Selected Things to Do in Cranston, Rhode Island

Places to visit in Cranston, RI.

Located in Providence County, Rhode Island, Cranston is a tourist-friendly city. It’s an excellent place for a family vacation or a solo getaway. The town is known for its museums, parks, and restaurants.

Museums include the Museum of Natural History and Planetarium. Rhode Island’s only natural history museum, this attraction offers an exciting array of exhibits on life on Earth. The museum is also home to Rhode Island’s only public planetarium.

Things to Do in Cranston, Rhode Island

If you’re visiting Rhode Island and looking for things to do, you’ll find that Cranston, Rhode Island, has plenty to offer. From parks and museums to historical sites, you’ll be sure to find something interesting to do.

William H Hall Free Library, Cranston RI
William H Hall Free Library, Cranston RI

Roger Williams Park Zoo

Roger Williams Park Zoo is a fun place to take your family. It offers thrilling rides and exciting activities. You can also see endangered species. There is a range of educational programs at the zoo as well.

This zoo is one of the oldest in the nation. It was the first in New England to receive accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Roger Williams Park Zoo
Roger Williams Park Zoo

There are plenty of exciting animals, from otters to monkeys, zebras to elephants. The zoo’s newest exhibit, “Face of the Rainforest,” is a spectacular, completely immersive experience.

While you’re there, you can visit the farmyard. Bank RI sponsors this area of the zoo, which features a petting zoo. Besides the farmyard, there are interactive stations where you can learn about the animals’ habitats.

Museum of Natural History and Planetarium

The Museum of Natural History and Planetarium is Rhode Island’s only natural history museum. Visitors will find a variety of exciting exhibits and events. It’s also home to Rhode Island’s only public planetarium.

While the museum is not particularly large, it contains an extensive collection of artifacts. Besides the lobby exhibit, there are five other exhibit halls.

Providence Museum of Natural History and Planetarium
Providence Museum of Natural History and Planetarium

The planetarium has a state-of-the-art Zeiss star projector. There is an exciting half-hour planetarium show. However, a self-guided tour is the best way to experience the museum.

Another excellent museum feature is the Children’s Garden, an outdoor play area. Kids can engage in traditional farm work. You can also participate in workshops and events.

Save The Bay Center

Save The Bay is a nonprofit environmental advocacy organization that seeks to improve the quality of Narragansett Bay and the ecological health of the surrounding area. It protects the region through environmental education programs, habitat restoration, and water quality improvement.

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view from Save the Bay HQ, Providence, RI
View from Save the Bay HQ, Providence, RI

Save The Bay Center is the new headquarters for the organization. Located on a six-acre site at Fields Point, the center provides educational, administrative, and exhibition space. This environmentally responsible “green” building incorporates several stormwater and energy-saving technologies.

Pawtuxet Park

The small city park of Pawtuxet Park in Cranston, Rhode Island, is a charming neighborhood park with a playground, gardens, and a white gazebo. It’s the perfect place to take a stroll or sit and enjoy the scenery.

Pawtuxet Park is located in the neighborhood of Pawtuxet Village. It’s a popular spot for locals to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The area has many restaurants, a quaint downtown district, and beautiful shops.

Pawtuxet Park
Pawtuxet Park

The Pawtuxet River flows into Narragansett Bay. The river offers a safe harbor for boats. Boaters can launch their vessels from the famous Pontiac Canoe Launch, located at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet.

The village’s history dates back to the 17th century when Roger Williams purchased a parcel of land in Pawtuxet. During the early 18th century, inhabitants built various mills and ships that took advantage of the Pawtuxet River power. In addition, several shipyards for coastal trade were located in the area.

Sprague Mansion

If you’re looking for things to do in Cranston, Rhode Island, you should consider visiting the Governor William Sprague Mansion. This historic mansion is located on Cranston Street in the city of Cranston.

The house is also home to the Cranston Historical Society. It was built in 1790 but was later expanded by Col. Amasa Sprague in 1864.

Governor Sprague Mansion front
Governor Sprague Mansion front

There are rumors that the Sprague family had a ghost. Several reports mention a spirit in the central stairway of the mansion. Others say a filmy white thing brushed against their arm in the wine cellar.

The Cranston Historical Society purchased the mansion in 1971. The organization had to repair the estate. They have a history of unexplained phenomena at the villa.

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