Plus bonus ideas in nearby MA and CT. (This guide has been revised and updated: May 19, 2016)
Consider 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!
1. 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)
2. 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)
3. 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.
9. 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)
10. 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.
13. 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 www.RIFruitGrowers.org to download the map and clues or pick up a pamphlet at a participating farm.
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 www.FarmFreshri.org 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 http://www.dot.ri.gov/community/bikeri/index.php for a list of bike paths around the state. (Free)
21. 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.
24. 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.
31. 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.
35. Have a picnic at Roger W. Wheeler State Beach in Narragansett at sunset. (Free after 5pm)
36. 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.
46. 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.)
70. 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.)
75. 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.
94.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.
97. 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.
Many free or discount passes are available at the library.
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?
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.
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.
So much happening this summer at Providence Community Library (PCL), which provides daily fun, great books, and special performances at nine neighborhood locations. The Library helps school age students get stamps for their Passports to Summer Learning, learn how to track their activities using Providence READsquared software, complete PCL game cards and earn prizes for reading just 20 minutes every day! Additionally, PCL’s Mobile Library will visit 10 Providence elementary Schools and 10 City-run Recreation Center camps on a regular weekly schedule and offer Ready for Kindergarten workshops for young children preparing to enter school in the fall. Families can access Providence Schools reading lists, eBooks, digital learning resources and stay up-to-date with the full schedule of programs and activities at www.provcomlib.org/summer.
Encouraging a child to read on a daily basis is the single most important thing a family can do for a child over the summer. Why is summer reading so important?
9:00AM - 12:00PM Anthony Carnevale School, 50 Springfield Street (02909)*
1:30PM - 4:30PM Pleasant View School, 50 Obediah Brown Road (02909)
9:00AM - 12:00PM Harry Kizirian School, 60 Camden Avenue (02908)*
1:30PM - 4:30PM William D’Abate School, 60 Kossuth Street (02909)
9:00AM - 12:00PM Feinstein at Sackett, 159 Sackett Street (02907)*
1:30PM - 4:30PM Frank D. Spaziano School, 85 Laurel Hill Ave./240 Laban St. (02909)
9:00AM - 12:00PM Young/Woods School, 674 Prairie Avenue (02905)*
1:30PM - 4:30PM Reservoir Avenue School, 156 Reservoir Avenue (02907)
9:00AM - 12:00PM Mary Fogarty School, 199 Oxford Street (02905)*
1:30PM - 4:30PM Leviton Dual Language School, 65 Greenwich Street (02907)
*Ready for Kindergarten sites
Ready for Kindergarten programs for children entering Kindergarten in 2017 or 2018 will consist of weekly, two-hour, morning workshops running over seven weeks under shade tents, offering interactive learning stations, circle time and special story-telling and story acting exercises. Children must be accompanied by parent or caregiver. Contact Cheryl Space email@example.com to register or for more information.
The Mobile Library will provide services to Providence Recreation Day Camps taking place near to the school sites in a partnership with the Healthy Communities Office and Providence Recreation Department. Youth will read and participate in literacy-rich activities every day as part of their camp experience, led by Providence high school and college students who are being hired as part of Providence's summer youth employment program.
Youth up to age 18 who visit the mobile library, either independently or with their families, will qualify for a free breakfast at the morning school sites (9:00 – 10:00) and a free lunch at the afternoon school sites (1:30 – 2:30) from July 3 to August 18 as part of the City of Providence’s Summer Meals Program. The Program is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program, which provides kids and teens in low-income areas with free meals during the long summer recess.
“We are delighted to support the Mayor's summer learning initiative and work with our partners Providence Schools, the Healthy Communities Office and the Providence Recreation Department to keep Providence children reading and learning throughout the summer.” said PCL Library Director, Jeff Cannell. ”We want to create a love of lifelong learning in the students because that’s the most important thing that the library can do,” he added.
For more information about PCL’s summer learning opportunities, visit www.provcomlib.org/summer.
About the Passport to Summer Learning:
An initiative of Providence Public Library and presenting partners PCL, Mayor Jorge Elorza/City of Providence, and Providence Public Schools, the 2017 Passport to Summer Learning has been distributed to 15,000 students in grades K – 5. Now in its third year, the Passport to Summer Learning is a collaborative initiative to address summer learning loss and mitigate achievement gaps among children with the least access to community assets and educational resources. For more about the Passport to Summer Learning, visit http://hub.provlib.org/passport/
About the United Way RI Grant:
PCL’s grant for “Summer Reading in the Schoolyard” was awarded by United Way in 2016 for the 2016-2019 competitive grant cycle, with a focus on funding efforts that help kids fall in love with learning, help adults reach new career goals, and help families meet their basic needs. In total, United Way has awarded $3.1 million in grants among the $12 million it has committed through 2019 to help change the lives of 250,000 Rhode Islanders by 2020, the overarching goal of its new strategic plan, LIVE UNITED 2020.
IMAGES: The PCL Mobile Library; young artists at work in the open air at a mobile library site.
playSCIENCE with Miss Katie, fun music + science exploration!
Superhero Day! and World Instruments finger painting with Heidi!
Plus, Sidy Maiga hosts an open drum circle from 5-6pm
Powerful Percussion! Join Miss Katie as we explore all of the sounds we can make on a drum! We’ll play drums big and small, and experiment with making our own shakers. We’ll test our ears and see if we can guess what’s inside Miss Katie’s Rainbow Egg Shakers. Take your shaker home and see if anyone can guess what’s inside!
Ocean fun finger painting with Heidi!
HONK! Festival Ballet Providence brings to life the delightful story of a swan who wants to be a ballerina for the Play In The Park on August 8th. Hear the telling of HONK: The Story of a Prima Swanerina written by Pamela Duncan Edwards. A ballerina from FBP will be there to perform an expert from the ballet Swan Lake. FBP Director of Community Engagement will teach the children a swan dance and assist them in creating a swan craft.
Plus, Sidy Maiga hosts an open drum circle from 5-6pm
Providence Children’s Film Festival Animation Workshop
Looking forward to seeing you in the park on Tuesday, July 11!
Thursdays (July 13 - August 17) from 10:30am - 12:30pm in Burnside Park, Downtown Providence.
Each summer Kidoinfo teams up with Jen Smith of Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy and company to bring Storytime + Art in the Park to Burnside Park. Through this program, DDPC and Kidoinfo invite local authors, storytellers and illustrators to bring their love of books and storytelling to the children of Providence. At this free event, parents and kids sit together under a tree, in front of the Banjotti Fountain, at the city’s only open air Storytime.
This year we have six different guests lined up to bring stories to life in their own unique way.
KidoInfo Storytime happens first on Thursdays from 10:30 – 11:30, followed by Art in the Park from 11:30 – 12:30. Stay for lunch from one of the food trucks, and enjoy a picnic under the tree.
Mark your calendars, here is the 2017 Storytime schedule of storytellers:
Storyteller Valerie Tutson draws her stories from around the world with an emphasis on African traditions.
At Art in the Park The Wonky World of Roald Dahl explores Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Ever wanted to make your own Wonka bars? Me too! This week we’ll be making our own pretend chocolate bars. There may even be a few golden tickets somewhere…
Local author Kara LaReau debuted her brand new chapter book, The Infamous Ratso, at Storytime last year. This year she’ll be sharing some of her own books, and her kidlit favorites with the audience. In addition to Kara - we welcome Miss Katie for a sing-along, dance-along, musical performance! Our regulars may recognize Miss Katie from of playSCIENCE RI, but she can also be found out of a lab coat, wearing giant sunglasses, and playing a wide variety of instruments, often in the company of the Extraordinary Rendition Band. She’s traveled around RI performing and will be debuting songs from her new CD Candy Cane Glasses!
At Art in the Park The Wonky World of Roald Dahl explores Matilda. In the book, Matilda could make things move with her mind. Together, we can make things move with our crafty hands. Let’s make books that float!
Art in the Park cofounder author and illustrator Alison Paul joins us again this summer with local illustrator Jen Corace. Long time readers at Storytime, Jen and Alison will read a selection of their own books.
At Art in the Park The Wonky World of Roald Dahl explores Fantastic Mr. Fox. Oh no! Mr. Fox lost his tail escaping the mean old farmers Boggis, Bunce and Bean! Can you help make him a new one? Maybe you can make it even better than his old one!
Internationally acclaimed RI Storyteller Len Cabral retells African, Cape Verdean, and Caribbean folktales as well as original stories + tales from around the world.
At Art in the Park The Wonky World of Roald Dahl explores The BFG. We can collect dreams just like the BFG with our very own Dream Jars! What kind of dreams will you collect? Some dreams will be included and others you’ll have to find! Fill up your jars with dreams.
The Ricky Rainbow Beard Show kicks off Storytime and is joined by intergalactic creature troupe Big Nazo joins us. A group of visual artists, puppeteers, and musicians, Big Nazo makes their way across Kennedy Plaza and get kids singing and dancing. It’s always a fun day in the park with Big Nazo invades!
At Art in the Park The Wonky World of Roald Dahl explores James and the Giant Peach. How big would your GIANT peach be? Let’s make some peaches that are as big as our heads, or maybe even bigger!
Keith Munslow, hilarious musician, cartoonist, storyteller will once again join us in the park. Keith always has kids and parents singing, dancing and laughing.
At Art in the Park Sail Away Summer! A super special day of activities in the park including The Wonky World of Roald Dahl Finale: Sail Away Summer! Join artist Alison Paul making ship's captain hats with Roald Dahl storybook pages inspired by the Matilda quote: "So Matilda's strong young mind continued to grow, nurtured by the voices of all those authors who had sent their books out into the world like ships on the sea. These books gave Matilda a hopeful and comforting message: You are not alone."
Following Storytime, local artists bring books to life at Art in the Park. Each week Ricky Katowicz or Alison Paul will bring an iconic children’s book author to life through hands on art projects. This year’s theme is: The Wonky World of Roald Dahl! Many readers will know Roald Dahl for his classic books, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, and The Fantastic Mr. Fox. With so many inspiring books to choose from, this promises to be an extra creative summer.
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.
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.
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.
There are oodles more art, dance, music and genre-defying happenings for families around the city in the complete schedule.
The days are growing longer, the layers are getting fewer, and food truck season is upon us! Food-on-wheels bringing communities together outdoors is one trend that we can get behind. There are more than 75 independent food truck vendors serving The Ocean State, from gourmet grilled cheese to vegan ice cream, coffee to shave ice.
These tasty trucks flock together to grant gastronomic delights to Rhode Islanders under PVD Food Truck Events. Like them on Facebook and follow them on Instagram to see where the trucks will be popping up this spring, summer and fall. Contact PVD Food Truck Events to organize food trucks to descend on your own private or community event.
These are a few favorite ongoing family-friendly listings from the calendar of food truck events:
Friday evenings, May through September, 5:00 - 8:00PM. Enjoy live music, ride the carousel and train, play at the Hasbro Boundless Playground, dine on food truck delicacies and imbibe on Trinity Brewhouse beer.
First Thursday (rotating locations) and third Thursday (Warwick City Hall), May through October, 5:00 - 8:00PM. Eat, drink, and be merry with free entertainment at City Hall, Rocky Point Park, Conimicut Point Park, Pawtuxet Village, and Warwick Library.
4th Thursday, May through October, 4:30 PM - 8:00 PM. Grab food truck treats and head over to a free film screening at Movies on the Block at Grant's Block (June-August) at dusk, or catch live music at the Burnside Park Music Series (July-August).
By Providence Children's Museum
This summer, kids and adults can explore beats and rhythm and make some joyful noise on two vibrant interactive sound sculptures recently installed in The Children’s Garden at Providence Children’s Museum.
Whether banging on drums or ringing bells, children inherently respond to making and sharing music. Designed to accommodate a range of physical abilities and skills, the sound sculptures invite children of all ages to play a variety of inventive percussion instruments in their own ways and create meaningful interactions with music and with each other. Making music together promotes confidence and social skills, as well as the development of language, mathematical and spatial thinking – and it's just plain fun!
By incorporating a variety of intriguing reclaimed objects and new materials, the playful sound sculptures offer kids a hands-on musical experience with both usual and unusual instruments, including bells and tongue drums fashioned from steel propane tanks, triangles and large wooden and metal chimes.
The captivating musical components have infused The Children’s Garden with even more creative exploration, and inspire families to express themselves while discovering ways that everyday items can be playfully repurposed. Feel the beat!
There are plenty of other great play opportunities at the Museum this summer, too! Get Out! for hands-on activities in The Children’s Garden on Tuesday afternoons, climb aboard a different vehicle during Wheels at Work each Wednesday morning, build with big blue Imagination Playground blocks every Friday, and much more! Learn more.
In celebration of WHO/UNICEF World Breastfeeding Week, the Rhode Island Breastfeeding Coalition is hosting the 4th annual Born to Breastfeed event at Roger Williams Park Zoo. This event invites the community for a unique opportunity to explore the zoo by night and makes breastfeeding information and other family health resources available. In addition to the zoo exhibits and dozens of vendors, there will be music, performances, raffles, concessions, and more!
The Rhode Island Breastfeeding Coalition is a non-profit coalition of community organizations and groups dedicated to supporting breastfeeding in Rhode Island. By hosting events to promote breastfeeding best practices, RIBC hopes to increase rates of breastfeeding in the state and improve the health and well-being of Rhode Island women and children.