16 Great Playgrounds in Rhode Island
Create your own park tour and hit up several of these sweet spots for kids in one day.
My kids and I are into discovering new playgrounds. We’ve hit up different towns surrounding where we live and traveled far to test out slides, sandboxes and merry-go-rounds. Here’s a round-up for families looking to spend an hour or two having fun at public playgrounds, plus nearby places where you can grab a kid-friendly lunch. Is a playground you love not mentioned? Please add it in the comments!
1. Hugh Cole Playground
50 Asylum Rd., Warren
This is our favorite park for its separate toddler and big-kid play areas. Climbing forts are made from recycled plastic, and play areas include a fisherman’s boat, tiny clam shacks, play houses and storefronts, a deep-sea themed climbing wall and a huge sandbox complete with construction trucks. There’s also a pavilion for performing, basketball courts and a woodland walking path that leads to gorgeous waterfront views overlooking the Kickemuit River.
Grab Lunch: Blount Clam Shack, 335 Water St., Warren, 401-245-3210, blountretail.com/warren/home
2. Park at Warren Town Beach
Water St., Warren
Enjoy the waterfront views and town beach at this little park close to downtown Warren and adjacent to Burr’s Hill Park. There’s a climbing structure and slide for the little ones, various seesaws and swing sets and a merry-go-round, too.
3. Pirate Ship Park
250 Water St., Warren
Photo by Angel Tucker.
This is a small park on Water Street in downtown Warren. The major draw is the giant pirate ship that kids can climb onto and say, “Ahoy Matey!” There’s also a swinging gate and picnic tables. Though it’s in need of a little clean-up, it’s still fun to spend some time there.
Grab Lunch: The Square Peg, 51 Miller St., Warren, 401-215-3831, squarepegwarren.com
4. Peck Center Playground
Town Hall Dr., Barrington
Located behind the Barrington Town Hall, this park caters to both big kids and the little ones, too. You’ll see a giant spiderweb-like jungle gym, and a wooden climbing tower with two big slides. A separate toddler area, covered with soft padding for tear-free slips and falls, contains drawbridges, mini climbing walls, alligators and a stationary fire engine.
Grab Lunch: Crepelicious, 60 Maple Ave., Barrington, 401-337-5945, crepeliciousri.com
5. Friends of Gladys Potter Garden-Humboldt Playground
Humbolt Street at Elton Street, Providence, facebook.com/hparkfriends
You might call it the island of the misfit toys, but it’s heaven for children who enter behind its heavy wrought iron gates. Take a look inside the free library for a good book to read, or sail right past and go directly to the sandbox and swings. There’s an area with half a dozen Little Tykes playhouses, a dozen pushcars for toddlers to ride along the park’s paths, and even basketball hoops. Nearly all playthings have been donated to the park, and that’s what makes this spot so neat! Don’t miss live children’s music concerts that often take place here.
Grab Lunch: Red Stripe, 465 Angell St., Providence, 401-437-6950, redstriperestaurants.com
6. Tot Lot
9th St., Providence
Photo by Richard Staples from 9th Street Tot Lot Facebook page.
The Tot Lot is just what you’d expect from the name; perfect for toddlers. There’s a jungle gym for climbing, tons of playhouses for hiding, and toy cars and buggies for driving that have been left by other families to be enjoyed by all the little ones. Large sandboxes with trucks, shovels and more ensure any kid will have a ball at this park.
Grab Lunch: Gregg’s, 1303 Main S., Providence, 401-831-5700, greggsusa.com
7. Lippitt Park Playground
1015 Hope St., Providence
This is a favorite park to stop at before or after the Hope Street Farmers Market (depending on my perishables). I love this park mostly because there are always other kids there for impromptu playtime, although that can also be overwhelming if you have a little one who wants to keep up with the big kids. It has your usual suspects like slides and a climbing tower, but what really sets it apart are all the interactive gears and levers that kids can tinker with along the perimeter.
Grab Lunch: The Wurst Window at Chez Pascal, 960 Hope St., Providence, 401-421-4422, chez-pascal.com/#dogs
8. Cabral Park at Fox Point
515 Wickenden St., Providence
We hit up this park this summer for the splash and spray area, but my toddler was so enthralled with the playground, he never wanted to go into the water park. He had fun climbing the structure, running up the ramps, traversing the bridges and plummeting down the winding slide.
Grab Lunch: Tallulah’s Taqueria, 146 Ives St., Providence, 401-272-8226, tallulahstaqueria.com
9. imPossible Dream playground
575 Centerville Rd., Warwick, impossibledreamplayground.org
Photo from impossibledreamplayground.org.
This playground was in the news recently due to unfortunate vandalism, but it has been completely repaired. It is Rhode Island’s first integrated playground that is accessible to children of all physical abilities. The playground is filled with swings, slides, see saws, sand boxes, fantasy play houses, miniature golf, an activity center, picnic areas and accessible rest rooms.
Grab Lunch: Five Guys, 300 Quaker Ln., Warwick, 401-828-3100, fiveguys.com
10. Rockwell Park
John Street and Thames Street, Bristol
After lunch or dinner at Aidan’s, playtime is in order. What better place than a park by Bristol’s docks? Take in the water views as your little one swings, slides and climbs.
11. Bristol Town Beach Playground
50 Asylum Rd., Bristol
Another waterfront gem located close to Colt State Park and the East Bay Bike Path, this playground is surrounded by picnicking areas, ball fields, basketball courts, a volleyball net and a skateboard park. This park has a climbing gym with slides, swings and more. You also have access to the biggest sandbox ever, the beach!
Grab Lunch: Beehive Cafe, 10 Franklin St., Bristol, 401-396-9994, thebeehivecafe.com
12. Pawtuxet Village Playground
Commercial St., Cranston, facebook.com
Photo from Friends of Pawtuxet Village Facebook page.
This park has a colorful jungle gym, swings, a fire truck, a play boat and a free library. Kids love jumping inside the boat and imagining going on a seaside journey. BYO fishing poles!
Grab Lunch: Fellini Pizzeria, 2190 Broad St., Cranston, 401-467-5992, fellinipizzeria.com
13. Misquamicut Beach Playground
257 Atlantic Ave., Westerly
Misquamicut Beach playground. Photo from RI State Parks Facebook page.Take a break from the break as your kids climb the jungle gym, towers and rock wall. This playground is located right on the beach, so even if it’s too chilly to play in the surf, they can burn some energy running around on the playground.
Grab Lunch: Paddy’s Beach Restaurant, 159 Atlantic Ave., Westerly, 401-596-2610, paddysbeach.com
14. Jamestown Community Playground
North Road adjacent to the Philomenian Library, Jamestown
Photo from Jamestown Community Playground Facebook page.
A park created from recycled materials including plastic and tires, with tall bell towers made to look like a castle. Hop into a race car made out of wood and old tires, go down a corkscrew slide, climb onto the ship, cross drawbridges, hang out on a tire jungle gym and more. Please note, since this post has been written, some have said this park is now rundown and in disrepair. Please use caution when playing at the park.
Grab Lunch: Pink Pig BBQ, 35 Narragansett Ave., Jamestown, 401-560-7941, ppigbbq.com
15. Wilson Park Playground
80 Newtown Ave., North Kingstown, northkingstown.org
For those who like to bike, kayak and swim, this park is a hit. The playground has all the usual suspects of swings, climbing towers and more, but you can also take advantage of all the nearby recreational facilities like a bike path, ball fields and boat ramp.
Grab Lunch: Shayna’s Place, 45 Brown St., North Kingstown, 401-294-8740, shaynasplaceri.com
16. Hasbro Boundless Playground
1000 Elmwood Ave., Providence, 401-785-9450, rwpzoo.org/carousel
There’s a special toddler area, complete with a soft padded surface for boo-boo-less spills, as well as a sit-and-steer school bus, a tunnel, a toddler slide, baby swings and more. There are two separate jungle gyms, one built for little ones and one geared for older children, so you don’t have to worry about your youngster being out of your reach or getting caught up in the mix with the big kids. On the toddler side, there are lots of ramps to run down, a fun slide made with metal tubing that makes fun noises when kids dive down it, as well as several other slides of varying heights and lengths. After the playground, we entertained ourselves with $2 trips around the carousel (accompanying adults with toddlers ride free).Then we headed to ride the mini train that travels around the pond. It plays music and makes a trip through a tunnel, much to the little ones’ delight. The train costs $3 per person, so if your child loves it, you might rack up a big train tab… Don’t miss the pony rides for $5 each, and swan boats. Read more!
Grab Lunch: Olga’s Cup and Saucer, 103 Point St., Providence, 401-831-6666, olgascupandsaucer.blogspot.com