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Best things to do in Rhode Island this week: April 14-21

The Providence Performing Arts Center hosts the Tony-winning musical “Six” through April 23.Joan Marcus

Rhody, I’m wearing shorts. I repeat: Shorts. We got a taste of summer this week, and even if the temp plummets, I can’t turn back now. I’m in full-on summer mode.

Let me grab a Del’s — no, make it two — as we dive straight into this week’s (insanely full) calendar: We’ve got PVD Pizza Week, Daffodil Days, jazz nights, green animals, April school vacation ideas and sooo much more.


I’ll use my best George Costanza voice to say: They’re back, baby! Food Truck Fridays return to Roger Williams Park April 14. Temperatures look to be in the 80s on Friday in PVD, so bring your blanket and lawn chair to Carousel Village for a picnic. Plus find local beer and wine from Trinity Brewhouse, and live music. 5-8 p.m. 1000 Elmwood Ave. Details here.



Foodies, start your engines. Newport’s Restaurant Week kicks off Friday and rolls on through next weekend with prix fixe menus and deals, including some summery menus, and here are some examples. Scales and Shells offers a $55 three-course menu: You might start on oysters Rockefeller or lobster bisque. Next: grilled salmon with orange glaze and grilled asparagus, or grilled swordfish with eggplant caponata and grilled asparagus. For dessert, tiramisu or Madagascar vanilla gelato with raspberry coulis. At the Boathouse in Tiverton, find a three-course Prix-Fixe Lobster Boil for Two for $89: including chowder, two steamed lobsters with PEI mussels, Narragansett littlenecks, corn-on-the-cob, boiled potatoes, chorizo and drawn butter. For dessert: split a key lime bar with toasted Swiss meringue. Details here.


Watch out! It’s a giraffe, and an elephant, and bears and … whoops, false alarm. They’re plants. Yup, the Preservation Society of Newport County’s Green Animals Topiary Garden opens for the season April 15 with some 80 animals, 22,000 daffodils and 37,000 tulips according to their website. Picnic baskets welcome. 380 Corys Lane, Portsmouth. 10 a.m to 5 p.m. daily. Adult tickets $25; tickets sold in packages with house tours. Details here.



Boston’s not the only city with a marathon coming up. Cheer Newport runners Saturday in a marathon, half marathon, 5K and a beach mile. Meanwhile, the city is in bloom with Daffodil Days, and its restaurants lit for Newport Restaurant Week. The City by the Sea is having a weekend. Learn more here and here.


Wickford’s also gettin’ daffy with it. That quaint village-by-the-sea in North Kingstown hosts its own Daffodil Days this month and there’s plenty happening April 15-16. Highlights include: an educational walk with a town historian; free sidewalk chalk art for kids; pony rides ($) and petting zoo, a 30-minute horse-drawn carriage ride for up to 4 adults and two kids ($95); photos opps with goats, live music and snacks. Details here.


PPAC hosts old wives’ tales: the Tony-winning musical “Six,” running through April 23, sees the six wives of Henry VIII “remix 500 years of historical heartbreak into a Euphoric Celebration of 21st century girl power,” according to the billing. Tickets from $65. 220 Weybosset St. Providence. Get a sense of what to expect here. Learn more here and here.


Celtic music fans, take note: Boston-based fiddler Hanneke Cassel brings her band to Blackstone River Theatre for an album release concert Saturday at 8 p.m., just a day after her album “Infinite Brightness” drops. Cassel blends fiddle-stylings from the Isle of Skye, Cape Breton Island and Americana. This looks to be a foot-stomper. See here for a taste of what to expect. Note that you’ll need to call to pre-order tickets (their online ordering is down) or buy at the door. 549 Broad St., Cumberland, RI. $20 advance via 401-725-9272; $24 door. Details here.



PVD is a pizza hotspot — you know you have your go-to slice — and now get ready for Providence Pizza Week April 16-23. According to GoProvidence, we can “stay tuned” for ways to vote for favorites “and maybe even win a prize for yourself.” But let’s be honest: we really don’t need any other incentives here. You had us at pizza. Some slices you might try:

Fellini’s offers “The Gansett Express” — a Narragansett IPA-infused maple candied bacon piled high on a bed of ricotta and mozzarella cheeses. Finished with gorgonzola cheese, black pepper and olive oil.

Jeff’s Pizza in East Providence created “A Street Corn Named Desire” — chipotle ranch, chipotle-garlic chicken, roasted green chiles, roasted sweet corn, red onion, cojita cheese, fresh lime and “cool ranch dust.”

Jacky’s Waterplace Restaurant offers a Sushi Pizza — crispy egg roll skin topping with crab meat, avocado, jalapeño, scallion, fish egg, eel and house mayo.


The James Beard semi-finalist pizza scientists at Pizza Marvin offer their “Chowdah Pie” clams, potato, bacon and herbs.

And Rhody stalwarts Narragansett Brewery cooked up a lobster pizza — garlic oil, fontina, lobster meat, roasted cherry tomatoes, scallions with lemon wedge. I’ll stop there. Details here.


It’s been 25 years since the release of James Cameron’s “Titanic” and just over the border in New Bedford, Mass., they’re partying like it’s 1997. I haven’t seen “Titanic” on the big screen since I saw it four weekends in a row at the mall like every other ninth-grade girl in America. (This was before Netflix, kids. It involved begging your parents for money and car rides.)

Costumes are encouraged at “A Titanic Event” hosted by New Bedford Food Tours at New Bedford Whaling Museum April 16. It kicks off at 11:30 a.m. with “period-inspired snacks,” a violin music, scavenger hunt, trivia questions, costume contest and more. Movie screens at 1 p.m. Then let’s vote: Was there enough room for Jack on that door? (Yes.) Event tickets are $28. For $250, you might feast on a multi-course “re-imagining of the last first-class meal on the Titanic,” at Little Moss, from oysters and roast duck to peaches and eclairs. Details here.


So we’re coming up on school vacation week. Breathe, moms and dads. I got you. A few ideas:

Breakfast with giant river otters at Roger Williams Park Zoo April 15 from 8:30 to 10 a.m. After a breakfast buffet, walk to the rainforest building to join the giant otters and their keepers. Go behind-the-scenes in a training session — then explore the rest of the zoo. $96 non-members. Pre-registration required here.


Also at the zoo: Get your Jurassic on with “Dinosaurs Among Us” running through Aug. 13. See some 60 life-size animatronic dinos, plus “dinosaur rides, dinosaur-themed selfie stations, meet and greets with baby dinosaurs and hands-on fossil dig stations, according to billing. Interactive bird shows happen daily, weather permitting. $9, does not include zoo admission. Details here.

Take a family field trip to the Providence Children’s Museum. In a screen-based world, the museum’s hands-on programs and areas, geared toward kids ages 1 to 11, are “dedicated to the idea that children learn through play and that play is good for children and their families.” They’ve got some unique ways to play. In “Coming To Rhode Island,” for example, kids “embark on an interactive time-traveling adventure to meet people who immigrated to Rhode Island from around the world and explore history, culture and diversity through stories.” Kids can work with real tools at the “Innovation Lab.” “Thinkspace” is all about puzzles; while “Play Power” lets kids send objects through air tubes, and construct magnetic mazes. $14. 100 South St., Providence. 401-273-5437. Details here.

Grades K-4 can learn about water by exploring Mastuxet Brook in Westerly. Younger kids will examine water samples with a magnifying glass; older kids will take a deeper dive with a microscope, according to billing. Free. Details here. (The spot also looks like a nice hiking area.)

Norman Bird Sanctuary offers a Story and Stroll April 19, from $10 for non-members. You might also use this sanctuary as a family field trip or walking spot. It’s a gem. 583 Third Beach Road, Middletown. Details here.

Cheaper than a trip to Disney, the luxe Ocean House in Watch Hill offers a character breakfast with the stars of Disney’s “Tangled” and “Encanto.” Meet Rapunzel while digging into Mickey Mouse pancakes, toast sticks, Winnie the Pooh’s “hunny” ham, build-your-own waffles and more. (Plus mimosas for the grownups.) $95 adults, $50 for ages 6-12, kids 5 and under are free. April 16, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 1 Bluff Ave., Westerly. Details here.


As April is Poetry Month, you might head to Alchemy in Providence for OUTSPOKENPVD!, a poetry showcase and open mic, plus DJ and food vendor. April 18, 7-11 p.m. 171 Chestnut St. $16. Details here.


Hep cats, a new way to get over hump day: the Greenwich Odeum introduces “Upstairs at the Odeum,” a free jazz night every third Wednesday featuring local artists. April 19, 7:30-9:30 p.m. 59 Main St., East Greenwich. Details here.


Like WaterFire, Gallery Night is part of what makes PVD the Creative Capitol. On April 20, hop a trolley to see galleries, museums and other creative hot-spots with one of four free guided tours. Check out the maps online to pick your tour, or go it on your own. #GalleryNightProvidence. Full details here.


Another Food Truck Day? It’s true. On April 20, we start #FoodTruckThursdays at Warwick’s Crowne Plaza. Attendance is free, just pay for what you eat and drink. BYO lawn games and blankets. 5-8 p.m. 801 Greenwich Ave. Details here.


I’ve been so busy counting the days until summer I didn’t realize we were also halfway to Halloween. Providence Flea celebrates with a “Witches Night Out Halfway to Halloween Market” April 21 from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Expect psychic readings, art installations, food trucks and more. 10 Sims Ave., Providence. Details here.

Until next week, Rhody: Keep rockin.’

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