Summer in Rhode Island With the Family

Rhode Island may be our nation’s smallest state, but it definitely packs a punch with fun events and summer activities. With a rugged coastline surrounded by pebble beaches and quaint towns, booming history and modern shops and restaurants lining the streets, Rhode Island is a great setting for family fun and festivities this summer.

Kick off the summer with a visit to Block Island during BIMI Chowda’ Fest, May 27. Supporting the Block Island Maritime Institute, this annual festival is a seafood fan favorite and may even introduce you to your new favorite, Rhode Island clam chowder. Taste test like a pro for $15–25 per person.

As one of the oldest neighborhoods in Rhode Island, Federal Hill is known amongst the locals as a mecca for foodies and international flavor. Plan your family trip for early June as the 19th annual foodie festival, Federal Hill Stroll, hits the streets June 5. Check out the full lineup of local favorites and international-inspired dishes served up at this year’s event. For $30 per person, listen to music, try new food and vote for your favorites.

Stick around a few days longer for the PVD Fest, June 7–10. Check out visual arts and open-air concerts during the music and arts festival. Peruse the public art spaces, marketplace and live music venues before stopping in the bachata dance studio for a quick lesson.

Sailboat Moored Near Lighthouse in Providence Rhode Island

© Alwoodphoto |

Lobster fans should plan a trip Aug. 3–5 for the 34th annual Charlestown Seafood Festival. Bring your appetite (and a bib) and join fellow seafood lovers enjoying all types of fresh fish, clams, oysters and more with a wide variety of games, entertainment and rides — think classic county fair, but with a whole lot of lobster.

While in the area, head over to Westerly, R.I., for River Glow, Aug. 4 — a spin-off inspired by Providence’s own moving art installation, WaterFire. River Glow brings out locals, tourists and performers for live steel drum music and various family-friendly attractions all while floating lights are released onto the Pawcatuck River. Hit the rock wall for a night climb, shop around the market, get your face painted and enjoy the comradery at this beloved community event.