9 Rhode Island Music Classes for Babies and Toddlers

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toddler playing with toy xylophone

toddler playing with toy xylophone

Does your child love to dance and groove with the music? Is your baby always bouncing along with the bass line? Do you play Dua Lipa’s Levitating and watch as your toddler performs a near-professional choreographed dance routine? (Okay, maybe that last one is just my kid). The point is, my toddler Izzy loves music. Izzy doesn’t go to daycare, so I’ve had music classes for toddlers and babies on my radar for a while! I’m always looking for ways to add more socialization to her routine.

There are so many benefits to baby and toddler music classes. Besides the social skill-building, your small human will begin to learn basic math concepts like counting to the beat. The Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences studied the effects of exposing babies to music interventions and group classes. The study showed that through a series of music play sessions, overall brain processes and speech improved.

Okay, okay, I’m sold! Not to mention, it gives me a chance to hang out with other parents and caretakers! (Making mom friends is hard!)

Rhode Island is truly blessed with great music classes for babies and toddlers. Here’s a rundown of music classes throughout the state.

Providence – Music For Children

Lindsay Meehan offers a 24-week music curriculum, September – April, with classes divided by age. Classes for children older than three are independent. Three and under, a grownup must attend class with each child. Tuition starts at $460 with sibling discounts. All classes are held on the East Side of Providence. Lindsay offers the option to sample a class. Music for Children draws from the Dalcroze Eurhythmics approach to music learning.

North Kingstown – South County School of Performing Arts

The school offers music, voice, and theatre classes for people of all ages. Baby and Toddler music classes are called “Music For Minis” and are based on Gordon’s Music Learning Theory. Ten-week sessions cost $250 and it seems that they offer other interval sessions throughout the year as well.

Warwick and Providence – Rock-a-Baby

Eight classes cost $200 with sibling discounts available. There is a drop-in rate of $30 per class. Each week has a general theme and infants and toddlers have an opportunity to engage in interactive play with instruments, live and recorded music, and even puppets! Classes are offered in Warwick and Providence. For a more in-depth look at Rock-a-Baby classes, read this review by Jessica Johnson.

Music Together

With more than 3,000 locations in over 40 countries, Music Together is a popular music class catering to babies, toddlers, and their caregivers. Each location is independent (much like a franchise) but the programming and music curriculum are the same. Rhode Island has several Music Together groups:

Cranston – Lori’s Music Together

Full disclosure: This is the class that Izzy and I attend.
Lori teaches eight mixed-age classes (ages 0-5) and one baby class (ages 0-8 months) each week. Classes run out of two locations in the Edgewood and Pawtuxet Village areas in Cranston. Nine-week session classes cost $180 (with sibling discounts). Lori offers flexibility when possible to make up classes due to illness or schedule conflicts.

Providence – East Side Music Together

Ms. Karen teaches nine mixed-age classes (ages 0-5) each week. Classes run out of two locations in the East Side of Providence. Eight-week session classes cost $175. (with sibling discounts and infant siblings under 9 months are free) Ms. Karen offers a trial drop-in rate of $20 per class.

Warren – Music Together – East Bay

For our families looking to stay on the east side of the Washington Bridge, Danni Cauley teaches 10 mixed-age classes (0-5) each week. Classes are in Warren, RI. Ten-week session classes cost $235 (with reduced pricing for additional siblings and infant siblings under 6 months are free)

East Providence – Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School

Another East Bay option is The RI Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School, which offers a wide range of music classes for children of all ages. In terms of music classes for toddlers and babies, they have “Music Together” programming. With eight classes to choose from, the cost of each 10-week session is $195. (with reduced pricing for additional siblings)

Newport – Music Together of Newport County

Christopher and Katherine Carbone offer online and in-person classes. Nine-week sessions starting at $135. I got a little lost on this website (which could be user error!)  Contact the Carbones directly with any questions about the schedule or tuition. Their contact information is on the website.

Virtual classes – Kindermusik

There are many reasons why a virtual music class might be a better fit for you and your baby or toddler. Kindermusik operates on a subscription model at $75/month. There’s an option to try a free class to see if this model works best for your family.

Are you not sure if a music class is a good fit for your little one? Want to dip your toes into music programming before committing financially? Many of the classes listed above offer an option to try a class or an option to drop in for a single class. Another amazing, and often more affordable resource is your local library. Libraries often have music programming for toddlers and babies for free or at reduced costs. Sometimes there is a series of musical storytime sessions, and other times there will be one-off opportunities for toddlers and babies to explore music. I’ve listed the Providence and Cranston Library listings for children’s programming along with the Ocean State Libraries “Library Locator”

Providence Libraries Children’s Programming
Cranston Libraries Children’s Programming
Rhode Island Library Locator

Do you know of another music class for babies and toddlers? Let me know in the comments and I’ll add it to my list!

2024 Guide to Summer Camps in Rhode Island + Beyond

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summer camp kids
Thanks to the partners below for allowing us to bring you this guide. If you are interested in being a part of the guide, please contact [email protected]

Finding the right summer camp for your child can be a daunting task! We’ve created this comprehensive list of summer camps in Rhode Island to help you out!

Moses Brown Summer Camps

Moses Brown has offered rewarding and exciting camp programs for more than 50 years, but each year is a chance to create new memories with different offerings and new friends!  Located in the center of Providence, Moses Brown’s 33-acre campus is a lush and green oasis. Children enjoy the use of all facilities, including the state-of-the-art artificial turf field, soccer field, softball diamond, woodshop, ceramic studio, computer labs, Y-lab, and performance halls. Register for Moses Brown Summer Camp here.

Next Stop BROADWAY® at PPAC

Next Stop BROADWAY® transports theatre-loving youth ages 10-17 to the “Golden Age of Broadway!” Cast members tap their creativity, hone their skills, and cultivate their passions in the collaborative context of the ensemble. This five-day, rigorous immersion culminates in an “Opening Night” performance on PPAC’s historic stage! Next Stop is a full day program (9 AM to 5 PM) with lunch and all supplies included. Financial Aid is available. Designed both for those with and without theatre experience! Dates: July 15-19 and July 22-26, 2024. New for 2024! “NEXT!” is PPAC’s new audition preparation course (August 5-9).

Summer at Gordon

Since 1910, Gordon’s progressive academic program has put children, and their voices, at the center of learning. For nine weeks this summer, we once again look beyond the school year to expand our mission-driven, child-centered programming. The result is a diverse offering of camps that are playful, thoughtful, creative, and fun for children from age three to rising eighth grade. Our nurturing and compassionate staff (including Gordon faculty and alumni) are ready to engage your child, encouraging them to venture safely outside their comfort zone, as they create new memories, forge friendships and explore Gordon’s twelve-acre campus.

Community Boating

One-week, sailing/paddling EcoAdventure summer camps offer long-distance picnic cruises, fun on-the-water games and hands-on environmental lessons. Two-week Sailing Camps use kid-sized boats, fun games, and lots of encouragement in hands-on sailing. After-school, adult classes, sailing parties, facility rentals also available. Age/Restrictions: Age 8-16, no previous experience required. Dates: All sessions June 17 – Aug 16. All camps Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 3:30pm. Cost: $365/ 1-week, $775 2-weeks. Scholarships are available.

Learn more about Community Boating here.

Steve & Kates Camp

Since 1980, Steve & Kate’s has put kids in charge of their own learning experience. Kids choose from a variety of activities in real-time, including sewing, coding, maker crafts, baking, sports, and more! As kids try, fail, and learn on their own, they learn to trust their own judgment, and tackle the challenges of the world with creativity and confidence. Families can buy any number of days, to use at any time–no weekly reservations required. Or, buy a Summer Pass, which covers the whole season. Either way, any unused Passes are automatically refunded at summer’s end. Ages: 5–12 | Lunch, snacks & all hours (8am–6pm) included.

Learn more about Steve & Kates Camp here.

Below you will find a comprehensive list of summer camps in Rhode Island and the surrounding areas.

MB Camps Providence, RI

Gordon School  East Providence, RI

Lincoln School  Providence, RI

Mount St Charles Sports Camp  Woonsocket, RI

Providence Day School Summer Program  East Providence, RI

Peter Pan Surfing Academy South Kingstown, RI

Rhode Island Fencing Academy and Club  East Providence, RI

Rockspot Climbing Summer Camp  Multiple Locations

Rocky Hill School’s Summer Enrichment  East Greenwich, RI

Teamworks Summer Camp  Warwick, RI

The Groden Network Providence, RI

The Autism Project Providence, RI

Camp Starfish Rindge, NH

Camp Ruggles  Chepachet, RI

Camp Phoenix  North Smithfield, RI

Camp Aldersgate  North Scituate, RI

Camp Grovesnor  Saunderstown, Rhode Island

Camp Ramsbottom  Rehoboth, RI

Camp Watchaug Charlestown, RI

Kingston’s Camp on Larkin’s Pond  West Kingston, RI

Camp JORI  Wakefield, RI

Camp Aldersgate  North Scituate, RI

Camp Cedarwood  Barrington, RI

Mother of Hope Camp  Chepachet, RI

AQUIDNECK ISLAND DAY CAMP PORTSMOUTH, RI

St. Michaels County Day School Summer Camp  Newport, RI

Boy Scouts of America Narragansett, RI

Summer J-Camp  Providence, RI

Rocky Hill School’s Summer Enrichment  East Greenwich, RI

Kent County’s Best Summer Camp  Warwick, RI

MB Camps Providence, RI

Gordon School  East Providence, RI

Jamestown Art Center  Jamestown, RI

Lincoln School  Providence, RI

Norman Bird Sanctuary Middletown, RI

Providence Day School Summer Program  East Providence, RI

Rocky Hill School’s Summer Enrichment  East Greenwich, RI

Historic New England Summer Enrichment Multiple Locations

Cranston Parks & Recreation  Cranston, RI

Providence Recreation  Providence, RI 

Camp Aldersgate  North Scituate, RI

CampWatchaug Charlestown, RI

Camp Ramsbottom  Rehoboth, RI

Kingston’s Camp on Larkin’s Pond  West Kingston, RI

Johnston Parks & Recreation Johnston, RI

Slater Park Summer Camp Pawtucket, RI

Historic New England Summer Enrichment Multiple Locations

Camp Invention  Multiple Locations

MB Camps Providence, RI

Providence Day School Summer Program  East Providence, RI

Rocky Hill School’s Summer Enrichment  East Greenwich, RI

Community Boating Center  Narragansett, RI

MB Camps Providence, RI

Girls Summer Leadership Camps  Providence, RI

Gordon School  East Providence, RI

Lincoln School  Providence, RI

Norman Bird Sanctuary Middletown, RI

Providence Day School Summer Program  East Providence, RI

Rocky Hill School’s Summer Enrichment  East Greenwich, RI

Historic New England Summer Enrichment Multiple Locations

Stepping Stone Ranch Summer Camp  Escoheag, RI

Fit2Cook4Kids Providence, RI

Camp Aldersgate  North Scituate, RI

Summer J-Camp  Providence, RI

Camp Cedarwood  Barrington, RI

Mother of Hope Camp  Chepachet, RI

Camp JORI  Wakefield, RI

ECC Summer Camp Programs Pascoag, RI

Jamestown Art Center  Jamestown, RI

Lincoln School  Providence, RI

Mount St Charles Fine Arts Summer Camp  Woonsocket, RI

Providence Day School Summer Program  East Providence, RI

Rhode Island Youth Theater Saunderstown, RI

Rocky Hill School’s Summer Enrichment  East Greenwich, RI

Gordon School  East Providence, RI

Stadium Theatre Summer Vacation Day Camp  Woonsocket, RI

Trinity Rep YASI Providence, RI

Blue Door Art Studio Smithfield, RI

Want to be a part of our Summer Camp Guide?

We want to show our readers all the great camps available right here in the Rhode Island and Southeastern MA area. Join us and help enrich the lives of Providence Moms!

29 Ways to Celebrate Leap Day with Kids

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February 29 calendar blocks
via sofyabolotinaphotos on Canva Pro

We know Leap Year happens every four years, but what is the purpose? We’re breaking it down for you, and sharing 29 ways to celebrate Leap Day with kids!

What & Why? 

In simple terms, a Leap Year is when an extra day, February 29th, is added to the calendar year to keep our seasons aligned. We’re New Englanders, of course we love our four seasons and don’t want them to fall off track. The reason for the seasons is Leap Year – so let’s celebrate and make the most of this extra day!

Celebrate!

  1. Leap into a new book and visit your local library! Browse their selection for Leap Day (or frog themed) books or use this list as inspiration to place a hold on titles you want to bring home to read. 
  2. Create a family time capsule with this template and put it in a safe place to open next Leap Year – 2028!
  3. Grab what is left of last year’s chalk and create a bunch of hopscotch in the driveway for some hopping fun. Do your kids like a challenge? Have them write the hopscotch numbers counting by 2s or 4s! 
  4. Hop on over to Grey Sail Brewing for $5 house drafts 3-8pm and Bingo beginning at 6pm!
  5. Leap into Legos at Providence Brick Exchange during their BOGO sale now thru 2/29!
  6. Use the extra day to do something good:
  7. Collect outgrown or unworn clothing items to donate. 
  8. Make birthday cards for your local nursing home.
  9. Drop off canned goods to your local food pantry.
  10. Visit your local park, with gloves, and pick up litter.
  11. Donate books your family no longer uses.
  12. Book your next birthday party with the help of Shark Bay Play offering $29 off all birthday packages booked by 2/29.
  13. While you’re booking, take a dive over to Great Wolf Lodge website to book your next stay at $29/person using the promo code LEAP.
  14. Take a leap and make a splash! Visit McDermott Pool in Warwick or Tootell Acquatic Center in Kingston during their open family swim times.
  15. Looking to stay on land? Get hopping at one Rhode Island’s trampoline parks – AeroLaunch or Sky Zone.
  16. Play jump rope.
  17. No cooking or dishes? Toad-ally awesome! Check out Mews Tavern 4x$4 deals beginning at 2:29pm.
  18. Leap into a 2/$29 lobster deal at Legal Seafoods.
  19. Go on a post-dinner walk but hop like a frog the whole way!
  20. This is for our Leaplings, those whose birthdays fall on 2/29, visit Build-A-Bear Workshop with birth date verification and receive a $4 Birthday Treat Bear.
  21. We’re going on a … frog hunt! Add some miniature frogs to your Amazon order and hide them for the kids to find. Bonus: opt for glow in the dark frogs and hide at night to get out those last wiggles before bedtime.
  22. Bake cupcakes in honor of those celebrating Leap Day Birthdays – Leaplings!
  23. An extra day to do EXTRA for yourself! Stop by your favorite coffee shop for that fancy coffee, take the long way home, add your favorite ‘saved item’ to cart and click order, sleep in an extra 10 minutes – do whatever extra looks like for you!
  24. Take a leap of faith and try something new as a family – recipe, show or walking trail.
  25. Make plans to leap into the sky at Tree Top or Tree Trails adventure rope courses this spring or summer.
  26. Play leapfrog! Yes parents, this includes you, too!
  27. Donate $29 to a charity close to your heart in honor of the 29th day of February.
  28. Learn something new as a family: Origami – Jumping Frog
  29. Use this extra day on 2/29 to schedule family time each month on your calendar for the rest of the year!

However you spend your extra day this Leap Year, I hope you have a frogtastic time!

An Open Letter to My Sons

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young boys playing with a stick in the woods; An Open Letter to My Sons

young boys playing with a stick in the woods; An Open Letter to My SonsBeing a mother of all boys is a category of Mom-Life that I didn’t exactly sign up for, yet here I am. I didn’t choose the Boy Mom life; the Boy Mom life chose me. After years of mothering my sons, I now wear it like a badge of honor.

Raising boys is exhausting. At the end of each day, I am covered in dirt and possibly snot. I am fluent in the language of potty words, I know every superhero (and their powers), and I’ve made more bowls of backyard soup (extra twigs, please) than I can count.

Like every Mom, I have high hopes for my sons. I have wishes, and I have dreams.

An Open Letter to My Sons: 

My wish for you, my sons, is that you always remember the magic of childhood. Remember believing in faeries and superheroes. Always look to the sky on Christmas Eve, no matter how old you may be. May sunsets always remind you of running in the dew-covered grass. I hope the smell of fresh waffle cones always reminds you of the nights we had ice cream for dinner.

I hope no one ever tells you to “man up” or misleads you to believe that “boys don’t cry.” Always express your emotions; they are nothing to be ashamed of. I will always be your shoulder to cry on and your sounding board in times of distress. Feel your emotions, share them, and never hide from them. Do not let the world define who you are; only you can do that.

I hope that you always remain kind, curious, and humble. Be the first to say ‘hello’ to a new kid in school. Lend a helping hand to those in need. Remember that everyone is different, and embrace those differences. Stick up for what’s right, even if no one else will. Always ask questions. Even if I don’t have the answers, I will help you find them. Be proud of the things you accomplish, but never boastful. Try your hardest without fear of failure, celebrate your accomplishments, and learn from your mistakes. If you struggle, push through, but never be afraid to ask for help. If you fall, I will always dust you off and encourage you to try again.

Always keep growing, always challenge yourself, but never let the world change who you know you are. I will always be your confidant, your best friend, your strongest advocate, and your number-one fan. The stress, the bugs, the fart jokes, the potty words, the messy bedrooms, and the dirt were all worth it. You are the greatest thing I have ever done. You are my very best work. Most of all, I hope you know that it is an honor to be your Mom.

My sons, you are the very best parts of me. 

 

Overnight Road Trips Near Rhode Island

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interior of car shopping gps on mounted cell phone

interior of car shopping gps on mounted cell phoneWhen winter finally rolls out of town (this year around Mother’s Day), my family develops a bit of wanderlust.  After being cooped up like hibernating bears, we enjoy taking an overnight road trip near Rhode Island.  Every year, we take a one-week family vacation, but we are also big fans of overnight excursions.  There are certain criteria – the destination cannot be more than 2 hours away, it has to include a hotel with a pool, and it must have at least two really good activities to do to warrant the overnight.  We are not really beach people, so our list does not include Block Island or the Cape.  I’ve decided to include some places that are family favorites and may not be as well known:

Springfield, MA/Pioneer Valley

Only about 90 minutes from Providence, there’s a lot to do.  The Springfield Museums include an art museum, a natural history museum, and the recently opened Dr. Seuss Museum and Sculpture Garden. For the sports fan, it is the home of the Basketball Hall of Fame.  If you go a bit further to Amherst, you can also visit the Eric Carle Museum.  This is one of our favorite places.  Not only do you get to see storybook art from his books and others, but they also have an interactive art studio, library, and many places for picnicking.  Look Park in Florence, MA, has a lot of outdoor activities, and there is a great college vibe in this area thanks to multiple colleges.

Plymouth, MA

Plimoth Plantation is great for kids of all ages (although I warn you that there is not much shade to be had on a very hot day).  You can take a whale-watching tour from the harbor and visit Plymouth Rock and Mayflower II.  If you have a kid who is into history, they will love it.  We always stay at the John Carver Inn because of the fabulous pool with a water slide.

Berkshires, MA

This pushes the limits of two hours, but it’s worth the extra half hour in the car, and it still counts as an overnight road trip.  We usually stay in either Pittsfield or Lenox.  The Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield is a hidden gem, and we enjoy Hancock Shaker Village, which is similar to Old Sturbridge Village.  For older kids or children interested in art and/or history, there are many historic houses, the Norman Rockwell Museum, and several art museums.  Great Barrington and Lenox have fun downtown areas with many kid-friendly restaurants.  There are also fantastic parks with hiking trails.

North Fork/Eastern, Long Island

I may be a bit biased since I grew up on the Island, but using the car ferry out of New London makes this a reasonably easy weekend destination.  Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead is wonderful, and the Long Island Game Farm, right off the Long Island Expressway, is a zoo with quite a few exotic animals.  Harbes Family Farm, located in the middle of wine country, has many activities, including a barnyard, farm stand, hayrides, and more.

Salem/Gloucester, MA

One word – witches.  If your kid is into all things spooky, this a perfect overnight road trip near Rhode Island.  We did not take my kids until they were a bit older (for fear of needing to provide therapy after), so the scary attractions might need to wait until your child is at least age 7 or 8 (although you have to know your kid). Hammond Castle is modeled after a medieval castle, drawbridge, and all, right near downtown Gloucester.  The downtown areas of both Salem and Gloucester have cute shops, delicious seafood, and an ocean breeze, even on a hot day.  Neither town has a lot of hotels, but nearby Danvers does, and that is where my kids fell in love with Sonic milkshakes.

One of the great things about Rhode Island is that there is so much to do here and many other wonderful things nearby.  This summer, pick a weekend, plan a trip, and show your family how many fun destinations there are right in our own backyard!

 

Motherhood as a Mirror: Our Children As a Reflection of Our Best & Worst

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When your children begin to walk, talk, and grow into their personalities, you get to see little versions of yourself.  It might be one of the most rewarding facets of parenthood.  You and your partner get to pass on your best qualities and behavior, or at least try to.  You pridefully watch them grow in your image, on a solid foundation of your values and beliefs.

But it also means you can pass on some of your less-than-ideal qualities.  Sometimes, looking at your child is like looking into a mirror to see your reflection. Through your children, you sometimes see things you may not like about yourself.  As a parent, you become more aware that not only do you need to teach your children better, but you need to teach yourself too.

For example, when I am upset or angry, I am a classic “door slammer” or, at a minimum, a “shut-doors-and-cabinets-really-fast-and-loudly” person.  I know shutting doors angrily won’t solve any problems.  But I didn’t realize how often I did it or how undesirable it was to display this behavior until my then 5-year-old slammed a door when he was upset.

I’m not saying to beat ourselves up for our mistakes and character flaws.  But we should recognize that through motherhood, you can not only become a better parent with time, but also a better person.  Maybe for you, it’s not door-slamming.  Maybe it’s swearing, how you treated someone, your lack of patience while waiting in line at Target, or the amount of time you spend on your phone. It can be anything you see magnified through the lens of parenting. Let’s face it: It’s a bit uncomfortable to watch your child mimic an undesirable behavior that you know they learned from you.

Motherhood is beautiful and rewarding.  But it’s not always easy, and it’s definitely messy (literally and figuratively).  Being a mom has pushed me toward being a better person.  I am not going to pretend I am perfect.  In the throes of my emotions, I admit I’ve slammed a door in front of my kids since.  But since the first time I realized my son was picking up on this behavior, I take pause when I know I am not acting my best.  It turns into an opportunity to have a frank talk about how I know I can do better and how to admit when I make a mistake.

While we don’t want to see our children take on our flaws, I believe the opportunity to teach your children that no one is perfect is also an important lesson.  Owning mistakes and choosing to learn from them is an equally valuable lesson for children and parents alike.

 

3 Tips to Get Your Kids Outside This Winter

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Toddler in hat and coat with a squeezy bottle of water. Cubes of ice are on the ground among the leaves.
My youngest experiments with freeing frozen treasures from ice at Tinkergarten. Yes, that’s a perineal squirt bottle- we know all the fancy tricks.

Winter with kids can be tough. Here are three tips to get your kids outside this winter!

My first winter as a new mom was the now legendary New England winter of 2014-15. Snowfall records were broken across the region. It was piled so high that walking down the continuously shoveled streets was like walking through tunnels of ice. At the time, my husband was out at work all day with our only car and so if I wanted to get out of my house I had to walk with my then 9-month-old strapped to me in the carrier, the pair of us looking like some kind of abominable snowman, covered in so many layers to keep us both warm. I will never forget the experience of trying to climb over snow stacked high to the curb and slippery sheets of ice, praying that she and I would just stay upright. Our short journey to CVS at the end of the street, or a friend’s house a few away became fully-fledged missions of daring feats.

A snowy street with a car parked between piles of snow that are higher than the car
The snow in Boston in 2014/15 was higher than the fences and  parked cars.
woman walking in the snow with babies hat just visible from carrier in front. Toddler walks behind in full snow gear
I particularly enjoyed (note the sarcasm) this walk on a snowy day after my second was born (she’s strapped to me in the carrier). My then 3-year-old bitterly complained while walking as slowly as possible. I took this photo to remind me that even though it was hard, we did it!

Maybe that experience scarred me, but ever since, and certainly as our family has grown from one to three kids, I’ve found myself becoming more and more reluctant to brave the winter weather. It isn’t just the thought of the cold and the ice that I find off-putting, but even the very idea of trying to get all of us dressed and ready to go out in it. There’s three of everything to wrangle all the layers on before I’ve even thought about myself, and some days it feels like we spend longer putting it all on and taking it all off than we actually spend outside!

But the last two years of covid winters cooped up at home have made me even more determined to change this narrative for me and my family. When we choose to stay inside, we get less exercise, more screen time, and frankly, the inevitable cabin fever makes us ten times more likely to drive each other nuts! On the flip side, experts continually tell us that exposure to nature and the great outdoors has so many benefits in all four seasons.

For children, getting outdoors in the winter is especially important.

girl in snow gear sits in the snow with a bucket full of snow and dolls in the bucket, She holds a bowl of snow and a spoon
Cryogenic experiments with plastic dolls happening just outside our back door. Sometimes the back door is as far as you can make it.

Fresh air and sunlight increase circulation, builds the immune system, contributes to healthy sleep patterns, lowers stress,  provides unique sensory experiences, and offers the opportunity to develop grit and resilience. so, when I feel daunted at the prospect of getting outside during the coldest month, I remind myself that this experience is a gift to me and my family;an investment in my children’s present and future health and well-being.

Of course, that doesn’t mean it won’t be challenging!

Here are three tips that will make it easier to get your kids outside this winter:
Have the right gear:

When you’re not dressed appropriately for the weather it’s tough to feel cheerful in it. This winter I have made sure we have all the right gear to be comfortable outdoors, without breaking the bank. I’ve invested in some cozy base layers, warm joggers and fleeces, snow pants, and thermal insulated jackets. I’ve made sure boots still fit and each of us has a couple of pairs comfortabe of merino wool or thermal socks to wear. I also plan to reorganize my entryway so that coats, gloves, hats, and neck gaiters are easily accessible and ready for us to grab.

For a really excellent and up-to-date guide to winter gear for all ages, and discounts on family-recommended brands, check out this Winter Gear Guide from Tinkergarten. You can also check out their tips on how to get wiggly kids to bundle up for winter.

Have the right mindset:

Our children take their cues from us. If we grumble about the weather and express reluctance to go outside, then it’s not surprising that they will not feel excited about it either. This doesn’t mean we just have to suck it up and get on with it for the sake of our kids, rather, if we try to find things that we enjoy about the winter and lean into them, we can put ourselves in a better mindset for dealing with its challenges. I love this ‘What is Your Winter Mindset?’ post, which encourages us to ask ourselves these honest questions:

  • How do I really feel about this winter?
  • How does that change when I take my parent hat off (if that is even possible 😉)?
  • What is hard about winter where I live?
  • What is really special about winter where I live?
  • What do I feel most excited to do/experience today/this winter?

If we are the kind of people who just prefer to be cozy inside with a cuppa we can still honor that preference. It’s possible to have an even greater appreciation for these rhythms when we come in from the cold. They are something we can look forward to, or even take outside. This winter we’ll be taking a flask of hot tea or cocoa for an outdoor winter tea party!

Have the right community:

Like many things in life, getting outdoors in winter is easier when we do it together. Sometimes meeting others is the motivation we need to do what feels hard by ourselves. Leave yourself plenty of time to get ready and meet another family an outdoor winter play date. Take snacks and perhaps have a simple outdoor activity up your sleeve to kickstart the fun; staying active while you’re outdoors will help keep little ones warm! Tinkergarten has tons of free DIY Activities and also produces a free monthly play calendar with weather-appropriate ideas for every day of the month.

I’ve also found Facebook groups like #OutdoorsAll4 Facebook Group and 1000 Hours Outside truly inspiring as it enables you to connect with thousands of caregivers and educators, who are working to build purposeful outdoor play into their routine in all the seasons, and can help us build upon these three tips to get your kids outside this winter.

Toddler in hat and coat with a squeezy bottle of water. Cubes of ice are on the ground among the leaves.
My youngest experiments with freeing frozen treasures from ice at Tinkergarten. Yes, that’s a perineal squirt bottle- we know all the fancy tricks.

This winter I’m particularly excited to be a Tinkergarten Leader! The curriculum (which is designed to fill your weeks with outdoor pla) is exactly the motivation I need to get my family outdoors regularly, and I can’t wait to explore the wonders of winter with other families in my community. We’ll turn the outdoors into a discovery lab, as we invite kids to wonder, observe, experiment, and work together (and enjoy warm Tinkergarten tea, too!). If it feels hard to do this by yourself, why not come and join us for a weekly class in a beautiful local space? We’d love to see you there!

This winter I will not to let the weather dictate whether I stay indoors or not. We are saying NO to cabin fever! Get your kids outside this winter!

You can learn more about Tinkergarten here

Festivals and Favorites for Winter in Rhode Island

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Rhode Island State House in snow

As moms, it seems like we are always trying to find activities to keep our families busy during the cold months of winter in Rhode Island! We have a few ideas for you to add to your list!

Shop an Indoor Farmer’s Markets

In Lil’ Rhody, cold weather doesn’t have to stop you from getting your farm fresh favorites! These winter markets are packed with local vendors selling everything from baked good & produce to candles & coffee. A great way to get out of the house with something for everyone’s taste. 

South Kingstown Farmer’s Market: URI, West Kingston, RI | Saturdays, 9am-12:30pm, November 4, 2023 – March 30, 2024

Pawtucket Wintertime Farmer’s Market: The Guild, 461 Main St, Pawtucket, RI | Biweekly Fridays, 12-3pm (January, February, March, 2024)


Catch a Hockey Game! Between the Providence Bruins, Friars, Brown, URI, and JWU there are plenty to choose from. And it’s not just for boys either.  Many local colleges have Women’s Ice Hockey teams too, a perfect way to spend the day with that special little girl (or boy) in your life. 


Visit the Annual Newport Winter Festival Ten non-stop days of fun to break you out of those winter blues. This year’s line up includes ice sculpting demonstrations, Teddy Bear Tea, live jazz, Mac & Cheese Smackdown, Beach Polo, a Chili cook off and more.

Newport Winter Festival February 16th-25th, 2024


Check out the Providence Children’s Film Festival This expansive festival takes place at multiple locations and features 140+ films from over 35 different countries, as well as workshops for kids and a Young Film Makers Showcase. Some of the screening are even free! 

Providence Children’s Film Festival February 16th-25th, 2024

Indoor Play in Rhode Island and Beyond

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Full length low angle portrait of happy African-American boy jumping on trampoline in colorful kids play center, copy space

The Ultimate Guide to Indoor Play in Rhode Island and Southeastern MA is here! We have searched high and low to find all of the local spots to play regardless of the weather, and complied them into one huge guide to make it easier for YOU to get the kids out of the house and get them playing! For more ideas check out our Rhode Island Family Rainy Day Guide, head out to a local library, or, for budget friendly options check out one of these 27 local places you can get in free!

Food & FunIndoor play Rhode island fast food playspace

Chuck E. Cheese’s:
650 Bald Hill Rd. Warwick, RI
287 Washington St. South Attleboro, MA

McDonald’s:
721 Taunton Ave. East Providence, RI
531 Pleasant St. Attleboro, MA
444 Washington St. Attleboro, MA
876 Bald Hill Rd. Warwick, RI

Chick-fil-a
1100 Fall River Ave, Seekonk, MA
252 Washington St, South Attleboro, MA
1500 Bald Hill Rd, Warwick, RI
9 Taunton St, Plainville, RI

Dave & Busters
40 Providence Pl, Providence, RI

Knead Doughnuts: 135 Elmgrove Ave, Providence, RI
The east side location features a pretend doughnut shop play area to keep the kids occupied while you sip coffee with a friend. And the doughnuts are killer too, of course.

CinemaWorld Lanes & Games: 622 George Washington Highway, Lincoln, RI
More than a movie theater, CinemaWorld is also a full service restaurant and bar that offers bowling, laser tag, and an arcade.

Breaktime Bowl & Bar, Pawtucket, RI
The only place on this list that is for grown ups only (because we deserve to play too!). Located in Hope Artiste Village, this upscale pub is home to the oldest continually running duckpin bowling alley in New England and serves grub that is leagues beyond your typical bowling alley fair. The perfect low-key date night. 21+

Sports & GamesIndoor Play rhode island sports center playspace

Monster Mini Golf Seekonk, MA 
It’s Halloween at year at this glow-in-the-dark mini golf spot. 

Rock Spot Climbing, Multiple RI Locations
All ages rock climbing. (Yes, they even have toddler classes!) 

United Skates of America, East Providence, RI 
Roller skating is a great indoor activity for the whole family. They even offer training skate rentals for the youngest skaters in your life. 

Battleground Z, Lincoln, RI  
Battleground Z offers a full range of indoor play and sporting actives including things like dodgeball, archery tag, (foam) dart wars, laser wars and more. Something for every age range ages 3 and up.

New England Sports Village, Attleboro, MA 
A large indoor ice rink with public skating hours throughout the week.

Fantasy Land, Seekonk, MA
This family arcade is basically an indoor amusement park with seven full sized rides for kidsto enjoy. (Kids must be 36 inches tall to ride so break out the growth chart before you go.) 

Snapdraggon Baseball, Exeter, RI 
Use those cold and rainy days to work on your swing. Batting cage rentals are available for 60 minute or 30 minuet slots. Book online before you go. 

Ryan Amusements, Newport, RI
This Newport game room has over 50 games, on two floors for kids of all ages. 

Ace Archers, Foxboro, MA
Kids and adults can embrace their inner Robin Hood at this indoor archery range. Ages 8+

R1 Indoor Karting, Lincoln RI 
Indoor Play doesn’t get much better than this. Aspiring NASCAR drivers rejoice! Junior Karting sessions are specifically designed  for ages 6-17. R1 is also home to an all ages “sports bar” with billiards, darts and bowling lanes. (Free shoe rental!)

Cranston Veterans Memorial Ice Rink, Cranston, RI
When it’s a little too wintery outsides this indoor rink is the perfect place to hit the ice. 

Laid Back Fitness, Warwick, RI
This indoor Ninja Warrior style gym has operate open gym hours throughout the week for kids ages 4-10 and for kids ages 11+.

Lazer Gate, Swansea, MA
This place has everything. Laser tag, indoor black lit mini golf, bumper cars and seven indoor bounce houses. 

Mastermind Adventures, Swansea Mall
Next level indoor play. As an alternative to screen time, Mastermind’s board game lounge is free all day Friday to everyone. They also host other various games and activities on Friday & Saturday including a Friday Night Nerf Wars! 

Duckpin Bowling, Various locations
The small ball size makes duckpin bowling perfect for the younger crowd. A couple places to get you started are Town Hall Lanes in  Johnston and Dudek Bowling in  Warren. 

Arts & Science


Thank you to the Children’s Museum for Sponsoring the Arts & Science Section of our Guide to Indoor Play. We love our membership to the Providence Children’s Museum because the kids find something new they love every time they go & we know they are learning valuable skills.


Rhode Island Museum of Science & Art, Providence, RI
The exhibits and experiments at this new RI museum will keep your hands and your mind occupied. Perfect for artists and scientists alike. 

Fab-You-Us Family Fun Center, North Providence, RI
Drop in music, dance, arts, crafts and movement classes for kids and adults with both drop off and stay and play options. 

Museum of Natural History & Planetarium at Roger Williams Park, Providence, RI
In-house scavenger hunt and hands on exhibits will gets keep your kids engaged while they learn.  =

Audubon Nature Center and Aquarium, Bristol, RI
Part natural history museum, part aquarium this educational center has hands on exhibits for kids of all ages  and a designated play area for kids under 6 stocked with books,  puzzles, nature toys and lots more. 

Biomes Marine Biology Center: “New England’s most hands on Aquarium” will hold the attention of the whole family and there is a gated marine life themed  play area for kids ages six and under.

Paint Your Own Ceramics, Various Locations 

Channel that rainy day energy into a work art at one of these studios:

Pea Poddery, Cumberland, RI

Weird Girl Creations Pottery Studio Barrington, RI

Clayground Studio, East Greenwich, RI

Create! Color Art Studio, Naragansett, RI

The mission of Providence Children’s Museum is to inspire and celebrate learning through active play and exploration. The Museum welcomes children and adults of all backgrounds and from all communities by:
-Presenting hands-on, play-based exhibits and programs that explore arts, culture and science, technology, engineering and math.
-Fostering children’s cognitive, social, emotional and physical development.
-Embracing a wide range of abilities, learning styles and forms of creative expression.
-Creating safe and welcoming environments in which visitors and staff share with and learn from one another.
-Being accessible and responsive to all families – culturally, physically and economically.
-Working in partnership with other organizations to meet the needs of children and families.
-Increasing awareness and knowledge of the ways in which children and families learn.

Riddle RoomsRhode Island riddle room indoor play

5Wits, Foxborough, MA
An immersive, adventure experience with variable endings depending on the choices your group makes. Each adventure spans several riddle rooms. A one of a kind experience for the whole family. 

Great Escape, Providence, RI
The in room game master provides personalized guidance and clues if you need it. This Riddle Room is 12+

Escape RI, Providence, RI
Four escape rooms for 2-6 players. 10+

Lock & Clue Escape Room, Pawtucket, RI
The only local escape room with an experience especially designed for kids!  The “Zany Zoo” is “especially made for younger escape enthusiasts in training aged 7-11.” All rooms are private rooms. 7+

RI Riddle Room
Kids as young as seven may participate, but the game themes may be too mature for many young kids. 7+

All in Adventures Emerald Square Mall, North Attleboro, MA
Nine rooms of various difficulty levels and maturity levels. All ages welcome. 

Trampoline Parks & Bounce Houses
Rhode Island Trampoline ParkTrampoline Parks:

Skyzone, East Providence, RI
Altitude Tampoline Park, North Attleboro, MA
Launch Trampoline Park, Warwick, RI
Aero Trampoline Park, Woonsocket, RI
Fun City Trampoline Park, Seekonk, MA

Bounce Houses:

Bounce! Emerald Square Mall, North Attleboro, MA
Bounce U, Warwick, RI
Monkey Joes, North Attleboro, MA
Forekicks, Taunton, MA

Play Centers & Open Gyms

Renaissance Gym: East Providence, RI
Open gym hours all week long for walking children under the age of 5.  

Playdate: Seekonk, MA 
Enjoy a cup of coffee while your kids enjoy a creative, active play environment designed for kids ages 0-6.

Emerald Square Mall Play Area: North Attleborough, MA
If you need to get some shopping don  and have little ones in tow head over to Emerald Square mall and take advantage of their free play area  for littles. 

Little Seeds: Plainville, MA
In addition to a variety of themed areas for kids to play there is lots of seating, free WiFi, a self-serve coffee and tea bar, changing tables in both bathrooms, and a rocking chair in the “little woodland” area.

Providence  Children’s  Museum: Providence, RI 
Burn some energy while you learn through play. Featuring something for kids fo all ages. There is even a Littlewoods section that  is designated for kids under the age of four. 

The Children’s Museum of Greater Fall River: Fall River, MA
This place is loaded with fun activities from climbing, to legos. Even the hallways are lined with things to do and explore. 

Impossible Dream: Warwick, RI
The  Inside Out Playground at Impossible Dream  is open January -March and perfect for kids of all ability levels. 

Bellani Maternity, Warwick, RI
In addition to the variety of classes Bellani offers for the preschool and younger crowd, they also have open gym hours several times a week for active kiddos ages six months to three years

Wiggle Kids, Swansea Mall, MA
Inclusive fitness classes for all ages & abilities. All classes are on a drop in basis, pay one price and take as many class you want that day! 

We’d love to hear about your favorite place for Indoor Play in Rhode Island! Comment if we missed a spot!

Best Sledding in Rhode Island

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Father and daughters playing in snow sledding, New England, US

With snow on the horizon it’s time to talk sledding! There is nothing more quintessentially winter than sledding. Dust off your snow pants and check out one of these local favorite spots for Sledding in Rhode Island.

Please use common sense by choosing an area free of trees and other obstacles to keep everyone safe with you enjoy your snow day. For more info on sledding safely, check out these tips  from Kids Health.

Colt State Park, Route 114, Bristol

Colt State Park is right on the water, so be prepared for cold. But there is plenty of parking, gazebos for cover & ample options.

Chase Farm, 669 Great Rd., Lincoln

Diamond Hill Park, 4300 Diamond Hill Rd, Cumberland

Diamond Hill used to be a small ski resort, so the sledding is top-notch with some trails that are several miles long. Pack a thermos and snacks, the kids won’t want to leave!

India Point Park, 201 India St, Providence

Bundle up, it will be cold by the water, but the sledding is great and it’s just a short trip into Providence to grab some Hot Cocoa to warm up!

Roger Williams Park, 1000 Elmwood Ave, Providence

There are hills galore of various sizes at Roger Williams Park. Bonus! If the kids get too cold you can head over to the Botanical Center or the Rainforest Exhibit at the Zoo to warm up.

Fort Adams State Park, 80 Fort Adams Dr, Newport

Fort Adams is great to visit anytime of the year, but covered in snow it’s even more beautiful. With lots of parking, plenty of history, and close proximity to lots of great Newport lunch options this would make a great family excursion the day after a storm.

Johnston War Memorial Park, 1583 Hartford Ave, Johnston

Great hills behind the softball fields and easy parking!

RI Country Club, Barrington, 150 Nayatt Rd, Barrington

The Country club is a great choice for older kids who want big hills, but there are also some great smaller hills for the younger set.

Neutaconkanut Hill Conservancy, Legion Memorial Dr, Providence

This popular sledding spot is a great place for hiking & they even offer guided hikes in the winter. Follow them on Facebook for details.

Capron Park & Zoo, 201 County St, Attleboro, MA

Just over the border in Attleboro, Capron Park Zoo has some great sledding spots, ample parking & popcorn in the Zoo’s gift shop!

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