Rhode Island may be the smallest state, but it boasts one of the largest and best book festivals in the nation. Thousands of people come to the Book Festival each year to meet acclaimed authors and illustrators from all corners of the country. These authors and illustrators will travel to Providence this October for the opportunity to be featured in The Rhode Island Festival of Children’s Books & Authors, hosted by Lincoln School in Providence.

Excitement is already building in the local community and beyond as Providence anticipates welcoming this year’s impressive roster of writers, including R.W. and Zoe Alley, Selina Alko, Mira Bartok, Marc Brown, Gaia Cornwall, Charise Mericle Harper, Alan Katz, Kara LaReau, David Macaulay, Ann M. Martin, Barbara McClintock, Sean Qualls, Jon Scieszka, Melissa Sweet, Chris Van Allsburg, Sarah Weeks and Steven Weinberg. Authors give talks throughout the day, sign books, and enjoy spending time with fans old and new. We will also have food trucks, face painting, tattoos and a hunt to find Waldo!

This year's festival kicks off with the National Premier of the film So B. It (PG-13), written by Festival author Sarah Weeks, followed by a Q & A.

Young readers and their parents have the chance to meet and talk with the authors, have their books personally signed and participate in bookmaking and other crafts. The Festival – to be held on Saturday, October 14th, from 9 am to 5:30 pm at Lincoln School, 301 Butler Avenue, in Providence – celebrates the unique joy that can only be found by opening the pages of a book.

Admission is $5. For a full listing of performances and activities, visit www.lincolnschool.org/bookfestival or call Lincoln School at 401.331.9696, ext. 3135.

Who hasn't wandered along the streets of Providence and found their attention drawn to a historic building or unexpected detail that a sparks curiosity? What could have been here before? I wonder what lies beyond that hallway? Steeped in rich history and quirky legend, Providence has countless stories to tell; we just need to know where to find them.

On Saturday, September 23, you can do more than peek through windows and wonder. For the very first Doors Open Rhode Island Festival, in partnership with local sites, curious visitors are given free behind-the-scenes access to over 20 fantastic spaces in the city. No tickets or reservations needed. Explore one venue or fill an entire day of adventure, from the recording studios of RI Public Radio to the gilded ceilings of the State House.

Best Bets for Kids

While all locations are open to families, Doors Open RI suggests these sites as ideal for young visitors, with fewer lines anticipated. For up-to-the-minute information about participating locations, follow social media Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

State House Library, photo by Caroline Stevens

Ladd Observatory, photo by Christian Scully/Design Imaging Studios

Stephen Hopkins House, photo by Francesca Gallo

RISD Nature Lab, photo by Matthew Clowney

I can remember being in elementary school on the day of a solar eclipse. My mom sent me off for the day with a kiss, my lunch box, and words I recall as: don’t look at the sun today or you’ll go blind. I’m pretty sure I walked directly home from the bus with my eyes to the ground and one hand shielding my brow like a visor. Safe in my bedroom I still had my sight!

On August 21, 2017 there will be an eclipse of the sun. I’m intrigued by stories of people planning road trips toward the “path of totality” and find myself drawn to the occurrence like a moth to a flame. Can I look this time, what do I tell my boys, and what is a path of totality?

Places Everyone

Sometimes when the moon orbits Earth, it moves between the sun and Earth. When this happens, the moon blocks the light of the sun from reaching Earth. So rude! This causes an eclipse of the sun, or solar eclipse. During a solar eclipse, the moon casts a shadow which is only visible from a small area on Earth. The people who see the total eclipse are in the center of the moon’s shadow. The sky becomes very dark, as if it were night. For a total eclipse to take place, the sun, moon and Earth must be in a direct line.

The Path of Totality

Sounds like a great name for a board game or metal band but it is describes the course that will stretch from Salem, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina where observers will see the moon completely cover the sun for about two and a half minutes. In Rhode Island, we’re outside this path but will still be treated to a partial solar eclipse where the moon covers part of the sun's disk.


Show Time

According to Dave Huestis at the Seagrave Memorial Observatory in Scituate, the sun will be 72% eclipsed from central Rhode Island, and will last between 1:27 p.m. until 4:00 p.m., with maximum eclipse occurring at 2:47 p.m. Read more at Read A Guide to the Total Solar Eclipse of 2017 from the Seagrave Memorial Observatory in Scituate.

Hide or Seek

While I didn’t need to hide under my bed, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration better known as NASA, does repeated state to NEVER look directly at the sun: It can permanently damage your eyes! You must use proper safety equipment to look at any type of solar eclipse. The only acceptable glasses are safe viewers designed for looking at the sun and solar eclipses. Not old film, not sunglasses, and not all welder’s helmets.

Activities Around Rhode Island

Many venues have family-friendly celebrations planned, some even providing eclipse viewing glasses. Please visit links to verify and to note if events are free of charge, require admission, or ask for a donation fee.

Solar Eclipse Coloring Project

Print one for each member of the family (or create your own) to color and fill-out together for a special keepsake of the 2017 Solar Eclipse!

Party with Local Flavor

So the solar eclipse is on a Monday and we’re not in the path of totality but it can still be a reason to have fun. Consider having kidos over after school. NASA has resources for hosting an eclipse party. Consider serving milk flavored with Eclipse coffee syrup, our official State drink (noting there must be caffeine so maybe older kids only).


NASA has created a comprehensive and easy-to-use website guide that provides all things eclipse: activities, events, broadcasts, and most importantly safety information.





PVD Fest takes over Providence for its third year, infusing our downtown city streets and parks with music, dance, food, art and play. The Fest is a 4 day series of free events around the city spanning June 1 through June 4 with the big bash taking place from noon into night on Saturday, June 3. Check out the full festival schedule online to plan your day, or simply show up and wander the spaces and stages - everything is in walking distance. Printed programs will be available at Kennedy Plaza and additional information booths. Visit the PVD Fest FAQ page for information including parking, detours, and food.

Saturday is jam-packed with amazing performances to be seen and experiences to be had. Here are a few highlights to share with kids, teens and families in mind:

PVDYouth Fest at Roger Williams National Memorial Park
12:00 PM - 8:00 PM, 282 North Main Street

PVDYouth Fest at Roger Williams National Memorial Park is a family-fun block party of music, art, activities, performance, playtime, and food, curated by poet Christopher Johnson. Enjoy stage performances by: the Manton Avenue Project, Puppeteer Marc Kohler, Magnolia Cajun Band, and Runa Culture. Activities include hula-hooping, comic book creations, balloon animal sculptures, poetry and face painting.

Family Activities and Performances at Burnside Park
12:30 PM - 7:00 PM, 2 Kennedy Plaza

A celebration of local arts, culture and play for all ages unfolds at Burnside Park courtesy of The Downtown Parks Conservatory, Providence's Department of Art, Culture and Tourism, and FirstWorks. Grab a scavenger hunt and a Burnside Passport and earn stamps at activities throughout the park for prizes. Check out performances with Girls Rock! Rhode Island, Ricky Rainbow Beard, Miss Katie of playSCIENCE RI. Also, storytelling with Raffini, drum circle with Sidy Maiga, and a lion dance parade. Build with the Imagination Playground "big blue blocks", play with bubbles, and draw with sidewalk chalk.

Scott Lapham Remix Collage Workshop at Burnside Park (Photo by James Lastowski

PVD Fest Parade
4:00 PM, down Washington Street to Kennedy Plaza

Dress crazy and colorful and bring noisemakers to march the streets of Providence or simply cheer on the parade from the sidewalk and take in the music, dance and floats of local artists and organizations.

Rhode Island Mini Maker Faire
2:00 PM - 8:00 PM, Washington Street between Mathewson and Clemence Street

Maker Faire is a "gathering of fascinating, curious people who enjoy learning and who love sharing what they can do." Meet the makers (engineers, artists, scientists, crafters) of 3D Printing PVD, RI Computer Museum, AS220 Labs, and TRACIMOC repurposed comic book art.

AS220 Labs at RI Mini Maker Faire

Performances and Screenings at Grant's Block
12:00 PM - 10:30 PM, corner of Westminster and Union Streets

Awesome acts take the stage from Classical Gasoline, the Classical High School Band (12:00 PM), the silly songs of Keith Munslow (1:00 PM), hip hop dancers Project 401 (7:00 PM), theater and dance with Trinity Academy of the Performing Arts (8:30 PM - also at 12:00 PM at 63 Snow Street) and a series of short films with Providence Children's Film Festival (9:00 PM).

Bike Fest RI
12:00 PM - 4:00 PM, Mathewson Street Stage lot

BMX stunt riders, live entertainment, repair and safety demonstrations, and a bike expo.

Big Nazo take a ride at PVD Fest (photo by John Simonetti)

And More!

There are oodles more art, dance, music and genre-defying happenings for families around the city in the complete schedule.

The RI Comic Con is a major event in the Rhode Island calendar but many Providence kids and teens can't buy tickets or travel to the big convention. That's why Providence Community Library is hosting Alt-Comic Con at Mount Pleasant Library on Saturday, November 12th, 1:00PM-5:00PM, to give them a taste of convention day excitement. Suitable for all ages, "Alternative" Comic Con is a free, interactive event that provides local youth with a chance to meet and be inspired by city artists who are actively pursuing creative careers.


The library will transform into a mini convention hall; Big Nazo will show off some of its amazing creature creations, Providence Comics Consortium will exhibit comic books created by kids at its workshops, and Providence Roller Derby girls will drop by to support a discussion of Victoria Jamieson's bestselling graphic novel, "Roller Girl." Artists from the Dirt Palace artists' collective and Providence Comics Consortium will create a giant window display and Providence CityArts for Youth also will be on hand to add to the creative flavor of the day. As a free bonus, Alt-Comic Con attendees will be able to dig through donated comic books and take one home at the end of the day.

"The idea is to introduce kids and teens to people and organizations in Providence who are working creatively in the fields of technology, art and pop culture," said event organizer Emily LeMay. "We hope that they will inspire young people to pursue artistic endeavors and possibly consider pursuing a career in creative arts."

Mount Pleasant Library is at 315 Academy Avenue, Providence. For more information about Alt-Comic Con, contact Emily LeMay elemay@provcomlib.org or Sarah Gluck sgluck@provcomlib.org, call 401-272-0106 or visit www.provcomlib.org.


Goat Hill is partnering with School One to present Write Rhode Island: A Writing Competition for Students Across the Ocean State. Goat Hill is the Providence gathering of Rhode Island writers  Ann HoodHester Kaplan and Taylor Polites that offers workshops, readings, and other opportunities for writers to engage with other writers and publishers.

Write Rhode Island is a short fiction competition for any students in grades 8 to 12. Students submit one story that incorporates Rhode Island. Winners will receive a cash prize, get their work published or exhibited, and participate in a statewide reading. Teachers and schools will receive recognition. Visit the School One website for submission guidelines.

To participate, sign up for a workshop led by published writers and authors, then submit a story by December 10, 2016. Winners will be announced in March. Good luck!

Here are a few of the workshops offered. Check out School One for the full list of workshops.

backpackWhether you're chomping at the bit for the return of routine or cringing at the dwindling beach weekends, or both: back to school time is upon us. To tame the beast of procrastination and shine some light on the transition from summer to school, we dug into the kido archives to share our favorite articles on getting organized, preparing the kids, making lunches to look forward to, and much more.

Getting Ready for School



June is Great Outdoors Month and the eighth annual Rhode Island Great Outdoors Pursuit is underway! All summer long, families are invited to camp, kayak, fish, hike, and shoot a bow and arrow at Rhode Island's state parks while winning great prizes!

kayak 2014slide02

Here's how it works: Participants register online (free!) and self-print a Pursuit Passport. At each free weekend event attended, "stamps" are earned for the Passport. Attend the finale on August 6 at Burlingame State Campground, and if you present stamps for at least 4 events, each stamp earns a raffle ticket to win prizes including bikes and camping equipment. Last year, more than 1,000 people joined the Pursuit.


The Great Outdoors Pursuit Kick-Off is Saturday, June 11 from 2:00 - 5:00 PM. Families may also choose to stay overnight for a special camping opportunity (pre-register here) with a campfire, s’mores, outdoor movie and stargazing.

Check out the Great Outdoors Pursuit website for more information and season schedule for the rest of the terrific events through the summer, and keep in the loop on Facebook!


Pull out your baking pans and start testing recipes for the Coggeshall Cook Off, which will take place at the RI Fiber Festival and and Craft Fair on Saturday, May 21 at Coggeshall Farm Museum. This year's theme is Yeasted Breads.

Coggeshall is a nonprofit living history museum in Bristol, RI depicting the lives of Rhode Island's tenant farmers in the late 18th century. The farm is located at 1 Colt Drive in Bristol, off Poppasquash Road.

"We invite the community to show off their culinary talents in this old-fashioned competition," says Cindy Elder, executive director of Coggeshall Farm Museum.

A Cook-Off registration fee of $5 cash must be paid upon arrival (in addition to the Festival ticket fee). All Cook-Off registration fees will go toward cash prizes awarded to the winners. Prizes will be awarded in three categories: Age 12 and Under, Ages 13 to 17, and Ages 18 and up.

Contestants must present their Cook Off item at the registration desk by 2 pm on Saturday, May 21. Registration fees in each category will determine the size of the cash prize in each category. Cook-Off winners will be announced at 4 pm on Saturday, May 21.

Yeasted breads will be the theme of this year's Coggeshall Cook-Off, where bakers of all stripes can compete for the title of Cook Off Champion at Coggeshall's 9th Annual Fiber Festival and Craft Fair on Saturday, May 21.

Yeasted breads will be the theme of this year's Coggeshall Cook-Off, where bakers of all stripes can compete for the title of Cook Off Champion at Coggeshall's 9th Annual Fiber Festival and Craft Fair on Saturday, May 21.

RI Fiber Festival & Crafts Fair Details:

Nathan Bishop Middle School PTO presents the film, SCREENAGERS Growing Up in the Digital Age, a documentary about one of the biggest parenting issues of our time. The screening takes place, Friday, May 20 at 7pm and is open to the community. (Tickets required, see details below.)

Are you watching kids scroll through life, with their rapid-fire thumbs and a six-second attention span? Physician and filmmaker Delaney Ruston saw that happening with her own kids and began a quest to uncover how it might impact their development. As with her other two award-winning documentaries on mental health, Ruston takes a deeply personal approach as she probes into the vulnerable corners of family life, including her own, to explore struggles over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction. Through poignant, and unexpectedly funny stories, along with surprising insights from authors, psychologists, and brain scientists, SCREENAGERS reveals how tech time impacts kids’ development and also offers solutions on how adults can empower their kids to best navigate the digital world to find balance.

This film brings up some interesting issues - and as a parent of teenagers the digital world is full of challenges but also exciting opportunities for our kids and families. Thinking about my own multi-tasking digital use and how it impacts my life and the example I set for my kids. Looking forward to the conversations that unfold.


Sponosred by Nathan Bishop PTO
Friday, May 20, 2016 @ 7pm
Nathan Bishop Middle School - 101 Sessions Street, Providence, Ri
Tickets: $10 Adults / $6 Students (All funds support Nathan Bishop PTO school programs)
Buy tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/nathan-bishop-middle-school-pto-presents-screenagers-growing-up-in-the-digital-age-tickets-25140057589

More about the film: www.screenagersmovie.com

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