Summer Guide

For Your Amusement

Top spots to let out your inner child this summer


Believe it or not, you don’t have to go to the beach to cool off in summer – just ask the folks at the Yawgoo Valley Water Park. Take a dip in the pool, or cruise down one of their two waterslides. Loud whoops of excitement and singing of Paul Simon’s “Slip Slidin’ Away” are highly encouraged. Exeter

As one of Rhode Island’s most well-known attractions, it’s practically mandatory to go to the Roger Williams Park Zoo with the family at least once this season. Carousel Village features plenty of activities for families to bounce, ride, and play, and thrillseekers can cruise 115 feet above the zoo in the newly added Soaring Eagle Zip Ride. Oh, and there’s that part with all the animals, too. Providence

Make a list of quintessential summertime amusement activities, and Adventureland will have all of them. Mini golf, go karts, batting cages, ice cream stand, carousel, bumper boats – you name it, it’s there. Their newest attractions, as of last summer, are three 25-foot Extreme Big Air Jumpers. All they ask is that you be sure to save some good times for the rest of South County. Narragansett

If the waves are getting to be too much, just aim the boogie board a little to the left of the towels, and you’ll wash right up at Atlantic Beach Park for summer entertainment. There are bumper cars, monkey barrels, an arcade, a kiddie coaster, and a carousel dating back to 1915 to enjoy. After you’ve worked up an appetite, grab a bite to eat at the snack bar and polish it off with a scoop from the ice cream stand – we won’t be upset if you don’t have room for dinner. Westerly

To experience a slice of Gilded Age charm outside of Newport’s mansions, look no further than the Looff Carousel at Crescent Park. This landmark has been spinning since 1895, and is one of Rhode Island’s officially-designated National Historic Landmarks. The carousel is currently undergoing some restoration projects, but fear not – the folks at Crescent Park promise it will welcome riders this summer. Riverside

If you take a walk off the Misquamicut Beach along Atlantic Avenue, you’ll be at Bayview Fun Park before you have the time to shake the sand off your feet. With go-karts, batting cages, mini-golf, and bumper boats, this is an ideal spot to take a break from the sand and surf. Spend some time there, take a plunge in the ocean when you get hot, then head back over and repeat. Westerly

In the dog days of summer, it can seem like there’s no space for a blanket bigger than a postage stamp at Misquamicut Beach. Fortunately, Water Wizz of Westerly is right up the road for anyone looking to stay cool, and have some serious fun doing so. With over 1,000 feet of waterslides, there’s plenty for everyone to enjoy themselves, from the Little Dipper slide for young riders to the Super Speed racing slides for that friend who makes everything into a competition. Westerly

The Flying Horse Carousel stands tucked at the end of Watch Hill’s main drag – a fairly modest spot for the oldest suspended-horse carousel in the country. Just steps from the sand, the horses have been delighting visitors to the South County seaside since the 1870s. Grab the brass ring and you win a free ride, but we have a feeling you’ll want to take another spin anyway. Watch Hill