Kid-Friendly Art Appreciation
Whether you realize it or not, every time you open a book with your kids, or buy them a funky beanbag chair for their bedroom, or pop them in front of Shrek the Musical on netflix while you attempt to shower for the second time that week, you’re exposing them to the world of art and design. With free admission every sunday from 10am-5pm at the RISD Museum, your kids can have a chance to explore the creative galleries while using their Young Explorer’s Guide to useful objects, where they will discover, learn, sketch, take note of and design their own everyday objects in their guidebooks. 20 North Main Street, Providence. 401-454-6500.
Walk With the Animals
Summer isn’t the only time for outdoor activities. At Roger Williams Park Zoo, admission is half price in february (though take note: a family membership typically pays for itself in just two visits), and the kids get to see winter animals in their natural clmates. Just make sure you bundle up - and swap out the ice cream for hot chocolate. 1000 Elmwood Avenue, Providence. 401-785-3510.
Fun for free
Sometimes, it pays to have plastic. For each Bank of America or Merrill Lynch account holder, one admission to four local museums is free the first full weekend of every month, with the Museums on Us program. Enjoy a family outing to The Newport Art Museum, Battleship Cove in Fall River, The Providence Children’s Museum or The RISD Museum and keep arts and culture alive while keeping the cost low.
Little Oms, Big Hearts
There’s nothing that makes you feel more like a badass parent than when your child busts out with a beautifully balanced tree pose while closing his or her eyes and throwing out a couple of namastes. Not because you actually taught them how to be so strong and poised on their feet, but because you can add it to the list of innate talents that “they got from their mother.” Hone their posing skills at The Pennfield School’s Kiddie Yoga, Stories & Crafts program. Offered to non-pennfield children who are tow to four years old, the popular weekly 45-minute class teaches both child and caregiver balance and strength with poses like boat, bumble bee, cat, upside down dog and shooting star (to which they sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star), plus more. The class is followed by a story and craft and a five-week session is only $65. 110 Sandy Point Avenue, Portsmouth. 401-849-4646.
Explore Your Wild Side
Take a journey through nature at the 12th oldest zoo in the country. Buttonwood Park Zoo in new Bedford features over 250 animals and 30 exhibits and has been deemed “one of the finest small zoos in the United States” by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums. from the black bears and bison to the mountain lions and seals, you’ll meet animals from near and far. (Plus, there’s a carousel.) Just a short trip across the bridge and you’ll encounter rare breeds of farm animals at Buttonwood farm. With an admission price of $8 for an adult and $4 for a child, you’ll have enough money to treat your family and support your parenting moment of weakness when you buy them yet another stuffed animal. 425 Hawthorn Street, New Bedford. 508-991-6178.