2018-02-01 / Around Town

Winter Fun and Frolic!

By Amy Martin

Tighten your coats and hang onto your hats, people. It’s February… the best month of the year! Why, you ask? Because we live in beautiful Newport, where parking is a breeze in the winter, and because this is the only holiday on the calendar that involves chocolate – and I’m not talking “fun” sizes! No costumes to sew (not that I do that), no big meals to cook (I try not to do that), no gift buying and no strands of lights to wrestle with (I have to do that). I love February, and now I love it even more with these great family activities that keep the winter fun going.

Newport Seal Watch with Save the Bay

I didn’t even know seal tours existed in New England, let alone right here in Newport. Check out the beautiful views of Newport Harbor as you watch seals relax on Citing Rock, off Rose Island and the Newport Bridge. I recommend a heavy coat and a hot drink. You’ll need these simply to walk to the boat. $22-$42. Feb. 3-25. Bowen’s Ferry Landing. savebay.org/seals

Amy Martin is an opinion columnist with a background in family chaos, laughter and a lot of laundry. She writes from a perspective of passion, reality and humor. Amy Martin is an opinion columnist with a background in family chaos, laughter and a lot of laundry. She writes from a perspective of passion, reality and humor. Norman Bird Sanctuary Family Nature Night: Meet the Animals

It’s ironic that I am terrified of birds (three have flown directly into my head, and I’m not joking!), yet my favorite animal reserve is the Norman Bird Sanctuary. I appreciate birds but am so grateful that the sanctuary has many other animals to enjoy. At “Meet the Animals,” you and your children will have a hands-on experience with reptiles, amphibians, mammals and (gulp) birds. Bring your children, questions and therapist, if needed. Members $8, Non-Members $10. Feb. 7 from 6-7 p.m. normanbirdsanctuary.org

Burger Bender

OMG. Are you kidding me?! Sorry vegetarians, but this is a competition for meat lovers only. Delicious burgers. Check! No cooking. Check! Vote because someone thinks my opinion is valuable. Double check!! For ten days, area restaurants will serve their ultimate burger concoctions, showcasing their carnivorous prowess for a chance to win your vote. If that weren’t enough, voters are automatically entered to win a daily giveaway. It’s like a scratch-off game, but better because you get a burger out of it! Feb. 16-25. discovernewport.org

Newport Winter Festival: Feb. 16-25

This is the pinnacle of Newport winter festivity. Community attractions, beauty, food, music and fun are on display for 10 days. Don’t miss out on these child-focused events. Individual attraction tickets can be purchased, but invest in $10 festival bracelets for discounts to entry. newportwinterfestival.com

V Storytime at the Breakers Stables: Feb. 16-25 at 9:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. Free admission. Reservations required.

V Decorate Your Own Snowman Cookie at Roasted & Brewed Café: Feb. 16-25 from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. $8/$6

V Ice Cream Sundae Bar at Hotel Viking: Feb. 16-24 from 1-3 p.m. $5/ Free

V Kids Design Your Own Tumbler at Tervis Tumbler: Feb. 16-25 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 20% off tumbler with bracelet.

V Make Your Own Perfume at Newport Aromatherapy: Feb. 16- 25 from noon to 4 p.m. $25/$18

V Make Your Own Soap at Newport Sea Foam: Feb. 16-25 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. $11/$9

V Save The Bay Exploration Center and Aquarium: Feb. 16-25 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. $8/$7, 3 and under are free.

V Beach Polo presented by the Newport International Polo Series: Feb. 17-18 at 2:30 p.m. Free. Easton’s Beach.

V Movie Night at Hotel Viking: Feb. 17 from 6-8 p.m. Featuring the movie, “Frozen,” with appearances by Olaf and Anna. Free movie snacks with bracelet.

V Island Moving Company’s Junior Company presents Carnival of the Animals: Feb. 18 at 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. $6 for 1 adult and 1 child, $3 for additional children, $1 discount with bracelet.

V Teddy Bear Tea Presented by the Newport Harbor Hotel: Feb. 20 at 11 a.m. Featuring Christopher Carbone.

V Audubon Society of RI Birds of Prey Program: Feb. 20 at 10 a.m. $5/$2. Hotel Viking

V Princess Party at OceanCliff co-Sponsored by Good Kidz Toyz and OceanCliff/Newport Experience: Feb. 21 from 1-3 p.m. $10/$5

V Bwana Iguana the Reptile Guy: Feb. 21 at 10 a.m. Includes refreshments. $7/$3 Hotel Viking

V 13th Annual Illuminated Garden at Ballard Park: Feb. 22-24 from 6-9 p.m. Free. ballardpark.org

V Live Jazz for Kids at Greenvale Vineyards: Feb. 22 from 1-4 p.m. Free.

V Wintertime Music and Stories with Christopher Carbone: Feb. 23 at 10 a.m. Emmanuel Church. $5/ Free

V Dinner and a Movie at Hotel Viking: Feb. 24 at 6 p.m. Showing “Toy Story 2” with appearances by Buzz Lightyear and Woody. Reservations Required.

Newport Public Library

These programs for all ages are a personal favorite and free. Proximity to parking is ideal. I implore you to look at the full schedule. February highlights are below.

Valentine Craft Party – Feb. 10 at 2:30 p.m. Ages 5-12 – registration required.

STEAM Storytime – Feb. 14 10:30 a.m. Ages 3-5 – registration required.

Parent & Child Yoga – Feb. 16 at 10:30 a.m. Ages 1-4.

Music with Sarah Gardner – Feb. 20 at 10:30 a.m. Ages 0-8.

Magical Unicorn Stories & Craft – Feb. 20 at 1 p.m. Ages 3-7.

DIY Bee-Bot Course – Feb. 20 at 3 p.m. Ages 7-12.

Hand-Sewing with Dancing Threads RI – Feb. 21 at 10:30 a.m. Grades K-5 – registration required

Kids Art with Mermaid Masterpieces – Feb. 21 at 3 p.m. Ages 6-12– registration required.

Winter Olympics Celebration– Feb. 23 at 2:30 p.m. Ages 5-12 – registration required.

Family Movie – Feb. 24 at 2:30 p.m. Ages 6-12.

Preschool Dance Party – Feb. 28 at 10:30 a.m. Ages 0-5.

Middletown Public Library

Valentine’s Storytime and Craft Party – Feb. 3 at 11:00 a.m.

February is an exceptional month to take advantage of local area happenings. Don’t be intimidated by the winter weather. Forget the cold, wrap your little people up like Randy, àla "A Christmas Story," and head out to these exciting family occasions this month.

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