawgoo Valley Rd in Exeter. Call 401-294-3802 for more information.