newport ri visitors guide
newport ri recreation including beaches, surfing, biking and hiking

At first glance, Newport doesn't seem to be a family-friendly place to relax and keep your whole family entertained. After all, mansions and fine dining doesn't fit too well with a small child's idea of a good time. But if you look around, you'll find that Newport is every bit as family-friendly as other destinations. Sparkling beaches with low surf and powdery sand is every kid's dream, and taking the family for a bike ride around Newport and Ocean Drive is just plain fun for everyone. When it comes to special actiivities, we have those too! And when you just want to sit down for a simple meal, Newport has plenty of family dining options from simple pizza and pasta to burgers and chicken for the little ones. These are some of our favorite family-friendly activities for you and your family to explore!

Beaches

There's something about a pail, shovel and a whole lot of sand that keeps kids occupied and happy for hours. Bring some lunch from one of Newport's many sandwich shops and have a picnic day at the beach. Also fun in the spring and fall for collecting extra large clam shells that can be used for arts and crafts.

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Flying Kites at Brenton Point

Ocean Drive has something more to offer visitors than just spectacular views and grand mansions on the water. Because there almost always seems to be a breeze at Brenton Point State Park, it has become a favorite spot for kiteflyers to congregate and fly all types of kites. Large open areas and a stiff breeze means anyone can fly a kite here, and bring food because there are picnic tables and barbecue grates for grilling.

Save The Bay Exploration Center
175 Memorial Boulevard
Easton's Beach
Newport (401)324-6020
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Looking to get a little closer to the local sea life? Head over to this hand's on exhibit at Newport's Easton's Beach. The kids can learn all about the local marine life and even take home an Exploration Center memory from their arts and crafts area. Featuring live exhibits and a touch tank - home to many Bay creatures including sea stars, lobsters, crabs, fish and horseshoe crabs. Weekly-based themes and activities. Open 10-4 daily Memorial Day to Labor Day each year. General Admission - $4, Children under 3: Free

Fort Adams
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Fort Adams is a sweeping expanse of land on the ocean surrounding an old fort built in 1824. A great place for a seaside picnic, some frisbee or any other outdoor activity on grass. SAIL NEWPORT is also located here and offers small sailboats for rent and sailing lessons on Newport harbor.

Norman Bird Sanctuary
583 Third Beach Road
Middletown RI (401)846-2577
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Just behind 2nd and 3rd Beach in Middletown lies a 450-acre wildlife refuge offering over 7 miles of hiking trails. Whether you bring the kids for a serious hike in the forest and up onto Hanging Rock overlooking the beach or just want to walk around, visitors will enjoy this nature preserve. Children will especially like the animals and educational offerings that you'll find in the farm-like setting.

Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge
Middletown, RI
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Adjacent to 2nd Beach in Middletown is a finger of land that juts out into the ocean offering hiking trails, educational programs and plenty of opportunties to see wildlife on its 2.5 mile loop around. See owls, fox, rabbit and shore birds on your walk. Very easy hiking for the whole family.

Ryan Family Amusement Center
266 Thames Street
Newport RI (401)846-5774

If the kids need a video arcade fix, head to Ryan's. In addition, they have games the "older kids" might enjoy, like old-fashioned skeeball.