Rhode Island Monthly Clips

Rhode Island Monthly Communications is a magazine based out of Providence, Rhode Island. It is the guide to all things Ocean State and is available in print as well as online at rimonthly.com

I interned here in the fall of 2016 during the first semester of my junior year. Below are clips that I wrote for the blog online – I thought of these story ideas and pitched them to editors at the publication. I was also published in print magazine and you can find those clips in the subheading of this heading from the top dropdown menu.

I focused on food, lifestyle, fashion and day trips so please, enjoy this fun content.

For all of my stories on the Rhode Island Monthly website, follow this link: http://www.rimonthly.com/author/rachelbimonte/  Or, Click the title of each story below!

What’s It Like Atop the First Unitarian Church?

This tour awards prime access into the state’s hidden places.

BY RACHEL BIMONTE | Published on Jan. 26, 2017

“Up” is the only word I can think of as I breathe deeply and climb the soaring steeple of the beautiful, white First Unitarian Church of Providence. After meeting the friendly staff of the church, Caroline Stevens, director and founder of Doors Open Rhode Island, and I begin our ascension alongside tour guide Jaime Durango, the church’s building manager.

church2

Behind every door is a story, and Doors Open Rhode Island’s program series allows people to explore secret sites — places that might include the attic of Providence City Hall, a storied mansion on the West Side of Providence and a Woonsocket church that has the largest collection of fresco paintings in North America. Stevens, in partnership with community and cultural organizations, is opening doors for behind-the-scenes chances to learn more about the state’s forgotten past.

“I’m the matchmaker between people and places,” she says.

We walk through the church and admire the size of the dome. Later, we will stand on top of it. From the main area, we open a door and scale a wooden staircase. Once we get to the steepest part of the tight quarters, there are large planks nailed together in disorganized ways making our journey all the more challenging. The final steps lead to the largest bell forged by Paul Revere and Son that sits within the steeple of the church. They are the narrowest stairs I’ve climbed in all of my twenty years.

I ponder the height, the view and the history, absorbing it all at once while looking down below. On my descent, I think about what I just experienced. Back on the ground, I look up at the steeple; I was just all the way up there. Now whenever I see the church on the corner of Benevolent and Benefit streets, I’ll have a memory of the view I’ll always remember.

The program series will be announced on the Doors Open Rhode Island Facebook page and through its mailing list. Explore Barnaby Castle on January 28 from noon to 3 p.m. A Doors Open Festival will also unlock twenty doors all over Providence for an open house the weekend of September 23. “We want to boost civic pride,” says Stevens. “Once you have access to these places, then you care more about them.” doorsopenri.org

Left: Peek inside the storied mansion, Barnaby Castle, in Providence on Jan. 28. Right: Explore Providence City Hall’s archives, including the 1648 charter and early town records.

Take a Tour of Christmas Displays

Pack some snacks and a thermos and follow our map to some of the best-lit homes in Rhode Island.

‘Tis the season for a Christmas light hunt, and there’s a subset of Rhode Islanders who take festive lights to the next level.

Because the Ocean State is so small, you can easily see a swath of decked-out houses in one night. Follow our map to six of the best  three in East Bay and three in West  and don’t forget to tune into each home’s radio station. Grab a thermos of cocoa, crank up the heat and enjoy the shows.

xmas.jpg

Picozzi Family Christmas Display

2016 marks the ninth year that Frank Picozzi and his family have hosted an animated light show, and they just keep getting better. From “Carol of the Bells” to “Jingle Bells,” the Picozzi family has a display for any song. At one point, the whole house goes dark and then, display by display, the lights come on and turn into an entire show. Head over after dark on Saturday to visit with Santa, then drop a few dollars into the donation box, which benefits the Tomorrow Fund at Hasbro Children’s Hospital. The Picozzis report that donations have been low this year, so now’s the time to flex your giving muscles.

Radio Station: 97.1 FM

Time: Lights start around 5:30 p.m. and Santa arrives 6:30–8 p.m., every Saturday night in December.

Address: 75 Gristmill Rd., Warwick. Their Facebook Page.

The Conway Christmas Lights Extravaganza

The Conway Extravaganza wants you to get out of your car and interact with the light show. The show leads you from the front of the house to a path to the main attraction: a grand scene featuring forty-foot trees wrapped with lights from high to low. The show has been a family tradition since 1992 and they are not stopping now. If you come by to see the light show at the Conway’s, make sure you bring a nonperishable food item as a donation for the Coventry Food Bank or some dollars for the Tomorrow Fund.

Radio station: N/A

Time: This extravaganza runs nightly from 5–10 p.m.

Address: 265 Maple Valley Rd., Coventry. Their Facebook Page.

Lewis Christmas

The show starts with a dark canvas. Then, a string of lights illuminates one part of the main tree, another string of lights and so on until the big tree is complete. To the “Linus and Lucy” song, the rest of the show pans out — the Lewis family has twenty-nine songs to complete their show this year and Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus make a guest appearance.

Radio Station: 106.9 RDS for special messages. You can also use your smartphone to choose the next song on the playlist.

Time: Show starts at 4:45 p.m. and into the evening

Address: 12 Shenandoah Rd., Warwick. Their Facebook Page.

The Frisina Family Lights

Since Thanksgiving, the Frisina family has had their lights on and ready for viewing. With tiny red and white trees lining their walkway and each inch of the bushes, the trees and perimeter of the house carefully dressed in lights, you may think you are driving up to a movie set.

Radio station: Tune into 89.9 for the playlist that goes along with the light show.

Time: From 5–9:30 p.m.

Address: 283 Massasoit Ave., East Providence. Their Facebook Page.

Giroux Family Christmas Display

Hot cocoa, Santa and lights? We’re in. Witness the twenty-two-foot-tall LED tree light up as well as the walkway, the candy canes lining the curb and the tree stump wrapped in lights. The Giroux family asks visitors to not block the house or the neighbor’s house so that everyone may enjoy the show.

Radio Station: 94.9 FM

Time: Sun.–Thurs. 5–9 p.m., Fri. and Sat. 5–10 p.m.

Address: 69 Outlook Ave., East Providence. Their Facebook Page.

Lights for Lives

Strings of lights cover the entire Lights for Lives home. Their display has more than 35,000 lights in the show, all choreographed to music. The house is lit and then it goes dark several times in a row, almost like a strobe light. When the house is dark, images of two Christmas trees appear on the blank canvas and then the house lights are back on. In addition to the lights, they have figures on the lawn: Mickey, reindeer and nutcrackers. On the weekends, Lights for Lives has a special guest: Santa. Lights for Lives is also a hub for donations and every proceed goes to either Make-A-Wish or the Tiverton Food Pantry. If you are stopping by, bring a nonperishable food item or a couple of dollars to donate to a good cause.

Radio station: 91.7 FM

Time: Mon.–Thurs. 4–9 p.m.; Fri.–Sun. 4–10 p.m. See Santa Fridays and Saturdays from 6–9 p.m.

Address: 84 Hayden Ave., Tiverton. Their Facebook Page.

The Dish: Food Truck Sunday Fundays in Providence

Food trucks will serve up hearty fare at the Hot Club every Sunday through New Year’s Day.

 

There’s a new option for celebrating Sunday Funday on the Providence waterfront. Work up an appetite and head to the Hot Club, located at 25 Bridge St. in Providence, from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. every Sunday now through New Year’s Day to feast on food from local mobile vendors. Grab and go or get a dish and dig in inside the Hot Club, which has a new addition with more indoor seating and live music (not to mention adult beverages for those twenty-one and older).

foodtrucks.jpg

The events are organized by PVD Food Truck Events and Food Trucks In, which is working with more than fifty locally owned food trucks with plans to rotate them in and out every Sunday. A minimum of four food trucks with varying cuisines will be pulled up each Sunday, and options may include barbecue, Asian food, tacos, grilled cheese sandwiches, french fries, vegetarian options and more. Some of the trucks participating are Open Season, Pat’s Pastured to Go, Presto Strange O Coffee Truck, O’Crepe, Poco Loco, Sarcastic Sweets and SoulFull Fried Chicken.

Food Trucks In is a national website that was founded and created by Eric Weiner, along with his partner, Steven Cross, right here in Providence. Food lovers simply log in to locate food trucks locally and in cities across the country. (For more about the business, click here.)

Mobile vendors are scheduled to appear at Food Truck Sunday Fundays up until Jan. 1, 2017, except Christmas. “We are hoping to continue on and do it as long as people show up,” says Weiner.

Here are some tips on great dishes to try:

Open Season truck’s venison chili is perfect for the winter months because it warms up your tummy to beat the cold. Open Season also offers turducken sliders, a meat mixture that includes turkey, duck and chicken.

Pat’s Pastured to Go only uses ingredients directly from its farm. Try locally raised beef in a burger or Pat’s homemade sausages. Fancheezical grilled cheese truck serves up some innovative bread and cheese combinations while O’Crepe brings Parisian cuisine to Providence. Tacos are always classic food truck fare and Poco Loco packs some of the best.

All of the trucks accept cash, credit or debit and the weekly event is free admission. Events are open to all ages and there is something for everyone. Some spots overlook the water so bring a blanket and some chairs and enjoy your warm chili, or opt for indoor seats inside the Hot Club. For the upcoming Sunday schedule of trucks, visit the PVD Food Truck Events Facebook page. Be sure to check back frequently as the list can change.

Small Businesses, Big Deals

We can’t think of a better way to work off our Thanksgiving dinner (and leftovers) than to get out and shop locally this Saturday.

 

Small Business Saturday is a modern shopper’s dream: It starts at a normal hour and it offers items you can’t find in department and big name stores. Plus, if you don’t finish your holiday shopping list on Saturday, you can always jump online on Cyber Monday.

‘Tis the season for the shopaholic in everyone to be released.

smallbus

According to American Express, last year, ninety-five million people went out and shopped locally on Small Business Saturday. Like the rest of the country, Rhode Island is no stranger to admiring the small businesses that lie in our small state. With the help of Buy Local R.I., Easy Bay Chamber of Commerce and Block Island Chamber of Commerce, we compiled a list of events so you can fulfill your shopaholic tendencies this Small Business Saturday, November 28.

Hope Street, Providence

Join the Hope Street Merchants Association as it celebrates Small Business Saturday at its seventh-annual event. From 10 a.m.–8 p.m., you and your friends or family can shop up and down Hope Street and receive 15 percent off at participating stores. For the first time, Hope Street will be dressed with holiday lights so you can feel the spirit while you cross items off your holiday shopping list. What would a PVD event be without food trucks? Luckily for Hope Street shoppers, food trucks will be onsite and ready for you when you need to refuel. There are thirty local shops awaiting your arrival; check to see what they have in store for those who choose to shop local.

East Bay Holiday Shopping Express

All aboard: The trolley has arrived in the East Bay. Park once and shop way more than once when you board the free trolley, which visits three East Bay destinations: Barrington, Warren and Bristol. Everyone in your family is encouraged to come because Santa will be on and off the holiday express, making sure that if you don’t get something you need, he will. Hop on the trolley at any of the express bus stops. In Bristol, the trolley stops at Gooding Plaza; Hope and Church streets; and Thames and State streets. In Warren, hop on at the East Bay Chamber of Commerce; and Water and Company streets. In Barrington, step aboard at Shaw’s Plaza; Cady and County streets; Maple Avenue and West Street; and Wood and Anoka streets. The free trolley runs from 10 a.m.–5 p.m. and is a perfect alternative to holiday traffic. This event also features the Passport to Savings, which is available aboard the trolley and has coupons inside to more than sixty of the shops on your journey. To see a list of participating stores, click here. If you thought getting your holiday shopping done and free transportation was great, the chance for someone else to wrap your gifts is even better. The Barrington High School Future Business Leaders of America are available to wrap gifts for a donation. Stop by from 1–5 p.m. at the Cady and County streets stop. Holiday shopping doesn’t get much easier than this.

Celebrate Downcity, a Holiday Event

Have someone on your shopping list that doesn’t quite fit the department store mold? Us, too. Fortunately, because of Small Business Saturday, you can search for an off-beat vintage item or crafty gift in Downcity Providence. In addition to the shops downtown, Downcity and Providence Flea are getting together to host a market throughout Westminster Street. From noon–5 p.m., explore all areas of gifting and food as you munch through Championship Melt, Friskie Fries and Poco Loco Tacos. Shop the market and see Ocean State of Mind R.I., find a drink at Trinity Brewhouse and purchase a soothing essential oil from the Honey Shop. Santa Claus is busy this year and spending lots of time in Rhode Island; he will be at Grant’s Block, 260 Westminster Street, and available for photos and Christmas wishes. On stage at the event is the Trinity Academy Youth Choir, the Generations Barbershop Quartet and more. Be sure to tag #celebratedowncity16 while you shop, eat and enjoy.

Holiday Shopping Stroll, Block Island

It’s Small Business Saturday on Block Island every day; the beach town is known for its specialty shops and local businesses. The Holiday Shopping Stroll on Block Island takes place throughout the entire post-Thanksgiving weekend. Friday, November 25 through Sunday, November 27, hop a ferry and shop at twenty-nine participating stores and eat at ten island restaurants. This event is celebrating its twenty-seventh year and it has only gotten more popular as the years go on. Most shops are open 10 a.m.–5 p.m. and are offering deals that you won’t be able to pass up. If you plan on shopping, you also have the chance to win a raffle prize. Visit the Chamber of Commerce and pick up your entry form, which will be stamped at every retail shop on the list; the raffle will be pulled on Sunday, November 27 at 3:30 p.m. Check out places like the Wildflower Boutique, Island Mist and Glass Onion. For the Block Island ferry schedule, click here. Escape the madness of the mainland and shop ’til you drop on Block Island.

Get Artsy at Paint Nights in Rhode Island

Tap into your creative side — and some good wine or beer — at these local paint nights.

 

If you’ve been looking for new places to meet your friends or a date, we don’t blame you. Restaurants and bars are great most of the time but it’s nice to switch up date night or GNO. Maybe you are even looking for a place to spend alone time while having a little fun.

Paint nights have been gaining popularity over the past couple of years and for good reason — what is better than having a couple of laughs and drinks while creating artwork that you can take home and cherish for good?

Thankfully for you and us, most paint nights require no artistic experience. But you may be surprised by what you can learn in one night.

We’ve compiled a list of places where you can drink and paint all across the state.

paint

Paint and Vino

Not an experienced painter but always wanted to explore your creative side? No problem: Paint and Vino embraces all levels of painting abilities. Book a private holiday party, bachelorette event, birthday party or join one of its scheduled calendar events.

What you’ll paint: A Dancing Dragonfly on November 15, an Enchanted Forest on November 16, a Midnight Owl on November 17, Romance in Paris (a couple’s event!) on November 18 and a Castle Hill Sunset on November 19. You don’t need to bring any supplies, but be sure to wear your painting clothes. You must register online for all events and you can do that here by clicking on a calendar event and adding it to your cart.

When and where to? The events listed above start at 7 p.m. and guests should come ten to fifteen minutes beforehand. The address is 150 Main St., Pawtucket. For parking in the back of the building, put 34 Roosevelt Ave. into your GPS.

The price: $35 per person, including two drinks.

The drink and snack situation: At Paint and Vino, choose from two glasses of wine, beer or soda. You must be fourteen to attend each of the events and twenty-one to be served alcohol. Paint and Vino allows you to bring in your own snacks and has a food table just for that purpose. Create your own little party; Paint and Vino has the drinks covered.

Muse Paint Bar

What’s your muse? One of ours is this cute paint bar on the East Side of Providence. With events going on daily through the end of the month, Muse Paint Bar has a lot to offer (including a drink).

What you’ll paint: On November 14, get creative while painting the theme, Branching Out: pick a tree branch, place a birdie on it and let your brush do the talking. On November 15, paint the prompt, Crescent Sky — interpret the sky in any way that you do. The following week, paint the Evening Twilight — no better time than now to paint a dark and starry night since we lost some daylight last week. November 22, paint a Red Fall while we close out the final weeks of autumn and take your memory home for you to hang in your house throughout the winter season.

When and where to? Each event in November runs 7 to 9:15 p.m. and guests are urged to arrive at 6:30 p.m. 117 North Main St., the East Side of Providence.

The price: The events listed here are $29 per person and include one drink. Check the events calendar for more paint classes, including ones for more advanced painters (some are sans-wine).

The drink and snack situation: Enjoy one glass of house wine or one beer while you paint and check out Muse’s food menu here; try warm bites like a hummus platter, classic bruschetta or garlic bread for purchase, in case you get hungry or feel like munching.

Paint the Town

Paint the town, literally, at Paint the Town Studios in Cranston. Come alone or come with a group; either way, enjoy this stress-free zone on a night when you need some self-diagnosed TLC.

What you’ll paint: Paint a giraffe while supporting Alpha Sigma Tau Sorority at their fundraiser on November 15. It’s never too early to tune into your holiday spirit: On November 16, paint your best “Oh Christmas Tree” in any setting you enjoy. On November 17, have the chance to Paint Your Pet; paint the one you can count on the most for love and care. On November 18, get back in the holiday spirit and paint two poinsettia bowls — they may make a great holiday gift for someone on your list or a conversation starter in your living room. On November 19, channel your love for Winter Friends and paint a snowman either simply or with intricate detail (that’s up to you!).

When and where to? Next week’s events, listed above, begin at 6:45 p.m., with the exception of the poinsettia event which begins at 7 p.m. Arrive ten to fifteen minutes prior to the event. Registration is required; sign up here by clicking on an event. The address of Paint the Town is 1150 Oaklawn Ave., Cranston.

The price: $35 per person

The drink and snack situation: With your ticket, enjoy all the supplies that are needed to create your masterpiece, two beverages — wine, beer, soda, coffee or tea — and complimentary snacks.

The Mint Art Gallery

Three hours of wine, painting and friends: We are in. The Mint Art and Artisan Gallery is hosting another wine and paint night. Its last event was on November 4, which was a paint party titled First Fridays Bristol. On November 16, join the Mint Gallery for another celebration of art and wine.

What you’ll paint: This paint night’s theme is Autumn on the Waterfront. Since the Mint is located in the heart of Bristol, it only makes sense for guests to paint what they currently see. Bristol’s trees are slowly losing their leaves, but it is unusual to watch the leaves fall on a waterfront town that is so summer-oriented. Paint what you see or paint what you imagine. Either way, the one rule is to have fun. Check out the Mint Gallery’s Facebook page for more details and purchase tickets here.

When and where to? The November 16 event runs from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Mint Gallery, 433 Hope St., Bristol.

The price: $35 per person

The drink and snack situation: The wine is taken care of by the Mint Gallery; at the Mint’s last event on Oct. 25, the Mint provided pepperoni and cheese to snack on.

The Purple Cat Vineyard and Winery

Different from most wine and paint nights at art studios or galleries, this event is located in an ingenious setting: a vineyard. You can trust the Purple Cat to woo you on your next girls’ night out or date night and be sure that the wine is a top priority. Paint, snack, drink and be relaxed; this destination has got your needs covered.

What you’ll paint: You will paint one of the Purple Cat’s favorites: the New England Farm. Lisa Andrews, owner and artist of Artique paint bar in Putnam, Connecticut, will lead the class in instruction. Andrews is a native of Rhode Island and has an appreciation for wine; the Purple Cat and Artique complement one another nicely. Paint the New England Farm alongside Andrews and learn more than you previously knew about your artsy side.

When and where to? The November 15 event begins at 6:30 p.m. and the wine tasting takes place right at the beginning. The event goes until 9 p.m. The Purple Cat is located at 11 Money Hill Rd., Chepachet.

The price: $35 per person

The drink and snack situation: With your ticket (purchase it here), you will receive a wine tasting, light snacks and the option to purchase more wine right from the vintner.

Backstage at PPAC’s The King and I

We learned what it’s really like behind the scenes of this Broadway powerhouse.

 

The whole point of seeing a Broadway musical such as Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The King and I is to escape reality. Who wouldn’t want to get lost in 1860s Bangkok for a while? The attire, the setting and, of course, the unrequited romance make for an enchanting evening.

But it takes a lot of work to keep the peace backstage. We went behind the scenes at The King and I, which kicked off its national tour this week at the Providence Performing Arts Center in Providence and continues through November 6, to get a sense of the action. Here’s the scoop:

QUICK CHANGES

I don’t know about you, but I can’t even pull on a pair of tights for a holiday party without getting overwhelmed and slightly warm, never mind change out of a costume and put on another one in twenty seconds  yes, twenty.

According to The King and I‘s wardrobe supervisor, Laci Bradshaw-Roberts, “We have some [quick changes] in this show that are seconds…. We have a few that are twenty seconds. These three girls run off-stage and they put on their dog mask and their harness and they run back, and that’s literally twenty seconds. That’s probably the fast change I’ve ever done.” 

The King and I is a show that relies on details and props, so actors and the ensemble must adapt to the amount of items they are responsible for and how to get in and out of them in a timely manner. So far, The King and I has made quick changes without issue in Providence, but Bradshaw-Roberts expresses concern for the next venue — which she fears may not have as much room.

“I think it’s like an adrenaline rush…. I haven’t had a show where I’ve had such fast changes in a while,” she says.

THE HEADPIECES

My reaction to the masks from The Lion King on Broadway and my reaction to the headpieces and masks for The King and I run parallel. They’re smaller in scale, to be sure, but just as intricate and stunning.

Many of the headpieces used in The King and I are from Thailand and only a small part of some are manufactured to look more like costumes. The hats and masks are quite heavy and don’t travel easy. Thankful for an innovative coworker on a previous set, Bradshaw-Roberts told me that a woman who worked alongside her on The Beauty and the Beast came up with the idea for a shelf with foam that keeps the hats and headpieces safe during travel.

“When we got on this show, we requested that we get this box because it’s just the best way to travel with this stuff,” Bradshaw-Roberts says.

Hats and masks come with many precautions and struggles: They often wear out and chip and, in that case, Laci repairs and paints them herself. Sometimes hats and masks are uncomfortable for the actors, so Laci adjusts the foam inside, along with the chin straps and other safety straps.

THE PROVIDENCE LAUNCH

Providence Performing Arts Center is not new to show launches. Steve Varon, company manager of The King and I, says, “Providence is an amazing place to tech and launch a show. I’ve launched other shows here previously; I am hopefully going to launch other shows here in the future. It’s a really amazing local team.”

He also comments that the Rhode Island audience is accustomed to being the site where many plays are launched and he appreciates the feedback he’s received in the past. He is confident, given the long hours, that, “At the end of all of it, if we haven’t all dropped dead from exhaustion, you guys will see an amazing show.”

Varon is a huge fan of the play himself, adding: “You are getting a real classic American musical feel with an incredible first-rate Broadway cast.”

THE BROADWAY STAR

Joan Almedilla, who plays the King’s head wife, Lady Thiang, in The King and I, is best-known for playing the longest-running role of Kim in the Broadway show, Miss Saigon. Almedilla also played Fantine in Les Miserables.

Almedilla says about acting in a musical: “It’s just fun to prepare yourself because some of the roles, you need a lot of energy; some you may think we’re just standing there, but even just standing there also feels athletic.”

About the gown from her first scene in The King and I, Almedilla says, “If you look at the details, she has layers and layers of amazing material…and a beautiful necklace I proudly wear every night.”

She says the corset does not bother her much, for it is not the first time she’s worn one and it helps her with posture, appearing tall and being a commanding queen.

ORGANIZATION AND LABELING

When we see Broadway musicals, we admire the costume and design, but we forget how much organization goes into something like dressing a number of performers — thirty-seven in the King and I’s case, not including the entire ensemble.

One backstage sign gets to the crux of the chaos. It reads: “Don’t forget your pants.”

The first job at the start of every show is for Bradshaw-Roberts to label each layer of every costume: the shoes, hat and jewelry that go with it, down to the last earring. Each performer has a number, each act and scene have a number and each look as a number, as well. All of the numbers are placed on the inside of the garment.

So what happens when something goes missing? (Yes, that does happen.) “When something’s missing, you just keep looking. Sometimes if it is at the last minute, they either go on without it or you put them in something else,” said Bradshaw-Roberts.

Bottom line, Laci Bradshaw-Roberts says, is this: “You never want them to go out without clothes.”

That most likely won’t happen at The King and I; the show won a Tony Award for best costume design in 2015, so they know what they’re doing.

Beer Events in November

Beat the fall chill with a Beer Fest, a beer vs. wine dinner and some deep breaths followed by — you guessed it — more delicious beer.

 
beer
 

 

11/5: Great International Beer Fest

If you had the chance to attend the largest beer fest in New England, would you take it? On Nov. 5, from 1–4:30 p.m. or 6:30–10 p.m., depending on which time you prefer, the Great International Fall Beer Festival is going on and you are invited. Tickets to this event are $52 at the door. Rhode Island Music Hall of Famers, Steve Smith and the Nakeds are playing live rhythm and blues music at both ticket time slots. Let’s talk beer: Your ticket includes unlimited sampling of more than 250 beers and the chance to talk to some of the brewers themselves. Additionally, food will be available for purchase. Sample beers from local breweries including: Narragansett, Foolproof and Newport Storm. However, beer from outside Rhode Island is available as well, think: Brooklyn Brewery, These Guys Brewing in Norwich, Conn., and Kona Brewing Co. in Hawaii. Check out the website for more details.

11/6: Bristol Burger Bash

Linden Place Mansion, 500 Hope St., Bristol, is bringing you the three Bs, “burgers, bluegrass and beer,” at its first-ever Burger Bash from 1– 4 p.m. Try different mini burgers of all kinds: beef, chicken, turkey and even seafood. Pair your mini burgers with local beer and wine and listen to live bluegrass during your tastes. Joining you at this event are the participating restaurants: Chomp Kitchen and Drinks, Statesman Tavern, Roberto’s, Bristol Oyster Bar, Metacom Kitchen, Christian’s, Simone’s and DeWolf Tavern. To purchase the $35 ticket, click here or call 401-253-0390. Proceeds from the event support the restoration and preservation of the Linden Place Mansion.

11/12: Breathe and Brew

A good cause and beer: We’re in. From 11 a.m.–1 p.m. on Nov. 12, get some exercise, drink some beer and fundraise. For a $25 donation online to the American Lung Association of the Northeast ($33 at the door), you can get a one-hour yoga class instructed by Valerie Knopik, a beer tasting and appetizers to sample. The event is held at Brutopia Brewery, 505 Atwood Ave., Cranston, and put on to focus on taking breaths and thinking of those battling lung cancer. Click here to register for this event. Brutopia advises participants to dress comfy, bring your own mat and be ready to have a cooler afternoon than other people.

11/19: Guns and Beer VII

Varnum Memorial Armory holds its seventh annual beer tasting fundraiser, Guns and Beer. The Varnum Continentals stand to preserve history in Rhode Island and inspire patriotism in the community. It has two museums, the Varnum Memorial Armory and the Varnum House Museum. With the purchase of a $20 ticket online or $25 at the door, guests receive tastings from local breweries, snacks and museum tours. This event takes place from 7–9 p.m., at 6 Main St., East Greenwich. Taste beers from Revival Brewing Co., Providence Brewing Co., Newport Storm, Foolproof Brewing Co. and more. For tickets, click here.

11/8: Beer and Yoga Night

November seems to be the time when exercise is followed by beer sampling — and what is better than that? It seems as though nights out with friends are not limited to weekend dinner or drinks at the bar. This event, held on a Tuesday at Foolproof Brewing Co., 241 Grotto Ave., Pawtucket, comes just in time to help you make it through the rest of the work week. From 6–8 p.m., join your friends and friendly strangers for a relaxing hour of vinyasa yoga taught by Nanaquaket Yoga Studio followed by four-ounce beer samples from Foolproof Brewing Co. After the samples, you can purchase beer by the glass. The event is held at Foolproof and the tickets are $20 and may be purchased here.

11/16: Beer vs. Wine Dinner

Maybe you are strictly a wine drinker and your friend, family member or significant other is strictly a beer drinker. Well, now is your time to face off and see which beverage pairs best with each meal. From 7 to 10 p.m., TwoTen Oyster Bar and Grill brings you the ultimate battle of the beverages: the Beer vs. Wine Dinner. For $65, guests receive five courses and a glass of beer and wine with both meals to see which one really works. One of the five courses consists of: Boulevard Brewing’s Bourbon Barrel Quad, a glass of Wente cabernet and short ribs with a smoked gouda mashed potato. Add four more courses to that and you have yourself quite the meal. TwoTen is located at 210 Salt Pond Rd., South Kingstown and tickets can be purchased here.

Today is Food Day!

Celebrate this year’s theme, “Toward a Greener Diet,” at planet-friendly eateries in Rhode Island.

 

Food is used to celebrate a number of events throughout the year: Thanksgiving, birthdays, weddings and more. But what about a day that celebrates food itself?

That would be today: October 24.

This year’s Food Day celebrates a greener diet. Today is a day to enjoy local food, green food and great food.

The Food Day website offers insight on the toll that unhealthy food takes on the country. In addition to the threat of obesity, Americans should be aware that too much meat in a typical diet reflects poorly on our environment.

Here in Rhode Island, Social Enterprise Greenhouse is hosting a free panel discussion at 5:30 p.m. with five food experts, plus bites from local eateries. (Register here). And students and teachers at Pell Elementary School in Newport all bit into apples at 2 p.m. on the dot today.

True, you should celebrate good food everyday, but especially today. Here’s a list of Rhode Island restaurants that focus on vegan, vegetarian or local foods to ensure that you celebrate Food Day the right way.

foodday.jpg

Vinya Test Kitchen

Did you know? The answer to your raw food dreams lies right in the heart of Downcity. Vinya Test Kitchen, 225 Westminster St., Providence, offers a plant-based, raw cuisine menu crafted by chef Sam Bonanno. A couple of items include: broccoli chard arancini made with almonds, habanera and cilantro cheese or the spinach pie made with mushrooms, baby spinach and lemon cashew cream. Stop in and order one of Vinya’s mocktails made with nutrient-rich ingredients such as chamomile, green tea and ginger straight from the garden. Hours are Tues.–Thurs. 5–10 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 5–11 p.m.; view the full menu here.

Garden Grille

Join in saying “no” to GMO with your next visit to Garden Grille. Whenever possible, the restaurant, located on 727 East Ave., Pawtucket, uses organic ingredients. Garden Grille partners with more than twenty-five local farms and food sources. No matter your dietary restrictions, the Grille has you covered, whether you’re vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, raw or just a healthy eater. Brunch, lunch and dinner are available with menu items including: a falafel wrap on whole wheat; gluten-free macaroni and cheese; apple and cheddar pizza; avo toast and eggs; and vegan whole wheat pancakes. The good stuff does not stop there; check out the full menu here. In addition to the food, the drink menu is nearly endless as well. With cocktails, coffee, tea, juices and vegan smoothies, you will not go thirsty here. Stop in Mon.–Sat. 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun. brunch 10 a.m.–3 p.m., Sun. dinner 5–9 p.m.

Wildflour Vegan Bakery

When it comes to a plant-based diet, we’ve come a long way. Wildflour offers mouthwatering dairy and egg-free sweets, including chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes, fruit tarts and more tasty items, plus gluten-free selections and kale chips in five flavors. The meatless raw lasagna is all the rave as well. In addition to the food, Wildflour has juices, green smoothies, fruit smoothies and seasonal sips such as a pumpkin shake. Wildflour is located on 727 East Ave., Pawtucket, and is open Mon.–Thurs. 7 a.m.–9 p.m., Fri. 7 a.m.–10 p.m., Sat. 8 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun. 8 a.m.–9 p.m.

The Grange

Located on the West End of Providence at 166 Broadway is the Grange, a vegetarian-friendly spot that serves up lunch, dinner and brunch while giving off comfy vibes. On the lunch menu, you can find general tso’s tacos made with seitan, queso fresco, green onions, chili aioli, kimchi and guacamole. On the brunch menu, try the biscuits ‘n’ gravy, prepared with tofu along with pulled mushroom gravy and fried oyster mushrooms. For dinner, check out the blackened butternut squash dish with chili creamed corn, blackeye pea salad and saffron aioli. Take a seat at the bar and try something from the bar food menu while sipping on a cocktail or mocktail made from juice squeezed daily at the Grange for freshness. The Grange is open Mon.–Wed. 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Thurs.–Fri. 11 a.m.–midnight, Sat. 9 a.m.–midnight, Sun. 9 a.m.–10 p.m.

Keenwah

The mission of Keenwah, 311 Broadway in Newport, is to provide a simple menu made with real ingredients. The sassy name stems from the popular grain, quinoa, which is a source of complete protein. Try the signature organic edamame hummus on a wrap; the local yokel breakfast sandwich with eggs from Baffoni farm; and a Keenwah veggie burger made from brown rice and aduki beans. Try a superfood smoothie to pair with your main dish and leave feeling better than ever. Keenwah is open daily from 8 a.m.–4 p.m.

Beehive Cafe 

From the farm to the Beehive table, freshness is a priority. Beehive Cafe, located on 10 Franklin St. in Bristol, cooks with local ingredients and works with local farms; it is more fun that way. Every day from 7 a.m.–3:30 p.m., you can get breakfast or lunch at Beehive; from 5–9 p.m. daily, dinner is served. For breakfast, try the egg sandwich cooked with two Baffoni Farm eggs, Vermont cheddar cheese, tomato and arugula on a homemade potato bun with the added option of bacon, ham or sausage. For dinner, order the pesto grilled chicken made from Baffoni’s chicken, mashed butternut squash, Atwell’s gold cheese and pesto. On 87 Gooding Ave., Bristol, Beehive’s Pantry is now open and serving coffee, bakery items and prepared foods. Stop in Mon.–Sat. 7 a.m.–6 p.m., Sun. 7 a.m.–4 p.m., for a grab and go purchase. Have a dietary restriction? No worries, Beehive gets it.

Veggie Fun

Have fun with your veggies at Veggie Fun, located at 124 Dorrance St., Providence. Some vegan or vegetarian menu items might spice up your life while others are offered gluten-free. Start your meal off with the spring rolls appetizer filled with cabbage, mushrooms, celery and carrots. Try the lettuce wraps as your main course; they’re gluten free with diced vegetables, shiitake mushrooms, peppers, carrots, onions, celery and pine nuts. Each entree is served with brown rice, miso soup and a salad. Pair a housemade drink, such as Thai iced tea, with your tasty veggies. Veggie Fun is open Mon.–Thurs. 11:30 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri. 11:30 a.m.–11 p.m., Sat. noon–11 p.m., Sun. noon–10 p.m.

b.good

Be good and stay healthy at b.good restaurant, located at Garden City Center, 62 Hillside Rd., Cranston. Co-owners Anthony and Jon launched b.good because they loved the fast pace of fast food but didn’t like the way the food made them feel. At b.good, they maintain the quickness but offer real food from all over the Northeast, such as cheese from Cabot Creamery Co-op in Vermont. Power up your day with the power bowl, consisting of quinoa or b.good’s super grain mix, kale, sauteed vegetables, bok choy, mint and more. Have a burger any way you please with the choice of a homemade veggie patty, a hand-packed turkey patty or all-natural beef or chicken. You can even substitute the bun for a gluten-free option or vegetables. Stop in Mon.–Sat. 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.–8 p.m. or click here for b.good’s full story and menu.

Julians

Do you find yourself constantly searching for a place where you and your health-conscious buddies can enjoy a meal together? Julians is the place for the whole group. With vegan and vegetarian options but also meat choices, Julians, located at 318 Broadway, Providence, has it all. Brunch is served from 9 a.m.–4 p.m., Mon.–Fri., and from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Sunday. As a plant-based option, enjoy princess peach vegan French toast or a non-vegan option of chicken, applewood smoked bacon, boursin and baby spinach on a roll. Dinner is served daily from 5–11 p.m., where both vegan and carnivorous options are available. This brewpub is awaiting your entire friend group.

AS220

AS220, a nonprofit community space that hosts art classes, kids’ programs, galleries, theater and music events and more, also serves some tasty cuisine. AS220 Foo(d), which is open Tues.–Sat. from noon–10 p.m. at 115 Empire St., Providence, serves locally sourced food that is affordable and good for the environment. Menu items include: herb ricotta gnocchi, arugula nosh and garlic, basil chickpeas as a starter and much more. Profits from AS220 Foo(d) support AS220’s arts programming. Check out the full menu out here.

The Scoop on TEN31’s New Digs

The “make pretend” experts celebrate their new studio space with Night at the Haunted Museum.

 

TEN31 Productions is best-known for making pretend; they have a staff of more than fifty living statues and character actors. TEN31 used to travel in order to perform, but now, with their own space within the Revel Factory in Pawtucket, they will host events of their own.

Check out their first event, Night at the Haunted Museum, this Friday and Saturday in the Revel Factory. According to Alicia White, studio manager and choreorgrapher at Ten31, “The name of our company is TEN31; Halloween is what we do best.” We caught up with White to learn more about the new space.

1031

Rhode Island Monthly: Take us through a visual tour of TEN31’s space in the Revel Factory.

Alicia White: Our space is basically a revitalized old mill building. It has one big open room that we can transform into different sections if we want to like we are doing for the Haunted Museum event; or it could just be one, large event space. There are some big, round columns throughout that really give it this unique, sort of interesting vibe. They add more to the decor of the room versus just being columns that are in the way — so I love them. I think they are awesome. We have some big windows. So basically we just have one big open space that can be transformed into anything you want it to be.

Why did TEN31 decide to expand? What are some benefits from the move that you’ve noticed already?

The building we were in previously was sold so we were sort of forced to find ourselves a new home. When we did find this place, everything fell into line at the right moment…. The reason for it was to offer a place where we can host our own events and also offer a place where people can host their events and be able to use us and open ourselves up to the community that we are in now. We’ve been in Pawtucket for the entire sixteen-year span of the business but I feel like we’ve had more people just kind of come by and say “hey” and want to check out the space, which is awesome.

This weekend is TEN31’s first official event at the Revel Factory. What is the preparation process and what are your predictions for the turnout?

This is our first big TEN31 production, essentially. We are creating a whole world here that we are opening up to the public for people to come and experience. It is the first of that kind of an event: immersive theater, walkthrough experience. We’re working with Advanced Production and Design. We’ve had the guys in here the past couple of days helping us set up all of the pipes and drapes and section off the space to create the walkthrough. We’ve taken our open space and changed the layout of it. We send our staff detailed information about who their character is and how they all relate to each other. We ask them to prepare in that way so that it’s different than just a haunted house that you walk through and they jump out at you. There are actually connections and a story between the characters…. It’s not just about transforming the space; it’s about creating a whole experience for people the entire time they are here…. The maximum for each night is around 240 to 250 people. We really don’t know how many people we are going to get but we sold tickets online already for both nights.

What are some of the characters you will have in the upcoming event?

There are some pieces of art that are collected by Dracula. It’s Dracula’s mansion but we do not know if Dracula is here or not. So I can’t tell you if you’ll see him. I can tell you that there are various pieces of our art collection; there are people who may be affected by Dracula in some way, may be held captive by Dracula in some way and people who work for Dracula. So it’s a wide variety of some of our living art and some people who are Dracula’s encounters throughout his daily life.

What is the process like to turn a performer into a statue?

We tell our performers who they are and give them a history of their character. If it’s a character that we created, we try and give them a background about who that character is; if they’re being a historical figure, we tell them who they are and we ask them to think about who that character is, do a little research on them…see how they were posed, how they might stand. The costumes are all created from scratch essentially. Everything is hand-painted; we do purchase some stuff but if we purchase it, we put our little touch on it after. The performers all do their own makeup. We have specific makeup techniques for each of our finishes. Our statues have bronze [or] white marble patina. The performers each learn each of the different finishes and they have to do their own makeup and then they get into costume…. It’s really up to the performers to sort of become that person.

What other events does TEN31 plan to have at the Revel Factory?

We’re hoping to do something in the winter — potentially Alice in Wonderland-related. We want to continue to do Night at the Haunted Museum every Halloween so we are hoping to expand that to become a more regular thing. Outside of that, we don’t have anything specific in mind. We just know that we can do anything and everything and we are really excited about diving in to seeing what people want and what kinds of things our fans or our guests are interested in…. It’s going to offer endless possibilities and we are really excited to try every single one of them.

Exploring Providence’s West Side

Hip-as-can-be boutiques, eateries and coffee shops beckon between Westminster and Broadway.

 

‘Tis the season for coffee shops, cozy spots and trendy stores where we can stock up on fall and winter essentials. Lucky for us: The walkable West Side of Providence is best-known for its bakeries, shopping and hipster vibes.

On foot, we confined our jaunt to two West Side neighborhoods: Westminster Street (the West Side one; don’t let your GPS fool you!) and Broadway. Together, the stores on the two streets conquer all of our thrifty, hippy, caffeinated desires.

westside

WESTMINSTER STREET

Ada Books

In an age where most everything revolves around a computer, it’s refreshing to walk into a bookstore and hear, well, silence. With books lining each wall, this literary getaway will fulfill all of your bookish preferences. Even if you are not looking for anything in particular, peruse the shop and take a seat at one of the comfortable chairs that dot the space. In addition to books, you can find a few magazines and local comic books. Give your laptop a rest; stop in and appreciate the printed word.

The Details: Mon.–Tues. 2–6 p.m., Wed.–Fri. 11 a.m.–6 p.m., S­at.–Sun. noon–5 p.m. 717 Westminster St., Providence, ada-books.com.

Leviathan Exchange

Fall and winter clothes can get pricey, and we New Englanders have to wear so many layers. Sure, you could spend a fortune ensuring that you don’t get frostbite, or you can stop into Leviathan Exchange for fun items at a thrifty price. On trend and in good shape, the stock curated by Leviathan Exchange is sure to please, from denim skirts to flannels to blouses for a night on the town. (We loved an $8 beaded black top for date night.) Most displays are color-coded or marked with tags so you can quickly find your fall and winter essentials. Click your way over to Leviathan Exchange’s Facebook page for specials and discounts, such as buy one get one 50 percent off and other exclusive offers that make thrifting even better.

The Details: Mon.–Sat. 11:30 a.m.–6 p.m., closed Sunday. 745 Westminster St., Providence, facebook.com/leviathanexchange.

White Electric Coffee

Whether you’re looking for a quick cup of coffee on the go or you’re planning to stay and get some work done, White Electric has what you need. Cozy and cool, this coffee shop serves hot or iced drinks made with New Harvest coffee, numerous breakfast sandwiches and locally made bakery items that will make you want to wake up in the morning. For lunch, it offers sandwiches that they say are “better than brownbag.” For a lighter option, White Electric has fresh salads, too. Bring your laptop or your friends and hang out in this low-key gathering place.

The Details: Mon.–Tues. 7 a.m.–6:30 p.m., Thurs.–Fri. 7 a.m.–6:30 p.m., Sat. 8 a.m.­–5 p.m., Sun. 9 a.m.­–4 p.m. 711 Westminster St., Providence, whiteelectriccoffee.com.

BROADWAY

Seven Stars Bakery

Seven Stars Bakery, located on the busy corner of Broadway and Knight Street in the heart of the West Side, has great seasonal specials (think: matcha lattes, apple cider and honey lattes). The goodies don’t stop at the drink counter. In the bakery case, behold almond croissants, lemon cake and pumpkin seed bread that pairs well with coffee or tea. Seven Stars has ample seating inside and outside, so stay and relax or order on the go. For lunch, four different sandwiches are on the menu in addition to other items, including yogurt, granola or fresh fruit. With a Seven Stars coffee and baked good in hand, you’ll be ready to take on a full day on Broadway.

The Details: Mon.–Fri. 6:30 a.m.–6 p.m., Sat.–Sun. 7 a.m.–6 p.m. 342 Broadway, Providence, sevenstarsbakery.com.

AsterLuxe

Brand new to Broadway is a specialty shop called AsterLuxe, which had its grand opening on October 1. Owners Erin Myles and Nicole Deponte were neighbors for years and they got to talking about opening a store someday. (They’re both creative types with interests in specialty handmade items.) Their dream came true: Everything in AsterLuxe is made in the United States and you can even find some of Myles’s and Deponte’s pieces throughout; they both design jewelry. Myles creates her products with the evil eye and Deponte makes statement necklaces that are intricate and detailed. Myles says the atmosphere of the store “reflects both Nicole’s and my aesthetic a lot.” The store features many items including throw pillows, textiles for the home, teas, handmade dishes, jewelry and much more. Visit the AsterLuxe website for more information and to learn upcoming events such as group meditations.

The Details: Thurs.–Sat. noon–6 p.m., Sun. noon–4 p.m., 381 Broadway, Providence, asterluxe.com.

LiRog Floral Designs

The first sight you’ll see in this sweet florist shop is an autumn display of flowers, pumpkins and a petite wooden ladder that will make you want to uproot the display and put it in the entrance of your home. Step further inside and spy the counter where floral arrangements are made daily. Custom order a bundle of flowers or let LiRog design something for your fall table (or wedding, event, birthday and more). If you need your order delivered, LiRog makes local and statewide deliveries.

The Details: Mon.–Fri. 9 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Sat. 9 a.m.–1 p.m. 349 Broadway, Providence, lirog.com.

The Grange

At the Grange, healthy food is taken seriously. The West Side restaurant has something for everyone — no matter your meal preferences. The entire menu is vegetarian and guests are urged to tell their servers of any food allergies. The Grange serves brunch, lunch and dinner and boasts a juice bar where fruit is squeezed daily to ensure freshness. The space is cozy inside and seating is available outside. On the website and in the restaurant, you can find upcoming events including live music, storytelling, comedy and more.

The Details: Mon.–Wed. 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Thurs.–Fri. 11 a.m.–midnight, Sat. 9 a.m.–midnight, Sun. 9 a.m.–10 p.m. 166 Broadway, Providence, providencegrange.com.

Providence Share Space

The phrase “one stop shopping” gets a whole new meaning at Providence Share Space. With a diverse assemblage of vendors, shoppers should prepare for the unexpected. Before stepping into the Share Space, you’ll see racks of clothing outside along with interesting sculptures. Once inside, there are four visible rooms to start. From clothing and accessories from White Buffalo to a room dedicated to small cacti to art created by local artists with disabilities, the possibilities are nearly endless. Once you pass through the first four stores, you may think it’s over. However, you must keep walking (and walking); it’s almost as if the store is never-ending. Here, our shopping dreams came true. A friend in architecture who tagged along admired a display with handcrafted signs on a distressed slab of painted wood; another noteworthy display was on an old door hanging on the wall. (She often wondered aloud if entire displays were available for purchase.) Needless to say, we will be back for holiday shopping.

The Details: Mon. 1–5 p.m., Wed.–Fri. noon–7 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m.–7 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.–5 p.m. 140 Broadway, Providence, facebook.com/providencesharespace.

Rocket to Mars

From cups and plates to winter jackets and records, Rocket to Mars is the ultimate thrift store. Every turn features an unusual item on display. The goods at Rocket to Mars are nicely kept, the placement of each display is well thought out and each object is easily visible. The scent of incense gives the shop the added feeling of comfort and relaxation. During our visit, we spotted lovely vintage coffee and tea containers that would add an old-time feel to a kitchen. The vintage typewriters were lustworthy, too.

The Details: Wed.–Sat. 11 a.m.–6 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.–5 p.m. 144 Broadway, Providence, facebook.com/Rocket-to-Mars.

Your October Event Planner in Rhode Island

Stomp some grapes, cozy up on the bleachers and lose your wits in a forest of fears.

 

There’s so much to do this fall, especially here in New England. So we put together an October itinerary so you can make the most of the season, one week at a time.

ocg

10/8–10: AutumnFest

Kicking off the second weekend of October is AutumnFest at WWII Memorial State Park, 40 Snow St., Woonsocket. The event is three days, Oct. 8–10, starting at 10 a.m. each day. AutumnFest encompasses the best of fall, from arts and crafts tables to vendors and countless food options. Kids can get excited about this event, too; there’s a whole area called KidFest just for them. Fireworks begin at 9 p.m. on Sunday evening. On Monday morning, the festival hosts its annual parade. The parade is scheduled for 9:30 a.m., beginning at Diamond Hill Plaza in Woonsocket.  For more information on this year’s event or to become a volunteer, click here.

10/8–10: Federal Hill Columbus Day Festival

Salute! The Columbus Day Weekend Festival celebrates twenty-five years this year. This three-day Italian festival is packed with entertainment, plenty of food and vendors along Atwells Avenue in Providence. On Saturday, Oct. 8, the opening ceremony takes place on the stage across from DePasquale Plaza at noon. On Sunday, the annual parade steps off at 11 a.m. at the corner of Harris Avenue and Atwells Avenue. For a full schedule of entertainment, click here.

10/19: Beer and Cupcakes 

Reward yourself for making it halfway through the week by joining Revival Brewing Company for a tasting of beer and cupcakes. (Hey, it’s a welcome palate-cleanser from cider and pumpkin-flavored treats…. So we can eat more later.) On Wednesday, Oct. 19 from 5:30–8 p.m., taste four Revival beers paired with four D’Licious Dessert cupcakes for $12. For tickets, click here. Revival is located at 505 Atwood Ave., Cranston.

10/21: Great Pumpkin Hunt 

You could pick up your pumpkin at the store or even go to a farm. But we’re hunting for ours at Blithewold, 101 Ferry Rd., Bristol. On Oct. 21 from 5–7 p.m., search for a pumpkin on Blithewold’s gorgeous waterfront grounds, listen to some tunes, graze at the food trucks and drink some hot apple cider. After hunting for pumpkins and noshing, attend a special star program next to a bonfire and chat about the constellations. For members, admission is $15; for non-members, admission is $18 (including the pumpkin). To participate in the event but not take home a pumpkin, the cost is $8. For questions, contact Blithewold: 401-253-2707, blithewold.org.

10/23 and 10/26: Collegiate Soccer

Some of the best fall memories are made outdoors on cold bleachers, wrapped in a warm blanket and sipping hot cocoa. You can live these memories, but not for long. Catch the Providence College Friars women’s soccer team for their last home game on Oct. 23 at 1 p.m. against Seaton Hall University. On Oct. 26, at 7 p.m., watch the men take on Marquette for the last time of the regular season. (Bonus: It’s a night game!) For more information on the games, click here for the men’s schedule and here for the women’s.

10/29: First Annual Harvest Festival 

If you’ve wondered what it would be like to stomp grapes to make wine, you are in for an opportunity and a treat. In addition to barefoot grape-stomping seshes at 1 and 3 p.m., Newport Vineyards’ first annual Harvest Festival hosts a pie eating contest, too. Wine stompers and pie eaters are picked at random the day of the event, so click here to sign up. (Dress appropriately, people.) Tickets are $30, which includes wine tastings by the glass. Food is available for cash purchase. The event is held at Newport Vineyards, 909 East Main Rd., Middletown from noon–5 p.m. on Oct. 29. To purchase tickets, click here.

Through 10/30: Highland Farm’s Trails to Terror

If you think you have what it takes to withstand the spook, head over to Highland Farm’s Trails to Terror and test yourself. Highland Farm is located at 4235 Tower Hill Rd., Wakefield. Walk through the forest of fear or aboard a hayride to the unknown. Tickets are $13 for individual events, $20 for the forest walk and hayride. Skip the lines and lounge in the VIP area with free refreshments for $30. To purchase tickets, click here. Guests are urged to dress for outdoor weather. The event is held each weekend from now until Oct. 30 and the doors open at 7 p.m. the ticket booth closes at 10 p.m. Can you handle it? Boo!

BONUS: Fall Picnics at Goddard State Park 

Open year-round is Goddard State Park located at 1095 Ives Rd., East Greenwich. This popular park has picnic tables, walking trails, a nine-hole golf course and a horse stable. Enjoy thelast bit of bearable weather by heading to Goddard for the afternoon. Pack a picnic, a blanket and something warm to drink and enjoy a relaxing day and take the in fall scenery. Admission is free and there are outdoor grills available for use. For more information about the park, click here. Don’t let fall slip between your fingers — before you know it it’s going to be frigid.

Six Special Places to Go Apple Picking in Rhode Island

Pair your pick with hayrides, maple cotton candy and the inevitable cider doughnut (or three).

 

The weather doesn’t just confuse us New Englanders; it confuses the apples, too. The United States Drought Monitor shows that over the last three months, Rhode Island was abnormally dry.

Despite the lack of rain, farm and orchard owners across the state say the quality of the apple has not been affected but instead, the supply.

Good for us in the know; we can still do some major apple picking this weekend at these gorgeous orchards across Rhode Island. Sit back as we rattle off some pick-your-own spots along with their individual specialties.

apples.jpg

Dame Farm and Orchard

Where: 91B Brown Ave., Johnston, 401-949-3657, damefarmandorchards.com

When: Mon.–Fri. 8:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m., Sat.–Sun. 9:30 a.m.–5 p.m.

Apples available: Take a stroll through the orchard and pick varieties for $1.75 per pound at a $10 minimum such as: Gala, Macintosh, Honeycrisp and Red Courtland. More variants like Macoun are still to come as the season progresses.

Special features: The fun at Dame Farm and Orchard doesn’t stop at picking apples. The farm also offers thirty-five-minute wagon rides through the crops daily from 9:30 a.m. until close. A maze is available to get lost in during orchard hours and usually takes about one hour from start to finish.

Jaswell’s Farm

Where: 50 Swan Rd., Smithfield, 401-231-9043, jaswellsfarm.com

When: Daily 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Available apples: The farm urges customers to call before they pick so they can give the most current information on in-season apples.

Special features: Did someone say candy apples? If you have a sweet tooth, you may find yourself indulging in one of eight flavors of candy apples. For more than twenty-five years, Jaswell’s has produced candy apples daily and ready to order. Some of the flavors include: Heath Bar Crunch, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Toasted Almonds and Crushed Oreos. Depending on the time of the year, Jaswell’s also offers seasonal flavors. Want these candy apples for an event or party? No problem; they also ship throughout the United States.

And there’s more. Jaswell’s weekend concession includes hot apple crisp and the farmstand and bakery features cider doughnuts.On Sundays, the farm offers hayrides and collects donations for the Rhode Island Community Food Bank.

Jaswell’s is no stranger to the recent Rhode Island weather, either. Allison Jaswell Molis says, “The quality of the apple that we have is tremendous…. There are still some gorgeous, gorgeous apples,” despite the summer drought.

Barden Family Orchard

Where: 56 Elmdale Rd., North Scituate, 401-934-1413, bardenfamilyorchard.com

When: Mon.–Fri. 9 a.m.–6 p.m., Sat.–Sun. 9a.m.–5 p.m.

Available apples: Barden Family Orchard has a selection of apples such as: Mcintosh, Spartan, Courtland, Liberty, Macoun and Honeycrisp available for picking this season.

Special feature: Barden Family Orchard makes its own apple cider in house, which is treated by ultraviolet light; it is the better alternative to treatment by heat pasteurization, and ultraviolet light purists say it gives the cider a better taste. The prices for the cider are: $2.50 per pint, $4.50 per half gallon, $8.50 per gallon.

Steere Orchard

Where: 150 Austin Ave., Greenville, 401-949-1456, steereorchard.com

When: Daily from 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

Available apples: The apples available for pick your own at the moment are Mcintosh. However, this may change depending on the season — more apples are becoming ready for pick your own by the week, so stop in and see which are available.

Special features: Steere Orchard specializes in free hayrides on Saturdays and Sundays starting at 10 a.m. In addition to the hayrides, the farm stand is open daily from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. and houses some fall specialties such as peaches (when in season), apple cider doughnuts, jam, locally produced honey, Indian corn and pumpkins.

Rocky Brook Orchard

Where: 997 Wapping Rd., Middletown, 401-851-7989, rockybrookorchard.com.

When: Sat.–Sun. 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m., Columbus Day 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

Available apples: Honeycrisp, McIntosh, Spartans and other seasonal favorites.

Special feature: Rocky Brook Orchard has a system to let pickers know which apples are best at what time. Forget the police-line tape; each tree wears a small wooden tag with the apple name carved into it. Attached is a colored spool that tells the following:

  • Red: best in early September
  • Orange: best picked in the middle of September
  • Yellow: best picked at the end of September or early October
  • Green: best picked in the beginning to middle of October
  • Blue: best picked mid-October to November

Pippin Orchard

Where: 751 Pippin Orchard Rd., Cranston, 401- 943-7096, facebook.com/pippinorchard

When: Pick your own hours run 10 a.m.–4 p.m. daily and store hours are 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

Available apples: The apples that are ready to pick change daily. For $24, you can walk away with a twelve-pound bag to take home. There are apples ripe enough to pick and for inquiries on the types, call Pippin Orchard for more details.

Special features: Pippin is getting its sweet tooth on this fall and we are all for it. Apple cider doughnuts are always on the menu but, new this year, the farm added a maple frosting for that extra fall taste. Pippin also serves up candy apples; check out a video on Facebook to see how they are made. Another fall special going on at Pippin is maple cotton candy  yes, you read that correctly. Pippin lives up to all of our fall goals this season. Check the farm’s Facebook page for information on upcoming events, including a barbecue griller.

Support Breast Cancer Awareness Month with Charity Walks, WaterFire and Pink Cake

Rhode Island is jam-packed with opportunities to join in on the cause.

 

October and the color pink are reminders to people everywhere that one in eight women (about 12 percent) across the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. The National Breast Cancer Foundation says early detection of the disease is the key to survival and frequent screening and examinations help to aid initial discovery.

pink

As part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2016, Rhode Islanders have set out to host events, raise funds and grow as a community to help increase knowledge and education about breast cancer.

Between the Gloria Gemma Foundation, the Avenue of Healing and the American Cancer Society, Rhode Island has a number of events where you can show off your pink pride. Whether you have been affected by breast cancer in some way or not, there is something for everyone to be a part of over the next month of October.

10/1: Celebration of Life Festival

On Oct. 1 starting at 3 p.m., you can join the Gloria Gemma Foundation at the Celebration of Life Festival. Located at Station Park in downtown Providence, this event has something for everyone. Take it back to the ’80s as Decadia performs live, followed by a laser show. Throughout the event, attendees can seek out food and watch the crowds settle in. The Rhode Island Martial Arts Academy-Mastery Martial Arts is performing a demonstration at 7:30 p.m. and the Pink Party begins at 8 p.m. Every event is open to the public but the Pink Party is by ticket entry only. Tickets for the Pink Party are $50 and can be purchased here. Don’t miss the start of Breast Cancer Awareness Month at this activity-packed event. For more information and the schedule, click here.

10/1: Illuminations of Life Ceremony and WaterFire

Also on Oct. 1, beginning at dusk, the Gloria Gemma Foundation hosts its second event of the month, the Illuminations of Life Ceremony. On the steps of the Rhode Island State House, located at 82 Smith St., Providence, the State Ballet of Rhode Island dances in tribute to breast cancer patients and survivors, followed by a torch procession. Guests are welcome to register as torch bearers or to donate towards a torch bearer. Those who are interested in carrying a torch must raise a minimum of $500 in donations. (Register here.) The proceeds will go towards Gloria Gemma Foundation’s Hope Bus. The bus travels around Rhode Island providing information and breast cancer examinations to women. The procession leads to a WaterFire in Waterplace Basin.

10/1: Passport to Wellness

The morning of Oct. 1, from 8 a.m.–2 p.m., the Omni Hotel, 1 West Exchange St., Providence, hosts Gloria Gemma: Passport to Wellness. This event has more than fifty health and wellness vendors. Additionally, the event includes speakers, a nutrition information session that shows attendees quick and easy meals and the opportunity to obtain six stamps on the wellness passport that is provided to each guest at the door. With six stamps, guests receive a Journey bracelet by Gennaro Inc., while supplies last. This is a free event. For a schedule, click here; to register, click here.

10/2: Gloria Gemma Walk/Run

The Gloria Gemma Foundation continues its activities into the following day with the Gloria Gemma Walk/Run Series, beginning at 9 a.m. and concluding when the final participant crosses the finish line. The Kids Fun Run, open to children ages twelve and younger, kicks off the series at 9 a.m. and has multiple starts. The Pink Pump Palooza is the next event in the series at 10 a.m.; it’s a fifty-yard dash. Men and women: Bring your pink-decorated high heels and finish the race to have the chance to be crowned Ms. or Mr. Pink Pump Palooza. Lastly, at 11 a.m., there is a five-K, where participants can walk or run at their own pace. It is a chance for the fastest runners to win prizes and for everyone to show off their pink pride. The event is at Station Park in downtown Providence. (Register here.) Online registration for events ends Sept. 28 at 9 p.m. The five-K walk/run is $30 in advance, $35 the day of the event. The Kids Fun Run is $20 online and onsite. The Pink Pump Palooza is $32 to register online and $35 to register onsite.

10/16: Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

The American Cancer Society hosts its annual Making Strides against Breast Cancer Walk at 2 Kennedy Plaza, Providence. On Oct. 16 at 9 a.m., you and your team (which you can create online) are free to walk the streets of Providence with the sea of pink. Check in begins at 7:30 a.m. and to make a team, click here.

10/22: Avenues of Healing

Avenues of Healing is hosting its own event in support of breast cancer awareness with a brunch, a panel discussion, keynote speaker dietitian Marsha Hudnall and raffles. This educational event, sponsored by Lifespan, is located at Crowne Plaza Hotel, Main Ballroom, 801 Greenwich Ave., Warwick. It is free and open to the public, however, registration is required and you can do that here.

Through 10/31: Cake for a Cure

Gregg’s Restaurant and Tavern, with four locations in Rhode Island, is also participating in the fight against breast cancer. Now until Oct. 31, customers can purchase a Cake for a Cure for $29.99 at Gregg’s locations in Warwick, Providence, East Providence and South Kingstown. The dessert is a pink cake filled with pink vanilla buttercream and topped with pink ribbon sprinkles. Gregg’s will donate a portion of sales to the Gloria Gemma Foundation. To order a cake, stop by a Gregg’s near you. Gregg’s will also have a presence at some of the Gloria Gemma Foundation events through October.

Ongoing: New Luca and Danni Collection

Luca and Danni, a locally based online retailer of American-made jewelry, created a new collection in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The collection consists of Gloria’s Angel BangleRose AB Gloria’s Angel Pendant and Rose AB Gloria’s Angel Pin. Luca and Danni’s owner and founder Fred Magnanimi knows the hardships of cancer; he lost his own brother, Danny, to cancer in 2013. With the purchase of any one of the three items from the new collection, 20 percent of proceeds will support the Gloria Gemma Foundation. Items can be purchased online through the Luca and Danni site, at the Flames of Hope weekend or at any Luca and Danni retailers in Rhode Island.