Events, Student Life

10 Cool Things to do in Rhode Island this Summer

Just moved to RI, or just have no clue what there is to do when you don’t have to go to class?  Here’s a list of 10 suggestions (in no particular order) of things that you might enjoy this summer:

1.    Providence Waterfire              

Where:    Downtown Providence

When:  Jun 9 & 23, Jul 21, Aug 18, Sept 15, and 29th

Waterfire is probably one of coolest events Providence has to offer. If you’ve haven’t seen it yet, it’s quite an unusual sight.  Ever year since 1994, bonfires (in the water) are lit all the way down the Providence River.  It’s quite an attraction, and pretty cool to see, especially when you get to the basin.   This is definitely something worth seeing.


2.    Newport Folk Festival 

Where:    Fort Adams State Park, Newport

When:  July 28 and 29

It was this festival that saw Bob Dylan go electric for the first time, the national debut of Joan Baez and Kris Krisofferson, and the first time the Pixies went acoustic.  Since 1959, the Newport Folk Festival has been marked in musical history as one of the most influential festivals in U.S. history.  This year’s event at Fort Adams State Park in Newport boasts acts like My Morning Jacket, Iron & Wine, Dawes, Deer Tick, Jackson Brown, and Tom Morello’s solo project, the Nightwatchman.


3.    Charlestown Seafood Festival                                                      

Where:  Ninigret Park, Charlestown

When:  August 3-5

If you like seafood, look no further.  The Charlestown Seafood Festival features Rhode Island’s best seafood including lobsters, steamers, chowder, fish and chips, clam cakes, corn on the cob, and a raw bar.  The event includes other attractions (other than the food) like arts and crafts, amusement rides, a rock-climbing wall, a car show, a kite exhibition, bungee jumping, a petting zoo, and more! for more info.

4.    Rhode Island International Film Festival                                  

Where:  All Around RI

When:  August 7-12

Like indie films?  Then you’ll like the RI International Film Festival (RIIFF).  Filmmakers from around the world are given a chance to feature their independent films, from a wide array of genres to the public.  Last year’s event saw over 204 works!


5.    South County Hot Air Balloon Festival                                     

Where:  URI Athletic Fields, Kingston

When:  July 20-22

Well, you can obviously guess that there will be balloons at this event.  But along with a ton of balloons, this event hosts a wide array of other attractions including a BBQ Competition, a carnival, kite flying, fireworks, and a performance by John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band.


6.    Newport Jazz Festival                                                                    

Where:  Fort Adams State Park, Newport

When:  August 3-5

It was the first annual jazz festival in the United States and has hosted legendary performers like Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, and Miles Davis.  This year’s Festival will also host a wide array of historical acts like Dr. John & The Lower 911, The Jack DeJohnette All-Starts, and Kurt Elling.


7.    Urban Dare Providence                                                                            

Where:  Ri Ra Irish Pub, Providence

When:  July 7

Ever want to be on Amazing Race?  Well, this is just the shortened version!  It’s a one-day event that includes a bit of running, a bit of answering questions, and a bit of just finding your way around Providence.


8.    Design the Night                  

Where:  RISD Museum, Providence

When:  every third Thursday in June, July and August

This is an event that includes just a little bit of everything.  RISD’s Design the Night features live music, films, hands-on art making, artist demonstrations, discussions, and all of the best RI food trucks.


9.    Newport Blues and BBQ Festival                                             

Where:  Newport Yachting Center

When:  August 18

This year marks the first EVER Newport Blues and BBQ Festival features local and national blues acts like John Lee Hooker, Jr., and Marcia Ball.  The menu includes a variety of specialty BBQ and a full bar with cold brews and cocktails. Website:

10. Rhode Island Local Food Fest                                                     

Where:  Castle Hill Inn, Newport

When:  August 7

Like eating locally grown foods?  The RI Local Food Fest will feature 2 dozen local farmers and producers with restaurants from across the state.  The event will include local wines, beers, live music, and a silent auction.



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