2018-01-04 / Around Town

Let It Snow, We’ve Got Places To Go!

By Amy Martin

January is a month of conflicting emotions. Relief marks the conclusion of a hectic holiday season, but withdrawal from an ultra-busy schedule can leave us a bit lost at having actual time on our hands. I have grown to love this month as the calm after the storm. Savor it. There is not a gift to be purchased, a creative idea to be pondered, a party to host or shapewear to be squeezed into. Put on your comfortable, warm clothes and head out for a few of these great family activities. Don’t forget to also snuggle up with your loved ones on the sofa with popcorn and a movie.

Newport Skating Center

Located on the Wharf in Newport, this is a beautiful and scenic family outdoor winter activity. Even if you are slipping and falling all over the rink, you will still have a great view of one of the prettiest places to skate. Warm up afterward with hot chocolate at a nearby shop. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is Superhero Day. Come dressed as your favorite superhero. Kids in costume win a prize.

Tickets are $7 for teens and adults, $5 for children 3 to 12. Children under 3 are admitted free. Public skating is from 5 to 9 p.m. Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Adult skating is from 9 to 11 p.m. on Fridays. Skating hours for MLK Jr. Day on Jan. 14 are noon to 9 p.m., and for Superhero Day on Jan. 15 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, visit newportskatingcenter.com.

Community Free Skate

If free and indoors is more your speed, grab your skates and head over to St. George’s School or Portsmouth Abbey for a community free skate. Skating at St. George’s School is Sundays in January from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m., and at Portsmouth Abbey School on Sundays from 2 to 4 p.m. For more information, visit stgeorges.edu and portsmouthabbey.org.

Beach Bounce House

Is it cold out? Are your children bouncing off the walls? Are you desperate to bring them to an activity where they will belly laugh and tire their little selves out? Yes!!!! Make sure you don’t miss the Beach Bounce House at Easton’s Beach (a.k.a. First Beach). Bounce houses galore will bug the eyes out of your little person’s head. They will actually ponder how you could be so amazingly cool that you could bring them to a place where they can act crazy and literally bounce off padded walls. Little do they know that you will be sitting nearby completely relaxed, smiling and waving every so often while you enjoy a moment or two off your feet.

The Bounce House is open in January, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on weekends from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Admission is $7 per child, $60 for a 10-visit punch card, and $100 for a 20-visit punch card. This might just be the best return on your investment all year. For more information, visit cityofnewport.com/beach.


As if flat abs and Ironman cardio weren’t enough, Pulse Newport has expanded into active motion entertainment for children and teens. Thank God! They offer Tween/Teen Nights on Jan. 5 and Jan. 12 from 6 to 11 p.m. These supervised free activities offer video games that keep the kids moving, including Xbox Sports, Nintendo Wii, Just Dance and much more in a fun tween/teen nightclub setting. Ages 8 to 16 are welcome. Other visitations are available in two-hour time slots for $10 per child. Visit pulsenewport.com.

Newport Library Story Times

When my children were little peeps I desperately searched for activities to get them out of the house and be entertained, giving me an opportunity to interact with people who were capable of feeding themselves and pulling up their own pants. The Newport Library hosts several story time sessions for these little ones, which will accomplish all of the above. Visit newportlibraryri.org.

There is Baby Bookworms (ages up to 24 months) on Jan. 18 and Jan. 25 at 9:30 a.m.

This program uses read-alouds and nursery rhymes to help babies learn the rhythms and patterns of speech. Time will be provided for board books, play and a chance for parents to network. No registration is required.

Tales for 2s Storytime for 2-year-olds is Jan. 16, Jan. 23 and Jan. 30 at 10:30 a.m.

This program uses read-alouds, rhymes, fingerplays, songs and coloring. It helps children develop social skills and advances their interest in books and reading. No registration is required.

Step-Up Storytime (ages 3-4) is Jan. 18 and Jan. 25 at 11 a.m.

This program uses read-alouds, activity rhymes, songs and a craft. Registration is required.

Saturday Stories (ages 1-4) is Jan. 13 at 10 a.m.

This program also uses read-alouds, activity rhymes, songs and a simple craft. No registration is required.

Take advantage of a month without holidays, for they are few and far between. When it snows, take the kids sledding. This is a surefire way to burn energy and create lifelong memories for the entire family. Our family loves going to Fort Adams State Park. According to my children, the hill has a great slope, and there is a dip at the end that causes the sledder to fly up into the air. Enjoy the winter outings with your children!

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