5 great things to do today that don’t involve shopping

There are sweeping landscaped lawns, orchards, shady picnic areas, and wide-open views of Narragansett Bay at Colt State Park in Rhode Island.
There are sweeping landscaped lawns, orchards, shady picnic areas, and wide-open views of Narragansett Bay at Colt State Park in Rhode Island. Jennifer Balch/Discover Newport

If you have friends or relatives who would like their own free copy of this daily briefing about Rhode Island, tell them they can sign up here.


Happy Friday and welcome to Rhode Map, your daily guide to everything happening in the Ocean State. I’m Dan McGowan and my Black Friday will consist of watching mediocre college football and eating a meatball sub from Sandwich Hut. Follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan or send tips to Dan.McGowan@globe.com.

Programming note: I’ll be vacationing somewhere warm next week, but I’m leaving Rhode Map in the able hands of Ed Fitzpatrick and Amanda Milkovits. They promise to play nice.


I like to think Black Friday splits the world into three kinds of people.

One group spends its entire day (and night and weekend) searching for all of the best deals. Others spend Thanksgiving dessert plotting out their strategy for early morning shopping. And then there are the folks who thrive under pressure, so they wait until the Friday before Christmas before they begin thinking about gifts.

If you’re part of that first group, I can’t help you. (Don’t forget to shop local.) But if you’ve already finished your shopping for the day or you’re a chronic procrastinator like me, here’s a list of five fun things you can do today that don’t involve shopping. Think of it as rewarding yourself for not eating that fifth slice of pie.

Go on a Rhode Tour.

This is just awesome. All you have to do is download the Rhode Tour app on your smartphone and you can find dozens of fun stories and free tours of the state. Recommendation: Take a trip to Adamsville.

Head to Newport.

The folks in Newport kick off the holiday season the only way they know how: with a block party and boat parade. It starts at 4 p.m.


Nothing says nature like a trip to Silver Lake.

If you’d like to burn a few calories following Thanksgiving, the Neutaconkanut Hill Conservancy is hosting a walk through Providence’s best trail. Hikers will meet at the parking lot near the baseball field at 120 Killingly St. at 9:45 a.m. today.

The Lewis family knows how to Christmas.

If you’ve been around Rhode Island for a few years, you know how competitive people can be about their light displays. Well, this Warwick family takes the cake, and they do it for a good cause. They raise money for The Autism Project, and their lights will be up tonight.

Watch some movies with award potential.

Don’t call it a lazy Friday, call it a cultural experience. There are two flicks that just made their way Netflix and Amazon Prime that already have the Hollywood awards people buzzing: “The Irishman” and “The Report.” Spend your Friday becoming the critic you’ve always wanted to be.


Rhode Map wants to hear from you. If you’ve got a scoop or a link to an interesting news story in Rhode Island, e-mail us at RInews@globe.com.

Amanda Milkovits reports a Boston man has been charged with allegedly conning elderly individuals across the country into sending thousands of dollars in cash to various addresses in Rhode Island.


We don’t have all the details yet, but state officials are expected to officially announce next week that a professional soccer team will build a new stadium in Pawtucket as part of a larger economic development project.

My colleague Priyanka Dayal McCluskey reports Partners HealthCare, the Massachusetts health care giant that nearly acquired Care New England, is changing its name to Mass General Brigham.

You’ll love this story from Zoe Greenberg: As Pete Buttigieg runs for president, here’s what it’s like to be mayor of a small city.

Why were Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles workers looking up Tom Brady’s driving record? Matt Stout has the details from a troubling new report.


Each day, Rhode Map offers a cheat sheet breaking down what’s happening in Rhode Island. Have an idea? E-mail us at RInews@globe.com.

You’ve heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but we’re asking readers to support local news by taking part in #SubscribeSunday. The Globe is offering a great digital deal — $1 for six months.

Starting at 9 a.m. today, the Buy Nothing Day Coat Exchange will be on the State House lawn.

The family-friendly Celebrate Downcity 2019 is Saturday on Westminster Street. Kids can meet Santa and adults will have lots of cocktail options.

Need something fun to do with the kids? Take a ride on the Blackstone Valley Polar Express.


Enjoying Rhode Map? Do us a favor and encourage your friends to sign up here.

Thanks for reading. Send comments and suggestions to dan.mcgowan@globe.com, or follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan. See you on Monday.

Please tell your friends about Rhode Map! They can sign up here. The Globe has other e-mail newsletters on topics ranging from breaking news alerts to sports, politics, business, and entertainment — check them out.