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Best things to do in Rhode Island this week: March 31-April 7

This week: Wise up with actors from the “Sopranos,” Easter egg hunts, tulip picking time, and more

Wicked Tulips Flower Farms expects tulips at its Exeter location to be ready as early as next week, and in Johnston later this month.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

Friends, bad news: Del’s is moving to Idaho. Yup. Also, Rhode Island no longer allows red strip pizza. New law: triangle cheese slices only. Oh, and they’re painting the Big Blue Bug red ….

Sorry, I can’t keep a straight face any longer. April Fools’.

We are indeed still the land of red pizza and blue bugs, and we’ve got a busy week: flower shows, retro expos, plus “The Sopranos” cast visits Providence. No fooling.


Love a good home makeover show? This is your week, baby. We’ve got two.

The 73rd Annual Rhode Island Home Show runs now through April 2 at the Rhode Island Convention Center. Billed as “the largest home improvement and idea show in Southern New England,” it’s essentially a few shows rolled into one: the 10th Annual Energy Expo, the Garden Experience, an “Inspiration Showcase,” “Art of the Ocean State,” and the Specialty Rhode Island Flower Show and floral competition. Find hundreds of exhibitors and get your gears turning on interior design, decorating, landscaping, and more. $12 adults; $10 seniors; kids 15 and under free. Tickets are good for four days. 1 Sabin St., Providence. Details here.

… But wait, there’s more! The Bloom Flower and Home Market blooms April 1-2 at the WaterFire Arts Center, boasting some 85 vendors of indoor and outdoor plants, home decor, art, wares, goodies, and more. Tickets from $7. 475 Valley St., Providence. Details here and here.



OK, this sounds fascinating. “Sopranos” fans, beeline to The Strand April 1. Three wise guys — Michael Imperioli (Christopher), Steve Schirripa (Bobby Baccalieri), Vincent Pastore (Salvatore “Big Pussy” Bonpensiero) — will take you behind the scenes of the the iconic HBO show with stories, memories and slides during “In Conversation with The Sopranos.” You can also pick their brains (What really happened in that finale?) in a Q&A. Ages 18+. Tickets from $39. Doors 7 p.m., show 8 p.m. 79 Washington St., Providence. Details here.



“Gilded Age” fans: Newport’s The Elms opens April 1 for daily self-guided audio tours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. You might also take a guide-led “Servant Life Tour” at the Elms, which aims to tell “the true stories of butlers, cooks, maids and others who labored behind the scenes during Newport’s Gilded Age.” Two other mansions: The Breakers and Marble House, are also open daily for self-guided audio tours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Details here.


I love a good Book Fest, and this one sounds so fun for kids. Book lovers, bring the fam to the free admission We Are ALL Readers Fest, which aims to celebrate diversity in children’s literature, at North Kingstown High School April 1. They’ll host 11 children’s book authors and illustrators for talks and signings — including Caldecott Honoree author/illustrator Juana Martinez-Neal and local award winning author Padma Venkatraman — plus storytimes and craft activities. Books will be available for purchase via Wakefield Books. The first 300 kids score a free book; kids 8-12 can register for a Comics Workshop with local artist M.J. Robinson. #ReadingRocks. Free. 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. 150 Fairway Drive, North Kingstown. Details here and here.


Comic fans, take note: RetroXpo rolls into Tiverton April 1, with some 100 exhibitors. Billed as “a 20,000 square foot multi-genre, one-day exposition of comics, movies, artwork, collectibles, cosplay, anime, games and more, expect special guest artists/creators, comic books, vintage toys, movies, TV, gaming, cosplay contest and photo opps. Guests include: G.I. Joe figure designer Ron Rudat; comic book artist and writer Larry Stroman, who’s worked for both Marvel and D, and Joe St. Pierre, who has worked for DC and Marvel (Wolverine, Venom, Spider-Man, to name a few characters.) Online youth $5; online general admission tickets $8. 300 Industrial Way. Details here and here.



Tired: a morning 5K. Wired: a nighttime glow-in-the-dark 5K. Yup, headlamps, bright colors, and glow sticks are “strongly encouraged” at the Behan Bros. Newport Night Run. The race starts at 7:30 p.m. April 1, starting and finishing at Rogers High School. The glowing is for a cause: the race benefits the Newport Public Education Foundation. Glow, runners, glow! From $31. Details here.


Star Wars fans, if you see one hockey game this year, make it April 1 at the AMP when the Providence Bruins play in Star Wars themed jerseys (someone please get pics) plus characters, costumes, and a special themed game presentation, according to billing. 7:05 p.m. Tickets from $20. 1 La Salle Square, Providence. Details here.


We’ll have (lots) more Easter Bunny fun next week, but two to start:

The Rathskeller Down Back in Charlestown hosts a free egg hunt April 1 at 10:30 a.m. 489b Old Coach Rd, Charlestown. Details here.


Meanwhile, Cranston’s Chapel Grille hosts breakfast with the Easter Bunny himself April 2. According to billing: “Mr. Cottontail will be greeting all guests and available for photos in front of Chapel Grille’s special photo wall.” Breakfast Buffet includes scrambled eggs, French toast sticks, bacon, home fries, fruit, pastries, juice and coffee. Adults $44; kids 10 and under $35; ages 2 and under free. 3000 Chapel View Boulevard, Cranston. Details here.


I’ll bring my Easter Market Basket to the Tiverton Farmers Market’s 3rd Annual Easter Specialty Farmers Market April 2. Tiverton celebrates the holiday a week early with some 50 vendors: seafood and meats, artisanal foods, Ethiopian dishes, empanadas and pizza, prepared meals, vegetables, fruits and herbs, baked goods, chocolates, pottery, jewelry, linens, pet foods & treats, outdoor furniture, garden art and more. (Pro tip: Don’t leave without trying Buns Bakery babka.) Plus live music and a kids egg-gathering activity. Tiverton Middle School, 10 Quintal Drive. Details here.

Wendy Taylor, executive director of West Place Animal Sanctuary, greeted Cash, a rescued alpaca, as he and the other rescued animals grazed in a field. SUZANNE KREITER/GLOBE STAFFSuzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff


Tiverton, you’re on fire this weekend — comics, Easter Market, and now animals. West Place Animal Sanctuary is hosting a Volunteer Open House April 2 from noon to 3 p.m. for people high school aged and older. Learn about various volunteer openings at the sanctuary, which supports some 70 rescued animals. There are several ways Rhode Islanders can help, according to the sanctuary, from direct animal care or gardening, to IT support or grant writing. 3198 Main Road, Tiverton. Learn more here.



You’ve heard of poetry slams. Get ready for Art Battle. The Pawtucket contest pits painters against one another in three rounds. The audience helps decide the winner. April 2. 5-9 p.m. Atrium on Main, 285 Main St. $20. Details here.


Downward dog at Narragansett Brewery April 2. An hourlong yoga class starts at 10:30 a.m. followed by a free pint — and it’s for charity. $25. 271 Tockwotton St., Providence. Learn more about the cause and class. Details here.


Three magical words. Ben & Jerry’s is giving away free ice cream cones on April 3. There’s no specific reason on their website — but don’t ask questions, people, we’re talking free ice cream, let’s move. Four Rhody scoop shops doling out free cones from noon to 8 p.m., according to their website, though they note: “it’s always good to double check your local shop’s participation and hours below.” Shops listed: Cranston’s Garden City, Newport’s Bannister Wharf, Newport’s Thames Street, and on Thayer in Providence. #FreeConeDay. Details here.


Through the tulips. One of Rhody’s treasures is Wicked Tulips Flower Farms with locations in Exeter and Johnston. (If you’re up for a road trip, their largest farm is in Preston, Conn.) Each boasts some 100 varieties of tulips. Instagram was born for places like this. According to their website, they expect Exeter’s 5 acres to be ready April 5, with Johnston later this month, although as they note: “Mother Nature determines the exact dates.” Check online before you plan a trip. And FYI: there will be yoga classes in the tulips later this month; I’ll have info on that when it’s time. Adult admission includes 10 pick-your-own tulips ($17-23, varies by day and time.) Ages 5-17 $5 and under 4 free. Details here.


Grateful Dead fans, rejoice: B-3 legend Melvin Seals, who played with Jerry Garcia in the Jerry Garcia Band for 18 years, brings the grooves and the JGB to The Met in Pawtucket April 7. $35 advance, $40 door. 1005 Main St. Details here. Learn more about the artists here.

Until next week, Rhody: Keep rockin.’

Lauren Daley can be reached at ldaley33@gmail.com. Follow her on Twitter @laurendaley1.