Summer Guide

Summer Fun in Providence

The state’s food and arts hub is cool in any season, but here's how to enjoy this one


Home to our only zoo and the highest concentration of delicious restaurants, Providence is a no-brainer when it comes to having fun in the summertime. 

Take Everything Outside
In the summer, you don’t have time to waste indoors, even for watching movies. Movies on the Block is upping their film cred this year, showing Dr. Strangelove (June 29), All the President’s Men (July 7), The Godfather (July 27), the timeless classic Dumb and Dumber (August 10) and Do the Right Thing (August 17). Movies in the Park offers a more kid-friendly alternative every other Friday, beginning July 14 with the animated animals-doing-karaoke movie Sing, followed by The Secret Life of Pets, A League of Their Own and E.T.

The Providence Flea is an urban flea market that happens every Sunday along South Water Street, selling everything from locally made T-shirts to vintage jewelry to terrariums. The Providence Artisans Market  happens every Saturday at Lippitt Park in conjunction with the Lippitt Park Farmers Market, and offers up RI-made art, furniture, crafts and more.

Get on the Water
The Providence River Boat Company has been offering unique views of the city for 26 years. Take a sunset cruise, or get up close to WaterFire (but not too close). If you prefer to be more hands on with your high-seas adventures, the Community Boating Center might be more up your alley. Their fleet of kayaks, dinghies and catamarans offer all kinds of options for leaving the life of a landlubber behind.

Water + Fire = Magic

Summer in Providence isn’t summer without WaterFire. Lightings this summer are June 24, July 8, July 20, July 22 and August 5. If you want to really ramp up the romance, spring for a trip on the Providence River courtesy of La Gondola. Each of the 36-foot Venetian gondolas is piloted by a gondolier, complete with striped shirt and legit gondolier hat.

The Zoo Crew
The Roger Williams Park Zoo is a great way to get up close with wildlife. Like really close. Where else in the city can you ride a camel (legally) or feed a giraffe? It’s also a great place to cut loose sans kids – Zoobilee: Feast With the Beast (June 24) and Brews at the Zoo (August 26) are both 21+ events.

Eat from a Truck
A food truck, that is. Providence has the highest concentration of food trucks in the state, and it’s easy to find a time to enjoy them. Food Truck Fridays at Roger Williams Park bring a rotating selection of up to 20 food trucks, along with live music and a beer garden. On the fourth Thursday evening of the month, trucks congregate in front of Providence City Hall , and gather every Sunday evening at The Hot Club for Sunday Funday. Expect to find anything from gourmet burgers at Rocket Fine Street Food to wild game at Open Season to Thai-style ice cream rolls from Mike’s Ice Truck.

Rainy Day Activities
It’s a mathematical probability that at least one weekend day will be rainy this summer. Keep your fingers crossed that it’s a Sunday, when the RISD Museum has free admission. The Arcade is also a good rainy day destination, with shopping, a restaurant and a coffee and whiskey bar.