10 Things To Do With Kids In Newport, RI

10 Things To Do With Kids In Newport

When it comes to visiting Newport, there is something for everyone. Known as ‘The City by the Sea,’ whether you are visiting Newport for business, a romantic couples getaway or a family vacation, this seaside community will not let you down. From shopping, to sightseeing, to visiting museums to great restaurants – Newport has it all. I have visited Newport many times with my husband alone (we’re regulars at the Firehouse Theater for the Friday night Bits Players show), but we recently took the kids with us for a weekend in this lovely beach resort town.

Before we left, I went armed with a plan. I wanted to make sure that I planned lots of fun activities to keep our family busy while we were there. If you’re planning a trip to Newport with the kiddos, here are some things you may want to check out while you’re there.

1. Tour the Newport Mansions

The Newport Mansions

As you drive down Bellevue Ave, you will pass by some of the extravagant mansions from Newport’s gilded age. While many of these houses are still private property, nine of them are open to the public for guided tours. The stunning “summer cottages” were built by families such as the Vanderbilts and Berwinds, who spent quite a bit of their hard earned money on these fabulous homes that they used only in the summer months every year.

Self guided audio tours are available at The Breakers, Marble House and The Elms and other ones have guided tours. Hours change seasonally, so be sure to check their website for complete information, including ticket prices, before you head out.

2. Walk the walk at the Cliff Walk

newport-cliff-walk

The Cliff Walk is a 3.5 mile path along the gorgeous coastline of Newport. The Cliff Walk runs behind several of the Newport Mansions and it’s an absolutely gorgeous place to go for a walk. We started the walk at the beginning, which was right next to First Beach on Memorial Drive, but you can hop onto the path in a few spots along the way. Most of the path is paved and pretty easy to navigate, but there are some rocky, unpaved sections further along the path. The Cliff Walk is free, but depending on where you park, you may have to pay for a meter.

3. Spend the day at the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

The museum has more than 16,000 objects in its permanent collection that include photographs, tennis equipment, posters and some of the outfits worn by a few of the pros. There are also several interactive displays that the kids (and adults) are sure to like. Oh and be sure to ask for a copy of the Scavenger Hunt at the Admissions Desk – it is a fun way to explore the museum. The International Tennis Hall of Fame is located at 194 Bellevue Avenue in Newport.

4. Tour Fort Adams.

The original fortress was built in 1799, but replaced with the new Fort Adams, which was first garrisoned in August 1841. Fort Adams functioned as an active Army post until 1950 and was active in five major wars (the Mexican-American War, American Civil War, Spanish-American, World War I and World War II). These days, you can tour the fort, see the Quarters where officers and their families lived and even go in some of the underground tunnels. Call ahead or check the website for current hours and prices.

5. Head over to Brenton Point State Park.

brenton point state park RI

Located along Ocean Drive, Brenton Point State Park is where the Narragansett Bay meets the Atlantic. While you are there, you can hike, fish, fly kites, have a picnic, climb the rocks & explore or just look at the amazing view.

6. Go have an Awful Awful (it’s a frappe) at Newport Creamery.

7. Take a trolley tour.

Trolley tour

There are a few options when it comes to trolley tours, but we chose to ride with Viking Trolley Tours. Viking offers a few different tours depending on what you want to see, but we chose to go with Tour 1 – The Scenic Overview Tour. It was a 90 minute narrated tour that took us past over 150 points of interest along Ocean Drive and Bellevue Avenue. Tours leave from the Newport Visitor Center, 23 America’s Cup Avenue (next to the Marriott Hotel) and you can get tickets there or online.

8. Go to the Beach!

easton beach

There are many beaches in Newport. Some are private and some are public, but they all have one thing in common – they are all a great way to spend a day with the family. My family is partial to First Beach (AKA Easton’s Beach) and have been there many, many times. They have a great little Snack Shack with reasonably priced food, a carousel (for a small fee), a playground and you can also visit the Save The Bay Exploration Center (also for a fee) while you are there. It’s actually pretty cool and you can touch the sea creatures that live in the touch tank there.

Plus, the Del’s Frozen Lemonade guy usually pulls his truck up around lunch time, so don’t miss out on a frozen treat after you have your lunch!

9. Visit the Green Animals Topiary Garden.

Ok, so technically this is located in Portsmouth, RI, but it’s a short drive and trust me – it’s worth it. Over looking Narragansett Bay, it is the oldest topiary garden in the US and there you will find over 80 sculptured trees. They have animals such as teddy bears, a camel, a giraffe, an ostrich, an elephant and even a couple of pineapples. Plus there are over 35 flowerbeds, geometric pathways, fruit trees, and vegetable/herb gardens. It’s very cool.

This property is actually run by the Newport Preservation Society, who are the same folks that run the mansion tours, so if you’re planning on visiting more than one of their properties be sure to look into their ticket packages. It will save you a little money.

Green Animals Topiary Garden

10. Go look at books at the Redwood Library, which is the oldest continuously operating library in North America.

These are just a few of the wonderful things that you can do with your family during your visit to Newport. It’s definitely a great family-friendly destination. If you’re wondering where to stay while you’re there, check out my review of the Hotel Viking here.

About Taylor Nikaci

154 comments

  1. Rosey

    I do like the animal topiaries. Those are the first ever I’ve seen that rival Disney’s.

  2. Pam

    They are awesome, aren’t they? I love topiaries but it’s rare to see such good ones.

  3. thedomesticbuzz

    Those topiaries are awesome! I just want to give the bears a big hug!

  4. ctcarra

    I would enjoy going to the sate park & viewing the mansions. Nice list, fun but still relaxing.

  5. tanjtrubiano

    Love the list! Sounds pretty cool and interesting. I like the topiaries and the mansions specifically. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Christy Maurer

    Wow! There sure is a lot to do in Newport! I have never been to RI, but I would love to visit. The mansions seem very fun.

  7. Amy G

    Looks like there’s a lot of fun things to do there. I hope to visit sometime!

  8. Jeannette

    Wow – this looks like a great town to explore with kids! I’ve never been there but my goal is to travel more now that the kids are getting older and I’ll definitely need to visit!

  9. Michelle

    What a cool place! The beach looks so inviting, and the animal topiaries, adorable!

  10. MomMaven

    I’ve never been to Newport, it looks like there is lots to do. The cliff walk looks beautiful.

  11. Michelle F.

    Looks like a fun family place to visit. I would love to ride on one of those trolleys.

  12. Jeanette

    I have never made it out there. I SO want to do that cliff walk and check out those mansion! We will have to make that a destination a goal for travel!

  13. Nicole M Williams

    I would love to dream build by touring the mansions.

  14. Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle

    Thanks for sharing this! I love the entire New England area, but we haven’t had a chance to get up there very much. I’m filing away every article like this I find for our trip (when it finally happnes)

  15. Sandy D. (@dacotahsgirl)

    Looks like fun! Touring the old mansions would be so awesome!

  16. Planet of the Apels

    All those things sound fun! I’d love to visit there. If only it wasn’t so far away.

  17. Nicole Brady

    We’ve never made it that far East but I hope to do it before the kids get too old. I would love to visit the Fort as well as the mansions. So much history!

  18. Alanna

    These sound like such fun activities to do! I would love to take my niece to the Green Animals Topiary Garden!! She would love that!! Awesome post!!

  19. toughcookiemommy

    I think my nine year-old would love the Topiary Garden as well. He enjoys seeing all the birds and plants.

  20. Lisa Nolan at Monkey Star Press

    Love these outing ideas! A mom could do them locally, too! I certainly need ideas for summer!

  21. Elizabeth @ Being MVP

    Looks like so many great things to do. I’d love to visit with the kids one day.

  22. Angelic Sinova

    I would love to tour the Newport Mansions. I love touring old buildings (especially gorgeous mansions that those!) These are some great activities to do with kids <3

  23. Diane and Lisa (@those2girls)

    WOW that looks like some great summer fun!

  24. Bernadette Callahan

    I have never been there, I would LOVE to take the kids up there. My mom had a friend that lives in Block Island but I can not for the life of me remember how to spell her last name and locate her. Looks like alot of fun!

  25. Boho Chic (@TotallyTerris)

    I love traveling and seeing new sites and places, and dressing like a tourist, lol. I would absolutely love to see all of the extravagant mansions. My camera wouldn’t stop clicking I’m sure on any of these suggestions. That Cliff Walk would be a fave with the kids and myself, I love taking them on hikes. Thanks for all of the cool suggestions.

  26. Lyndsey Jones

    This looks like a great place to go have a good time. I like that garden a lot. I think that is neat that they’ve done that.

  27. Kim Delatorre (@shopwithmemama)

    Would LOVE to visit a mansion! How fun is that?

  28. Miranda Myrabev

    It looks like your kids had a good time. I love the different things you mentioned as things to do.

  29. Erin (@SugarCrumbs)

    That looks like a great place to visit! I’ve wanted to visit Rhode Island myself but wasnt sure if the kids would enjoy it. Now I know!

  30. Alicia

    What great things to do there! Wish we lived closer to there to be able to check them out.

  31. The Mad Mommy

    What an amazing place! If I ever make it to Rhode Island, I will have to remember these!

  32. jessicasimms

    These are some great destinations to visit in Newport I think my family would enjoy going to see them.

  33. kristimaloney

    Wow so much to do and we haven’t done any of it! lol I would love to hit the beach, take the 3.5 mile walk and then take the trolley to get an Awful Awful. Love that name!

  34. Heather

    My family would love Newport. Looks like fun!

  35. Ruby Caberte

    My children would love to go places like this. Personally, I like to visit the mansions and the Cliff Walk.

  36. touristmeetstraveler

    I have never been to Newport before, glad to know there are tons of things to do with the kids! Looks like you had a ton of fun.

  37. Jeanine

    Wow it looks like a beautiful place to visit! I also have never had frozen lemonade that sounds amazing! You do so many fun things I want to come visit!

  38. Chubskulit Rose

    Now that is a relaxing garden-zoo display, I love the giraffe one. I admire them for maintaining a beautful place like this.http://www.cottrillseyeview.com/

  39. jasmine

    Beautiful! I wish I lived up there in that area it must be beautiful.

  40. Nicole Lutzy

    Wow there is lots to do! Love the animal shrubs and I love the photo of your boys on the beach – so cute!

  41. SexyMoxieMama

    I have not visited New England. RI looks like a great place to visit. I love the pictures of your kids on the beach.

  42. Jacob Fu

    This looks like such a great time! We’ll definitely have to check these out if we’re in Newport.

  43. Maria

    My kids would love to visit the area. I will have to add it to my must-see list.

  44. satrntgr

    How fun!! I so would love to visit there one day!

  45. coolchillmom

    I hope we can make it to Newport soon. I will want to do all these kid activities!

  46. M from The Stay-at-Home Life

    The mansions and gardens would be right up my alley.

  47. Patty Leonard Woodland

    I chuckled that they called them “cottages.” They are absolutely stunning. I enjoyed my trip to Newport

  48. toughcookiemommy

    I would love to tour the Newport Mansions. I imagine that they are full of beautiful relics and contain a lot of history.

  49. Digna

    The garden is incredible….very nice place to visit. That mansion looks incredible too. Thank you for sharing.

  50. SexyMoxieMama

    This sounds like a great place to visit with kids. Thanks for sharing.

  51. courtneylynne

    Ughhhh dells lemonade! I totally forgot dells even existed until reading this! That is some good stuff!

  52. candyolivares

    wow I’ve never been to newport! Great ideas to visit.

  53. [email protected]

    Sounds like a lot of fun. Glad you got to have such a great family time.

  54. YellowTennessee

    Looks like a ton of great things to do. I love the idea of the cliff walk. I bet that is just beautiful.

  55. Debra

    Those photos make me really want to visit! It looks amazing!

  56. HilLesha

    How gorgeous! I would love to visit Rhode Island someday. Thank you for sharing your experience! This makes me want to visit it even more.

  57. vix parungao

    this looks like a very interesting place to visit with children + you will never run out of interesting stuff to do. i hope i can visit this place one day with my boys!

  58. Michele

    I definitely want to go and spend more then a couple of hours browsing the Green Animals Topiary Garden. It looks so relaxing and peaceful. I am pretty sure I could actually do this as a day trip. If course if I were to go to Newport I would stay for an entire weekend. It has been a long time since I was there.

  59. Stephanie Keeping

    Looks like a dream vacation! I love it when a destination offers something for me and my son!

  60. Mrs. Jilly Fisher

    I would love to tour the mansions and I know my hubby would love the trolley ride!

  61. slysamblogs

    What fun ideas! It is always great to know which activities are good for children. If I visit Newport, RI I will need to keep these in mind.

  62. Our Family World

    My kids would love this fun idea. Looks really so much fun!! I would love to visit in Newport RI with my kids.

  63. Elizabeth O.

    I’ve never been to Newport, but it sounds like a great place to visit. The mansion are amazing, I wonder how they look inside.

  64. Franc Ramon

    It’s so refreshing to be by the coast, the beach and the park especially if it’s this scenic. There are really a lot of places for kids and everyone at Newport.

  65. Lisa Rios

    Great information & sounds like we have lot of fun activities all around Newport. The pictures are beautiful. I love the ideas of spending some valuable time at Beach with my kids.

  66. Rebecca Swenor

    These are awesome things to do with kids in Newport RI. I have never been there but would love to go some day. Touring Fort Adams sound interesting for sure. Thanks for sharing.

  67. Caroline Barnes

    Looks like there are lots of fun things to do in Newport for kids. What a great place to go for a family vacation.

  68. becca112971

    This place looks amazing. I am getting excited to be heading back up north this summer. I haven’t been that way in years.

  69. Dogvills

    Newport RI looks beautiful to visit, my kids would love to go therein Newport RI. I’ll let they know my kids and hubby so we can plan to visit there.

  70. Char

    Great tips! We will be visiting the East coast this summer. May need to swing in and check out some of your tips! Love to explore new places!

  71. Audrey (Trhardmom)

    We have never been to Newport, but are moving up north so we will keep this stuff to do in mind. I love the mansions and the beach! The state park looks like a great to let the kids go and run around! And the Trolley ride looks like a blast!

  72. Bonnie @ wemake7

    We have only driven through Rhode Island but would love to stop now that I see these wonderful things to do. I would love to do that cliff walk.

  73. Lynndee

    I would love to see those mansions and the topiary garden. And perhaps take a trolley tour. That would be fun. Hope we get to visit RI in the future.

  74. lisa

    This is a great list. If I ever get to Newport with my family we will have to check these out. I love the pictures of the mansions!

  75. Lori Felix

    Those topiary gardens and mansions are amazing. I will have to visit them next time I’m on the East coast.

  76. Amy Kelsch

    Lots of wonderful ideas! I would love to tour the Newport mansions.

  77. Kristen from The Road to Domestication

    Looks like a beautiful place! I’d love to see those “summer cottages” in person!

  78. Catherine S

    This looks like a great place to visit with a lot of fun activities. I would love to see the mansion and go on a trolley tour.

  79. Tatanisha Pitts-Worthey

    What a beautiful place. I love the idea that you always travel with the kids, those are moments they will remember forever. The mansion is beautiful too, and those giant hedge!

  80. Jenny Temcio

    I would love to walk the Cliff Walk! It looks like you would see some wonderful views.

  81. Tess

    You go to the most fun places. I need to come that way for an adventure.

  82. Toni | BoulderLocavore

    What a fun place to visit! ‘Summer homes’?! Can’t imagine their main homes. Loved seeing all the waterside options too.

  83. 3sonshaveie

    What a beautiful place. I’d love to visit one day http://www.parentinghealthy.com/

  84. katrinagehman

    that looks like a great time!!! i haven’t been there but my husband has a few times.

  85. MyKidsGuide (@MyKidsGuide)

    I would love to visit NewpORT with the family. The museum sounds very interesting and that small train too

  86. Theresa

    It really looks like such a beautiful place to explore! I am hoping we get to travel the east coast some day!

  87. Angela

    Looks like so much fun! I grew up in Newport, KY- I always hear about Newport, RI-it is great to see all they have to offer!

  88. Amanda

    What fun places to visit. I want to get out of state and find some places like this!

  89. Debbie

    A “summer home”. What a luxury that must have been.

  90. Krystal's Kitsch

    I would love to do that cliff walk. That would be such a peaceful experience!

  91. Chastity Beene

    Newport is on my travel bucket list. Looks so beautiful!

  92. Pam

    Looks like there’s a lot of fun stuff to do there. Everyone loves the beach.

  93. Manuela W.

    I would love to visit Rhode Island one day. We haven’t been there yet but it seems like fun for a trip with the kids.

  94. LifeAsAConvert

    Wow! I want to go just so I can tour those manasions. How gorgeous are they?!?!

  95. Katherine

    If I lived closer I would go just because it looks great for families. I love places like that!

  96. Stefanie

    I’ve never been to Rhode Island, but the North East is beautiful! Love all these ideas for kids.

  97. Stephanie Pass

    This looks like so much fun! My kids would doing all these things.

  98. Debbie Denny

    So many fun things to do.Love the animal topiaries.

  99. Yona Williams

    My sweetie and I love visiting places by the water, and this would make a nice outing. This is on my list of places to go. Touring the mansions sounds like a lot of fun.

  100. Shantha Wetterhan

    I have never been to New Port. But, it looks awesome and I would love to go one day. Those Newport mansions look like plenty of fun.

  101. Melissa Pezza

    We hit Newport every chance we get! It’s such a great place.

  102. Maria @ closetohome

    This looks like a great list for someone visiting your way.

  103. Amber NElson

    Wow, that sounds like such a great place to visit!

  104. Bri

    I would love to go on the cliff walk. The view is so beautiful! I need to travel more.

  105. Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz (@paulabendfeldt)

    Will keep this in mind if we are even in Newport, sounds like there are lot’s of fun things to do for everyone!

  106. Kelly Hutchinson

    I had no idea the scenery in RI was as beautiful as it is. My kids would really get a kick out of the trolley ride. The walk along the cliffs would be a great photo opp.

  107. Travel Blogger

    The Beach, Mansions, Gardens and Trolley would be my favorite things!

  108. Courtney

    I would never have thought of Newport as a vacation destination, but its gorgeous! Definitely on my bucket list!

  109. Marcie W.

    Rhode Island looks like a beautiful vacation destination. I have always wanted to explore the beaches in the New England area.

  110. candice

    newport is one of my favorite day getaways! i’m so lucky to have grown up just a 30 minute car ride away. i can’t wait to get there this summer!

  111. Amy Desrosiers

    I am excited to head Newport this year! My kids would love the Cliff Walk!

  112. brandyellen

    We would love to go to RI some day, I don’t think I have ever gone there. Great ideas and love that they are kid friendly because, well, I usually have my sons so I certainly need something fun and friendly for them!

  113. April G

    I love to take a trolley tour. Sounds family friendly and I know my kids would really enjoy it.

  114. thedomesticbuzz

    Thanks for the virtual tour of Newport. I’d love to visit one day!

  115. Elizabeth Lampman

    It looks like there is a lot for kids to do in Newport. I would love to go and explore Newport on vacation.

  116. tammi

    I have never been to Newport before. It looks like there is plenty to see and do there.

  117. Jaime

    I would love to do all of these. What a great area!

  118. Seattle Travel Blogger

    I would love to our the mansions. It looks quite beautiful.

  119. shaunatorres

    Wow, how fun. I want to visit Bellevue Ave so badly. I love looking at houses and architecture

  120. casavilorainteriors

    there is so much fun stuff to do there. I love to go to local attractions

  121. Ann Bacciaglia

    I love touring old houses so the mansion tours would be my cup of tea. There are a lot of fun things to do in Newport.

  122. loisaltermark

    I haven’t been to Newport in years. This so makes me want to go back!

  123. Lorane Rhoden

    Those Mansions are like Castles! My Goodness they are huge. I would do the Cliff walk .. the view looks breathtaking

  124. leybainpublic

    Awesome todo list! Just in time for the coming summer! Thanks for sharing.

  125. Heather

    this a big surprised for my kids to visit this kind of place.. i love the viewing, ithink there a lot of things to do there..

  126. Kendra Williams

    I’ve never been to Newport, but all of your photos make it look like a good destination spot for our next family vacation.

  127. Autumn @Mamachallenge

    Looks like a great place to visit! I love your photos!

  128. leybainpublic

    Newport is a good place to relax and unwind. Love the beautiful sceneries!

  129. Lisa Nolan at Monkey Star Press

    A fun place to explore! We need to start venturing outdoors soon!

  130. toxict15

    The Topiaries, Frappe and Trollies would be wonderful! What a great trip yall had

  131. Carol Bryant

    Rhode Island is one state I have yet to visit but it is on the must go to list.

  132. Dinner, then Dessert

    It sounds like you and your family had a good time!

  133. Wendy @ ABCs and Garden Peas

    Awful Awful? i’ll take two please! And then a trip to the state park.

  134. Rachel Ferrucci

    We love Newport! I never knew about Green Animals Topiary Garden and need to go there. We also have never been to the library we usually stick with the beaches.

  135. Manu Kalia

    Wow. Brenton Point State Park would be a perfect choice for my kids. The place is beautiful to visit.

  136. tonyacoleman

    I’ve never been to Newport. Looks like a fun and relaxing place to visit!

  137. Ora Lee Gurr

    I love the giraffe hedge. This would be a lovely day to go the beach and have a frozen lemonade. Your pictures of fun things to do with kids in Newport speak a million words, all of them awesome and exciting.

  138. yumeating

    Awesome! I have a fascination for castles and would love to take the castle tour!

  139. way2goodlife

    I would be affraid to tour Mansions with the kids – they are wild, but hiking, eating ice cream, and riding a trolley – that is down our alley. Looks like a great city to visit!

  140. MyKidsGuide (@MyKidsGuide)

    There are lots of things to do at Newport. A walk by the Cliff sounds relaxing

  141. Megan @ C'mon Get Crafty

    There are so many places on the East Coast I want to see – and now I have another!

  142. Shell Things (@shellthings)

    Those animal gardens are really neat! I’d like to do that cliff walk… I think. Maybe if I don’t look down too much!

  143. Emerald

    I’ve never been to Rhode Island but I just love historic towns! This town looks like it has a rich history!

  144. Dina Demarest

    These are fun things that my kids would enjoy. We have never been to RI before so it would be a whole new experience for us.

  145. Paula Schuck

    We visited Rhode Island many years ago and it was lovely. The kids had a great time as well. We would definitely go back.

  146. Kristin

    I would love to tour the fort! That looks so fun!

  147. Stowed Stuff

    Green Animals Topiary Garden is so fun around Halloween time! We go to Newport A LOT in the summer! SO fun!

  148. Carly Brydon Anderson

    It sounds like there are a lot of great things to do in Newport, Rhode Island! My family and I would definitely be checking out the beach first!

  149. Fi Ní Neachtáin

    Oh what a beautiful place! I would love to live around there because there’s so much there for me to do outside with my son. The cliff walk seems fabulous!

  150. traceyzimmer

    These are great activities. I would love to do the trolley tour and cliff walk.

  151. Kiwi

    Going to the beach anywhere for kids is a MUST! Looks like your kids are gonna have an awesome summer!

  152. XmasDolly

    Well, I see smiles all around, so you all must have had some great quality time. It does look pretty wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

  153. Shell Feis

    I would love to go there- I’m landlocked so anywhere with water is perfect for me! I am pretty far from there, though.

  154. censie

    Looks like a great place to visit. I would love to go to the East Coast. On my bucket list.

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