Things to do in Providence

We are excited to welcome you to the 2019 4S Summit in Providence, RI! Come early, or stay a few extra days and see what Providence has to offer.

Providence Top Ten Must-Dos

  1. WaterFire – A multi-sensory experience created by local artist Barnaby Evans, WaterFire has drawn hundreds of thousands of visitors to the city.  The event features nearly 100 bonfires that seem to float gently through Providence’s three rivers.  The smell of aromatic wood smoke, flickering firelight and enchanting music add to the mystique.
  2. Walking Tours – Providence’s architectural treasures and rich history make it a delight to explore on foot.  A series of self-guided walking tours tell the tales behind three of Providence’s most loved neighborhoods.  Pick up the printed maps at the Visitor Center (located in the RI Convention Center) or visit for more information.
  3. Federal Hill – Dubbed one of the best “Little Italys” in the United States by Mario Batali, this iconic neighborhood features many Italian restaurants and shops, along with a few non-Italian places that add additional flavor.  Be sure to stop in DePasquale Plaza, which features a European-style cobblestone square and large fountain.
  4. Roger Williams Park Zoo - Located amid 40 acres of beautiful woodlands, the Roger Williams Park Zoo is home to more than 100 species of animals including a Komodo dragon, zebras, red pandas, African elephants, Masai giraffes, snow leopards, and more.  There’s even an opportunity to feed giraffes and harbor.  For something slightly out of the ordinary, visit the new Explore and Soar area offering zip rides, a train excursions and camel rides.
  5. Land & Sea Exploration – Located at the confluence of three rivers, Providence is a great city to explore by land or sea.  Glide through downtown on an authentic Venetian gondola or learn while you launch on the Providence Riverboat.  Outdoor enthusiasts can get a workout while touring with Providence Kayak.  Landlubbers can explore the city (and state) with the knowledgeable tour guides of Experience Rhode Island.
  6. RISD Museum – Arguably the best art school in the United States, the Rhode Island School of Design also boasts a stellar museum.  With a collection of more than 100,000 objects -- ranging from ancient times to the present -- the RISD Museum is a dynamic cultural center offering critically acclaimed exhibitions and lively public programs for all ages. Don’t miss the museum store, RISDWorks, which features work by alumni like Fashion Designer Nicole Miller and “Family Guy” Creator Seth MacFarlane.
  7. The Arcade - Built in 1828, Arcade Providence is the nation's oldest indoor shopping mall. Located in the downtown neighborhood, the Arcade features 17 unique retails shops and three restaurants. All of the shops are locally-owned, including one dedicated to horror writer H.P. Lovecraft, a worldwide literary legend and native son.
  8. Theater - Since its founding in 1963, Trinity Repertory Company has been one of the most respected regional theaters in the country. Featuring the last permanent resident acting company in America, Trinity Rep presents a balance of world premiere, contemporary, and classic works for an estimated annual audience of approximately 145,000.  Nearby, the Providence Performing Arts Center has been immaculately restored to the opulent grandeur it had at its opening in 1928.  It feature Broadway hits, concerts, comedians and more.
  9. The Rhode Island State House - The State House is the active seat of Rhode Island's government, but there's more than governing going on in these halls. The impressive building was designed by architectural firm McKim, Mead and White, which also designed many of the Newport Mansions. Visiting the State House is free. Be sure to stop in the Charter Museum and Gift Shop on the main floor.
  10. AS220 - No organization embodies Providence’s moniker, “The Creative Capital,” more than AS220. Founded in 1985 in one room, AS220 now operates three mixed-used buildings.  AS220 houses gallery spaces, a performance stage, a print shop, a darkroom, affordable live/work studios for artists, a bar and restaurant, and draws more than 51,000 people each year.