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15 Rejuvenating Things to Do in the Spring in Rhode Island 

Wave goodbye to low temperatures, snow, and icy roads, and extend a warm welcome to the arrival of butterflies, green landscapes, and the smell of springtime. Spring has officially sprung in the Ocean State meaning days grow longer, boats begin to set sail, and communities wake from their winter slumber to bask in the sunshine. From leisurely bike rides to tulip and strawberry-picking adventures, there are many great things to do in the spring in Rhode Island for tourists and residents. 

Having experienced every season in Rhode Island, I can vouch for the beauty spring brings. After months of gray days, new life sprouts, inviting us to open our windows, listen to the birds chirp, and celebrate the warmer days ahead. Scared of New England’s unpredictable weather? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered rain or shine.

Daffodils in Newport Rhode Island in the Spring

Things to Do in the Spring in Rhode Island

Prepare your next spring adventure with these handpicked activities designed to deliver the best of the season.

  • Best for nature lovers: Cherry Blossoms at Roger Williams Park
  • Best for families: Rail Explorers
  • Best for animal lovers: Goat Yoga at Simmons Farm
  • Best for a casual day: Bikeride at Blackstone River Bikeway
  • Best for foodies: Strawberry Picking at Sweet Berry Farm

Admire the Cherry Blossoms at Roger Williams Park

Home to more than 5,000 trees, Roger Williams Park is a great place for snapping scenic photographs, enjoying moments of peace, or relaxing after a busy day. Among the park’s greenery, towering 40-foot trees announce the arrival of spring. Located within the Japanese garden, the Kwanzan Cherry Trees, originating from East Asia, sprout weeping double-pink flowers, famously known as cherry blossoms. 

From April to early May, visitors walk along the garden’s cobblestone pathways to see the pastel-colored petals in full bloom. The pond and footbridge serve as a prime viewing spot to admire the trees, available to the public free of charge. This spring, people have already begun to appreciate the beauty and fragrance of the cherry blossoms. Stop by the park to see the trees for yourself at their peak bloom.

Explore Blithewold Mansion during Daffodil Days

Daffodils at Blithewold Mansion

Do you love flowers? If so, I’ve got the perfect place for you. The Blithewold Mansion is opening its gates, inviting visitors to stroll through 100,000 mesmerizing yellow daffodils. This year, their display has expanded, with an additional 40,000 bulbs from over 80 varieties such as the White Petticoat, Rapture, and Crafford daffodils covering the 33-acre property. While the daffodils take center stage, Blithewold also offers an array of 15,000 other early spring bulbs, said to last between 8 to 10 weeks. 

Daffodil Days opened on March 30 at 10 a.m. and welcomes visitors every day excluding Monday until the end of the season. But that’s not all, Blithewold has springtime activities designed for the whole family, running from April 13th to 21st, just in time for school vacation. From a Daffodil Doll Tea Party to crafting Toad Abodes, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Visit their website for ticket prices and updates on the flower conditions.

You can also enjoy Daffodil Days in Newport and Wickford Village this spring.

Discover the Beauty of the Norman Bird Sanctuary

wooden walkway in Norman Bird Sanctuary in Rhode Island in spring

Spring marks a time when wildlife returns from migration to the Northern breeding grounds. With temperatures on the rise, it’s the perfect opportunity to go bird-watching or embark on a nature walk at the Norman Bird Sanctuary. Founded by Mabel Norman Cerio, this nonprofit organization is dedicated to educating, protecting, and preserving natural habitats for future generations. Spanning seven miles across 10 trails, the sanctuary is home to over 230 bird species, including red-tailed hawks and hummingbirds. 

Throughout the spring, visitors can buy a pass to access the trails and connect with nature. Its peaceful location is loved by many community members who like to explore while listening to the soothing sounds of the ocean. The center is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., hosting events such as art workshops, nature walks, and concerts during the season. Free events are also available including guided bird walks every Sunday from 8 to 10 a.m. and nature walks every Wednesday from 3 to 3:45 p.m.

Harvest Strawberries at Sweet Berry Farm

strawberries in field

Experience the unbeatable flavor of freshly picked strawberries at Sweet Berry Farm. During the late spring months, guests are invited to grab a basket and head out to the fields to harvest sweet red berries. Whether eaten fresh or baked into a pie, the farm’s strawberries are not only delicious but also nutritious. From early to mid-June, families and friends gather outside the farm, carefully choosing the ripest berries and creating a memorable experience that embodies the essence of spring.

The strawberry season typically lasts between 3 to 4 weeks, with the middle of the season offering the easiest picking. For the sweetest taste, Sweet Berry Farm recommends picking the smallest strawberries and enjoying them within 24 hours or freezing them for later. Pre-picked fruits and a variety of homemade goods can be found in the farm’s market and cafe. If strawberries aren’t your favorite, the farm also has blueberry, raspberry, and blackberry picking during the summer months.

Ride a Bike at the Blackstone River Bikeway

Blackstone Valley bike path

Grab a bike and head to the Blackstone River Bikeway for a dose of vitamin D. This historical site stretches over 10 miles, providing a safe and scenic environment to breathe in fresh air and get your heart pumping. As you pedal along the trail, keep an eye out for wildlife like swans and ducks while taking in the views of waterfalls. It’s a great way to start or end your day or visit for a midday pick-me-up. The bike path is one of my favorite go-to spots when I need to clear my mind or destress. 

In addition to biking, the trails are also used for activities like walking, running, skateboarding, and even rollerblading. Whether you’re riding solo or accompanied by furry friends, the bikeway offers you an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors. People of all ages and skill levels come to the bikeway to socialize or escape the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Pick Your Own Flowers at Wicked Tulips

Wicked Tulips Farm

What’s better than receiving flowers? How about hand-picking them yourself? At Wicked Tulips Flower Farm, you’ll find one of New England’s largest U-pick tulip fields. Frolick along the multi-colored tulips, pick your favorites to wrap up at their complimentary wrapping station, and bring them home or give them as a thoughtful gift to someone special. This springtime activity is perfect for families, special occasion celebrations, or a casual weekend outing. Keep in mind that the tulip season is short, lasting only a few weeks, and is subject to change. 

As someone who has visited the farm towards the end of its season, I recommend getting tickets as soon as you can for the best selection. Each ticket includes 10 tulips and must be purchased online. Additional tulips can be bought for just $1 extra. Weekend ticket prices start at $23, while weekday tickets start at $20 for adults. Wicked Tulips Flower Farm has two Rhode Island locations, one in Exeter and one in Johnston. Check their website for more information on ticket sales and updated bloom reports.

Take a Tour at Rail Explorers

Image courtesy of Marissa Barrett

Embark on a six-mile journey riding the Old Colony Railroad tracks at Rail Explorers. Pedal-powered rail vehicles will guide you along the scenic route of Aquidneck Island and Narragansett Bay, passing through landmarks such as Mount Hope Bridge and the Hog Island Lighthouse. This hands-free experience, allows riders to relax and take in their surroundings. Regardless of one’s age, Rail Explorers is a fun and easy way for guests to discover Rhode Island from a unique perspective.

Choose between the tandem explorer, perfect for couples, or the quad explorer tailored for families. Tandems can be connected to accommodate additional riders in your group. Then, decide between the Northern Ramble tour, offering a one-way journey, or opt for the Southern Circuit, where you can enjoy a 30-minute waterfront break before returning. All riders are spread out up to 500 feet apart, allowing you to set your own pace. Tours operate rain or shine, so be prepared for potential May showers. Secure your spot by visiting their website to book your tour in advance.

Shop at The Fantastic Umbrella Factory

umbrella factory gifts

Since opening in 1968, The Fantastic Umbrella Factory has delighted visitors with its quirky shops stocked with an assortment of homemade gifts and unique knick-knacks. From instruments and pottery to handcrafted jewelry, their diverse collections appeal to a variety of interests. Surrounding the shops are vibrant flower gardens and a hidden bamboo forest, many enjoy strolling through and capturing on camera. Each year I visit, there are new treasures to be found, all at an affordable price. 

The rustic farmyard is also home to animals like emus and wandering chickens. In the spring, visitors take advantage of the weather to sit outside and savor refreshments from their cafe, or wander through the greenhouse filled with seasonal plants. Open seven days a week, this charming Charlestown spot offers free admission, inviting those to explore at their leisure. 

Learn about Rhode Island Wildlife at the Audubon Society

Boardwalk at the Audubon Society in Bristol

Delve into the diverse ecosystems of Rhode Island, with the help of the Audubon Society. Located in Smithfield, RI and the Nature Center and Aquarium in Bristol, the non-profit environmental group is committed to promoting, educating, and conserving the environment throughout the state. Explore tidepool species, take in views of Narragansett Bay’s marine life, have a conversation with Zach, a Common Raven, and get a close-up look at a 33-foot life-size model of a North Atlantic Right Whale. 

Plan a birthday party, venture out on a guided walk, or take a bird class, there is truly something here for everyone. The entrance fees are $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, and $4 for children between the ages of four and 12. Admission is free for children under the age of four and Audubon Society of Rhode Island members. A small price to pay for such a large array of learning.

Have a Picnic at India Point Park

Nothing screams spring like a classic picnic in the park. India Point Park offers the ideal setting to stretch out beneath the clear blue sky, taking in the views of Providence Harbor, to create a stress-free dining experience. Bring your favorite foods, snacks, or homemade dishes to enjoy in the company of others. Whether it’s a romantic rendezvous, family get-together, or reunion with old friends, picnics are a great way to lift spirits and create lasting memories.

On April 23rd, celebrate National Picnic Day by packing your breakfast, lunch, or dinner and heading outdoors. Find a cozy spot, lay out a blanket, and kick off your shoes, allowing yourself to appreciate your natural surroundings. Elevate the occasion by popping open a bottle of champagne, and raising a toast to good food and good times.

Unwind with Goat Yoga at Simmons Farm 

Goat at Simmons Farm

Looking for the greatest spring activity of all time? Look no further than Goat Yoga at Simmons Farm in Middletown, RI. The historic farm, which was established in the 1800s, became home to goat yoga in 2017. Unlike its competitors, the Farm has goats of all sizes and temperaments in a natural setting. So, amidst the downward dogs, leg lifts and gentle stretches allow your worries to be swept away by the smells, sounds, and sights of nature (and the occasional “baaaa” of a goat).

The class is great for those of all fitness levels, including those new to yoga. The farm hosts adult classes on Tuesday and Friday evenings and Thursday mornings from May through September for $20.00 per person. On select Saturdays, family goat yoga classes are held from June through August for $25.00 per person. This allows for a great opportunity to put away the electronics to experience a whole new method of mindfulness with an added side of cuteness.

Participate in the Newport Rhode Races

Stride towards the finish line at Newport’s annual spring-running extravaganza, Rhode Races. Whether you’re aiming for a personal best or just looking to enjoy a leisurely run, join in on the marathon, half marathon, 5k, or beach mile happening Saturday, April 13, 2024, at Easton’s Beach. The marathon will start at 7:30 a.m. with a $115 registration fee, the half marathon at 8:00 a.m. with a $90 registration fee, and the 5k will follow at 8:30 a.m. with a $40 registration fee. The beach mile will start at noon time, on the beach with a $15 registration fee.

Best of all, the courses will travel along with over 1,200,000 Daffodils in bloom since the city has joined the Newport Daffodil Days Festival. Not a runner? No problem! Enjoy award presentations, live music, food vendors, a beer garden, and post-race festivities by the water with the entire family.

Visit the Ninigret Park Trolls

This May, Rhode Island will welcome two new mystical creatures to Ninigret Park. The art exhibit will showcase two larger-than-life trolls made from recycled wood by Danish artist Thomas Dambo and his team of volunteers. Dambo’s artwork spans across 20 countries, with over 125 trolls already created worldwide. The construction of these characters is expected to take three weeks to build before their grand unveiling next month. 

The trolls will add to the 227-acre park’s features, enhancing its beauty to blend into Rhode Island’s scenic landscapes. This fresh addition marks the start of Rhode Island’s “troll trail,” consisting of a total of five trolls leading to Blackstone Valley. With an anticipated lifespan of ten years, these sculptures are hoped to attract more visitors to the area.

Show your Support for Newport Polo

Newport Polo

Cheer on Team USA as they compete in the world’s oldest ball game at Newport Polo, the country’s first polo club. Every match thousands of fans dress in their finest attire to watch thrilling matchups between the home team and their rivals. The 33rd season kicks off with a charity match on May 25th at 5 p.m. Tickets start at $20 for lawn seating and $30 for the Pavilion. 

Games consist of an opening and closing ceremony, half-time, trophy presentation, and more to add to the overall experience. Enjoy pregame refreshments from a selection of food trucks and browse exclusive polo merchandise. Whether you’re a seasoned polo enthusiast or new to the sport, polo matches are a great way to end your day. Check the website for the latest 2024 season announcements.

Admire the Green Animals Topiary Garden

Green Animals Topiary

Standing as America’s oldest topiary garden, the Green Animals Topiary Garden has more than 80 topiary animals. From bears and dogs to camels and giraffes, the garden challenges visitors to find all that it has to offer. It was brought to life by former gardener Joeseph Carreiro, who experimented with trimming the fast-growing shrubs into unique shapes.

Future gardeners maintained the shrubs, providing entertainment for the families who lived on the 7-acre property. Residents regularly allowed the public to explore the garden grounds, a tradition that continued after it was left to The Preservation Society of Newport County. Along with the animal-shaped topiaries, the garden features fruit trees and thousands of colorful flowers including tulips, daffodils, and hydrangeas. The garden is set to reopen for the season on May 11th, with tickets starting at $25 for adults and $10 for children.

Marissa Barrett

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