Cover Story

Small Adventures for February Vacation

There’s plenty to keep the whole family active this month while the kids are home on school vacation

The Bay Magazine ·

Baby it’s cold outside, but there are adventures all around town to cure your cabin fever. No hibernating necessary. From the tiniest of tots to tweens and teens, there are events and activities for the whole family.

Outdoor Explorers
Bundle up and stroll with your kiddos along three miles of trails discovering seasonal wildlife, habitats, plants and stunning views at the Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge. Forgot binoculars? The visitors’ center has you covered with loaners, an ID book and backpack. When the kids are ready to thaw out, head back to the visitors’ center to explore exhibits, take part in a scavenger hunt and chat with the staff. 10am-4pm. 769 Sachuest Point Road, Middletown. 401-847-5511,

Brighten up a winter night as your family strolls through Ballard Park’s 11th Annual Illuminated Garden. Thousands of lights will be displayed at this free event along with unique sculptures designed by local students. Think oversized Lite Brite! February 18-20. 6-9pm. Corner of Hazard and Wickham Roads, Newport. 401-619-3377,

Indoor days are often, but a birding cruise around the shores is just the activity to beat cabin fever. Audubon and Save the Bay educators will be along for the ride with plenty of information to share. Ages 12+. February 28. 10am-12pm. Departs from Bowen’s Ferry Landing Market Square, Newport. Register at

Local farms are a wonderful way to teach children about sustainability and healthy living. Stoney Creek Farm’s year round petting zoo lets kids get up close with furry farm friends and admission is free. Some of the animals you may see roaming are goats, sheep, pigs, mini horses, cows, chickens, rabbits, llamas, mini donkeys and lots of horses. All animals have either been surrendered or rescued and now enjoy life on the farm. Pick up some grass-fed beef and local eggs before you head home. Monday-Sunday. 8am-6pm. 1210 Wilbur Avenue, Swansea. 401-465-4832.

Get Your Craft On
Take your kids back in time to create old-fashioned Valentines, complete with a calligraphy lesson. The Tiverton Four Corners Art Center has the perfect setting inside the historic Soule-Seabury House. February 6. 10am-12pm. 3852 Main Road, Tiverton. 401-624-2600,

Whether your kid’s curiosity draws them to crafting or science, Swansea Mall offers a variety of activities to choose from each month. February fun includes a Valentine frame craft, Mad Science events, Marvels in Motion and Fire and Ice. 262 Swansea Mall Drive, Swansea. 508-679-2543,

The wheels are spinning at Mudstone Studios where aspiring sculptors can perfect their pottery skills. Ceramic sculptor Ellen Blomgren is there to offer professional guidance, if needed. Open to adults, teens and families. Sundays. 1-4pm. 30 Culter Street, Warren. 401-297-9412,

Dip, dabble and paint! The whole family can channel their inner Monet at Weirdgirl Creations Pottery Studio. Create something special for an upcoming birthday, Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. Ideal for all ages. Supplies are non-toxic, water-based and lead-free. Drop in anytime during studio hours. Sunday-Friday 1-5pm; Saturday 11am-5pm. Open 11am-5pm during school vacation week. 33 Kent Street, Barrington. 401-247-1397,

Calling all DIYers! Kids can build and paint their very own Valentine mailbox to hold those sweet little cards from their friends. Home Depot offers free, kid-friendly workshops monthly. February 6. 9am-12pm. 95 Highland Avenue, Seekonk. 508-336-2563

Li’l Bookworms
A quaint and cozy Victorian home is the unique location of the Redwood Children’s Library. Your tiny tots can enjoy storytime, crafts, toys and group activities in one of two rooms dedicated to children. Tuesday, storytime 10:30-11am. Friday, toddler play and learn 10-11:30am. 10 Redwood Street, Newport. 401-847-0292,

Amateur fashion designers’ creative juices can flow as they design their own t-shirt art. The Portsmouth Library provides all supplies, but that favorite plain t-shirt waiting for wearable art is welcome. Grades 5-8. February 16. 3pm. Register at 401-683-9457,

Storytimes are one of the best free “get out the house” activities during the winter months. Westport Library offers a story hour for kids ages 3-5 on Tuesdays at 10am with different themes and crafts each week. For the tiny tots, stop by the lap-sit story time, ages three and under on Wednesdays at 10am. Books, music and puppets are followed by free play. Both require registration. 408 Old County Road, Westport. 508-636-1100,

Read. Craft. Play. The George Hail Free Library will entertain your little ones with weekly story hours that include books, a craft, fingerplay and a short movie. Ages 3-5, Tuesday 10:30am; Age 2, Thursday at 10:30am. No registration required. 530 Main Street, Warren. 401-245-7686,

Looking for a little kiddo book inspiration? Miss Alyisha, over at Barrington Books, hand picks and reads each week for a special children’s story hour on Thursdays with a fun craft to follow. Ideal for ages 2-5, but all are welcome. 10am. 184 County Road, Barrington. 401-245-7925,

Game Time
A spooktacular game of 18 holes at Monster Mini Golf will be an exciting new experience for golf fans both big and small. The monster themed glow in the dark course is challenging enough for big kids, yet colorful and intriguing for the little ones. Open Tuesday-Sunday. 140 Taunton Avenue, Seekonk. 508-336-8004,

Grab an early dinner and then wrap up the weekend with a few games of budget bowling. At $2 a game and $1 shoe rentals, the whole family is sure to have a blast during Bowling Mania. Sunday at 7pm. Bowling Academy. 354 Taunton Avenue, East Providence. 401-434-5839,

With one acre of indoor fun, your kids will have endless hours of play at Fantasyland Family Entertainment Center. Bumper cars, a super slide, road yard, a space train, a carousel and much more will keep your big kids running. Little ones can enjoy the kiddie tent with rides just for their size. Friday 5:30-9pm; Saturday-Sunday 11:30am-8pm. 1300 Fall River Avenue, Seekonk. 508-336-6262,

Little bowlers of all skill levels can enjoy some fun at the family owned and operated, Dudek Bowling Lanes. Bumper bowling and assisted ramps will help the tiny tots roll ‘em straight. Bring in the whole family for $22 per hour for lane games. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, grab a slice of pizza from the snack bar. Sunday-Thursday 9am-10pm; Friday-Saturday 9am-midnight. 409 Child Street, Warren. 401-245-9471,

Family Fun
Aquidneck Growers Winter Market is the perfect place to get kids involved with grocery shopping. Fill up your reusable grocery bags with local produce, meats and homemade goodies for the upcoming week. Now that your shopping is done, check out the fresh baked pastries, cold-pressed, raw juices and locally roasted coffee. Let each child choose a breakfast bite from their favorite vendor. Located inside the cozy Newport Vineyards winery. 9am-1pm. 909 E. Main Road, Middletown. 401-848-5161,

“May the Frost Be With You!” Newport’s Annual Winter Festival features over 150 events that will cure your winter blues. Many of the events are family friendly including, Live Jazz for Kids at Greenvale Vineyards, Children’s Fair, Winter Wonderful Dog Stroll, Beach Polo, Princess Party at Ocean Cliff and tons more. February 12-21. Various Newport County locations. 401-847-7666,

The magic of Mother Goose comes alive at Rosecliff Mansion. Nursery rhymes are told room by room through interactive performances, live music and movement. Mother Goose will captivate your kiddos with classics like Humpty Dumpty and Little Miss Muffet. February 26 at 4pm; February 27 at 3pm; February 28 at 1pm and 3pm. 548 Bellevue Avenue, Newport.

All hands on deck! Report to Battleship Cove where kids can travel back in time by setting foot on historic US Navy ships and PT boats. On February 20, stop by for Pacific Island Day to learn about the PT boats connection to the islands. Kids can make grass skirts, recreate historical photos and other fun activities. Winter hours Friday-Sunday. 9am-4pm. 5 Water Street, Fall River. 508-678-1100,

Run. Jump. Play.
The cold temps aren’t ideal for a family beach days, but Easton’s Beach Bounce gets you pretty close. Kids, ages 2-10, can hop around in a variety of inflatables that will leave them ready for an afternoon nap. Parents, you may be able to sneak one in too! Monday and Friday 10am-5pm; Saturday and Sunday 9-1pm. 175 Memorial Boulevard, Newport. 401-845-5810,

Sip your morning coffee as your kids jump, bounce and fly through the air on Sky Zone’s trampoline playing courts. When that gets old they can dunk at the slam zone and dive into the foam zone. Activities and programs offered daily. Hours vary and they do sell out during holidays and vacation weeks. 70 Pawtucket Avenue, East Providence. 401-383-6000,

Little gymnasts can tumble, roll and jump about during open play at Renaissance Gymnastics Academy. Wobbly walkers up to five years old are able to run about with an instructor present if guidance is needed. Monday-Saturday. 10am-2pm. 887 Waterman Avenue, East Providence. 401-435-0159,

Tumble time for Li’l Rhodies during open play at Envy Gymnastics. Run, jump and play with your little one as they explore and learn. Ages 5 and under. $7/child. $12/family (2 or more kids). Packages available. Friday. 10am-12pm. 935 Main Road, Tiverton. 401-624-1403,

When a damp winter day has you wondering how your kids will make it to dinner without bouncing off the walls, remain calm. WiggleKids comes to the rescue with Wednesday open play and weekly classes that offer plenty of jumping, running and bouncing… thankfully not on your walls. 262 Swansea Mall Drive, Swansea. 508-728-8720,

Hands-On Learning
All things seals… that’s the February theme at Save the Bay Exploration Center where kids will learn all about these cute mammals through crafts, scavenger hunts, storytimes and more. The center will be open during vacation week, February 12-21. Friday-Sunday. 10am-4pm. 175 Memorial Boulevard, Newport. 401-324-6020,

From preschool animal tales to middle school workshops, Audubon Society of Rhode Island offers activities for the whole family. School vacation week, February 15-19, they host nature programs, crafts, stories and animal interviews included in admission. No registration for vacation week. Dates, times and registration vary for other programs. 1401 Hope Street, Bristol. 401-245-7500,

Junior foodies will perfect their palates and sharpen their culinary skills at Newport Cooks’ three-day mini camps. Kids will build confidence in the kitchen as they work together on recipes and taste testing. Varying dates in February. 9:30am-12:30pm. Four week series also offered. 796 Aquidneck Avenue, Middletown. 401-293-0740,

Coggeshall Farm is warming up winter with activities and demonstrations that are not only educational, but interactive. Kids can experience candlemaking, hearthcooking and bread baking while a trip to the blacksmith shop will keep them toasty warm. Farm open Tuesday-Sunday. 10am-4pm. Activity times vary. 1 Colt Drive, Bristol. 401-253-9062,

School’s Out
If variety is what your kids enjoy, the Bayside YMCA has you covered. Their 2016 winter programs will entertain and enrich wobbly walkers, curious toddlers, tweens and teens. Some of the programs offered are family yoga, kids open gym, preschool cooking, art classes, swim lessons, mini kickers soccer and sportsmania. Camp Manitoo is open for school vacation week. Choose select days or the whole week. Open to both members and non-members. 70 West Street, Barrington. 401-245-2444,

Crafts, games, sports and field trips will keep your kids entertained and active when they attend the East Providence Recreation Center’s school vacation camp. Only $10/day per child for members. Youth membership is $25/year and your kids can enjoy the other programs offered year round. Camp ages 6-12. February 16-19. 9am-5pm. 100 Bullocks Point Avenue, East Providence. 401-433-6360,

Curious campers can choose from Art in the Attic or Action: Film Making for Children when they attend one of two vacation camps organized through the Newport Art Museum. The Coleman Center’s attic will open for kids to choose items that can be repurposed into works of art. For the techie kids, learning all about film making using iMovie will teach them the skills to create a three minute film. Camps run February 15-19. 9:30am-12:30pm. 26 Liberty Street, Newport. 401-848-8200,

Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge, Ballard Park’s 11th Annual Illuminated Garden, Ballard Park, Save the Bay, Audubon Society of Rhode Island, Stoney Creek Farm, petting zoo, nature walks, nature cruise, bird watching, The Tiverton Four Corners Art Center, Mudstone Studios, Weirdgirl Creations Pottery Studio, Redwood Children’s Library, The Portsmouth Library, Westport Library, The George Hail Free Library, Barrington Books, Monster Mini Golf, Bowling Mania, Fantasyland Family Entertainment Center, Dudek Bowling Lanes, Aquidneck Growers Winter Market, Newport’s Annual Winter Festival, Rosecliff Mansion, Battleship Cove, Easton’s Beach Bounce, Sky Zone, Renaissance Gymnastics Academy, Renaissance Gymnastics Academy, Envy Gymnastics, WiggleKids, Save the Bay Exploration Center, Audubon Society of Rhode Island, Newport Cooks, Coggeshall Farm, Bayside YMCA, East Providence Recreation Center, Newport Art Museum, the bay magazine, kate sharrow, february vacation, vacation activities, kids activities, family fun, family activities