Posts Tagged ‘outdoor activities’

The waves at Narragansett Town Beach.

The waves at Narragansett Town Beach.

I have been surfing for eight years. I’ve surfed in Miami, Hawaii, Cape Code and Rhode Island. Yet if I counted up the hours I’ve spent surfing, it wouldn’t match even one summer for a dedicated surfer. That’s what happens when you learn to surf while going to graduate school, raising two children, and running a business (not to mention, writing this blog). Consequently, there seems to be no end to the amount of surfing lessons that I need.

Plus, the truth is that I’m terrified of surfing. And I am absolutely addicted to it.

So, yesterday, I joined a group lesson with Narragansett Surf & Skate instructor Mike. I had been watching the water for the previous two hours so I had seen surfers of every age, gender, shape and size paddle out and catch some waves, with or without an instructor.  I met a family visiting from Quebec, and all three daughters (the youngest of which was only six-years-old) started with a group lesson, but afterwards stayed in the water with their rented boards catching their own waves. Their father even wound up renting a board to get in on the action.

At Narragansett Town Beach, the waves are clean, modest (1-4 feet) and consistent for beginners. And even though I’ve been surfing for years, I still consider myself  a beginner. Mike pushed me into a few waves, but I also caught some on my own (and missed some on my own). And next time maybe, I’ll even venture out without an instructor — maybe.

Narragansett Surf & Skate
74 Narragansett Ave
Narragansett, RI
(401) 789-7890
www.narragansettsurfandskate.com

Warm Winds Surf Shop
26 Kingstown Rd
Narragansett, RI
(401) 789-9040
www.warmwinds.com

Peter Pan Surfing and SUP Academy
(401) 575-0003
http://peterpansurfingacademy.vpweb.com/

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Our six-year-old has been asking to go fishing since last summer, and this weekend we finally got around to it. As it turns out, Rhode Island has several waters stocked with trout exclusively for children ages 14 and under.  However, for this trip, we headed out to Slater Memorial Park in Pawtucket.

The trip began with a stop at Benny’s — Rhode Island’s answer to Wal-Mart, Benny’s is a small store that often has exactly what you’re looking for (fishing poles, kid’s bikes, school supplies, large storage bins, automotive supplies, gardening equipment and seeds, etc.) There, Geoff bought two fishing poles and some fake bait. The next stop was the R.I. Aquarium and Pet Center for some lively worms.

The reaction shot after catching the fish.

The reaction shot after catching the fish.

We then staked out our spot along the pond at Slater Memorial Park. The first few hours involved our repeatedly twisting the fishing line, twice catching our hook in some tree branches, and reeling in our line repeatedly to discover the fish had once again taken the bait and escaped unhooked. Our two-year-old seemed to think we were simply feeding the fish and exclaimed excitedly each time the hook came back from the pond emptied. Perhaps that’s what made it so surprising when we got pull on her rod and reeled in an actual bass. You can see by the photo how enthusiastically she posed with her fish.

Even without such success, it would have been a great day at the park — we also took a swan boat ride (a bit pricey at $5/person), several carousel rides (only 25 cents each), and found a large playground. The park also contains a children’s zoo at Daggett Farm, a gallery within the Rhode Island Watercolor Society, and a seafood restaurant, not to mention tennis courts, baseball fields and a bike trail. Apparently, we’ll need more than a day to complete our exploration.

Slater Memorial Park
Pawtucket, RI
www.experiencepawtucket.org/bVisitbPawtucket/Recreation/SlaterMemorialPark/tabid/216/Default.aspx

RI Trout-Stocked Waters for Children 14 and under:

  • Frosty Hollow Pond in Exeter
  • Geneva Brook & Pond in North Providence
  • Lapham Pond in Burrillville
  • Lloyd Kenney Pond in Hopkinton
  • Seidel’s Pond in Cranston
  • Silvy’s Pond in Cumberland

More information at www.dem.ri.gov/programs/bnatres/fishwild/troutwaters.htm

Benny’s 
www.hellobennys.com

RI Aquarium & Pet Center
905 North Main Street
Providence, RI
(401) 415-0455
www.riaquariumpet.com‎

RI Fishing Licenses (Note: children do not need licenses)

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Antiques, handmade crafts, clothes and plenty of food trucks at the opening day of Providence Flea.

Antiques, handmade crafts, clothes and plenty of food trucks at the opening day of Providence Flea.

It’s exactly what Providence has been missing — a weekly flea market. Held every Sunday from 10 am til 4 pm (extended through September 15), you’ll find hand-crafted jewelry, lightly worn clothes, antique furniture, housewares, and the like. And there’s no need to wonder where to find the food trucks on Sundays. You’ll find them at Providence Flea.

Providence Flea
www.providenceflea.com

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Section 4, Row EE. Notice the grassy lounge area in left field.

Section 4, Row EE. Notice the grassy lounge area in left field.

Although we’ve lived in Providence for nearly four years, we only just made it to our first Pawtucket Red Sox (aka PawSox) game this May. Clearly, we are not the most devout sports fanatics.

pawsox2

Our two-year-old may not have been that attentive on the game itself, but she was a big fan of the stadium snacks.

As it turns out, McCoy Stadium is an ideal size, seating 10,000 people, making it large enough to feel the fans’ excitement while being small enough to actually see the game. And, the the general admission prices are quite reasonable at $8 per adult and $5 per child. It may have taken us a few years to get there, but I’m quite sure we’ll be back again this season.

Pawtucket Red Sox
http://www.pawsox.com

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Enjoying an apple straight off the tree.


Each year we try to find a new farm for apple picking in addition to our old favorites. In past years, we’ve discovered Jaswell’s Farm, Hill Orchards, and Sweet Berry Farm. This year, we decided to try Knight Farm, founded in 1800.

Although many farms have stands or shops (Jaswell’s and Sweet Berry Farms are my favorites), few have restaurants. When we arrived this morning, it was clear this was a popular place for brunch and with good reason. It’s certainly nothing fancy, but they serve simple comfort food in a charming and rustic atmosphere. I ordered an egg sandwich, and I was not disappointed.

Knight’s apple orchards feel relatively compact to some of the others (they have about 40 acres versus Jaswell’s 100 acres), but really how many apple trees do you need? We had no trouble picking our own crisp, tasty apples. Of course, the real work came later — peeling apples, rendering lard (from Pat’s Pastured Pork), rolling the crust, and baking the pie. Not that I did any of that. But I did eat a piece of the resulting pie, and it was delicious.

Knight Farm and Restaurant
1 Snake Hill Road
North Scituate, RI
www.knightfarm.com

Also see Farm Fresh RI’s Pick Your Own Guide near Providence.

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Perched on the rocks overlooking Narragansett Bay.

Not everyone may think it’s a wise idea to drag their one- and five-year-olds up a jagged cliff overlooking a 100-foot drop to the ocean, and I can’t disagree. Nonetheless, we did exactly that yesterday at Forth Wetherill State Park in Jamestown, RI. Here, there are no fences or barriers to rely on, just common sense. Geoff liked that — it’s very European, he said.

The view from Fort Wetherill State Park in Jamestown.

From the peak, you can see a wide expanse of Narragansett Bay and Newport Harbor — yesterday the water shimmered so beautifully that our five-year-old said “I wish I could paint that.” As for our one-year-old, it took a good deal of cajoling and wrestling to keep her from careening over the edge. No wonder my back hurts today. Still, you can’t beat the view.

Fort Wetherill State Park
Jamestown, RI
http://www.riparks.com/fortweth.htm 

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On a hot city day, there’s nothing quite like a mini water park. Now, in addition to a handful of others in Providence, we’ve got one at the zoo.

I’ve typically steered clear of the zoo in the summer, but the addition of Hasbro’s Our Big Backyard at Roger Williams Park Zoo has definitely changed that. Kids can cool off in a variety of sprinklers, ponds and other water play, making the zoo a much less oppressive experience.  

One tip — when you plan your visit, check the zoo hours. We didn’t and arrived only 40 minutes before the 4 pm closing. When you visit the zoo, it’s nice to have time to see some animals too.

Roger Williams Park Zoo
1000 Elmwood Avenue
Providence, RI
www.rwpzoo.org
(first Saturday of every month free to Providence residents)

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