Mansions built in the Guilded Age architectural style, lighthouses, and a yacht-filled harbor are signatures of Newport, Rhode Island. Kids and adults alike will enjoy the classic New England area, which features numerous activity options both on water and land. Many Newport vacation rentals put you in the heart of this charming coastal community. Fall in love with Rhode Island by checking out these kid-friendly activities in Newport.

1. Tour a Mansion

Newport is synonymous with Gilded Age mansions thanks to many wealthy families who were drawn to the area during that era. Several preserved structures are open to visitors and include self-guided tours, audio tours, or guided tours, depending on the location. The Breakers is one popular spot where older kids marvel over all of the over-the-top detailing. An audio tour designed just for kids makes this stop even more appealing.

2. Follow the Cliff Walk

Capture classic Newport views by taking your kids on the Cliff Walk. This public walkway takes you past the mansions of the island while overlooking the eastern shoreline of the area. Kids enjoy spotting wildlife, rocky shores, and native plants. The beautiful walk also takes you along high cliffs for excellent views.

3. Ride a Vintage Carousel

Everyone in the family can enjoy a ride on the vintage carousel at Easton’s Beach. The rare Allan Herschell Company carousel features four rows of horses. It’s still in original condition, making it feel like a nostalgic ride that you can enjoy just as much as the kids.

4. Visit the Aquarium

Save the Bay is an organization working to protect the Narragansett Bay. One of the biggest ways to experience what the organization does is with a visit to the Exploration Center and Aquarium. This interactive facility brings you face-to-face with many species, including seahorses, lobsters, crabs, and any other animals. Kids can feel urchins, skates, spider crabs, and other small aquatic animals in the touch tank area. This Newport stop is appropriate for all ages.

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5. Go for a Boat Ride

Its coastal location makes Newport an ideal spot for cruises and boat rides. Take your pick of themes for the cruise. Options include seal watching, birding, and general cruises around the bay. Kids enjoy spotting animals and seeing the boat skim over the waves. The Newport ferry is another option for a quick boat ride. You can get from your vacation rental in Newport to other fun attractions in the area by water.

6. See Lighthouses

Just like mansions, lighthouses are prominent in this coastal community. Kids enjoy seeing the structure standing high above the shoreline, especially if you live in a landlocked area without lighthouses. Castle Hill Lighthouse is one prominent option. You can park near the lighthouse and follow a path to see it up close. Take a lighthouse boat tour to see more of the structures in the area.

7. Wander Through Animal-Shaped Shrubs

Kids enjoy plants more than ever with a trip to the Green Animals Topiary Garden in nearby Portsmouth. Large shrubs are shaped as a number of different animals, including giraffes, elephants, and bears. Other shrubs take on abstract geometric shapes. This topiary garden is a great way to get some fresh air and exercise while anticipating what leafy animal is up next. Kids of all ages can enjoy the garden. When you return to your vacation rental, you can enjoy its landscaping as you spend more time outdoors.

8. Visit the Beach

Choose one of several Newport beaches to give your kids a chance to run, play in the sand, and splash in the waves. Easton’s Beach is a popular option with plenty of nearby activities. The beach features a snack bar in case your kids get a hungry and a playground if the kids get bored at the beach. Sachuest Beach also has a concession stand. The waves here are bigger, making better for older kids who want to try surfing. Third Beach is a small, quiet beach with calm water, making it ideal for younger kids. Gooseberry Beach also has smaller waves since it’s set back in a cove.

9. Go Horseback Riding

The Newport Equestrian Academy offers horseback ride tours along the beaches of Newport. This is a fun way to see the coastline with your older kids. The tour takes roughly two hours, so make sure your kids can handle the full length of it. Choose from two different tours with amazing views along the way.

10. Play in the Park

Brenton Point State Park is a popular place to play in Newport. You get great views of the Atlantic with plenty of space to hike, fish, and relax. It’s also a popular place to fly kites. The Claire D. McIntosh Wildlife Refuge is another park area ideal for kids to enjoy the nature of Newport. Walk along the boardwalk and check out the education center. Beavertail State Park offers sweeping views of the coastline in another natural park area.

11. Take a Tour

Tour Newport by land with a trip on the Newport Trolley. Kids enjoy a ride on a historic vehicle, which makes the trip even more entertaining. The trolley covers a large part of the city, and it’s a fun way to get to the different attractions in the city. Check to see if there’s a stop near your vacation rental for easy access to other parts of town.

12. Learn to Blow Glass

Thames Glass is a fun little shop where kids can see glass-blowing in action. You can watch the glassblower create a variety of glass item. Older kids can make their own glass ornaments when they participate in glass-blowing at the studio. Whether or not you make your own glass creations, pick out some beautiful glass pieces to brighten up your vacation rental.

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