Newport Polo Match in Rhode Island

25+ Unique Rhode Island Date Ideas To Try This Year

Want to try a fun and unique date in Rhode Island? There are many Rhode Island date ideas that will add some fun to your relationship.

Rhode Island, located in the Northeastern part of the United States, is full of history, culture, and entertainment. As one of the smallest states in the country, Rhode Island offers fun possibilities for date ideas. And because Rhode Island is so small, it will take little time to drive to these destinations, so any of these could be day trips.  

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From coastal beaches to the vibrant downtown area, Rhode Island has something for every couple looking for a fun date. This post will explore some unique Rhode Island date ideas. Whether you're a local or just visiting, these Rhode Island date ideas will help you create lasting memories. 

Growing up in the Ocean State, I was able to visit many of these places. Now that we live on the border of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, my wife and I enjoy day trips and visits with my family. There are many Rhode Island date ideas, but these are the most unique and fun.

Newport ship
Ship in the harbor in Newport, RI

Outdoor Adventures for Rhode Island Date Ideas

Take a bike ride

The East Bay Bike Path is 14.5 miles long and runs from India Point Park in Providence to Bristol. It used to be a railroad route, but now it's a flat bike path with stunning water views. 

While on your bike ride, you can also enjoy food and coffee at Borealis Coffee Company. This Riverside coffee shop offers delicious nitro cold brew coffee and snacks along the bike path. Once you make your way from Providence to Bristol, be sure to check out Colt State Park. 

Colt State Park, in Bristol, offers beautiful shorelines and plenty of green space to play soccer or cookout. Colt State Park also has places to fish and kayak. Bristol is a great place to walk around and shop too. 

view from East Bay Bike Path,one of the fun Rhode Island Date ideas
View from the East Bay Bike Path

Day at the beach

Rhode Island is called The Ocean State for a reason. With over 400 miles of coastline, Rhode Island has some of the most beautiful beaches. From Westerly to Narragansett to Newport, there are plenty of state and private beaches to enjoy over the summer. 

Take the Block Island ferry for a fun day trip. ‘The Block, ‘ as locals call it, is a small island off the coast of Rhode Island. Bock Island is the perfect romantic getaway for the weekend. It has beaches, hiking trails, and restaurants to enjoy. You can rent bikes or mopeds to ride around and enjoy the island life.

Arts and Culture Rhode Island Date Ideas

Enjoy live music

Despite being small, Rhode Island has a vibrant music and art scene. AS220 is a local non-profit community arts program where you can take art classes or attend an exhibit. To see national and touring bands, The Strand Ballroom has a packed live music calendar. Roger Williams Park Zoo also hosts free music events over the summer. 

Theater Performance

Another fun Rhode Island date night is a trip to the theater. There are many shows and performances between Providence Performing Arts Center, Trinity Rep Theater, and The Vets. The Providence Performing Arts Center, or PPAC, is the historic theater in the city of Providence where you can enjoy Broadway productions. There isn't a bad seat in this theater, and ticket prices are affordable.

PPAC also releases last-minute tickets on the day of a show which is a deal. Grab delicious food and cocktails before a show at the Rooftop at Providence G Hotel and enjoy premier views of the Providence skyline.

Attend a movie

Check out a movie at Avon Cinema if a film is your preferred art. Avon Cinema is a historic art deco movie theater located on Thayer Street. General admission is only $12. Plenty of restaurants and bars on Thayer Street would make for a fun Providence date night. 

Rhode Island has many colleges, including Brown University, the University of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College (my alma mater), Providence College (my wife's alma mater), and the Rhode Island School of Design. Lots of colleges and college students for one small state!

RISD Museum

Rhode Island School of Design, or RISD for short, also houses a museum on its campus. The Rhode Island School of Design Museum is southern New England's most comprehensive art museum, with over 100,000 art pieces. You and your date could spend hours wandering the RISD museum between permanent art galleries, student exhibits, and shows.


Waterfire is an excellent option for a Rhode Island date night. This is a floating art show, as bonfires are lit on the rivers of Providence, casting cool shadows on the people, bridges, and boats nearby. Another unique experience to try is the Providence River Boat Company. Enjoy a guided boat ride and learn more about the history of Providence and Waterfire. Or, if you are brave, try their haunted boat ride.

Sports and Athletic dates for Rhode Island

If you want an active date in Providence, check out The Providence Rink: BankNewport City Center. Located in downtown Providence, this rink offers roller skating and a disco in the warmer months.

Yes, you can rent roller skates (and a helmet) while skating around a disco ball!

During the winter, the area is converted into a rink with ice bumper cars and ice skating. You can find events and games, like pickleball and dodgeball, that will be a fun date night in Rhode Island.

Attend a basketball game

Now, sports-themed Rhode Island date ideas are more my speed; luckily, my wife enjoys them too. We like to attend the Friars basketball games at the Amica Mutual Pavilion. Before the game, we enjoy dinner in downtown Providence and then root for the Friars!

Video games

One of the fun things about Providence is that there are so many different things to do on a first date. If you like video games, you will enjoy downtown Providence's Free Play Bar Arcade. There is an entry fee, but you get unlimited access to all the video and pinball games. The Free Play Bar Arcade also has live music on the patio, a wide selection of craft beer, and pizza.

Newport Polo Match in Rhode Island
Newport Polo Match

Newport Date Ideas

For the next few Rhode Island date ideas, I suggest a short drive to Newport, RI. Newport is home to historic mansions, Fort Adams, and the famous Cliff Walk. It is a popular tourist destination for many, but I'm lucky to call it home. As a Rhode Islander from Newport, you know I have many hidden gems for Rhode Island date ideas. 

Newport is a beautiful place with a rich history, local shops, and fantastic food. In addition to romantic restaurants, there are also stunning ocean views. But if you want a unique and fun date night idea in the Newport area, I suggest a Newport Polo Match in Portsmouth. You can have a great time tailgating with friends and go on the field to stomp divots at halftime. A dress code called “Newport Casual Chic” is a mix of preppy New England attire.  

Another unique date in Newport is to go on the high seas on an 80-foot sailboat to tour Newport Harbor and surrounding water attractions. Newport Classic Cruises offers day sails, lighthouse views, and romantic sunset cruises. These scenic views are the perfect way to explore Newport.

The next fun Rhode Island date idea is to attend a Newport Gulls baseball game. The Newport Gulls are part of the New England Collegiate Baseball League and play every summer. These games are fun and interactive community events that are perfect for the whole family. 

Food and Drinks in Rhode Island

Federal Hill

If you want more dining experience, explore Federal Hill in Providence. Federal Hill is a historic district and home to some of the most amazing Italian food in Rhode Island.

You can sample an Italian pastry at Pastiche's or enjoy a romantic date night at Cassarino's (my favorite). Federal Hill is the perfect place for a date, with many historic restaurants and bakeries.

Iggy's Doughboys

If you prefer fried seafood, head to Iggy's Doughboys and Chowderhouse. With two locations (Warwick and Narraganset), you can enjoy the famous clam cakes and chowder. Iggy's is a summer tradition for many of us Rhode Islanders. 

Ice Cream and Donuts

Rhode Island has many options if you enjoy something sweet on your first date. I suggest the Ice Cream Machine in Cumberland for local homemade ice cream. There are many delicious flavors and ice cream sundaes to enjoy, but my favorite is the brownie batter. Nothing better on a Rhode Island date night than enjoying ice cream outside.

If you want a dessert specific to Rhode Island, try the Awful Awful from Newport Creamery. Newport Creamery has been serving great food and ice cream in Rhode Island for over 80 years. The signature ice cream is a milkshake called the Awful Awful. I loved chocolate Awful Awfuls as a kid – I still treat myself to one each summer. 

Allys donuts in North Kingston, RI
Allie's famous donut cakes!

Donuts are a fantastic treat that can make any day feel extra special. Whether grabbing a quick breakfast on the go or surprising your loved one with a sweet treat, donuts always hit the spot. My suggestion is Allie's Donuts in North Kingstown; they also make donut cakes for birthdays and weddings.

And if you're in Providence, you're in for a real treat because there are two incredible donut shops you can visit: Knead and PVD Donuts. Knead is a local institution that offers fresh-baked goods, including some of the best donuts you'll ever taste. They have classic flavors like glazed and chocolate and more creative options like maple bacon and blueberry lemonade. And if you're feeling particularly indulgent, you can even try one of their stuffed donuts, filled with everything from Nutella to lemon curd. 

On the other hand, PVDonuts is a newer addition to the Providence food scene. Still, their gorgeous and delicious donuts have already made a name for themselves. Their flavors change regularly, but some highlights include Earl Grey, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and maple bacon. And if you're a fan of vegan or gluten-free treats, they have options for you too. So if you have a sweet tooth, there are plenty of options for Rhode Island date ideas to choose from.

40 Dream Date Nights Conversation Starter Printables long image

Craft Cocktails and beer

Cocktails are always a great idea for a fun Rhode Island date night. And luckily, Rhode Island has plenty of excellent vineyards, breweries, and bars to choose from. With the summer months being so short here in New England, I always try to take advantage of the warm weather and get outside as much as possible. 

Our last date night in Providence was at the Tiny Bar, and it was a perfect choice. We sat outside and enjoyed the fresh air while drinking delicious and unique craft cocktails. It was a cozy and intimate spot that made us feel like we were in our own little world, despite being in the middle of the city. 

Tiny Bar in Providence RI
cocktail at the Tiny Bar in Providence, RI

One of my other favorite spots is Ragged Island Brewery in Portsmouth, RI. In addition to a taproom and tastings, they host events like yoga classes, live music, and even a New England Clambake. Ragged Island Brewery is always a good time, especially during the summer. 

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Rhode Island offers many unique and fun date ideas for couples to enjoy. Rhode Island has something for everyone, from hiking and beach picnics to art galleries and food tours. I hope these great Rhode Island date ideas help you plan your next night out. 

Couples can explore the state's beauty and create lasting memories by trying out these Rhode Island date ideas. So why not take a break from the ordinary and try something new with your significant other? Get out there and have some fun!

Looking for date night ideas to do during winter in Providence, Rhode Island? Here ya go!

25+ Unique Rhode Island Date Ideas To Try This Year

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