When I was a college student on summer break at home in Rhode Island, I went to work everyday in that beautiful mansion pictured above. Working in the gift shop of a major tourist attraction certainly had its benefits, and I really enjoyed that job. When I traveled to Newport, Rhode Island last month to check out the Hotel Viking, I was eager to take my kids to see the mansions. I figured that they would see the Breakers and then want to do something else, but they both begged to see another mansion. I’d definitely recommend taking your kids to the Newport Mansions when visiting the area. If you are looking for the best mansion in Newport with kids – the Breakers would definitely be the one I would choose.
The Newport Mansions With Kids
I remember that the mansions do get crowded as the day goes on (especially in the summer), so we went first thing in the morning. The Breakers now offers audio tours, and there is a special one just for children. My husband and I had the choice of listening to the adult tour or the children’s tour, but chose the children’s. I was so impressed with how captivating it is for kids. The tour is given from the perspective of the house, and offers narration about the various motifs seen throughout the house, as well as information about the children of the home and what their daily life was like. The kids really enjoyed controlling their own headsets, as well as the overall tour. It takes about 40 minutes, and when we were done, we walked around the grounds, checking out the children’s cottage as well (it was closed for the season, but we could still see the exterior). Then they asked to visit another mansion. I decided to take them down the road to Marble House, also owned by the Vanderbilt family.
Marble House offers a new audio tour, but doesn’t have a children’s tour. Despite that, my kids really enjoyed Marble House as well. It’s a 40 minute tour, but you could easily spend more time if you’d like. After the tour, we checked out the grounds, including the tea house.
If you choose the visit the Mansions, I’d recommend the following tips:
- Start with the Breakers, and see if your kids like the children’s audio tour first before seeing other mansions.
- Go early – lines do form as the day goes on.
- Eat in advance or after touring. There are no restaurants on any of the mansion properties.
To learn more, visit the Newport Mansions website.
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