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Though it's well known as a destination for romantic getaways, Newport is actually a very family-friendly city. Here are some of the best things to do while visiting with kids in tow:
1. The Arcade. With all the hand-held game systems out there, kids literally have all the entertainment they need right at their fingertips these days. But walking into a building packed with colorful, noisy arcade games still holds a certain magic to it. And for that very reason, children love stepping back into the not-so-distant gaming past at the Ryan Family Amusements on Thames Street.
2. Newport Gulls. Catch a ball game at historic Cardines Field, home of the Newport Gulls. This wooden-bat summer collegiate baseball team is a member of the New England Collegiate Baseball League, and their games make for a fun and inexpensive way to enjoy America's pastime in Newport. Located on America's Cup Avenue, Cardines Field is thought to be one of the oldest baseball parks in the country.
3. The Carousel. Overlooking Easton's Beach in Newport, the Carousel is fun for kids of all ages. Little ones love to ride the colorful merry-go-round horses to the tune of whimsical music. And once they've had enough, there's a playground on the beach right next to the Carousel, perfect for burning off any energy leftover from the ride.
4. Green Animals. Located approximately 20 minutes from downtown Newport by car, a visit to Green Animals Topiary Garden in nearby Portsmouth, RI is well worth the trip. Overseen by the Preservation Society of Newport County, this historic garden estate is a magical site where bushes and trees are cut into life-sized shapes of bears, birds and other animals. The seasonal attraction is typically open from July through October.
5. Picnic. Pack a basket or grab some take-out lunch and spend the afternoon at one of Newport's free state parks: Fort Adams or Brenton Point. Both offer impressive views of Narragansett Bay and have ample space for kids to run around. Bring some kites or lawn games for even more family fun.