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Fun Activities for Teens to Do in Providence, RI

by Jane Rodda, studioD

Providence, Rhode Island prides itself on having a small-town feel with big city attractions. Teens can enjoy the emphasis on the arts and music along with the many other lively venues that the city offers. With a population of 178,432 according to the 2012 U.S. Census estimate, and a multitude of things to do, your teen will likely have no trouble staying busy and active -- and having fun -- in Providence.

The Arts

Providence has a unique venue called WaterFire, a fire sculpture installation on the three rivers in the downtown area. It features a series of about 100 bonfires that blaze just above the surface of the water and goes on for two-thirds of a mile. The fires usually blaze on Saturday evenings twice a month from May through October. Live performances and music are part of the show -- which is likely delight teens who attend. The Providence Performing Arts Center features world- class productions including theatrical shows such as The Phantom of the Opera and Wicked. Teens may appreciate many of the live shows that this venue has to offer.


Most teenagers love to eat, so they would most certainly enjoy visiting the Culinary Arts Museum. Here, they can view more than 250,000 items on display that chronicle the art of food preparation and the history of the food service industry. Cookbooks, kitchen appliances, antique advertisements and menus offer a peek into the evolution of all things food. For teens with an interest in science, there's the Museum of Natural History and Planetarium. It has thousands of artifacts including animal fossils, minerals, rock formations, cultural items and plant fossils. The Planetarium features a special exhibit exploring distant galaxies.

Parks and Recreation

For teens who want to get out in the fresh air, Providence has numerous parks. Roger Williams Park is one of the larger rec areas with 435 acres of land. It has several ponds for fishing, open fields for tossing a ball and sports courts. The park also hosts events like concerts and shows. For teens who want to escape the summer heat, Providence has four outdoor pools and 11 different neighborhood parks with splash features. The teens may be too old for some of the water toys, but they surely wouldn't shy away from plunging into the pool.

Game Centers

Providence has some indoor options that are simply fun places teens to hang out. Dave & Busters features state-of-the-art video games, as well as classic games including billiards, shuffleboard and air hockey. They also have a large, varied menu, sure to delight the taste buds of most teens. Just over the river in East Providence is East Providence Lanes. It has plenty of lanes for bowling, glow-bowling features, an arcade room and pool tables. It also offers pizza, hot dogs, burgers and fries for teens who work up an appetite.

About the Author

Jane Rodda has been a writer since 2004, with articles featured in "Gameday Magazine" and "Urban Family Magazine." She is also the social media director and lead copywriter for a piano instruction website. Rodda holds a Bachelor of Arts in liberal studies with a concentration in psychology from Point Loma Nazarene University.

Photo Credits

  • Michael Blann/Lifesize/Getty Images