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The best things to do in Rhode Island right now: Jan. 7-14

From concerts to owl prowls to tasting all the things at Restaurant Weeks, here are some great ideas for fun in the 401

A barred owl sits on a branch in a nearby pine tree in Whitehall State Park in January 2021.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

For any new readers just discovering this column in 2022: Congratulations! [Ding ding ding!!] You, my friend, just found the link to click for cool events and hip happenings each week in the Ocean State. The vibe: Nothing too stuffy (anything your Aunt Mildred would drag you to) and I try to stay away from anything too expensive. (Because bills.)

Everything here is curated to be 100 percent certified fresh organic homegrown fun. Let’s go.


If you’re looking for a winter weekend getaway but don’t want to drive too far, you’re in luck: January is, apparently, Rhode Island Hotel Month. From the luxe eye candy that is The Graduate in downtown Providence to the boho chic Wayfinder in Newport, a coastal gem where dreamy Laurel Canyon vibes come to life (warning: you will want to Instagram everything here), you can score some sweet deals. Details here.



The BankNewport City Center-Providence Rink is open in downtown Providence, with skate rentals ($7) and skate aids ($10) and Ice bumper cars. ($12) Skating: Adults $7, kids 12 and under and seniors, $4. Skate by the sea at Gurney’s Newport. Adults $12, kids 12 and under: $7, 65+, $7. Skates are available to rent $10. 1 Goat Island, Newport. 401-849-2600. Details here.


Foodies, it’s your Christmas: Jan. 9 to 22 are Providence Restaurant Weeks. I’ve written before about how Providence is Foodie City. From authentic tacos to seafood, from unique artisan pizzas to unique artisan donuts. For the next two weeks, dozens of restaurants in Providence, Warwick and Cranston will take part in the annual event, offering special deals, meals, drinks or other options. Bring your appetite. Details here.


Get ready to rock like it’s 1991 and you’re at the cool kid’s birthday party. United Skates of America hosts an “R&B Adult Skate Night” with roller skating or blading, rock climbing, laser tag, game arcade and snack bar, according to its website. Unleash your inner child. Jan. 7, 10:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. $20 includes skates. 75 New Road, East Providence. 401-438-9898. Details here.



Seekonk, Mass. native Alyssa Limperis plays two nights at Comedy Connection Rhode Island. Masks required. $20. Jan. 7 and 8, two shows per day. Details here.


What would you say… if I told you the spirit of the ‘90s was coming to Pawtucket? The DMB project, “celebrating the sound and experience of the Dave Matthew Band” plays The Met Jan. 8. #AntsMarching Doors 8 p.m., show 9 p.m. Tickets: $10. Masks required. 1005 Main St., 401-729-1005.


Hike with a goat at Simmons Farm in Middletown. Each walker gets their own goat to walk on a leash on a 90-minute hike around the historic farm. $10. Jan. 8, 9. 1942 West Main Road, Middletown. Details here. They also offer Saturday afternoon hayrides and s’mores. Jan. 8. Details here.


This looks interesting. “Wild” fans: another Cheryl Strayed book, “Tiny Beautiful Things” — based on her years as an advice columnist — has been adapted for the stage by Nia Vardalos (“My Big Fat Greek Wedding.”) Billed as “a celebration of the simple beauty of being human” and an “exploration of resilience,” the play hits Trinity Rep Jan. 13. Through Feb. 13. Tickets prices vary. 201 Washington St.. Providence. 401-351-4242. Some shows are “previews.” Details here.



Birders and nature-lovers, this looks so fun. The gem that is Norman Bird Sanctuary hosts its final Owl Prowl of the season Jan. 13 at dusk. Embark on trails as native owls set up their nesting territory. According to the web site: During this-family friendly program, you’ll learn how to identify owl species by sight and call before heading out on the trails. Return to a bonfire and hot chocolate. Dress warm and bring a blanket. $10-25. 583 3rd Beach Road, Middletown. 4:30-6 pm. Details here.


525,600 minutes… You sang that in your head, didn’t you? Yup, theater fans, you’re in luck. “Rent” is coming to the Providence Performing Arts Center. “Rent - 25th Anniversary Farewell Tour” runs Jan. 14-16. Tickets from $20. 220 Weybosset St., Providence. 401-421-2787. Details here.


Hockey fans, rejoice: The Dunk hosts Providence Bruins vs. Lehigh Valley on Jan. 7, at 7:05 p.m, and Jan. 9 at 3:05 p.m. They face Hartford at the Dunk Jan. 14 at 7:05 p.m.

Meanwhile, Providence College men’s basketball team takes on St. John’s at the Dunk Jan. 8 at noon. #JanuaryMadness. Ticket prices vary. Details here.

Until next week: Keep on rockin’, Rhody.

Lauren Daley can be reached at She tweets @laurendaley1. Got any ideas, tips or events coming up? Email, tweet her, slide into her DMs.