Jump for Gyms
Your children are going to inevitably, at some point during vacation, attempt a back handspring off an unfortunate couch cushion in your living room. Whether they escape unscathed or destroy your flat screen in the process, their inner desire to perform acrobatics at the most inopportune times should be reason enough to get them over to Prestige Gymnastics Open Gym and Vacation Camp. Trampolines, rings, foam pits, arts and crafts, movies, inflatables and more will keep their energy levels in check and your house (and sanity) in one piece. 1735 GAR Highway, Swansea. 508-379-1019.
Dive Right In
I can’t be the only one who thought I’d grow up to work at Sea World. But, these days, the only marine life studied in this house are the seal-shaped glow pets that keep my kids up late at night. Harness your own kid’s dream with Save the Bay’s Vacation Camp. Students in grades 3-5 will learn how to use scientific instruments, interact with the Bay’s most interesting inhabitants and head out on one of save The Bay’s specialized education/research vessels to observe Narragansett Bay’s own harbor seals in their natural habitat. 100 Save the Bay Drive, Providence. 401-272-3540.
Inquiring Minds Ask the Audobon
Instead of your children asking you no fewer than 54,000 questions before you’ve opened your second eye at 4:36am, plead ignorance and let them take their interrogation to The Audobon Society of Rhode Island at Wacky Wild Science Adventure Week. Each day of the week, they’ll experiment with mysteries like how many drops of water can fit on a penny or how long a hand can be held in icy, snow- filled water. And when they’ve filled their quota of “needing to know everything,” they can enjoy nature crafts, stories and animal interviews. Free with admission. Recommended for ages 6 and up. 1401 Hope Street, Bristol. 401-949-5454.
Hit the Ice... Hopefully Not Painfully
Ice skating with your kids is a great vacation activity for two reasons: it teaches them balance and coordination while having good ‘ole fashioned family fun; it also tires them out so completely that bedtime will arrive an hour earlier. Plus, any time you can justify drinking hot chocolate, everyone’s winning. Sovereign Bank Family Skating Center in Newport offers seasonal celebrations, community partnerships, and nightly skate specials (free on Wednesdays!) and will host the Stop & Shop Healthy Kid Summit on February 18 — an event that features health-inspired activities, kid-friendly snacks, nutritional information and more. All ages can learn to skate at this scenic ocean-side rink.
￼If providence is a closer trek, at The Providence Rink at the Bank of America City Center. Saturday morning lessons (both six-week sessions and drop-ins) as well as private instruction are available at this downtown event-filled winter hotspot. America’s Cup Avenue, Newport. 401-846-3018. 2 Kennedy Plaza, Providence. 401-331-5544.
There’s nothing odd about your children working with paint, clay or ceramic breakables when it’s not on your recently wiped kitchen island counter (or in the general vicinity of your house, altogether). That’s why you should check out Weirdgirl Creations Pottery Studio in Barrington. With hundreds of inexpensive objects to choose from, kids can embrace their creative sides by painting their own pottery or sculpting with clay. Also available are school vacation workshops, summer camps, girl scout/boy scout merit badge workshops, after-school art enrichment programs and even birthday parties. 33 Kent Street, Barrington. 401-247-1397.