Have you been to Waterfire in Providence? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 12 Old 08-27-2010, 03:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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A friend and I are thinking of bringing our two (well, nearly three!) year-olds to Waterfire tommorow night. We're wondering, though, is this an appropriate, fun venue for preschoolers? Will there be space to play and dance, or is it wall to wall people crowded together in the dark?!! Any advice/experience is welcome
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#2 of 12 Old 08-27-2010, 03:20 PM
 
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Looking forward to hearing about this, we've been wondering the same thing

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#3 of 12 Old 08-27-2010, 03:58 PM
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I haven't been to Waterfire in a few years....I'm usually working on Waterfire nights. It usually means big business for my work and tips are good.

From what I remember, it's crowded and dark. Artificial lighting is turned down or off to make the fire look nicer, so the sidewalks are not well lit. The last time I went, there was construction, too, so walking to and from the river was done on the street with no sidewalk available for most of it.

I would venture to guess that toddlers dancing and playing would get tripped over, stepped on, or mauled by a mega-stroller. YMMV. I probably wouldn't bring small children there if I had any.
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#4 of 12 Old 08-27-2010, 06:48 PM
 
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I haven't gone since my son was born last year -- but I've been meaning to take him.

It is VERY VERY croweded -- yes, wall-to-wall people. But there are usually a few less crowded areas -- I've gone early & picnicked in the circle where they do the lighting (near the mall) and there was sometimes a little open area though not a ton. I don't think running & playing & dancing would work out very well.

My friend recently brought her toddler though and they had a blast. It really is fun. There is music along the river, and there are little sideshow acts (think magicians, people playing instruments solo on the side of the road, fire-eaters) that would entertain most kids (though others might be scared of them). I don't know if they still do it but Sovereign used to do a 'ballroom dancing' thing in the plaza and that was always fun (crowded on the dancefloor though).

My advice would be to go a few hours early & hang out in Providence (India Point park has a playground & lots of space to walk along the river, and Humbolt park both has an awesome toddler playground) and let the kids get their energy out & have fun. There's also the children's museum... & some splash parks (though I think they shut down at 5??) Anyway I guess my point is, if I were going I'd probably only plan to spend an hour or so at Waterfire with small kids, & then head home. I think it would be overwhelmingly crowded for them to spend much more time then that there -- unless they are still content to be worn/carried, then you could get away with staying longer!

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#5 of 12 Old 08-27-2010, 09:54 PM
 
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I agree w much of the above. I would def come early and leave early (this will also mean that you'll find parking closer to the river so you don't have to walk so far at the end). It does get dark and crowded and I think it could be scary for a toddler. Could also be magical - depends on the temperament of your child. Strollers are hard to manage w all the people and stairs -- could be too much walking for a tired 2 yr old -- I would *definitely* bring a baby carrier/ backpack. Then the crowds and dark would be less scary too.

All that said, do it! It could be great! if it's not, leave early. but space to play and dance, where you can see the river, not really.
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#6 of 12 Old 08-28-2010, 09:08 AM
 
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I went last year with a 2 and 3 year old and they had a blast. It is indeed extremely crowded. There is really no way to easily navigate a stroller. My friend isn't a babywearer, so I ended up carrying one of her kids through the crowds because it was just too difficult to maneuver with slow little legs. However, if you are on the outskirts, there are some grassy areas where they could dance. We lucked out and found a spot with a blanket near the center of the plaza down where they have the tiles in memory of 9-11. It's kind of hit or miss though, sometimes the crowd is thicker than others.

Her children are extremely easy going, so they were happy to walk down from the convention center to the plaza, but it was a bit overwhelming to walk back later. (Hence the carrying. :-) )

But there are some really neat street performers - in particular there are some people that sit up on a marble monument ( I can't remember the name) near Market Square (not too far from where they hang the blue stars from the trees) and they pose like they are part of the statue -- like gargoyles. It's really neat. One of the guys takes donations and hands out fortunes.

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#7 of 12 Old 08-28-2010, 07:53 PM
 
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I love Waterfire but I'd be nervous taking a preschooler. In addition to what has already by said, it can get really smokey there.

I haven't been yet with my son because of the massive crowds.

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#8 of 12 Old 08-29-2010, 09:25 AM
 
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I went once last year and there was a family lpunging in the grassy area near the gtech building and there were a bunch of children running around and playng...I think it must've been pretty arly in the evening. Another thing I would prbably be concerned about is finding bathrooms if your children have learned to use the toilet...just because its definitly crowded and busy...

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#9 of 12 Old 08-29-2010, 09:27 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustAnotherJenny View Post
But there are some really neat street performers - in particular there are some people that sit up on a marble monument ( I can't remember the name) near Market Square (not too far from where they hang the blue stars from the trees) and they pose like they are part of the statue -- like gargoyles. It's really neat. One of the guys takes donations and hands out fortunes.

Oh! A friend of mine is one of those gargoyles! He's a RISD grad...I think its part of an alumni project or something but I'm not sure.

femalesling.GIFfamilybed1.gif crafty Mama to Maxwell, born April 5, 2010 and partner & best friend to Dan <3

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#10 of 12 Old 08-29-2010, 11:40 AM
 
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I hate waterfire. I seriously don't understand the point of it at all!

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#11 of 12 Old 08-31-2010, 09:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all of the words of wisdom - we decided to wait and had a lovely picnic at the beach instead Maybe next year!!!
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#12 of 12 Old 09-03-2010, 03:22 PM
 
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We went my older son was younger. Although we did have a good time, and he was 2 I think, all I remember about was how miserable we were with the stroller. I think it's doable if your kids can handle crowds and walk a distance, or use a baby backpack or carrier. It's also late too, but if you still have nappers maybe that won't be such a big deal.
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