27 Local Places to Get in Free in Rhode Island and Beyond {Museums and More}


Are you going to go crazy if you spend one more day at your local park? Or just a little tired of visiting the same zoo week after week? Well, just call us Wonder Woman, because we’re here to save the day with this list of 30 places (museums, and farms and parks, oh my!) to visit with your kids in Rhode Island, Southeastern Massachusetts, and nearby Connecticut. This guide is perfect for all of your day-tripping, summer vacation needs, or anytime wanderlust strikes. Best of all, kids of various ages can get in free, meaning you can plan the perfect little adventure for your family without spending a fortune!

Picture of Museum arches with words "27 Local places to get in free in rhode island and beyond" Ideas for family fun in RI, CT and MA

We try to keep this list as up to date as possible, but please call ahead to confirm! If you know of a great place we missed or any changes to admissions, please email us at [email protected] and we’d be happy to update this list!


Ages 3 - 4 Get in Free

RWP Museum of Natural History & Planetarium
This little-known museum is right down the way from the Roger Williams Park Zoo and Carousel Village and makes a great field trip for the whole family.

Roger Williams Park, 1000 Elmwood Ave, Providence, RI 02907
Museum Admission is $2, Kids 3 and under are free.
Planetarium Admission is $3 (Children under 4 not allowed)

Newport Car Museum
Whether they’re a fan of American Graffiti or Cars 3, this museum will give all your four-wheeled fans a day they will remember.

1947 West Main Road, Portsmouth, RI 02871
Adults $18, Youth (5-15) $8, Kids 4 & under  are free.

Dinosaur State Park
Dinosaur lovers of all ages will geek out over 500 real dinosaurs tracks preserved under the dome, while nature lovers can enjoy two miles of walking trails and the Dinosaur State Park Arboretum.

400 West Street, Rocky Hill, CT
Adults $6, Youth (6-12) $2, Kids 4 & under are free.
Admission to the trails and Arboretum is free.

Coggeshall Farm
Learn what life on the farm was like in 18th century Rhode Island!

1 Colt Dr, Bristol, RI 02809
Adults $5, Kids (3-12) $3, Kids Under 3 are free.

Crescent Park Looff Carousel
Little ones and parents alike will love taking a ride on this beautiful historic landmark, built in 1895!
700 Bullocks Point Avenue, Riverside, Rhode Island 02915
Not quite free, but at only $1.50 per ride, we couldn’t leave it off the list!

Audubon Nature Center & Aquarium
See how many types of birds you can spot on the Audubon trails in Bristol. Littles will especially enjoy their indoor nature-themed play area.

401 Hope Street (Rte 114), Bristol, RI 02809
Adults $6, Children $4, Ages 3 & under free

Ages 5 - 6 Get in Free

Roger Williams Park Botanical Center
Budding botanists will love exploring the outdoor gardens, and observing the exotic plants which bloom year-round in RWP’s greenhouses.

Cladrastis Ave, Providence, RI 02907
General Admission $5, Kids (6-12) $2, Under 6 get in free.

Blithewold, Gardens & Estate

101 Ferry Road (Rt. 114), Bristol, Rhode Island, 02809
Adults $15, Youth (6-17) $6, Kids Under 6 get in free.

Gillette Castle State Park
This twenty-four room mansion, built in the early 1900’s, looks like a medieval castle. The surrounding 124-acre park boasts numerous walking trails, a pond, and picnic areas.

67 River Rd, East Haddam, CT 06423
Castle Admissions: Adults $6, Kids (6-12) $2, Kids 5 & under are free.
Entry to the park (and parking) is free.

Mapparium at The Mary Baker Eddy Library
Stand inside of a three-story, full-color, stained glass globe!

200 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA 02115
General Admission $6, Kids 5 & under get in free.

Slater Mill Museum
Enjoy the day at beautiful Slater Park and pay a visit to this historical textile mill that has been called, “the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution.”

67 Roosevelt Avenue, Pawtucket, Rhode Island
Adults $12, Youth (6-12) $6.50, Ages 5 & under are free.

Smith’s Castle
Treat yourself to a guided tour by a docent in period clothing at this historic house museum, as well as the 18th-century garden.

Smith’s Castle 55 Richard Smith Drive North Kingstown, RI 02852
Adults $10, Kids (6-12) $5, Kids 5 & under are FREE

Tweens and Teens Get In Free

RISD Museum
Your little Georgia O’Keefe (or Picasso) will have a blast exploring RISD’s extensive collection.

20 North Main Street, Providence, RI
Adults $15, 18 & under are free.

Newport Polo (Seasonal)

250 Linden Lane, Portsmouth, RI 02871
GA (Lawn) $15, Kids 15 & Under are free.

Museum of African American History
Take a free guided walking tour on the Black Heritage Trail in Boston and learn about the first free black community in the U.S. including homes, school, Underground Railroad sites, and the nation’s first African Meeting House.

Boston & Nantucket Locations
Adults $10, Kids 12 & under are free.

Old Colony History Museum
Historians of all ages can dive into our regional past at this small museum in southern MA.

66 Church Green, Taunton, Massachusetts 02780
Adults $4, Youth (12-18) $2, Kids 12 & under are free.

Hancock Shaker Village
With twenty historical Shaker buildings, a working farm, gardens, and lots of nearby shops and restaurants, it’s worth taking a day trip to this “utopian” village.

1843 West Housatonic St., Pittsfield MA, 01201
Adults $20, Youth (13-17) $8, Kids 12 & under are FREE

All Ages Get In Free

Rhode Island State House
Take in the history and beauty of our state capitol building.

82 Smith Street, Providence, RI 02903
Free, self-guided tours.

World War I Memorial Park & Zoo
Feed farm animals and hit the playground at this expansive community park.

365 Elmwood Street, North Attleboro, MA 02760
Always free, Animal Feed $0.25

Providence Athenaeum
The fourth oldest library in the country still hosts community events for all ages.

Benefit St, Providence, RI 02903
Free, including story times and certain events.

Dinosaur Footprints
Explore trails of real dinosaur footprints. A must see for your budding paleontologist.

717-999 Northampton St, Holyoke, MA 01040
Always free.

The Cape Cod Potato Chip Factory
This tour comes with a side of (free!) chips.

100 Breeds Hill Rd, Hyannis, MA 02601
Free, self-guided tours.

The Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology
Get a peek inside of Brown’s collection of historical artifacts as well as the work of Brown’s students and staff.

Manning Hall, Brown University Main Green
21 Prospect Street, Providence, RI 02912
Admission is free.

Frosty Drew Observatory
Enjoy the opportunity to observe the night sky via telescope, under the supervision of a real astronomy. Perfect for the space enthusiast in your family.

62 Park Lane, Ninigret Park, Charlestown, RI 02813
Free and open to the public every Friday night year round. Donations accepted.

Boston Fire Museum
Perfect for the aspiring firefighter in your life!

344 Congress Street, Boston, MA 02120
Admission is free. Donations accepted.

The Attleboro Art Museum
This local art museum is committed to its mission statement “Arts for Everyone,” meaning it is always free and encourages houses work by both aspiring and professional artists alike.

86 Park Street, Attleboro, Massachusetts, 02703
Free admission. Donations accepted.

Rhode Island Resource Recovery Center
The educational center at RIRRC has games, computers and even a giant “compost heap” for the kids to crawl around inside. Get together with a couple of families to book a private tour. Going green has never been so much fun!

65 Shun Pike, Johnston, RI 02919
Free tours for groups of 10 or more.