Alas, the smallest state in the U.S. has no major theme parks, amusement parks, or water parks. Rhode Island currently offers a couple of small parks and a few other attractions.
- The only amusement park—and it barely qualifies—is Atlantic Beach Park on Misquamicut Beach in Westerly. Its rides include a circa-1915 carousel (that was moved from Rocky Point—see below), a dragon kiddie coaster, bumper cars, a kiddie Himalaya spinning ride, and that's about it. There is also an arcade and a few concession stands. Local bands play music on weekends and other select dates from late May to early September.
- Nearby on Misquamicut Beach is Water Wizz of Westerly. The tiny water park offers a couple of large water slides, one tube slide for younger riders, and that's about it. There is a much larger Water Wizz water park near Cape Cod in the Massachusetts town of East Wareham.
There are no other parks in Rhode Island, but there are a few other amusements to check out including:
- Adventureland in Narragansett, a family entertainment center with a carousel, batting cages, bumper boats, mini-golf, and an arcade.
- You can also ride the Watch Hill Flying Horses at Watch Hill Beach in Westerly. Built in 1867, it is purported to be the nation's oldest continuously operating carousel. However, another ride also lays claim to the title. You can learn more at my article about the Flying Horses Carousel at Oak Bluffs on Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts.
- Roger Williams Park in Providence includes a lovely zoo, botanical center, and a carousel.
Rhode Island Used to Have Bigger Parks
Dating back to the mid-1800s, Rocky Point Amusement Park in Warwick offered roller coasters and other rides as well as delicious seafood in what it billed as the “world's largest shore dinner hall.” Like many seaside parks in New England and elsewhere, it had difficulty remaining relevant in the modern era of theme parks and closed in 1995.
Crescent Park is another beloved Rhode Island amusement park that is long gone. The East Providence landmark opened in the late 1800s and gave its last ride in 1979. Among its attractions was a carousel that dated back to 1895. It was saved, and you can still ride a painted pony on the Crescent Park Carousel in Riverside, Rhode Island today. The state's other gone (but not forgotten?) parks include Easton’s Beach in Newport and Enchanted Forest in Hope Valley.
If you are looking for larger parks, you’ll have to venture outside the state. The following are some parks and resources to find parks in neighboring states:
- Edaville USA in Carver, MA (not far from Cape Cod) features a charming Thomas Land and is designed for families with young children.
Quassy Amusement Park in Middlebury, Connecticut is a small, traditional park with a great wooden coaster.
Lake Compounce in Bristol, Connecticut also boasts a fabulous wooden coaster as well as a large water park.
Rye Playland in Rye, New York on the Connecticut border is a great classic amusement park.