32 Fun Things to Do in Rhode Island this October

From a lively sand sculpture competition in Westerly to spooky delights at Barnaby Castle in Providence, we've compiled all the activities to add to your to-do list this month.



Courtesy of Kaitlyn Alyece Event Architects/David Lee Black


Halloween at the Castle V: Barnaby’s Inferno

WHAT: Enter Barnaby’s Inferno, where guests will find three floors of spooky delights — think local food and libations, immersive decorations and entertainment — during the fifth annual Halloween at the Castle. Sport your creepiest costume and take part in complimentary tarot and palm readings. Funds from the twenty-one-plus event helped save Barnaby Castle and restore the building’s exterior painting and the solarium’s windows. VIP tickets offer access to a 7 p.m. soiree. 8 p.m.–midnight. $200–$250; free valet parking. Where: Barnaby Castle, 299 Broadway, Providence. More info: 617-4660, kaitlyn-alyece-events.com.


Courtesy of Discover Newport.


Bowen’s Wharf Seafood Festival 

WHAT: Fill your weekend with fresh, local seafood. Dig into calamari, oysters, lobster rolls, fish tacos and clams and pair them with refreshing beer and signature cocktails. And don’t worry, your sweet tooth can get a treat, too, whether you’re in the mood for doughnuts or kettle corn. Dance to surf rock and Caribbean music during this fun and food-filled festival. Proceeds from the festival’s bars benefit the Oliver Hazard Perry, the state’s 200-foot official sailing education vessel. 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Free admission. Where: Bowen’s Wharf, Newport. More info: 849-2243, bowenswharf.com.


Courtesy of South County Tourism Council


Atlantis Rising

WHAT: Ditch the sandcastle molds — artists from all over are turning Misquamicut State Beach into the mythical city of Atlantis for the first Atlantis Rising International Sand Sculpture Competition. Visitors can watch artists intricately carve sand sculptures as they compete for the popular vote and cash prize. Entertainment for the weekend also includes food trucks, photo opportunities, live music and activities for the kiddos. Where: Misquamicut State Beach, Atlantic Avenue, Westerly. More info: 800-548-4662, southcountyri.com.



The Gamm Theatre

THROUGH OCT. 9: Describe the Night, a thrilling play by the author of Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, follows the unlikely lives of seven Russians — poets and soldiers, KGB agents and babushkas — for more than ninety years as they discover mysteries buried by decades of history, conspiracies, myth and blood. Visit the website for dates and times. $56–$66. 1245 Jefferson Blvd., Warwick, 723-4266, gammtheatre.org 

Trinity Rep

THROUGH NOV. 6: The epic two-part drama The Inheritance weaves together the story of three generations of gay men in New York City trying to make a future for themselves amidst a turbulent America, years after the height of the AIDS epidemic. Get sucked into the lives of political activist Eric Glass and his writer fiance Toby Darling when two strangers enter their lives, changing their wedding plans and tossing them into opposite directions. The play is inspired by E.M. Forster’s Howards End. The Inheritance Part 1 and The Inheritance Part 2 are presented as two separate productions. Visit the website for tickets and showtimes. Dowling Theater, 201 Washington St., Providence, 351-4242, trinityrep.com 

Providence Performing Arts Center

OCT. 4—9: Despite having grown up on an African savanna, Cady Heron couldn’t have prepared herself for suburban Illinois, her family’s strange and vicious new home. Falling prey to a ruthless trio led by queen bee Regina George, Cady and her friends create a plan to end Regina’s reign, but not without getting stung. Straight from Broadway, the hit musical Mean Girls was created by the award-winning creative team of book writer Tina Fey (of “Saturday Night Live” fame), director Casey Nicholaw and others. $52–$94. 

OCT. 25—30: In Tootsie, laugh out loud with Michael Dorsey, the talented but difficult actor struggling to find work until a show-stopping act of desperation earns him the role of a lifetime. The musical features a Tony Award-winning book by Robert Horn as well as a score by Tony winner David Yazbek. $38–$80. Visit the website for dates and times. 220 Weybosset St., Providence, 421-2787, ppacri.org 



BeWitched and BeDazzled

OCT. 1: Celebrate fall at this family-centered festival on the grounds of the Hocus Pocus 2 filming site. Sport your favorite costume while enjoying tons of fun activities including hayrides, face painting, psychics, local vendors, stage entertainment and more. 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Chase Farm, 671 Great Rd., Lincoln, greatroadheritagecampus.org 

Norman Bird Sanctuary Harvest Fair

OCT. 1—2: Continuing the forty-five-year-old tradition of the annual Harvest Fair, the award-winning event on Aquidneck Island invites guests to challenge friends to a sack race, peruse the crafter’s tent, compete in the home and garden competition and more with the fam. 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Adults $6; ages three to twelve $3; ages two and younger free. 583 Third Beach Rd., Middletown, 846-2577, normanbirdsanctuary.org

Rogue Island Comedy Festival 

OCT. 6—9: No need to hold back tears of laughter here: Laugh it up with comedy icons like Zoltan Kazsas, Gordon Baker-Bone, Paris Sashay and others within three different venues in the East Bay. Purchase your ticket online. $20–$30.  Jane Pickens Theater, Newport; Ragged Island Brewing Company, Portsmouth; Diego’s Cantina, Middletown, rogueislandcomedyfest.com 

Annual Columbus Day Festival

OCT. 7—10: Experience the taste of twentyfive Federal Hill restaurants with expanded seating or additional menu offerings during the annual Columbus Day Festival. Participating locations include Tavolo, Bacco, Venda Ravioli, Captain Louie’s, Federal Hill Taphouse and Providence Oyster Bar. Check out the retail vendors, amusement rides and games, along with three entertainment stages and a parade Sunday morning. Fri. 5 p.m.–midnight; Sat.–Sun. 11 a.m.–midnight; Mon. 11 a.m.–8 p.m. Atwells Avenue and DePasquale Square, Providence, 432-7783, federalhillprov.com

Ocean State Oyster Festival

OCT. 8: Surround yourself with live music, craft beer and wine, food trucks and twelve different Rhode Island oyster farms, including Bluff Hill Cove Oyster Farm, Sea Kist Oysters, Watch Hill Oysters and more along the Providence River. 1–7 p.m. Entry tickets $10 per person; oyster and drink tickets are available for purchase separately. Children twelve and younger free. Riverwalk Park, Providence, oysterfestri.com 



Newport Foodies Stroll

THROUGH OCT. 15: Throughout the 1.75-mile walking food tour, rediscover Thames Street with the help of great meals. Wander the historic streets of the City by the Sea with tour guides Thomas and Susan Maxwell in between three-course meals and wine pairings at notable restaurants and pubs like Knot Norm’s and Cold Fusion Gelato. Reserve your spot online. Wed., Fri. and Sat. 11:30 a.m. and noon. Adults $88; children twelve and younger $37. Meeting location in front of wave statue, 337 Thames St., Newport, 619-3019, newportfoodiesstroll.com

Experience Rhode Island

THROUGH OCT. 31: Fall deeper in love with the Creative Capital during the Discover Providence Tour, where you’ll hear stories about the city’s exciting neighborhoods and the people in them. Explore locations including College Hill, Federal Hill and the State House. Mon.–Thurs. 1 p.m.; Fri.–Sat. 11 a.m.–2 p.m. $35. Meet at the Rhode Island Convention Center, 1 Sabin St., Providence, 886-0733, experienceri.com

Providence River Boat Company

THROUGH NOV. 1: Brave the dark waters of the Providence Marina during the Haunted Boat Tour, where passengers can learn more about the city’s deceased and restless souls while getting a view of historic architecture, moonlit bridges and cobblestone walkways. Reserve your spot online and dress according to the weather. Visit the website for dates and times. $27–$30. 101 Dyer St., Providence, 580-2628, providenceriverboat.com

Rhode Island Bay Cruises

OCT. 6, 8, 9 AND 10: Go on a thirty-mile cruise ride as you pass by ten beautiful islands and iconic Rhode Island lighthouses along Narragansett Bay. Bridges, mansions and historic Fort Adams will be some of the many sights you take in during the breezy voyage. Visit the website for cruise rates, dates and times. Quonset Point, North Kingstown, 295-4040, fastferry.com 

Rail Explorers Tours

ONGOING: Take a bite out of Sunday brunch or check out the night sky with Rail Explorers in themed, pedal-powered tours — with snacks — from the Southern Circuit to Bayside Station. Thurs.–Mon.; see website for tour times and ticket prices. 1 Alexander Rd., Portsmouth, 877-833-8588, railexplorers.net

Rhode Island Red Food Tours

ONGOING: Explore your favorite Rhody neighborhoods in the capital city and the City by the Sea with a food tour. Walking tours include delicious food samplings plus alcohol pairings at six local restaurants. Reservations are required. Thurs.–Sun. at noon. $74–$89. Various locations in Providence and Newport, rhodeislandredfoodtours.com



Studio Playground 

THROUGH NOV. 12: Feel empowered during an eight-week acting class with Studio Playground. Children ages eight to ten can explore the art of improvisation, participate in acting games and expand their storytelling skills while building confidence and bonding with their other theater mates. Sat. 11 a.m.–noon. $350. Visit website for reservations. Rhode Island School for the Deaf, 1 Corliss Park, Providence, studioplayground.org

Hawk Watch at Napatree Point 

OCT. 22: Join the Audubon Society in searching for hawks in Westerly’s Napatree Point, one of the best locations to also find eagles, falcons and accipiters, as well as monarch butterflies, swallows and any remaining shorebirds. Registration is required. 10 a.m.–noon. Members $15; nonmembers $20. Napatree Point Conservation Area, Westerly, 949-5454, asri.org

Spooktacular and Kid’s Craft Day 

OCT. 22: Young Picassos and Kahlos — come together and create a variety of family-friendly Halloween crafts, view demonstrations and participate in activities, and partake in a few delicious spooky-seasoned treats. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. 1859 Mooresfield Rd., Kingston, 789-9072, fayerweathercraftguild.com


Columbus Theatre

OCT. 4: PVD World Music presents Tinariwen, $35. OCT. 20: Live! On Stage: Jonathan Richman featuring Tommy Larkins on the drums, $25. OCT. 27: Vir Das: Wanted, $40–$50. OCT. 29: Kurt Vile and the Violators with special guest Come, $35. Shows begin at 8 p.m. 270 Broadway, Providence, 621-9660, columbustheatre.com

Blackstone River Theatre

OCT. 7: Pymbio, $18; $20 at the door. OCT. 15: Máire Ní Chathasaigh and Chris Newman, $18; $22 at the door. OCT. 22: The Winifred Horan Quartet, $20; $24 at the door. OCT. 29: Gadan, $20; $24 day of show. Shows start at 8 p.m. 549 Broad St., Cumberland, 725-9272, riverfolk.org 

URI Guitar Festival

OCT. 20—23: During URI’s seventh annual Guitar Festival, take in six different concerts, masterclasses with guest artists, a Rising Stars Virtual Guitar Competition and the newly created Rising Stars Young Guitarist and composer-in-residence programs. Spot world-class artists like Andy McKee on the acoustic guitar, Bridget Kibbey on the harp, William Knuth on the violin and more. Visit the website for times. Various locations throughout Wakefield and Kingston, uriguitarfestival.org



Portside Picnic at Blount Clam Shack

OCT. 8: Celebrate Warren’s shellfishing heritage and town history at the eighth annual gala. A portside picnic will be held on the Warren River at Blount Clam Shack, and guests can dine on upscale picnic fare catered by Perella’s Ristorante, of “Restaurant: Impossible” fame. As you dine, jam out to classic sea shanties by Otis and the Shanties. The gala raises funds for historic preservation grants to restore and maintain iconic buildings in Warren. $75. Blount Clam Shack, 335 Water St., warrenheritagefoundationri.org 

RI Runs for Haiti

OCT. 16: Join Providence Haiti Outreach in running for Haiti in the RI Runs 4 Haiti to benefit the Catholic charity and the St. Dominique/Pat Pezzelli Memorial School in Haiti. Choose to join or create a team or go solo throughout the five-K or one-mile walk. Check-in 8 a.m., race starts 10 a.m. $20–$35; $40 day of event. Goddard Park, 1095 Ives Rd., Warwick, 787-3086, provhaitioutreach.org



RISD Museum

ONGOING: Plan your in-person visit in advance online and check out exhibitions on view including “Past Made Present,” “Take Care” and “Helina Metaferia.” Tues., Wed., Sat., Sun. 10 a.m.­–5 p.m.; Thurs. and Fri. noon–7 p.m. Adults $17; seniors $12; ages eighteen and younger free. Free admission Thurs. and Fri. after 5 p.m. and all-day Sun. 20 North Main St., Providence, 454-6500. 

OCT. 8: View dozens of handmade fine art and design work created by more than 130 artists at RISD Craft. The displayed work, featuring a wide variety of media, speaks to the attention to detail, quality and craftsmanship that the students andalumni hone at RISD. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Free admission. Benefit Street, Providence, risdmuseum.org



Roller Disco

THROUGH OCT. 29: Show off your grooviest moves and ’70s-inspired outfit as you glide through the Providence Rink. Music, courtesy of local deejays and live acts, starts at 6 p.m., and the Trinity Beer Garden provides beverages for sale to skaters and spectators as well. Thurs., Fri. and select Sat. 5–10 p.m. Adults $7; children and seniors $4. BankNewport City Center, 2 Kennedy Plaza, Providence, 680-7390, theprovidencerink.com

Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular

THROUGH OCT. 31: Get into the Halloween spirit by admiring thousands of creatively carved pumpkins at the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular. Traverse the trail and celebrate seventy-five years of television with favorite characters, including everyone from Betty White to Walter White. 6–10:30 p.m., last admission 10 p.m. All tickets must be purchased in advance online; visit the website for admission prices. Roger Williams Park Zoo, 1000 Elmwood Ave., Providence, 785-3510, rwpzoo.org

Warren Walkabout

OCT. 16, 23 AND 30: Spend a fall Sunday
exploring the charming waterfront town at this year’s Warren Walkabout. Hosted by Discover Warren, residents and visitors are free to explore the local architecture, shops and boutiques, sidewalk sales, cafes and eateries like Chomp, Bywater and Hunky Dory, waterfront views and the city’s autumn colors while supporting local businesses from Main Street to Water Street. Noon–5 p.m. Free admission. Various locations throughout Warren, discoverwarren.com

Taste of Rhode Island

OCT. 20: A unique celebration of local food, drink and entertainment. Sample the selection of culinary delights from more than fifty top-area restaurants and food producers and beer and spirits companies coupled with live entertainment at the Taste of Rhode Island. Food and drink businesses include Chapel Grille, Whalers, Mill’s Tavern, Cakes by Eboni, Iggy’s Boardwalk and more. Enjoy demonstrations from chef Frank Terranova and bartender Ryan Draine of Dig In Dining, and take part in a Charity Raffle Pavilion benefiting the MAE Organization for the Homeless. 6–9 p.m. $40–$65. Crowne Plaza, 801 Greenwich Ave., Warwick, tasteofri.com

Vegan Restaurant Week

OCT. 28—NOV. 6: Step into restaurants in Providence and surrounding areas for tasty plant-based dining options during Vegan Restaurant Week. Participating restaurants and vendors, including PiANTA, Basil and Bunny, Casa Azul Taqueria and Wara Wara, will offer three-course pre-fix dining experiences or two to three unique plant-based specials. Visit the website for the full list of participating restaurants. Various restaurants throughout Rhode Island, vegrestaurantweek.com



NOV. 3–JAN. 1: A Christmas Carol, Providence, trinityrep.com

NOV. 4: Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company: What Problem? The Vets, Providence, firstworks.org

NOV. 4–6: Rhode Island Comic Con, Providence, ricomiccon.com

NOV. 4–13: Newport Restaurant Week, Newport, discovernewport.org

NOV. 19–20: The Good Trade Makers Market, Providence, goodtrademakersmarket.com