Anisa Raoof steps down after ten years but Kidoinfo continues under new leadership

Anisa Raoof steps down after ten years but Kidoinfo continues under new leadership

This is my last blog post on Kidoinfo as publisher but not the end of Kidoinfo. As you may know from my announcement on August 28 (read full story here), I have decided to step down from running Kidoinfo after 10 years to pursue other projects and spend more time with family. Although I say goodbye to Kidoinfo, I will stay rooted to the parent community through my work as Executive Director of the Providence Children’s Film Festival, a non-profit organization that presents the best of independent and international children’s cinema.

I am pleased to announce that Kidoinfo will continue as a trusted hub for families under new ownership. After careful consideration and deliberation, I’m excited to introduce Susan Gale as the new Kidoinfo publisher. Susan has the experience to move Kidoinfo forward, having worked in journalism, marketing, advertising, and non-profit development while raising two children, ages 18 and 16, with her life partner. Two years ago, Susan founded Rhode Island Parent magazine, which moved online in September as RIPARENT.COM. (Now find their family content on the Kidoinfo website.)  Her local experience with communications and family and children’s issues makes her the right choice to lead Kidoinfo forward.

But most importantly, we share a similar vision for Kidoinfo’s future – one where the website provides you with all the information, education, inspiration, and connection you need to be the best parents you can be. Simply put, I’m confident that under Susan’s leadership, Kidoinfo will continue to be the go-to family resource in Rhode Island  and southeastern Massachusetts. In addition to carrying on many of Kidoinfo features, she has fresh new ideas and I look forward to seeing Kidoinfo grow even bigger and better! Please join her on this journey and stay connected to the Kidoinfo community.

As part of my goodbye, I thank “YOU” for being a valuable part of the Kidoinfo community from 2007-2017! With your support over the past 10 years, Kidoinfo has grown—bringing together Rhode Island families, businesses, organizations and contributing writers to form a welcoming and vibrant community. It has been an honor to be a part of this expanding circle.

A big THANK YOU to my amazing Kidoinfo family of advisors, friends and contributing writers for your wisdom, support, inspiration and collaboration over the years: Katy Killilea, Nancy King, Elyse Press Major, Ilira Steinman, Jason Thompson, Carly Baumann, Suzanne Cadge, Michelle Riggen-Ransom, Jackie Hennessey, Jennifer C. Smith, Deb Dormody, Micki Whelan, Chris Abernethy, Daniella Norwood, Jake Camara, Alex Taylor, Erin Goodman, Hannah Marcotti, Jeanine Silversmith, Jill Davidson, Kristen McClanaghan Kardos, Kathleen McGuigan, Bonnie Combs, Leah Kent, Marcia Fowler, Genie McPherson Trevor, Jacante Tougas Arnone, Lindsay Shaw, Martha Iachetta, Melissa Brusso, Megan Fischer, Janice O’Donnell, Aja Blanc, Allison Abramson, Anika Denise, Beth Curtin, Carolyn Dalgliesh, Jennifer Huntley-Corbin, Marianne Ruggiero, Alison Paul, Ricky Katowicz, Chrissy Collins, Moe Finnegan, Cynthia Greene Ragona, Elaine Beebe, Kirsten DiChiappari, Karen Krieger, Sue Ambs Azar, Eleanor Pretty Deacon…and to my husband Douglas Itkin and our sons. (Read D&Es 10 year reflection here.)

And THANK YOU to my many advertisers (big and small) and my community partners over the years, including Roger Williams Park, RISD Museum, Providence Children’s Museum, and Audubon Society of Rhode Island – your financial support and collaborations allows the entire community to enjoy Kidoinfo free of charge.

They say it takes a village, and I believe it is true. I am forever grateful for this chapter in my life.

10 Reasons to come to Spooky Storytime + Haunted Art in the Park this weekend.

10 Reasons to come to Spooky Storytime + Haunted Art in the Park this weekend.

Originally posted on the DDPC website.

This Saturday Spooky Storytime + Haunted Art in the Park are back to haunt Burnside Park. This spooktacular event is fun for all ages and not-so-scary for the little ones. This year our guest readers will be author/illustrator Alison Paul, our summer Art-in-the-Parkist Ricky Katowicz and the founder of KidoInfo and our longtime partner, Anisa Raoof.

Not sure if you should join us in Burnside Park?

Here are 10 reasons you won’t want to miss Downtown Providence’s best kids Halloween event!

# 10 Get dressed up and see the fun and creative costumes by kids and parents.

#9 Show off your knowledge of anatomy by naming the bones on our skeleton, Ms. Bones.


#8 Run through a hay bale maze.


#7 Listen to a collection of Halloween themed books read by local authors and artists.

#6 Make an art project inspired by Roald Dahl’s book The Witches.

#5 Get your groove on at our Halloween dance party and costume parade.

#4 Guess the guts at our spooky and a little bit gross touch and feel table.

#3 Embellish your costume with free face painting by Ratt Scallion Facepainting.

#2 Pick up a free pumpkin to decorate and take home.

#1 For the first time ever at Spooky Storytime + Haunted Art in the Park, play at the new Brandon’s Beach at Burnside Park playground. No need to be dressed as a pirate or ship’s captain, but it will make for great photos if you are! 

Hope to see you in Burnside Park. To stay up-to-date on details of the event, click interested or going in the official Facebook event.

Saturday, October 28 • 10:30 – 1:30
Burnside Park

100+ Things To Do with Kids in Rhode Island

100+ Things To Do with Kids in Rhode Island

Plus bonus ideas in nearby MA and CT. (This guide has been revised and updated: May 19, 2016)

Kidoinfo-100-things-wideConsider 100+ Things To Do with Kids in Rhode Island Kidoinfo’s Bucket List, filled with things to do with your children before they grow up! Fun, food, culture, and history–all unique to our area: these are things we believe every young Rhode Islander should see and do.

For easy planning in any weather and any mood, our list is divided into four categories: Outdoor, Indoor, Food, and Close-to-RI-Favorites. We’ve included a note to let you know if the activity is FREE. (Always a bonus in our book!)

100+ Things To Do with Kids in Rhode Island has been updated again in June of 2014 to incorporate fresh ideas from Kidoinfo readers, and to remove items that have closed or changed since the list made its debut in 2009.

The guide is easy to use–print it out, check things off as you go, add date of visit, make notes, and add your own favorite spots!

Follow Kidoinfo on instagram @kidoinfo: I created a hashtag #kido100things to keep track of all the adventures we try. Feel free to tag your instagram photos so they become part of the collective #kido100things photo collection!

IMG_39031. Visit Roger Williams National Memorial in Providence. Learn why the founder of Rhode Island was also a champion of the ideal of religious freedom. Bonus: Lovely spot for an outdoor picnic in season. (Free)

graveyard32. Stroll through Swan Point Cemetery in Providence, and find the resting place of famous souls like horror, fantasy, science-fiction writer H. P. Lovecraft. (Free)

TheHannah3.  Jump aboard the sunken ship The Hannah in Burnside Park (downtown Providence). Open all year long. (Free) Bonus: Attend Kidoinfo Storytime and Art in the Park during July and August. (Free)
4. Tour downcity Providence sights from a new perspective with Providence River Boat Company. Daytime, sunset, and Waterfire cruises available.
5. Watch the sunset over downtown Providence from Prospect Terrace. Park or hike to the top of Neutaconkanut Hill for another great view of the city. (Free)
6. Music! Enjoy concerts at Waterplace Park in downtown Providence. (Free)
7. Experience Waterfire in downtown Providence. Get there just before sunset to see the iconic bonfires as they are being lit. Take a gondola ride or boat ride.
8. Explore Slater Park in Pawtucket to see the animals at Daggett Farm, ride the swan boats on the pond, enjoy the playground, and visit the home of the Rhode Island Watercolor Society.

BigNazoPuppetWorkshop-Kidoinfo9. Visit the window displays of Big Nazo Lab, located in downtown Providence at the corner of Eddy and Fulton Streets. If you’re lucky, you may get a sneak peak inside. (Free)

shepard fairey mural providence10. Visit the original Shepard Fairey mural (commissioned by AS220 in 2010) painted on the side of the Pell Chafee Theatre on Aborn Street. (Free)
11. Make art and enjoy live music at AS220’s annual FooFest in downtown Providence. Takes place over the course of one weekend each August.
12. Pack a picnic supper and dine on the lawn of the John Brown House in Providence while listening to Concerts Under the Elms, Thursday evenings in the summer.

flamingo-zoo13. Visit the Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence: meet the animals and play in the Big Backyard space. The zoo also hosts the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular in the fall.
14. Rent a swan paddle boat, canoe, kayak at Roger Williams Park in Providence.
15. Run in the breeze at India Point Park in Providence. Find the pirate ship in the 49-foot ceramic mural located near the playground. (Free)
16. Play at Dexter Park located next to the Cranston Armory in Providence. (Free)
17. Take a hike! Visit Rhode Island Families in Nature to choose from almost four dozen trails throughout Rhode Island. (Free)
18. Play the Rhode Island Farm Scavenger Hunt. Take a road trip and explore 28 of RI’s 1,200 working farms. Visit to download the map and clues or pick up a pamphlet at a participating farm.

  • Visit a real working dairy farm: Wrights Dairy Farm and Bakery in North Smithfield (Blackstone Valley).
  • Travel back in time by visiting a 1790s New England farm: Coggeshall Farm Museum in Bristol.
  • Visit Casey Farm in Saunderstown. (Free for Historic New England members and Saunderstown residents.)
  • Visit a working family farm: Watson Farm in Jamestown (Free for Historic New England members and Jamestown residents.)
  • Visit a real working farm: Dame Farm and Orchards in Johnston.
  • Visit Kenyon’s Grist Mill in Usquepaug. (Free with a food or clothing donation for the Jonny Cake Center.)
  • Head to Sweet Berry Farm in Middletown to wander the grounds and pick various berries and apples. The beautiful market includes a café of prepared foods and baked goods.

19. Shop from a local farmer. Many outdoor farmer markets open May through November with a handful open indoors the remainder of the year. (Visit for a complete list of markets.)
20. Go for a ride on the East Bay bike path from Providence to Bristol. (Free) Ice cream stops in Riverside, Warren, and Bristol. Visit for a list of bike paths around the state. (Free)

IMG_243121. Watch Movies on the Block outside on Thursday evenings (June-September) in downtown Providence. (Free)
22. Fly a kite at Breton State Park along Ocean Drive in Newport. Annual Newport Kite Festival in mid-July. (Free)
23. Visit Touro Synagogue, America’s oldest synagogue, in Newport.

PeterSeeger2011FolkFestival24. Experience the Newport Folk Festival at Fort Adams State Park.
25. Visit the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport.
26. Stroll the Cliff Walk in Newport and imagine living in the opulent mansions. (Free)
27. Spend the night at the Rose Island Lighthouse in Newport.
28. Spend the day at Easton’s Beach in Newport. Enjoy the carousel, water slide, skateboard park, and playground.
29. Visit Save the Bay Exploration Center & Aquarium in in Newport.
30. Pack a tailgate picnic and head to Glen Farms in Portsmouth for the Newport International Polo Series. During time-outs, kids run on to the field to stomp down divots. Every Saturday evening in summer.

Beavertail31. Check out the tide pools at Beavertail State park in Jamestown. (Free)
32. Visit a former military fort with a history dating back over two centuries at Fort Wetherill State Park in Jamestown. (Free)
33. Join URI Marine Scientists at Fort Getty in Jamestown on a summer day at low tide for a two-hour beach walk.
34. Visit the Norman Bird Sanctuary in Middletown.

familybeachfeet-feature35. Have a picnic at Roger W. Wheeler State Beach in Narragansett at sunset. (Free after 5pm)

IMG_319436. Visit every carousel in the Rhode Island area: Crescent Park Looff Carousel (East Providence), Flying Horse Carousel (Watch Hill), Slater Memorial Park Carousel (Pawtucket), Carousel Village, Roger Williams Park (Providence), Easton’s Beach Carousel (Newport).
37. Explore Green Animals Topiary Garden in Portsmouth, the oldest and most northern topiary garden in the United States.
38. See Shakespeare in the Park during the summer in Wilcox Park in Westerly. (Free)
39. Visit a blue lobster at the Audubon Environmental Education Center in Bristol.
40. Welcome spring by attending Daffodil Days at Blithewold Mansion in Bristol. Bring your camera!
41. Take a hike up the old ski lift at Diamond Hill Park in Cumberland. (Free)
42. Book a group tour of the Johnston Landfill.
43. Attend a PawSox youth clinic before the Red Sox minor league baseball team’s game in Pawtucket. (The clinic is free. Tickets required for game.)
44. Go bouldering in Lincoln Woods. (Free)
45. Watch a film at the Rustic Tri-View Drive-In, Rte 146, North Smithfield. Open May through September.

strawberry-picking46. Pick your own berries, and make your own jam.
47. Visit the Chapel-By-The-Sea in Colt State Park in Bristol. (Free)
48. Visit the Kettle Pond Visitor Center in Charlestown.
49. Visit the shops, feed the animals, and picnic at the Fantastic Umbrella Factory in Charlestown. (Admission is free.)
50. Swim, fish, play, or go boating at Ninigret Park in Charlestown. Visit the Frosty Drew Observatory on Friday evenings to get closer to the night sky.
51. Go camping in Hope Valley’s Arcadia Management Area.
52. Step back into history and explore Smith’s Castle in Wickford.
53. Swim at the Spring Lake Beach Facility and play in the arcade in Burrillville.
54. Go fishing at Sabin Point Park in East Providence. Search for seaglass and play on the playground. (Free)
55. Take the ferry round trip to Block Island for the day.
56. Visit the Jamestown Fire Department Memorial Museum in Jamestown.
57. Have a picnic at Goddard State Park in Warwick. (Free)
58. Ride the Prudence Island Ferry round trip from Bristol for a delightful daytrip.
59. Go on a seal watch. See Harbor seals in Narragansett Bay. View seals from Rome Point from October through April at low tide. (Free)
60. Visit the  Biomes Marine Biology Center in North Kingstown.
61. Visit the tiny pirate playground in Warren. (Free) Followed by ice cream at Imagine.
62. Visit the imPossible Dream Playground in Warwick. (Free)
63. Journey with Blackstone River Cruises to learn about the river’s Industrial Revolution past and recovery to vibrant ecosystem. Stay overnight on a canal boat.
64. Cool off at the Waterpark at Yawgoo Valley in Exeter.
65. Visit the Washington County Fair in Richmond during one long weekend in mid-August.
66. Go ice skating outdoors during the winter or indoors during the summer.
67. Play at Adventureland in Narragansett, including mini-golf, bumper boats, go-karts, batting cages and a carousel.
68. Walk along spectacular ocean views on a natural “cliff walk” at Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge and check out the visitor center, just up the road from Second Beach in Middletown.

NEW BONUS ADDITION (Added August 17, 2017)! Brandon’s Beach at Burnside Park is a nautical-themed playground inspired by the Ocean State and Providence’s historic harbor, where large ships would dock in the Providence River. The playground is appropriate for toddlers and young children of all abilities, and offers a wide variety of sensory-rich equipment, including pagoda bells, drums, and music pipes. It also features classic swings, slides and spinners. This playground was built in memory of Brandon Goldner and made possible by the generosity of his family and friends.



69.  Play at the Providence Children’s Museum. Explore the Discovery Studio (inside) and climb the Climber (outside). (Free admission after 5 on select Fridays during the year.)


IMG_721670. Visit RISD Museum of Art and think like an explorer. Find the mummy or hunt for food motifs. (Free on Sundays and third Thursday of the month.)
71. Visit the Edna Lawrence Nature Lab, just around the corner from the RISD museum. See an amazing variety of specimens on display, including birds, bears and bones. (Free.)
72. Visit the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology in Providence.
73. Visit the Museum of Natural History and Cormack Planetarium in Providence.
74. Enjoy films from around world, and learn about filmmaking at the annual Providence Children’s Film Festival. Takes place during the month of February. (Each year, some screenings are free.)

athenaeum.jpg75. Visit the children’s room in one of America’s oldest libraries: Providence Athenaeum on Benefit Street in Providence. (Free.)
76. See a show at Providence Performing Arts Center (PPAC) in Providence. Check the schedule to attend the brown bag lunch organ concert series. (Free.)
77. Cheer on the P-Bruins at a hockey game in Providence.
78. Watch an IMAX movie at Providence Place Mall.
79. Watch children’s films at Cinemaworld in Lincoln every morning at 10AM, all summer long. (Children are FREE.)
80. Enjoy a garden oasis all year long at the Botanical Center in Roger Williams Park in Providence.
81. Take the Underdog Tour. Visit all the Providence locations used in the film. (Free)
82. Visit the Johnson and Wales Culinary Museum on the Providence-Cranston line. (Scheduled to reopen September, 2014.)
83. See Kaleidoscope Children’s Summer Theater at Scottish Rite Auditorium in Cranston. Tuesdays during July and August.
84. Go duckpin bowling (no ducks involved). Find a list of Rhode Island Duckpin bowling alleys at The Rhode Less Traveled.
85. Attend story time any time of year at Barrington Books, Books on the Square, or your favorite library. (Free)
86. Children provide the power and operate miniature machinery in the Apprentice Alcove at Slater Historic Mill the birthplace of the industrial revolution in Pawtucket.
87. Learn why we honor Gilbert Stuart by visiting the Gilbert Stuart Birthplace & Museum in Saunderstown. Open May through October.
88. Visit the Museum of Work and Culture in Woonsocket.
89. See a show at Stadium Theater Performing Arts Centers in Woonsocket.
90. Enjoy local food, community, and often music from November through May at the Pawtucket Wintertime Farmers Market at Hope Artiste Village.
91. Jump for joy at an indoor trampoline park: Skyzone in East Providence and Launch in Warwick.
92. Strap on skates and roll to the tunes at United Skates of America in Rumford.
93. Take in a dynamic show with Providence’s young talent at Everett’s Friday Night Live (all ages improv comedy Fridays at 7 PM – break during summer) and Manton Avenue Project, where local actors perform plays written by young playwrights.

fountaingelato94.Eat gelato from Venda in DePasquale Plaza in Providence. (In summer, eat near the fountain.)
95. Have wood-grilled pizza at the legendary Bob and Timmy’s in Providence. Eat more yummy pizza at the recent pizza additions to the city: Flatbread Pizza Company or Providence Coal Fired Pizza.
96. Have ice cream at Gray’s or The Daily Scoop on Thames Street in Bristol.

IMG_816297. Buy a house made hotdog from The Wurst Window at Chez Pascal — take it to go to enjoy by the fountain in Lippitt Park in Providence.
98. Eat crepes or cupcakes at the Duck & Bunny. Eat out in the back garden, weather permitting.
99. Have a food truck lunch or dinner. Use this link to find a list of trucks and their routes.
100. Have supper at Champlins.
101. Enjoy live music and a fun meal at Buster Krab’s Burger Shack and Beach Bar in Narragansett.
102. Order a coffee cabinet at Delekta Pharmacy in Warren.
103. Have a Del’s lemonade. Find the Del’s nearest you with the tool on this page.
104. Have breakfast or lunch at Crazy Burger in Narragansett.
105. Buy lobster off the boat in Point Judith in Narragansett.
106. Have clam cakes at Aunt Carrie’s in Point Judith in Narragansett.
107. Buy pie at Schartner Farms in Exeter.
108. Have a lobster roll at Blount Clam Shack on the waterfront in Warren, or at Crescent Park by the carousel in Riverside, RI.
109. Devour homemade ice cream and visit the cows at the original Gray’s in Tiverton.
110. Have lunch at Stanley’s in Central Falls, open since 1932.
111. Have a doughboy and walk the beach at Iggy’s in Warwick (open year round) or in Narragansett (seasonal).
112. Have breakfast at the classic Modern Diner in Pawtucket.
113. Sample RI’s favorite donuts at Allie’s Donuts.

closetoriMany free or discount passes are available at the library.




  • Zoom! Car racing and bumper boats at the Grand Prix in Seekonk.
  • For even noisier, faster fun, watch a race or demolition derby at Seekonk Speedway. You might get dirty.
  • Visit PaperHouse, a house made ONLY of paper, in Rockport, MA.
  • Visit Nash Dino Land in South Hadley, MA.
  • Visit the Museum of Science in Boston, MA. (Free with your Roger Williams Park Zoo membership.)
  • Visit the Boston Children’s Museum in Boston, MA. (Free with Providence Children’s Museum Family PLUS membership!)
  • Learn how ice cream is made at Bliss Dairy in Attleboro, MA.
After 10 years, a new chapter begins. Thank you for being a part of the Kidoinfo community.

After 10 years, a new chapter begins. Thank you for being a part of the Kidoinfo community.

UPDATED NOVEMBER 20, 2017: Please note that I am pleased to announce that Kidoinfo WILL CONTINUE on under new leadership before the New Year! Stay tuned for details. You may continue submitting events to the calendar, inquire about advertising, sign up for the camp guide!

I launched Kidoinfo in the spring of 2007 with a few blog posts and event listings while my boys were at Child’s Play Preschool. It was born from my need as a young mom of twins to find things to do with my kids, exchange parenting tips, and carve out a creative niche for myself. I had no idea then that Kidoinfo would become what it is today — bringing together Rhode Island families, businesses and organizations to form a welcoming and vibrant community. My life has been forever changed.

What an adventure it’s been, exploring the state and beyond with my husband and sons, meeting and working with amazing people as well as collaborating and partnering on programming and events over the years.

I am truly grateful for your company on this journey and for the lasting friendships that have formed. The path may not always have been obvious, but it was always gratifying as I grew the business while my kids navigated pre-school, then elementary, middle and now high school. Today, as they enter a new stage of their lives, it is time for me to reflect and consider what is next on the horizon.

And so I announce that my Kidoinfo adventure is coming to a close, and I plan to wind down the website and its social media on December 1, 2017. Kidoinfo_Family_RallyBut even as I head in a new direction, I would love for Kidoinfo to continue if an interested party should step forward to take over the business. Feel free to share within the parent community and contact me with inquiries or questions here: anisa <at> kidoinfo <dot> com.

Although I say goodbye to Kidoinfo, I will stay rooted to the parent community through my work as Executive Director of the Providence Children’s Film Festival, a non-profit organization that presents the best of independent and international children’s cinema. The annual Film Festival in February and year-round programming and resources aim to inspire, delight, educate, and connect a diverse community of children and families. I feel so very lucky that this venture allows me to work with many of the same great people and institutions committed to enriching the lives of Rhode Island families.

It has been an honor to be a part of this community and I am humbled by and thankful for all of the wonderful support and encouragement you have shown me over the years.

Since this is Rhode Island, I know we will run into one another again.

With all good wishes,

Anisa Raoof

Learn more about the Family & Development Lab!

Learn more about the Family & Development Lab!

The Family & Development Lab at Providence College—under the direction of Dr. Kelly Warmuth, Assistant Professor of Psychology—is currently recruiting families for a study exploring how family relationships influence child development.

If you choose to participate, you, your spouse or partner, and your child will be asked to visit our lab (151 Sowa Hall on the Providence College campus). Each visit takes about 2–3 hours. You and your spouse or partner will be asked to fill out questionnaires about family relations and participate in a discussion about common disagreements in your relationship. Portions of the visit will be videotaped.

Your child will also be participating! Your child will be given story stems to finish, answer questions about your family, and play games with student researchers. Your child will be given a small toy for participating.

Your family will earn $50 for completing this visit with the potential for another $20 in a year if you agree to fill out some online questionnaires which will allow us to see what has changed for your family. In order to make these visits as easy as possible for your family, we schedule visits 7 days a week, including weeknights and any time on the weekends, and offer complimentary child care during your visit for your other kiddos!

Learn more about us or register your family at