Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 06-25-2020

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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28 SUMMER 2020 | THE VALLEY BREEZE 28 one of the many bike paths around the state: try the Blackstone Valley Bikeway, which includes 18.2 miles and 11.6 miles of continuous path from Cumberland to Woonsocket; the East Bay Bike Path, which goes for 14.5 miles from India Point Park in Providence to Independence Park in Bristol; and the South County Bike Path, which consists of 7.8 miles from Kingston Station in South Kingstown to Mumford Road in Narragansett. Movie nights are also a great family outing. Visit the Rustic Tri-View Drive-In in North Smithfield or the Misquamicut Drive-In in Westerly. Bishop said fami- lies can grab dinner somewhere, sit on the beach, and then get back to their cars to watch a movie on a Friday or Saturday night at Misquamicut. Treat yourself to a culinary adven- ture. There are more than enough ice cream stands around the state to create a self-guided tour. Start with Ice Cream Machine in Cumberland and Lincoln Creamery in Lincoln and then head down to Brickley's in Wakefield and Gray's Ice Cream in Tiverton. Compare the same flavor at multiple locations. Why stop at ice cream? Create the same challenge with other summer treats: clam cakes, lobster rolls, or gour- met donuts. You can also do a local brewery tour, either picking up beers to go or stopping if places offer outdoor seating. If you're keen on staying home but still want some rest and relaxation, you can get creative with what you already have. If your backyard is already equipped with a pool or fire pit, you could add a few decorations to make it feel like you're on a tropical getaway (tiki torches, beach chairs, etc.) or set up a tent and sleep outside for a camping experience close to home. As long as the state moves forward with its reopening plan and continues to relax restrictions, more places are likely to also reopen later this year. Before visiting any locations, make sure to read up on social distancing and other guide- lines. No matter how you choose to spend time off this summer, remember to treat your staycation as if you were actually traveling to another destination: unplug, relax, and have some fun. OUTSIDE From Page 26 For low-pressure options in summer, nothing quite beats inviting some friends over for yard games and drinks. Cumberland resident Liz Bradshaw considers her yard on Grandview Drive the best place for friends to gather to spend an evening together. Bradshaw said there is always something people are willing to play from her shed full of lawn games. Bradshaw's yard is large enough to play a game of junior baseball. It's a gathering spot for friends and family. Her go-to to wind down on the week- end begins with her fire pit, where she said friends are welcome to sit and chat over a few drinks. Bringing yard games into the mix adds to the excitement and can get the conversation going. "It's only a matter of finding people," Bradshaw said. Bradshaw, who lives in her grandpar- ents' old house with her cousin, said she was excited to see her favorite summer For fun and games – look to your own backyard By JACQUELYN MOOREHEAD Valley Breeze & Observer Staff Writer BREEZE PHOTO BY JACQUELYN MOOREHEAD Cumberland resident LIZ BRADSHAW throws a bocce ball in her backyard. games, including bocce and horseshoes, were still there. Most of her memories of playing lawn games begin with her family at her grandparents' house, she said. One of her family's favorite pastimes is playing in her grandparents' horseshoe pits. Bradshaw said her grandparents designed and built the pits, two sand- boxes measuring approximately three feet by four feet and 40 feet apart. The phrase "almost doesn't count except in horseshoes and hand gre- nades," is why the game is so popular. Even those without the most accurate toss have a chance to win if others aren't athletically inclined. "We play it a lot. You just need two people," Bradshaw said. That is the allure to most backyard games. Not many players are needed, and the skillset is relatively low. Take cornhole, for example. Players earn points landing bags onto the board or through the hole. Ladder ball is where players attempt to wrap bolas, a pair of balls tied togeth- er by a string, around a three-rung lad- der. Like many yard games, it's easy to learn and fun to play. For more competitive and athletic games, Bradshaw prefers badminton and volleyball. For those, a little more space is needed to house the net and allow players to move. "With a net, you can play a variety of games," Bradshaw said. She said bocce is a favorite, especial- ly in Rhode Island, for most summer gatherings. Bocce can have up to eight players separated onto two teams. Also known as Italian Lawn Bowling, regu- lations put the court at 91 feet long and between eight and 14 feet wide. Bradshaw said winning matters far less than the fun and camaraderie, especially when playing with kids who make up their own rules.

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