Historical Attractions in Rhode Island with kids

You’ve heard the saying “History can be fun”…well, we think history IS fun (especially in Rhode Island!)

Rhode Island is filled with history, and what better way to learn about it with children than to experience the many places to visit in The Ocean State  that can actually take you back in time!

Historical attractions come in all shapes and sizes. There are landmarks where iconic events happened. There are homes of historic figures filled with treasures and artifacts from their amazing lives. There are historic buildings whose walls are filled with stories from Rhode Island’s past. 

The best way for kids to learn about history, is to actually visit the places where history happened. It makes sense! Kids can use their imagination as they read and hear all about events, people and places, and feel like they have gone back in time.

There are plenty of things to do with kids in Rhode Island when it comes to history, so what are we waiting for - let’s GO! 

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  • Providence Athenaeum

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    Providence

    The Providence Athenaeum, founded in 1753 as an independent membership library, provides books and other materials to all, of any age, who love reading, appreciate literature, and enjoy cultural ...

  • Smith's Castle

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    North Kingstown

    A step back in time as you experience Rhode Island in the 1600s! A fascinating historical experience for the whole family on your day out together.

  • Historic Fort Adams

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    Newport

    HISTORIC FORT ADAMS is off Harrison Ave. in Fort Adams State Park. Built 1824-57, Fort Adams is one of the largest coastal fortifications in the United States. Guided tours take visitors from the ...

  • Newport Mansions

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    Newport

    Explore 250 years of American history at our 11 historic properties, located on 80 acres of gardens and parks.

  • Coggeshall Farm Museum

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    Bristol

    Is a living history farm depicting Bristol's agrarian life in the year 1799 through live interpretation, historic structures, and heirloom plants and animals.

  • Astors Beechwood Mansion

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    Newport

    Once the summer home of the Astors, this elegant mansion now features living history tours, including Victorian and Roaring Twenties tours, evening performances, seasonal events, and much more.

  • Belcourt Castle

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    Newport

    Take a tour during the day of this elegant castle, with its medieval flavor, or walk among the many spirits of the past during a Ghost Tour, Belcourt Castle offers a unique opportunity to step back ...

  • Museum of Newport History

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    Newport

    The Museum provides the whole family with an engaging introduction to the area's rich history and the beauty of its architecture. One of the many fun family places to go if you're looking for things ...

  • Biomes Marine Biology Center

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    North Kingstown

    Biomes is a privately owned marine science education center focusing on hands-on programs for students and families in Southern New England.

  • Hannaway Blacksmith Shop

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    Lincoln

    Visitors can now experience the ring of the anvil and the odor of coal and hot steel as blacksmiths forge pieces of the metal into hinges, nails, and other household items.

  • Check out other fun things to do below...

  • Providence Childrens Museum

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    Providence

    Kids aged 1 to 11 can play, create AND learn in this hands-on children's museum in Rhode Island! A day out filled with imagination and fun.

  • Herreshoff Marine Museum

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    Bristol

    The Herreshoff Marine Museum and America\'s Cup Hall of Fame are dedicated to the education and inspiration of the public through presentations of the history and innovative work of the Herreshoff ...

  • South County Museum

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    Narragansett

    The mission of the South County Museum is to inspire wonder and a better understanding of the agricultural and rural village life in coastal Rhode Island before the emergence of suburban communities.

  • International Tennis Hall of Fame

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    Newport

    The Museum's galleries chronicle the rich history of tennis through interactive exhibits, dynamic videos, and popular memorabilia from historic champions and the superstars of today.

  • The Museum of Yachting

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    Newport

    The Museum of Yachting is dedicated to preserving the culture of yachting by fostering education and enjoyment of its history through the presentation of vessels, artifacts, literature, events, and ...

  • The National Museum of American Illustration

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    Newport

    The Museum's American Imagist Collection features masterpieces of illustrative art and is the largest such collection in the world. Illustrators combine personal expression with pictorial ...

  • Newport Art Museum

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    Newport

    The Museum's collections and exhibitions focus on the visual arts of Newport and southeastern New England, reflecting both the rich heritage of the past and the lively art scene of the present.

  • The New England Wireless and Steam Museum

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    East Greenwich

    The Museum is an electrical and mechanical engineering museum emphasizing the beginnings of radio and steam power. The museum honors engineers who achieved greatness and served the public good by ...

  • RISD Museum of Art

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    Providence

    A fascinating and educational insight into paintings, sculptures, costume, furniture from all over the world! For those art buffs out there....

  • Museum of Natural History and Planetarium

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    Providence

    Spend the day at Rhode Island’s only natural history museum AND the state’s only public planetarium! A family day out choice since 1896!

  • Slater Mill Museum

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    Pawtucket

    The American Industrial Revolution is brought back to life in this historic Rhode Island museum, with tours through 18th and 19th century buildings!

  • Roger Williams Park Zoo

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    Providence

    Spend the day in one of the oldest zoos in the country, with 130 species of rare and fascinating animals from around the world, including elephants, giraffes, snow leopards, and kangaroos!

  • The Butterfly Zoo

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    Tiverton

    It's all things butterflies at this Rhode Island Butterfly Zoo! A day out with the family surrounded by these fluttering colorful creatures!

  • Water Wizz of Westerly

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    Westerly

    Make a SPLAH at this Rhode Island water park, with giant water slides, tunnels, and spills for all ages!

  • The Old Colony and Newport Scenic Railroad

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    Newport

    Sit Back, relax and enjoy the salt air breeze as you travel along the cozy west shore of Aquidneck island (Newport RI) in an open platform coach built 1904 or an 1884 parlor car.

  • Kidz Kastle

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    Warwick

    5000sq ft of indoor play space for kids with an indoor playground, sports court, tea cup rides, inflatables, playhouses - and a pirate ship!

  • Norman Bird Sanctuary

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    Middletown

    Norman Bird Sanctuary constitutes the largest area of preserved open space in Newport County. A wildlife refuge, NBS encompasses over 300 acres and 7 miles of trails that wind through a diversity of ...

  • Colt State Park

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    Bristol

    464 acres of drives, lawns and stone walls along one of Rhode Island's most incredible shorelines. The "Gem" of the State Parks System!

  • Beavertail State Park

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    Jamestown

    Beavertail State Park, located in Jamestown, Rhode Island, is known for offering some of the most beautiful vistas along the New England coastline.

  • Burlingame State Park

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    Charlestown

    This very popular state recreation area offers 50 fireplaces, toilets, drinking water, a swimming beach and a nearby DEM boat launch for boating and fishing.

  • Fort Wetherill State Park

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    Jamestown

    Fort Wetherill State Park, situated upon 100 foot high granite cliffs across the water from Fort Adams State Park, is a former coastal defense battery and training camp.

  • Goddard Memorial State Park

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    Warwick

    Goddard Park attracts thousands of visitors each year as Rhode Island's most popular Metropolitan Park.

  • Haines Memorial State Park

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    East Providence

    features a handicap accessible boat ramp, restrooms, and game fields which are available for rent.

  • Lincoln Woods State Park

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    Lincoln

    One of Blackstone Valley's great treasures, this popular New England getaway offers swimming, fishing, jogging, horseback riding, and the beach!

  • Misquamicut State Beach

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    Westerly

    One of the state\'s most popular beaches with over a half mile of beach front. There are also many local attractions for children. This modern pavilion includes many new concepts including rails, ...