The Providence Performing Arts Center is the second largest theater in New England. It seats 3200 people and it originally opened as a Loew's movie theater in 1928. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places after its 1977 renovation. In this baroquely elegant space, the stage is set for Broadway musicals and concerts. Events as diverse as a Jackson Browne concert or The Sound of Music can be found on this venerable establishment's schedule. Located downtown on Weybosset Street, PPAC (pronounced Pea-Pac, as it is known locally) is close to many downtown hotels as well as other attractions.
This baseball diamond is home to the beloved Pawtucket Red Sox or more affectionately known as the 'Pawsox,' the Boston Red Sox triple-A minor-league affiliate. The stadium was built in 1942 and named after then Mayor Thomas P. McCoy. It holds around 10,000 people and though it is outside of the city of Providence, visiting the town of Pawtucket is always a nice day excursion.
The winding sculpted paths of this park named after one of Rhode Island's founding fathers will allow you to see more than 900 different zoo animals. There are giraffe, zebra and cheetah habitats as well as an open-air aviary which allows visitors an up-close look at the birds. Some of the animals with more exotic names include the Babirusa, the Binturong, the Aoudad or the amphibious and endangered Axolotl. The exhibits also feature different geographical regions and environments, such as Australasia and North America or a Wetlands Trail and a Marco Polo Adventure Trek. The zoo is always hosting events that focus on conservation, environmental stewardship and an overall zoological education for schools throughout the greater Providence area.
AS220 is a non-profit venue that foments love for art in all its myriad forms. They have various resources open to the public, some are free, others require a nominal fee. Some of the workshops and classes include computer labs that teach programming languages, darkroom skills for DSLR Newbies and print shop techniques for traditional media purists. Additionally, inside this 22,000-square-foot building, visitors will find several galleries and a stage where local artists display their talents. There is always something new at AS220.
This commanding three-floor mansion sits along the aptly named Power Street in historic College Hill. The house was built in 1786 for the premier Providence merchant of his day and early trustee of the nearby university, John Brown. Now, under the purview of the Rhode Island Historical Society, this mansion preserves original furnishings and decorations from the 18th Century, which includes a nine-shell desk and bookcase as a couple of great examples. As with many historical attractions in Providence, this one offers a glimpse into the life of Colonial America after the Revolutionary War.
The Rhode Island School of Design is one of the country's leading art schools and it has a museum to match this lauded reputation. Located on colonial Benefit Street, RISD museum traces the history of art from antiquity to the present day through more than 85,000 works of art from all over the world. There are also collections showing Providence's history as a manufacturing center for silver, but the main galleries are categorized as follows: The Grand Gallery, Early Renaissance & Medieval, Ancient Greek & Roman, Contemporary & Modern and Decorative Arts & Design.
The Strand Ballroom & Theatre situated on Washington Street is a popular live music venue that plays host to top local, as well as, traveling artists from across the country. Known by many names like The Strand, Paramount Theatre and Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel in the past, this live music venue acquired its current name only in 2018. This historic venue started out as a vaudevillian theater in 1915 which later got converted to a movie theater in 1929. In recent years, The Strand Ballroom & Theatre has played host to performances of popular singers and rappers like Justin Bieber, Rihanna, G-Eazy, Tyga and Wale making this a popular venue amongst music lovers in the city.