Looking for the best things to do in Rhode Island in Fall with kids? We’ve got you covered!
Rhode Island in Fall is a spectacular time to visit. The leaves changing color highlight the best of what New England’s fall foliage has to offer in the USA. The crisp air feels refreshing, and best of all there are plenty of activities to do with kids that adults will love too.
We’ve spent a bit of time traveling on the east coast and it is magnificent. Fall really is our favourite time to go.
Ideas for a Rhode Island family vacation in fall range from fall hikes, and boat cruises, to picking pumpkins and apples, or getting lost in a corn maze. You’ll even find spooky haunted corn mazes, and Ghost Tours in RI for the brave.
Ready for some fun fall activities for the whole family and all ages? Let’s go!
FALL IN RHODE ISLAND WITH KIDS
We’ve put together the top things to do in fall with family in Rhode Island, USA that all ages will love.
Whether you are looking for a relaxing afternoon sail on a restored & comfy lobster boat, wanting to bike or hike to see fall foliage, or pick some pumpkins & apples, we’ve got ideas for you.
Fun Fall Things to do in Rhode Island
1. Take an Afternoon Boat Cruise
Kids and adults love a good boat ride.
This afternoon boat cruise in fall from Newport has spectacular sights. You’ll motor along the scenic shoreline through Newport Harbor and Narragansett Bay in a fully restored & decked out lobster boat.
It’s narrated, so you’ll learn the history too of landmarks like the historic Fort Adams, Newport Bridge, and the famous Clingstone house.
2. Take a Self-Guided Driving Tour Through Newport RI
With kids, it isn’t always easy to take a guided tour on a schedule.
With this fun Newport, RI self-guided driving tour you can stop and go anytime you want while enjoying this scenic drive.
Embark on a delightful historical journey, from your very own vehicle. You’ll have the unique opportunity to explore Newport mansions such as the opulent Bellevue House, the elegant Elms, and visitor’s favorite the Vanderbilt estate, lovingly known as The Breakers.
But your adventure doesn’t stop there! Breathe in the fresh air from beautiful beaches and immerse yourself in the serene beauty of picture-perfect parks along the way.
🚙 Need to rent a car? We use this car rental tool to find the best deals in Rhode Island and wherever we travel.
🏨 Where to stay: Stay at the The Attwater, a boutique hotel delight, for it’s sweet modern decor, central location, and delicious included breakfast.
3. Pick Your Perfect Pumpkin
What better way to celebrate the fall season than to carve out a jack o’lantern, or bake a fresh pie from your carefully chosen pumpkin.
Rhode Island has many pumpkin patches to explore, and you’ll want to spend some time choosing your favourite one (or more….).
Add visiting a pumpkin patch to your Rhode Island bucket list, as one of the best fall things to do in Rhode Island.
Popular pumpkin patches to visit in Rhode Island in Fall include:
- Dame Farms & Orchards, Johnston, RI – This picturesque farm is run by 3 generations of the Dame family, and offers gorgeous views, alongside pumpkin picking in their pumpkin patches, apple orchards and hay rides.
- Escobar’s Highland Farm, Portsmouth, RI – Come for the many types of pumpkins, and leave with a smile. Escobar’s is very popular, especially on weekends, so plan accordingly.
- Confreda Farms, Hope RI (15 minutes from Providence) – Breathtaking panoramic views for the adults, and a hayride to the pumpkin patch for the kidlets. Confreda Farms also has many other activities for their fall festival (more info in our Fall Festival section below)
4. Take a Providence Ghosts Phantoms and Poltergeists Tour
Speaking of haunted, if you have children 13+ then this affordable ghost tour in Providence, RI may be just the ticket.
Explore the haunts (get it ;)) of Revolutionary War troops, politicians, conspirators, and famous macabre authors who still wander the old streets of the capital of Rhode Island.
If you love a good ghost story, then this is definitely one of the most fun things to do in Rhode Island.
🏩 Where to stay: Stay at the Renaissance Hotel to be within walking distance of Providence’s main attractions, restaurants, with friendly staff, large rooms and great value.
5. Take the Old Town Ghost Tours of Newport
Old Town Ghost Tours of Newport will get your heart pumping, with some fun, family friendly ghost stories.
Be led by lantern in Newport, Rhode Island’s #1 walking tour to some of Newports most famous haunted landmarks.
Bonus they take kids of all ages.
6. Get Lost in Corn Mazes in Rhode Island
Get lost (and found) in a Rhode Island Corn Maze.
Is there a more iconic fall activity than a corn maze? Many farms on Rhode Island offer a varirty of fun fall activities for families.
Trying out a corn maze really is one of the best fall things to do in Rhode Island. So we’ve pulled together our top 3 choices below:
Escobar Farm, Portsmouth, RI
Escobar Farm in Portsmouth, RI has one of the best corn mazes around, and each year is a different design. This eight acre maze is fun for the whole family, so why not make it a race?
Not to worry, they will come help you find your way out if you get stuck.
The farm also has a pumpkin patch, hay rides, a concession and theme days. Come dressed up as your favorite Harry Potter character on Harry Potter Day, or for their Halloween Party to get a discount on admission.
Admission is Cash Only onsite:
- $10 for ages 12+
- $8 for ages 5-11
- 4 and under are FREE
- Open Friday to Sunday
Cucumber Hill Farm, Foster, RI
Cucumber Hill Farm, in Foster, RI is a family run farm whose autumn activities are a delight for all ages. Plus they choose a new educational theme each year. So it’s never the same.
There’s also usually a small kids maze for them to try out too.
Experience a corn maze at night, with their flashlight maze and hayrides pulled by a tractor.
Or try your hand at axe throwing, take a pony ride, twist and turn through the maze in daylight hours, or pick a pumpkin.
Corn Maze Admission:
- $12 for ages 12+
- $5 for ages 6-11
- Free for ages 5 and under
- Accept credit cards
- Open weekends
Salisbury Farm, Johnston, RI
Thousands of visitors traipse through the 5 acres of corn maze each year, and most of them make it back.
For the brave, go on their Moonlight Maze nights.
Walking around the maze will get your hunger going. Be sure to stop for some favorite fall treats like caramel and chocolate apples, popcorn, and more.
Admission depends on when you go:
- Weekdays: Adults age 12 & older – $12, Children age 11 & under – $10
- Weekends and Holidays: Adults age 12 & older – $14, for Children age 11 & under – $12
- Moonlight Maze: Adults age 12 & older – $17, Children age 11 & under – $15
- Children 2 and under always free
- Special Evening Moonlight Maze nights
- Open weekdays, weekends and holidays
7. Be Brave At A Haunted Corn Maze
If you have olders kids and are looking for a spooky haunted corn maze try Spooky Acres in Hope, RI. This is the #1 spot in Rhode Island for all things haunted, Fall & spooky.
They also offer Dark Harvest Hayrides through their haunted town, and their newest haunted bayou attraction.
8. Snap Fall Photos in Rhode Island
Grab some epic fall photos. The light and colours are perfect for taking iconic fall pictures.
Or have a fun Fall Photoshoot with family or friends. The spectacular fall colors will light up your playful, and fun photos.
The Lincoln State Park, Roger Williams Park, and the Coggeshall Farm Museum, in Bristol are fun places to take those iconic fall photos.
Or visit one of the farms that offers apple picking, pumpkin patches and corn mazes. Plenty of opportunities for cool Atumn pics.
If traveling to Rhode Island in July, Dame Farm & Orchard has spectacular sunflower fields to take photos in.
🍂 You may also like our Acadia Fall Guide
9. Pick Apples in a RI Apple Orchard
Speaking of pie, there are many Rhode Island farms with orchards that offer apple picking of delicious varieties. Apple varieties include Gala, MacIntosh, Cortland, Honey Crisp, Ambrosia and many more.
What’s your favorite apple?
Some of the most popular orchards for apple picking include the Barden Family Orchard, Sweet Berry Farm, and Jaswell Farms.
Check out our post for our guide to the best places to go apple picking in Rhode Island. Perfect for a family vacation in Rhode Island.
TAKE PART IN A RHODE ISLAND FALL FESTIVAL
Between the gorgeous setting, New England fall foliage, and plentiful farms, Rhode Island has many fall festivals for families to enjoy throughout the season.
I’ve only listed the 3 most popular, but there are many more you could enjoy.
10. Confreda Farms Fall Festival
A trip to Confreda’s Fall Festival will create many happy family memories for years to come.
Jump on the hayride to their pumpkin patch and 5 acre corn maze. Visit the barnyard to say hi to the piglets, chickens, goats and turkeys.
Then grab a ticket for an ‘All Aboard’ experience on the famous train and amusement rides.
The fall fun is a month long festival that runs end of September to October.
LOCAL TIP: To avoid the crowds go early in the morning (not on weekends), and avoid the first 2 weeks in October.
11. Autumnfest, Woonsocket, RI
Looking for a parade?
Autumnfest in Woonsocket, RI is the place you want to be.
Held since 1977, this festival usually takes place over the Columbus Day weekend at the World War II Veteran’s Memorial State Park.
Includes amusement rides, live music, crafts, food and a parade.
12. Bowen’s Wharf Seafood Festival, Newport, RI
A visit to the east coast is not complete without a seafood feast, or even better a festival.
Bowen’s Wharf Seafood Festival is happening this year Oct 14-15, 2023 in Bowen’s Wharf, Newport, RI. It’s an event not to miss.
Try some of their iconic seafood dishes like fish tacos, lobster rolls, chowder, and oysters while drinking a craft beer while listening to music beneath the family friendly colorful tents. Bring your dancing feet!
Kids will love treats like kettle corn, frozen lemonade and donuts.
Admission is free to get in.
🏨 Where to stay: Stay at this boutique Attwater hotel, for it’s sweet modern decor, central location, and delicious included breakfast.
👉 More New England Destinations: Fun Acadia activities for rainy days
ENJOY A FALL HIKE IN RHODE ISLAND
Outdoors activities any time of year are a staple in Rhode Island.
But there’s something magical about wandering through forests alive with color or taking a seaside stroll in crisp fall air to help you feel alive and in tune with nature.
13. Cliff Walk in Newport
Cliff Walk in Newport is the most iconic Rhode Island hike in the state.
A moderate level hike, the 3.5 mile (5.6km) long Cliff Walk is unique. It is the only National Recreational Trail set within a National Historic District.
Enjoy panoramic ocean views on one side, and interesting century old mansions on the other. It should take about 2.5 hours one way, and most of the trail is fairly flat and paved.
⭐️ Listen to a self-guided Cliff Walk audio tour, and learn the little-known stories behind famous families of the Gilded Age—the Vanderbilts, while viewing their iconic mansions.
14. Lincoln Woods State Park
A leaf peeping hike in Lincoln Woods State Park won’t disappoint. The 627-acre state park offers a variety of walking, mountain biking and horse riding trails through the woods and around Olney Pond.
A popular park to visit year round families can go swimming, fishing, jogging and hiking.
15. Mount Tom Trail
Mount Tom Trail in the Arcadia Management Area in Exeter is a fall foliage delight.
This 3.2-mile loop is fun for kids, but is a moderate hike. Expect some boulder scrambling and winding pathways that lead to epic views of the forest below.
16. Carr’s Pond
Carr’s Pond is a hidden gem in West Greenwich. This lovely area is perfect for hiking with kids and dog friendly too. The whole loop is about 4 miles (6.4kms), which will bring you past Tarbox Pond.
MORE COOL THINGS TO DO IN RHODE ISLAND IN THE FALL WITH KIDS
17. Visit Roger Williams Park & Jack O’ Lantern Spectacular
Rogers Williams Park in Providence, RI is an iconic place to visit with kids. And pretty in Autumn. This park has 435 acres of trails, walkways and many recreational facilities.
The park is a great place to spread out for a Fall picnic, as the changing leaves colors are so beautiful.
Be sure to also take in the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular and Halloween events in the park. Five thousand intricately carved pumpkins line the zoo’s Wetland Trail. Open 6-10:30pm in October after dark.
Roger Williams Park is not only a nature preserve. It also contains a variety of attractions that are perfect for both children and adults:
- Roger Williams Park Zoo
- Bike Parks
- Tennis Courts
- Botanical Centre
- Museum of Natural History & Planetarium
The Zoo is quite large, so plan at least half a day to see 100’s of species ranging from alpacas and cheetahs to snakes, sloths and tropical birds. Plus even some farm animals to get up close with.
LOCAL TIP: Avoid the first Saturday of the month as it is free for Providence residents, so very busy.
🏩 Where to stay: Stay at this Residence Inn, conveniently located downtown, close to everything. Enjoy their fitness centre, family rooms with kitchens, and breakfast included.
18. Haunted Boat Tour from Providence, RI
Cruise the waterways with Haunted Boat Tours, and learn the creepiest lore by boat.
Your costumed guide will share stories and secrets by lantern light, as you cruise along the water and admire views of the city.
Suitable for kids 10+.
A Providence ghost tour not to miss.
19. Pedal the East Bay Bike Path
In Bristol County, the East Bay Bike Paths follows the shore of Narragansett Bay over bridges and past scenic marshes and ocean coves. Taking a bike ride along this path from Providence to Bristol is a spectacular way to see fall foliage.
Stop along the way at the Audubon Nature Center and Aquarium. A well loved natural history museum and aquarium.
20. Visit Fall Famers Markets in Rhode Island
Grab some tasty treats, and local produce and artisan souvenirs at one of the many farmers markets on Rhode Island.
Most start up in summer and continue on until late September or October.
Take A Rhode Island Fall Foliage Drive
Taking a couple of hours, or a day trip to drive the scenic byways of Rhode Island is a great way to explore fall foliage on the island.
Peak fall foliage season in the Providence area is early October to mid-October and the mid-October to late October for Newport.
A couple of local favorite fall mini road trip drives include:
20. Gloucester Loop Fall Foliage Drive in Rhode Island
A local favorite, this loop follows Route 44, past Waterman Reservoir and the village of Harmony.
Then heads through Chepachet and West Gloucester, before traveling the smaller roads through Clayville and up to North Scituate and back where you started.
Colorful leaves and quiet roads seem untouched by the modern world.
21. Ten Mile Drive, Newport
The Ten Mile Drive in Newport is a 10 mile (16km) loop around Aquidneck Island, which is stunning any time of year.
Add in fall colors against the backdrop of dramatic shoreline and eye catching mansions, it’s a not to miss fall foliage drive in Rhode Island.
Points of interest along the way include Fort Adams State Park, Brenton Point State Park, and Gooseberry Beach.
Conclusion: Best Things to Do in Rhode Island in Fall With Kids
Fall in New England is a dream, and visiting Rhode Island will not disappoint.
There is fall fun for everyone.
I hope you grabbed some fun ideas for fall things to do in Rhode Island for your next family vacation in Rhode Island.
Want some next season New England tips, grab your Maine in winter ideas
Related Fall Destinations and family travel tips:
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- Acadia National Park Fall Guide
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- 100+ Family Bucket List Ideas to avoid boredom and keep adventuring
- Best Travel Backpacks for kids (so you don’t have to carry their stuff!)
Rhode Island in Fall: Fun Things to do with Kids in RI
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