9 Ways to Celebrate July Fourth in Rhode Island This Year
Show off your red, white and blue pride with these fun, socially distanced activities.
Celebrating America’s birthday during COVID-19 may not be as hard as you think. While a few traditional Rhode Island events will continue to be held in different ways, we have rounded up an assortment of activities for you to show off your red, white and blue pride while social-distancing.
1. Independence Day Beach Ball
Celebrate the Fourth of July with a traditional New England lobster and family-style platter menu at the Ocean House in Watch Hill. With the Atlantic Ocean in the background, this is a great location to enjoy a relaxing evening with a fresh selection of specialty cocktails, beers and wines.
How to get a reservation: Reservations can be made online at the Ocean House’s events page. This year, for social-distancing purposes, open seating will be available in the four following areas: The South Lawn, East Lawn, Seaside Terrace and Dune Cottage Deck. Prices for each seating area differ and are listed on the Ocean House’s website.
The details: July 4, 6:30 to 10 p.m. 1 Bluff Ave., Watch Hill, 855-678-0364, oceanhouseevents.com
2. Bristol Fourth of July Parade
As the oldest continuous Independence Day celebration in America, the Bristol Fourth of July Parade is set to go on with minor revisions. This year’s celebration will be a forty-five minute vehicle procession with light entertainment. It will start at the corner of Chestnut St. and Hope St. and end on High St. between State St. and Bradford St. Those who are planning to attend should view Bristol’s website for social-distancing regulations and parking recommendations. Masks are required for all attendees.
The details: July 4, 8:30 a.m. fourthofjulybristolri.com
3. Newport International Polo Series – Independence Cup
Spend your Fourth of July rooting for Newport’s polo team as they challenge Los Angeles. The Independence Cup, which is held to honor America’s foremost holiday, is a great way for families to spend their evening.
How to get a reservation: Reservations can be made online. Ticket options include lawn seating, grandstand seating and pavilion seating. Tailgate space is also available. Social-distancing is required and there is no gathering with others who are not a part of your group. Masks should also be worn.
The details: July 4, 5 p.m. 250 Linden Ln., Portsmouth, 401-846-0200, nptpolo.com
4. Walking Tour: Road to Independence
The Newport Historical Society presents an Independence Day tour which highlights Newport’s role during the American Revolution. Visitors are provided with an educational experience that will give them a deeper appreciation for the local area. Each tour is limited to six visitors.
How to get a reservation: Tickets are available online and must be purchased in advance. Cash payments will not be accepted. Visitors should wear masks and stay six feet apart from anyone not in their party.
The details: July 4, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Colony House Washington Sq., Newport, 401-841-8770, newporthistorytours.com
5. Watch a Patriotic Movie with Your Family
Get into the patriotic spirit with a movie celebrating America. If you are interested in musicals, watch Hamilton on Disney+ or 1776 on Amazon Prime. If you are in a romantic mood, try out The American President on Hulu. Meanwhile, for sci-fi lovers, tune into Independence Day with Will Smith on Amazon Prime. Lastly, if you want a passionate American film, watch Mr. Smith Goes to Washington on Amazon Prime or YouTube.
6. Have a Picnic at a Local State Park
Pack a meal of sandwiches, chips and desserts and spend the day picnicking at a nearby park. For places with both water views and a woodsy feel, try Colt State Park, Goddard Memorial State Park or Burlingame State Park. Don’t forget games for you and your family to play during your outing. Also, remember to social distance and bring masks.
The Details: Colt State Park, Rt. 114, Bristol, 401-253-7482; Goddard Memorial State Park, 1095 Ives Rd., Warwick, 401-884-2010; Burlingame State Park, Rt. 1, Charlestown, 401-322-8910; riparks.com
7. Take a Virtual Tour of American Museums
Learning a bit more about American history could be the perfect way to celebrate your 2020 Fourth of July. Explore George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum in honor of our presidents. To learn about the history of our nation through online exhibits turn to the Smithsonian Museum of American History and National Museum of African American History and Culture.
8. Visit a Rhode Island State Beach
Spend the day playing in the water and building sandcastles with loved ones. Rhode Island State Beaches are extremely popular and are a great way to get outdoors. Beach rates and parking availability may differ so be sure to check online for costs.
The details: riparks.com
9. Listen to the Ringing of the Colony House Bells
Each year on Independence Day, the Newport Historical Society rings the bells of the Colony House to announce the commencement of Fourth of July celebrations. If you are in Newport during this time, be sure to listen for the bells as they echo throughout the town.
The details: July 4, noon, Colony House Washington Sq., Newport, 401-841-8770, newporthistory.org