Museums and galleries offer a tour of art, culture, fun for children
Rhode Island's museums and galleries range from art at the world-famous RISD (Rhode Island School of Design) to living history at Coggeshall and Watson farm museums, and others that make great places to visit and things to do on your next Rhode Island vacation.
686 Cushing Road
Newport, RI 02841
Open year-round Mon-Fri 10a-4:30p; Weekends from June-Sept. 12-4:30p; Closed holidays; Fee Admission.
The museum is in Newport, Rhode Island’s Founders Hall (1820), a National Historic Landmark, and features exhibits on the history of naval warfare and the history of the Navy in the region, as well as the naval history of Narragansett Bay. Founders Hall is where the college started in 1884 and where naval historian Capt. Alfred Thayer Mahan wrote the epochal The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660-1783 - the book that helped to change the course of naval history at the start of the 20th century. Exhibits include milestones in naval warfare, the significance of the sea in international policy objectives, and the relationship between the U.S. Navy and Rhode Island in general, presenting with fun facts and knowledge during this interesting thing to do. You may also access the U.S. Navy's History Database of ships and aircraft, available on a kiosk at the museum.
680 Bellevue Avenue
Newport, RI 02840
Experience the Life of 20th Century Heiress
Rough Point was the Newport, Rhode Island, home of Doris Duke – heiress, art collector, and Newport preservationist. Originally built by the Vanderbilt family in 1887 it later became one of Doris Duke’s homes. Still decorated as it was during her lifetime, the mansion is home to a remarkable collection of French furniture, European art, Chinese porcelains, and Turkish carpets; all collected during her world travels. The mansion features ocean views and landscaping design by Fredrick Law Olmsted, creator of New York’s Central Park. Rough Point opens for the season April 11, 2013. Tours last one hour and are led by knowledgeable guides, making a fun thing to do on your next Newport vacation.
416 Thames Street
View 18th Century Newport Furniture In Federal-Style Mansion
The Whitehorne House is a great place to visit on your next trip. It features some of the best examples of Newport and Rhode Island furniture from the late 18th century. View examples of work by craftsmen from the renowned Townsend and Goddard workshops, including artisan Benjamin Baker. Known as cabinetmakers, these craftsmen created some of the most highly regarded examples of American furniture. Enjoy this remarkable collection in a completely furnished Federal-style mansion along Newport’s waterfront. Stroll through featuring a beautiful array of period flowers and plants. Whitehorne House is open for guided or self-guided tours May – October, Thursday – Monday. Group tours also available.
Informational Listings Courtesy of VisitNewEngland.com
Museum of Work and Culture
42 South Main Street
The Museum of Work and Culture is a Rhode Island museum that tells the story of French Canadian immigrants who left Quebec to come to work in the mills and factories of Woonsocket. Visitors begin their tour at a rural Quebec farm house and journey through the work day world of Woonsocket's residents from the early 20th century to the present. On the shop floor of a textile mill, from the front porch of a three family tenement, in church, in school, in the union hall, visitors are immersed in a narrative of the working class in America.
Hours: Weekdays, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, 1-4 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $8; seniors or students, $9; children under age 10, free.
Slater Mill Historic Site
67 Roosevelt Avenue
Pawtucket, RI 02862
Site of several colonial structures, including Slater Mill (1793), birthplace of American industry, the Sylvanus Brown House (1758), and Wilkinson Mill (1810), home to an authentic 19th century machine shop. This rhode Island site also features a eight-ton working water wheel, constructed in 1826, and regular demonstrations of early textile machinery, hand-spinning, and weaving, , making for an interesting place to visit and thing to do especially on your next family vacation.
Hours: Vary seasonally; call ahead.
Admission: Adults age 13-64, $12; seniors over age 64, $10; children age 6-12, $8.50
Coggeshall Farm Museum
Off Route 114
Bristol, RI 02809
A 35-acre colonial farm, established in 1750. The museum features rare breeds of livestock, a barn, cooling house, blacksmith and springhouse. Open March-September, 10 am-6 pm; October-February, 10 am-5 pm.
Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology
Tower Street, off Route 136
Bristol, RI 02809
A part of Brown University, this Rhode Island museum focuses on the arts and culture of Native American, African, Southeast Asian, and Oceanic societies throughout history.
Hours: Year-round, Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; closed Mondays and Brown University holidays.
Herreshoff Marine Museum and America's Cup Hall of Fame
1 Burnside Street
Bristol, RI 02809
The museum and hall of fame present the story of the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company and the America's Cup competition. From 1863 to 1945, the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company produced the world's finest yachts on the cutting edge of design and engineering. This Rhode Island museum's collection includes 60 original Herreshoff boats, steam engines, artifacts, and photographs from the Golden Age of Yachting.
Hours: April 26-November 2, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; other times of year by appointment.
Admission: Adults, $10; seniors over age 65, $8; military, $8, youth over age 10, $5.
Museum of Newport History
127 Thames Street
Newport, RI 02840
The museum offers a overview of Newport, Rhode Island, history to life with exhibits of decorative arts, artifacts of everyday life, graphics, historic photographs, audio-visual programs, fine ship models, brilliant paintings, exquisite Colonial silver, the printing press used by James Franklin, a ball gown worn by a member of the Summer Colony, the figurehead from the yacht Aloha, and much more. The museum is a great place to visit and thing to do on your next vacation with children when you are looking for a unique family activity.
Hours: Mid-June-September 4, daily, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; April 20-June 11 and September 7-December 23, Thursday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday, 1-4 p.m.; closed Christmas to mid-April.
Museum of Yachting at Fort Adams
Fort Adams State Park
Newport, RI 02840
The Museum of Yachting brings to the public eye the beauty and excitement which has led sailors to the water for centuries. It is a lively organization that reflects the international flavor of yachting in Newport, Rhode Island, and is dedicated to the preservation of the traditional skills, documents, vessels, and artifacts which record and describe the history and development of yachting around the world.
Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Cost: Adults, $5; seniors and children, $4.
National Museum of American Illustration
Vernon Court at 492 Bellevue Avenue
Newport, RI 02840
This Rhode Island museum exhibits artworks from the Golden Age of American Illustration, including work by Maxfield Parrish, Norman Rockwell, N.C. Wyeth and 75 others. The museum building, Vernon Court, is a Beaux-Arts adaptation of an 18th century French chateau, making it a beautiful site and place to visit.
Hours: Memorial Day to Labor Day, open daily; schedule is announced in May. During summer, the museum is open on a general admissions basis without a need for reservation. The museum is open year-round by advance reservation for group of private tours.
Admission: Call for information.
Culinary Arts Museum at Johnson and Wales University
315 Harborside Blvd.
Museum will close for renovation from May 20, 2013, to September 2014
A visit to the Johnson & Wales Culinary Arts Museum in Providence will excite your senses and pique your appetite for art and artifacts about food service and cookery. Indulge in the edible art of food presentation and see the Dinner at the White House exhibit, and then travel through time by tracing the history of American cooking. Experience our 4000-square-foot diner exhibit, including The Little Chef Diner, a play area for kids, and the Every Ready diner, a 1926 diner which operated in Providence.
John Brown House Museum
52 Power Street
Providence, RI 02906
One of America's grandest mansions when completed in 1788, the house at 52 Power Street was home first to John Brown, a businessman, patriot, politician, China trade pioneer, and slave trader who participated in the debates and practices that shaped the new nation. Group, school, and special tours are available by appointment when you decide to visit this Rhode Island museum on your next vacation or getaway. .
Hours: December 1-March 31, Friday and Saturday, 10:30 a.m., noon, 1:30 and 3 p.m.; April 1-November 30, Tuesday-Friday, 1:30 and 3 p.m.; Saturdays, 10:30 a.m., noon, 1:30 and 3 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $10; seniors and students, $8; children age 7-17, $6.
Museum of Art at Rhode Island School of Design
224 Benefit Street and 20 North Main Street
Providence, RI 02903
The exhibits at this Rhode Island museum focus on historic art and design. About 86,000 works of art include items and exhibits from ancient Greece and Rome, 18th-century Europe, ancient Egypt, the Middle Ages and 19th-century American decorative art.
Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Open until 9 p.m. third Thursday of the month. Closed in August.
Admission: Adults, $12; seniors over age 62, $10; college students, $5; youth aged 5-18, $3. Free admission third Thursday of the month, 5-9 p.m.; every Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Museum of Natural History and Cormack Planetarium
Roger Williams Park, 1000 Elmwood Avenue
Providence, RI 02907
Rhode Island's only natural history museum and home to the state's only planetarium make this a great place to visit and thing to do, especially on your next family vacation with children. The museum offers regular exhibits, events, and attractions. The Planetarium features a state-of-the-art Zeiss star projector and an enlarged domed ceiling on which the stars are projected. Children under age 4 are not permitted into the planetarium.
Hours: Museum open daily, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., with last admission at 3:30 p.m. The planetarium is open every weekend and daily during July and August, with shows beginning at 2 p.m.
Admission: Museum admission is $2; planetarium admission is $3.
Providence Children's Museum
100 South Street
Providence, RI 02903
This Rhode Island museum for children featuring hands-on exhibits for all ages, pre-school to teens, makes this a great family activity on your next vacation. Cultural and science exhibits and a gift shop highlight interactive activities and exhibits.
Hours:September-March, Tuesday-Sunday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and select Fridays to 8 p.m.; April-Labor Day, open daily, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.and select Fridays to 8 p.m.
Admission: $9 per person over age 1.
Warwick Museum of Art
3259 Boston Post Road
Warwick, RI 02886
A selection of changing exhibits of the works of artists, both past and present, are found at the Warwick Museum of Art in Rhode Island.
Admission: Free; donations are welcome.
Hours: Tuesday and Thursday, 12:30-7:30 p.m.; Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, 12:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Quonset Air Museum
488 Ecclecston Avenue
North Kingstown, RI 02852
The museum is housed on three acres in an original Naval Air Station Quonset Point hangar built in 1945 as the point building for the Overhaul and Repair facility. The museum has a large collection of aircraft, aircraft parts, and other historical artifacts, making this a great place to visit and interesting thing to do on your next Rhode Island vacation. The 28 aircraft currently on display or under restoration include civilian, military and prototype aircraft dating from 1944 (Hellcat under restoration) to 1983 (F-14 Tomcat).
Hours: Call ahead for hours of operation.
Admission: Adults, $7; children age 6-12, $3; military, free.
South County Museum
115 Anne Hoxsie Lane
South County Museum is located on a 174-acre park that once was the 68-room summer home of Civil War-era Governor William Sprague. It includes a working 19th-century farm, and its seven exhibition buildings house a working print shop and working blacksmith shop, plus exhibits on farming, home-making, fishing and sailing and other aspects of 19th- and early 20th-century life in southern Rhode Island.
Hours: May, June and September, Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sundays, noon to 4 p.m; July and August, Wednesdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sundays, noon to 4 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $5; seniors over age 60, $4; children age 6 to 12, $2.
Tomaquag Indian Memorial Museum
390 Summit Road
Exeter, RI 02822
Artifacts and information about local tribes and Native American groups across the country are presented at Rhode Island’s Tomaquag Indian Memorial Museum. Artifacts include an authentic birch bark canoe, a collection of Southern New England ash splint baskets, and a large doll collection.
Hours: Open year-round by appointment only.