Soak up the sun in Rhode Island’s Misquamicut Beach, a charming village located just steps from the Atlantic Ocean. The area is replete with family-friendly activities ideal for year-round fun. If your trip falls during the summer, take advantage of the local amusement parks, beach festivals, and special events. In the colder months, enjoy fishing and kayaking on the local waterways. Thanks to the peninsula’s compact size, most local activities are situated within a short bike ride or drive from many vacation rentals in Misquamicut Beach. Check out the top kid-friendly things to do in and around Misquamicut Beach.

1. Head for the Beach

As its name suggests, the highlight of Misquamicut Beach is the beach itself. This wide, sandy strip extends for miles along the Atlantic Ocean, so you never need to go far to find a private spot. Head to Misquamicut State Beach to enjoy white sand and clean restrooms. For a livelier scene, check out Atlantic Beach Park, which features a snack bar and easy access to the restaurants along Atlantic Avenue. Westerly Town Beach offers lifeguard services, as does Wuskenau Town Beach.

2. Take a Thrill Ride

Spend a pleasant summer evening on the carnival rides at Atlantic Beach. Start with the beautiful 1915 Herschell Spillman carousel, which is gentle enough for your smallest child. Then load the entire family on the bumper cars for a fun competition. The park is also home to the only roller coaster in Rhode Island, a child-sized model that offers gentle slopes and easy speeds. Each ride requires a single token, and the counter offers special deals on multi-token packs. The Atlantic Beach rides open in May and close after Columbus Day.

3. Visit a Water Park

Take a break from the ocean with a day at Water Wizz, a water park that sits just down the road from Misquamicut Beach. Head straight for the giant water slides that dominate the park; with their dramatic curves and high-speed design, the slides are fun for adults and kids. For the adrenaline junkies in the family, the Super Speed Slides are a must. When your little ones want to get in on the fun, head to the Little Dipper, which allows kids under 43 inches to slide with an adult.

Find the perfect Misquamicut Beach vacation rental on is the world's #1 vacation rental search engine with over 10 million properties!

4. Paddle Winnapaug Pond

Explore the still waters of Winnapaug Pond by kayak, canoe, or stand-up paddleboard. This large pond sits across Atlantic Avenue from Misquamicut Beach, and the sandy shores make for easy boat launching. Paddle along the outer edges of the pond to look for water birds, or bring your tackle box and fish from your boat. The shallow waters are easy for kids to navigate, but unless you’re an expert paddler, stay away from the strong currents near the Weekapaug Beachway at the eastern end of the pond.

5. Learn to Surf

Thrill your adventure-seeking kids with a surfing lesson in the Atlantic Ocean. Companies such as PaddleSurf RI offer lessons for both children and parents, so the whole family can learn how to ride the waves under the guidance of an experienced surfer. If you’re visiting in the summer, sign up your kids for a drop-in Surf Club session. Once you’re comfortable, you can rent surfboards to practice your new skills in the water. During the high season, reserve your gear in advance to ensure availability.

6. Watch a Movie on the Beach

From May to October, head down to Wuskenau Town Beach on Thursdays and Fridays to watch a drive-in movie. The city hosts a regular schedule of family-oriented movies broadcast on an enormous outdoor screen. Pack your own snacks, or indulge in classic movie theater snacks at the snack bar. The flat admission fee covers everyone in the car, making the movies an affordable evening option for families and large groups. Buy tickets in advance online, and beat the queues by arriving early.

7. Race Hermit Crabs

If you’re visiting Misquamicut Beach in July or August, experience a once-in-a-lifetime event at the Purple Ape hermit crab races. Each Wednesday night, the store hosts this family-friendly event, which features a live DJ and prizes for the winners. Arrive early to register a hermit crab to enter the race, or simply come to cheer on the contestants. Admission to the races is free.

8. Listen to Live Music

Head to the beach in the evening to listen to live music from local and touring groups. On Monday nights, the city of Westerly hosts a free concert series at Westerly Town Beach. Bring something to sit on, or let your kids play in the sand. Another option is Tunes on the Dunes, which features a rotating lineup of bands. In May, catch a variety of performers at the Misquamicut Springfest festival. The beach also hosts scattered events throughout the year; follow the beach’s Facebook page for updates.

9. Explore a Lighthouse

Learn about the life of a lighthouse keeper at the Watch Hill Lighthouse, which sits less than 5 miles from most vacation rentals in Misquamicut Beach. From the beginning of July through Labor Day, you can visit the fascinating Watch Hill Lighthouse Museum to see photos and memorabilia from the facility’s history. The rest of the year, explore the grounds and climb over the rocks near the ocean. After you’re done, walk down to the beach for swimming and beautiful views.

Ready to go? Check out these amazing Misquamicut Beach vacation rentals on