Flying Horse Carousel in Watch Hill

Madeline joins the riders on the Flying Horse Carousel in Watch Hill.

There are a handful of things that Rhode Island can claim to be the “oldest in America” — such as the oldest synagogue and the oldest lending library. Apparently, we also have the oldest carousel.

The Flying Horse Carousel in Watch Hill originated in 1876 and is named for the fact that its 20 horses are not attached to the floor but remain suspended from a center frame, swinging out or “flying” when in motion. There is an age limit — no one over 12-years-old may ride, and I particularly liked the sign recommending you re-consider if you are over 100 lbs or over 5 feet tall. Rides are $1 for an inside horse and $1.50 for an outside horse.

The Easton's Beach carousel makes for a great rainy day activity.

Madeline chose an inside horse, and after two rides appeared sufficiently mesmerized so I figured she’d had enough. Our next stop will be either the Crescent Park Carousel in East Providence or the Slater Memorial Park Carousel in Pawtucket…

Carousels in Rhode Island

Flying Horse Carousel
Westerly, RI

Atlantic Beach Carousel
Westerly, RI

Easton’s Beach Carousel
Newport, RI

Carousel Village, Roger Williams Park
Providence, RI

Crescent Park Carousel
East Providence, RI

Slater Memorial Park Carousel
Pawtucket, RI

For more information on Rhode Island carousels, see or KidoInfo’s list.

Providence Juice Company: Blackberry and Lavender Lemonade

The Providence Juice Company truck parked at Lippitt Park in Providence.

In the heat of the summer (which surely this is), there’s nothing quite like a glass of lemonade. Make that an iridescent, organic blackberry and lavender-infused lemonade from the Providence Juice Company’s juice truck. Since their Kickstarter campaign last year, the truck has made a success of serving up fresh smoothies and juices at the local farmers’ markets.

Blackberry and lavender infused lemonade.

As it turns out lemonade stands aren’t just for enterprising children…

Providence Juice Company

Providence / Lippitt Park Farmers Market

Rhode Island’s First Pinkberry

My Pinkberry choice: watermelon yogurt with raspberries, chocolate chips and a waffle cookie.

As I make my way from frozen yogurt to frozen yogurt, I have had one thing on my mind: Pinkberry. Still it took me five days to discover that Rhode Island now has its own Pinkberry at Garden City Center in Cranston. Within 24 hours of this discovery, Madeline, Lucy and I were there in a line full of mostly young females awaiting their sweet fix.

Since they didn’t have my usual flavor, pomegranate, I opted for watermelon. As it turns out, the two taste so similar that I’m not sure I would be able to distinguish between them, which is surprising since I can taste the difference between colors of SweeTarts (just ask Geoff). Lucy mooched mine (how old should babies be to eat frozen yogurt?), while Madeline chose a mini chocolate yogurt with raspberries and waffle cookie. They also offer original, mango, coconut, and salty caramel flavors topped with your choice of fruit, candy and nuts.

Although I usually root for the mom-and-pop over the corporate franchise, I am a sucker for Pinkberry. And seeing how many others apparently feel the same, I predict this to be not the only Pinkberry in Rhode Island, but simply the first.

Garden City Center
53 Hillside Rd
Cranston, RI

Wrights Dairy Farm: Cows, Cake and Coffee Milk

See the cows being milked, then enjoy some of that milk (plain, chocolate or coffee milk) at one of their picnic tables.

This may seem strange, but I don’t like cake. I do make an exception for a perfectly conceived cupcake, but I never order it at restaurants, and I always pass on it at weddings and parties.

So recently at a 4-year-old’s birthday party, I instinctively replied “no thanks” to the offer of cake. But when I learned that it came from Wrights Dairy Farm, I immediately admitted I had made a huge mistake and got myself a slice. And yes, the cake from Wrights Dairy Farm lives up to its reputation — soft, buttery and layered with real whipped cream from their very own cows.

The cake at Wrights Dairy Farm -- I wish I were eating it right now.

A few days later, we were at the farm, admiring those cows.  At Wrights Dairy Farm, you can watch the cows being milked every day from 3-5 pm.  As we watched, I realized I’d never actually seen a cow up close being milked by a machine before, which is quite mesmerizing. Apparently, each cow provides about 5 gallons of milk during each milking — impressive output for a diet of corn and grass.

We then made our way into their bakery, which displays an array of pastries, pies, cakes, cookies and more. Ultimately, I couldn’t resist the strawberry shortcake layered with whipped cream. And as I enjoyed it with a side of their own coffee milk on a sunny day at one of their picnic tables, I decided this is definitely one of my favorite excursions in the state.

Wrights Dairy Farm
200 Woonsocket Hill Rd
North Smithfield, RI

Note: The farm has a bakers’ vacation from July 18-25, 2011 so you might want to plan your trip before or after that…

Soban Korean Eatery

Bibimbap at Soban

Over the past two years, we’ve been impressed with some of the Korean food in the Providence area, including Sun and Moon in East Providence and, of course, Mama Kim’s Korean BBQ food truck, which serves up some tasty pork sandwiches. So when we learned that the owners of Juniper had opened Soban, a Korean eatery, on Thayer Street — we were among the first patrons on opening night.

Mama Kim's Korean BBQ often parks on Thayer Street.

It’s hard to judge a restaurant on its first night — they wound up with a full house and dozens of take-out orders so they were obviously a bit overwhelmed. So I’ll forgive them any service mishaps for now.

We ordered the steamed pork and chive dumplings, made with thin, fresh dough and a well-composed filling. For the main dish, I ordered the Bibimbap — a classic Korean dish served in a hot stone pot with meat, vegetables, and rice topped with a cracked egg which cooks as you mix it together (along with spicy chili paste to your liking). Geoff ordered the spicy tofu stew made with soft, fresh tofu that melts in your mouth simmered with shrimps with the heads still on in a spicy chili broth. I skipped the shrimp, but tasted the tofu. Soft, fresh tofu is a rare find and nothing like the rubbery cubes you find in more commercial miso soup.

For Madeline, we had ordered Duboki, chewy strips of rice (imagine grains of rice larger than your fingers) in a sweet and hot chili sauce with onions, carrots and fish cake. It was delicious as well, although by the time it finally arrived, Madeline was fast asleep in the stroller. Fortunately, it makes a great breakfast the next day as well.

272 Thayer St
Providence, RI

Mama Kim’s Korean BBQ