Tired of fighting for a spot at the beach? Looking for a fun and unique day trip? Well, look no further! Having grown up in Rhode Island, one of my favorite places to visit has always been The Fantastic Umbrella Factory. Although the name confused me as a child (I pictured an actual factory producing great quantities of umbrellas), The Fantastic Umbrella Factory is actually a quaint farmyard that offers multiple shops, a café, a bamboo forest, and even a space for animals to roam.
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Located at 4820 Old Post Road in Charlestown, The Fantastic Umbrella Factory lives up to its name. There are many different stores to browse through, offering various knickknacks, candy, clothes that appear to be taken straight out of the 60s and 70s, jewelry, and more! If you are in need of some new eyewear, head on over to Axiom, carrying a wide selection of vintage frames. The Umbrella Factory Gardens have flowers in every color, and finding the perfect plant to bring home is made incredibly easy. One of my personal favorite stores, Small Axe Productions, offers imported goods, one-of-a-kind jewelry and clothing, musical instruments, and more. If you are into body art, Henna Body Art can provide you with the perfect design on your skin. You can visit seven days a week, from 10PM to 6PM.
While stopping by, I recommend checking out the Small Axe Café, open Thursday through Sunday between 11PM and 4PM. They serve organic and healthy meals with the finest ingredients, and I always have to grab a fresh and refreshing smoothie.
The Fantastic Umbrella Factory is perfect for children as well, considering you can feed the adorable goats, chickens, ducks, and even emus! My personal favorite attraction, however, is the bamboo forest. Visitors can walk through a neatly kept pathway, leading to a collection of rocks in the shape of a peace sign, as well as some huts. If you look carefully, people have carved their initials into the bamboo over the years. The Fantastic Umbrella Factory breathes its own air of history.
Dating back to 1968, The Fantastic Umbrella Factory was first created by Robert Bankel. He made a shop out of an old building, selling candy and gifts. Soon enough, the space expanded into the beautiful bazaar and farmyard that is widely loved today. David and Linda Turano are now the proud owners of the Fantastic Umbrella Factory after having bought the property in 2011, and they are doing a magnificent job at maintaining its glory.
The Fantastic Umbrella Factory is one of the most unique places Rhode Island has to offer. I guarantee that you will become a regular after just one visit!