Dropping off your kids at college can be tough, especially in a new city. You don't know where to park, where to eat or even where to buy toilet paper! But fear not, we have a list of all the places you'll need to know about in order to survive your first parent college drop-off in Providence.
Thayer Street is a hot spot. Especially for college students
Thayer Street is like the center of college town. Located at College Hill and within walking distance from Roger Williams University, Johnson & Wales, RISD and Brown, Thayer Street is flooded with groups of college students looking to walk around, go out to eat, shop or socialize. Thayer is full of reasonably priced, casual takeout joints, perfect for students. Find stylish clothing and sneakers at Urban Outfitters and Sneaker Junkies. Thayer is a great place to hang when visiting for parent’s weekend as well.
You're going to want to know where the Wal-Mart is.
The nearest Wal-Mart is located at 51 Silver Spring St., Providence, and is less than a 10-minute ride from school for all of your necessities. Also, if your kids don't have a car on campus, they can take RIPTA to Wal-Mart and back, and be dropped off right in front of the store.
If you're into Target, we’ve got you covered.
There's a Target only 13 minutes away at Warwick Mall. Pick up a vacuum and some cleaning supplies for you to use later when visiting them. Plus, why not venture around Warwick Mall while you're there. They have a Nordstrom Rack, Old Navy, Macy's, Jordan’s Furniture, American Eagle, Footaction and tons of other stores. Again, if your kids are without a vehicle, they can pick up RIPTA at school and get dropped off right in front of Warwick Mall.
Food Trucks are an absolute MUST while living in/visiting Providence.
Be sure to follow @PVDFoodTruckEvents on Facebook and Instagram. During the fall, a variety of food trucks will be stationed on Washington Street on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and in Kennedy Plaza on the weekends. You have to try the tacos from Poco Loco Tacos. And, if you can't locate the truck you're looking for, try searching on FoodTrucksIn for trucks nearby or Instagram and I guarantee you'll find a picture recently posted of their location.
Don’t skip breakfast! Try some of the tastiest specialty doughnuts you never knew existed.
PVDonuts crafts handmade doughnuts from scratch in amazingly unique styles. They mix the ingredients, roll the dough and cut each doughnut. No machines. Some flavors include cereal milk, peanut butter fluff and chocolate, and monkey bread. People even get there early to wait in line because they DO sell out. Don't worry, the line moves quickly. Just be sure to get there before all the best ones are taken.
You really want a delicious homemade doughnut but, let me guess, you don't want to wait in line early in the morning. We get it.
Knead Doughnuts will deliver right to you. These doughnuts are some absolute, old-fashioned goodness. A little different in style than PVDonuts, Knead has a huge fan base and three locations. They deliver Monday through Friday, but not on the weekend. On weekends, however, you can order ahead and pick them up. Skip the line! Their menu is online and they even offer vegan and flourless varieties, but you CAN’T go wrong with their old-fashioned vanilla glazed.
Take a stroll on Federal Hill for an authentic Italian experience.
Walking around Federal Hill never gets old because there is always something new to do or somewhere new to go. Pop into Caserta Pizza — their pizza is absolutely delicious. Sip a strong espresso at Roma or dine at a gourmet Italian restaurant in this historic section of the city, also known as Little Italy. Complimentary valet is offered at most restaurants on “The Hill,” so no need to worry about parking. You'll know you're there when you see the huge arched gateway with a bronzed pine cone, which marks the entry to the neighborhood.
Visit the RISD Museum. Providence is well-known for its art.
Take a tour of the Rhode Island School of Design Museum and check out artwork ranging from ancient times to the present. Within seven different departments in five different buildings, there lies more than 100,000 objects of art and design. The oldest building, the Waterman building, was completed in 1893. Wander through the halls and get lost in ancient history.
See the PawSox, the Boston Red Sox farm team, for less than $20.
The Boston Red Sox Triple-A affiliate, the PawSox, play at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, Providence’s neighboring town to the North. Maybe you'll get to see some of the pros on the bench. If you don't feel like driving or finding parking, Uber and Lyft are extremely popular in Providence. You'll never be stuck without a ride around here. Plus, since everything is so close, your ride may never cost more than $10.
Like live music? We’ve got a totally hip spot for you.
AS220 is a popular venue in downtown Providence. With four rotating gallery spaces, a performance stage, black box theater, print shop, darkroom and media arts lab, fabrication and electronics lab, and dance studio, this is a space where everyone can find something that they love. And if your kid is a musician, encourage them to sign up to perform. Live music is scheduled for just about every night.