Monster Mini Golf

The final hole at Monster Mini Golf in Warwick.

Madeline loves Halloween so much that she decided she wanted to have a Halloween birthday party — in April. So, we decided to test out the Monster Mini Golf in Warwick as an appropriate place for a spooky (but not too spooky) costume birthday party.

The indoor course glows with neon colored monsters and clowns, and they have chairs set up outside the course so parents can sit and watch. It can get crowded (especially the skee ball and other games in the front), but it wasn’t too bad last Sunday afternoon. Geoff’s only complaint was that the golf course isn’t actually designed to make a hole-in-one physically possible. Of course, Madeline didn’t care. Most of the time, she swung a few times at the ball and finally wound up dragging it into the hole.

Monster Mini Golf
33 Lambert Lind Hwy (Rte. 5)
Warwick, RI

Providence Children’s Film Festival

Madeline was the star of her own movie flipbook this morning at the RISD Auditorium.

It’s nice to see some things continue to flourish in Providence.

This weekend, we attended a few of the films as part of the 3rd Annual Providence Children’s Film Festival. The all-volunteer festival staff puts together an extraordinary event with a collection of children-friendly shorts and features from all over the world. Whether your kids watch too much TV or you’ve avoided TV altogether (or somewhere in between), this festival introduces children to the artof film — and in my opinion, nothing could be better than that.

Photo by Frank Mullin

The festival’s films, events and workshops continue through Tuesday, February 21 at venues throughout Providence. See their website for a complete schedule of events and to purchase advance tickets.

Stanley’s Hamburgers: a step back in time

Stanley's burger comes topped with onions and pickles.

If you’d like to step back to an anachronistic time when Bobby Vinton songs played on the radio but trans fats were a thing of the past, then Stanley’s in Central Falls is the place for you.

The cheddar cheese fries -- although I personally liked them better plain.

I have to admit, I’ve had a better burger. Nonetheless, Stanley’s most certainly wins on character. The neon menu, metal ceiling fans, red and white vinyl booths, and Casey Kasem’s 1974 top 40 playing in the background (literally) form an ambiance that is not to be missed.

The burgers are topped with pickles and caramelized onions (unless requested otherwise), and they have a selection of fries like no other (dirty fries, chili cheese fries, Quebec-style fries, cheddar fries). We also tried their ham and bean soup — I think the secret ingredient, as Marge Simpson would say, is salt. And just so you know, a “small” means large and a “large” means obscene. To top it off, do what I did, and get a coffee shake with your meal.

535 Dexter St.
Central Falls, RI

Rocket Fine Street Food

The latest addition to Providence’s food truck scene.

“It’s the hottest sauce you’ve ever had,” I was informed as I asked for the sauce to be added to my green chile cheeseburger. Whether it is or not, we’ll never know, since it was artfully diluted within the green chiles. The burger was good, the west african sweet potato and peanut soup, better.

Rocket Fine Street Food
near Thayer Street

Yacht Club Soda: Create your own cocktail

Yacht Club Soda's January Signature Cocktail...

I’m not usually a sucker for companies that contact me and ask me to post something, but I do happen to be a fan of Yacht Club Soda. And no, I did not get a free case (or even a bottle) for saying so.

The company, which has been bottling its own soda in Rhode Island for nearly one hundred years, creates over a dozen flavors — cola, cream soda, sarsaparilla, root beer, black cherry, etc. I’ve liked all of the ones I’ve tried except for the pineapple, which reminded me of a medicine I took as a child. The company makes their own flavored sugar syrups onsite without the use of the dreaded high-fructose corn variety. They also bottle only in glass, and you can return your bottles to the winter farmer’s market for reuse. They even have a factory store that you can visit yourself in North Providence (it’s on my list).

In the meantime, if you fancy yourself a ‘mixologist’, you can enter your favorite mixed cocktail recipe using Yacht Club Soda by February 3 at noon to win some prizes. All entries should be sent to

Yacht Club Soda
2239 Mineral Spring Avenue
North Providence, RI