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School is out, and that means the kids (and Mom and Dad) are itching for something to do until class resumes next week. You don’t have to look far for family-friendly, daytime fun in Rhode Island. All of the organizations and businesses here have activities appropriate for a range of ages, and many of them are offering special programs for school vacation week. Be sure to check the websites in advance for information on fees or potential weather closures. And don’t forget your local library — most offer their own lineup of programs during school vacation for younger children and teens.
The Audubon Society of Rhode Island is offering a full lineup of school vacation activities at both the Audubon Nature Center and Aquarium in Bristol and Audubon Powder Mill Ledges Wildlife Refuge in Smithfield. Enjoy a nature walk, learn about maple syrup and meet a live turtle or snake up close. The organization also offers take-home nature crafts and daily animal interviews. Some programs have fees or require Nature Center admission. View a full listing of vacation activities here. asri.org
Providence Children’s Museum
The Providence Children’s Museum is offering extended hours for school vacation week, with two sessions daily from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. through Saturday, February 26. On Tuesday, the museum is hosting a drop-off workshop on scribble-bots. Children ages seven to eleven will have the opportunity to make their own scribbling robots with museum educators. On Thursday, the museum is bringing back its Messy Mornings for toddlers, where kids can have fun making a mess and parents don’t have to worry about cleaning it up. providencechildrensmuseum.org
Providence Children’s Film Festival
The Providence Children’s Film Festival is back with an all-virtual line-up of family-friendly, independent films. Parents can purchase individual tickets or buy a Film Family Fanatic Pass for $75 to unlock ten films. All programs will screen online between February 18 and 27. providencechildrensfilmfestival.org
Roger Williams Park Zoo
Roger Williams Park Zoo is open for extended school vacation hours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Visit all your favorite zoo critters and enjoy half-priced winter admission through February 28. The Carousel Village will also be open on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. Timed entry requirements remain in effect, so be sure to get your tickets early. rwpzoo.org
Museum of Natural History
While you’re in the park, head over to the Museum of Natural History and Planetarium for Adventures in STEM programming from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., February 19 to 25. Activities are free with museum admission and include physics experiments, flight exploration and a special STEM museum quest. At 2 p.m. daily, discover the science of flight through the eyes of a young girl and her grandfather with the Flight Adventures Fulldome Planetarium Show. providenceri.gov/museum
Save the Bay Seal Watch Tours
December through April is the perfect time to spot seals in Narragansett Bay, and Save the Bay is offering an expanded schedule of seal watch tours for school vacation week. Hop aboard one of the organization’s education vessels and cruise through Newport Harbor to observe seals resting on the rocks. Tours depart from downtown Newport, and proceeds help support the organization’s educational programs. savebay.org
R1 Indoor Karting
Kids ages six and older can meet their need for speed at R1 Indoor Karting in Lincoln. Along with go-karts, the venue offers an arcade, ax bar (for the grown-ups) and TimeZone, a time machine-themed gaming experience that will put your skills to the test. Tickets can be purchased online or in person, but reservations are recommended to guarantee a spot. r1indoorkarting.com
Biomes Marine Biology Center
The Biomes Marine Biology Center in North Kingstown bills itself as New England’s only private marine education facility and has the critters to back it up. With over 120 different species on site, kids can pet a shark, meet a tortoise and learn about all manner of aquatic life. Feeding demonstrations happen daily during weekends and school vacations. biomescenter.com
Frosty Drew Observatory
The Frosty Drew Observatory and Sky Theatre in Charlestown is open every Friday night for stargazing, weather permitting. Bundle up to enjoy an up-close look at the moon, stars or whatever happens to be passing by in the night sky. The website is updated every Friday by 3 p.m. with weather information and details on the evening’s plans. frostydrew.org
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