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Newport with a toddler. Based on a recent visit to Newport with a three-year-old, you can have fun in Newport but you need to be careful which activities you choose. Best bets:
- The Marriott Newport staff is vey helpful with sitters, suggestions and logistics. They are a short walk to most of the harbor attractions and right across the street from the shopping at Brick Market (BabyGap for emergencies) and one block from a good playground at the ballpark.
- The Rum Runner II. This is a great harbor cruise option for toddlers because it is an historic speed boat and stays level - no heeling and worrying about your child falling into the harbor during a tack. Be aware that during the week only the 1:30 p.m. cruise time is available. They do several high speed runs, which kids generally love. They also provide complimentary rain ponchos if there is an unanticipated downpour. Very good option for little ones.
-The Mooring restaurant is kid-friendly. The food and view of the harbor are good but the service allows you to get in and out quickly and tantrum-free without feeling rushed.
-Easton's Beach. The playground, carousel and snack bar were all a hit. There is also an aquarium. The beach is well-maintained but you may expereince a little algae. The water in August can be surpisingly warm and the low tide provided a great sand bar for wading. Gooseberry Beach is more ($20 a car vs. $10) but is also a good option for smaller bathers.
-Green Animals. yes, this is good for little ones but it is also a little out of the way. A good kid-friendly option for food is Cindy's Country Cafe, on the way to Green Animals before you turn onto Corey's Lane. You can eat there or get your food to go.
-Supply emergencies. A short drive away down 138, is a Wal-Mart/Stop-n-Shop/Old Navy strip mall. You can get baby supplies, rain coats, etc. for unanticipated emergencies. Be aware, the store is in a weird clover-leaf. Leaving Newport, follow 138 and take the Adm. Kalbfus exit not the 138W exit, advised by Mapquest. Returning to Newport, go around the traffic circle and follow the 138 W signs, then immediately merge to the left for "Scenic Newoport" and regular 138, which takes you right back to America's Cup Ave.
-Many of the shops are NOT kid-friendly and many do not allow strollers. Keep this in mind as you go.
-A retail shop that many families enjoy is The Magic Studio located on Lower Thames Street. Both parents and kids have so much fun to see the different magic tricks performed at the store . The Magic Studio has a great selection of kites for the families to buy and take with them to the beach. The joke and prank items are hilarious. The staff are knowledgeable about the magic, juggling and kites and can recommend a product for the appropriate age. Parking is available either on the street or behind building there is parking lot. Outside the magic shop there are benches for folks to sit. Nearby there are icecream shops.
--Save the Bay Ecology Center. $6/person. Great volunteers who teach your kids about sealife. Great touch and feel tank where volunteers let little ones hold Spider Crabs, Hermit Crabs, Snails, Starfish, sea Urchins. Great tanks of jellyfish, turtles, horseshoe crabs. a crafts center and a scavenger hunt for kids with prizes at the end.