Your parents guide for Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts



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Roger Williams Park Zoo will offer free admission on Friday, November 24.  The Zoo family hopes that visitors will share the holiday spirit with the community by bringing non-perishable food items to benefit the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. Boxes for food items will be at the front gates of the Zoo.

“The purpose of opening the Zoo on Black Friday is to encourage everyone to get outside, enjoy the fresh air, and take time with family and friends to experience everything the Zoo has to offer,” said Dr. Jeremy Goodman, Zoo executive director. “Our Zoo is a wonderful place, no matter the weather, to enjoy being outside, visiting with interesting animals, and of course playing in Hasbro’s Our Big Backyard.”

Many of the animals at Roger Williams Park Zoo enjoy the cooler temperatures including the adorable red pandas, captivating snow leopards, and delightful moon bears all on the Marco Polo Trail.  Additionally, do not forget to stop by and visit with the red wolves who also enjoy the brisk temperatures.

Go here for a complete list of the Rhode Island Community Food Bank’s most needed items 

Go here for more information regarding the free admission day at the Zoo.

About Roger Williams Park Zoo
Roger Williams Park Zoo, one of the oldest in the nation, is Rhode Island’s number one outdoor family and tourist attraction and is a leader in conservation efforts undertaken by a zoo of its size. The Zoo has received numerous awards for environmental education, and conservation work done locally and around the world, caring for species that without human intervention would face certain extinction. Roger Williams Park Zoo is supported and managed by the Rhode Island Zoological Society and is owned by the City of Providence.

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.





From the Kido archives...

We like to celebrate fall by making crafts that remind us of the season’s colors, shapes and textures or using natural materials found on our outdoor hikes. naturefaceMany of these projects are simple and need little advanced planning. Although I show samples of finished crafts, these activities are as much or more about the process, the outdoor adventure and collecting the materials. Plan a walk and bring a bag to hold natural items along the way. Making art with kids can lead to unexpected discoveries and detours. If you want perfection, craft your own piece alongside or after the kids are asleep.

Nature Faces (kidoinfo)
A creative way to explore nature. Grab a bag and head outside with your children. Collect natural materials from your yard, a local park or while hiking. Almost anything can be used to create faces - sticks, leaves, pine cones, rocks, acorns, seeds, flowers, etc. Kids can sort or count the items before they begin. Arrange your found objects into faces. Optional: Use chalk to outline the face first. Make your nature family then take a picture to document it.

I am inspired by other creative crafty folk. Here's a roundup of some of my favorite fall projects:

Hammered Flower and Leaf Prints
(build make craft bake)
Make botanical prints using the natural dyes in plants by gently hammering plants onto paper.
. . . . .

leaf-mobileFall Leaf Mobile (Small Wonders)
Easy to assemble mobile from sticks, leaves and string.
. . . . .

leaf-elephantFall Leaf Pictures (atelier pour enfants)
Arrange dry flat leaves into animal shapes. Mount on board or heavy art paper.
. . . . .

Autumn Maple Leaf Crowns (twig and toadstool)
Weave together leaves into a ring shape to make a crown or necklace.
. . . . .

Leaf Candle Centerpiece (better homes and garden)
Decoupage leaves onto the side of pillar candles.
. . . . .

twig_trivetTwig Trivet (TLC)
Cut collected sticks into a uniform size and mount on board.
. . . . .

Gourd Birds (maya made)
Turn your gourds into 3-dimensional animal sculptures.
. . . . .

Leaf Suncatchers (the muddy princess)
Press found leaves between two pieces of clear sticky back contact paper.
. . . . .

pressed-leaves-Pressed Leaves (martha stewart)
Carry along your own leaf press on your walk made out cardboard and bungee cord.
. . . . .

leaf-rubbingsLeaf Rubbings (simple as that)
After you flatten and dry your leaves, place leaf vein side up under a piece of paper. Place crayon it’s side and rub gently back of over the leaf and watch the leaf appear like magic!
. . . . .

Leaf Prints (skip to my lou)
Paint the back of leaves, then press (using a brayer) paint side down onto paper to create leave prints. Depending on the type of paint used, print on paper or fabric.
. . . . .



Tuesdays (starting July 11) from 3-6pm in Burnside Park, Downtown Providence.
Free fun for all ages.
Kidoinfo is proud partner of Play in the Park teaming up with Jen Smith of Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy and company to bring family friendly activities to Burnside Park. There is something new each week!Plus Every Tuesday, from 3 – 6pm, the Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy, in partnership with FarmFreshRI, is bringing a selection of local farmers and producers to Washington Street for the Downtown Farmer’s Market. Don’t miss you chance to stop by and pick up delicious fresh produce and foods made by local producers.Tuesday, July 11, join us in Burnside Park as we kick off our summer programming.

July 11
playSCIENCE with Miss Katie, fun music + science exploration!

July 18 
Superhero Day! and World Instruments finger painting with Heidi!
Plus, Sidy Maiga hosts an open drum circle from 5-6pm

July 25
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!

August 1
Ocean fun finger painting with Heidi!

August 8
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.

August 15 
Superhero Day!
Plus, Sidy Maiga hosts an open drum circle from 5-6pm

August 22
Providence Children’s Film Festival Animation Workshop

Looking forward to seeing you in the park on Tuesday, July 11!

By Bonnie Epstein (RIMOSA Executive Director) & Kimberly Arcand (Popular science author & RIMOSA Board member)

The Rhode Island Museum of Science and Art (RIMOSA) was founded seven years ago - by local scientists, artists, parents, and educators - as a museum without walls to create exhibits and programs at the intersections of science and art for older children and adults.  At RIMOSA, we encourage the ability to observe, the courage to experiment, the need to communicate and, above all, the path to curiosity.

Now, RIMOSA has walls! We have just launched our brand-new, conveniently located, physical site at 763 Westminster St. in Providence, where our mission remains to, above all, kindle curiosity and encourage experimentation.

Our exhibits and activities are not meant to just provide static facts and answers, but to be physically engaging and open-ended, to allow and encourage curiosity to take place, and to provide a place for you to “make.”  In short, we encourage play, whether you’re an explorer aged 10, or aged 8 times 10.   We use many inexpensive, household items in our programs – and deliberately do not try to hide how our exhibits were constructed – so that they may serve as catalysts to self-directed learning.  We consider our work a success when we get comments such as “Last summer we went to the marble coaster workshop and for two months after our house was covered in “track”. All because RIMOSA introduced it!” – J. Brown, Newport Library Patron

We will also be featuring special exhibits and events at RIMOSA.  Currently, we are hosting a NASA-funded exhibit on “Light: Beyond the Bulb,” a project that has toured the world, landing in hundreds of locations from an airport in New Zealand to town square in Bolivia.

This summer, exercise your curiosity! Wonder at the sky, be perplexed by sand, and come by our new museum (now with walls) to visit RIMOSA!

RIMOSA summer hours:
Thursdays/Fridays 1-5
Saturdays/Sundays 12-5
Mondays – Wednesdays Open only by Appointment

Location: 763 Westminster St, Providence RI 02903
Contact information:
Admission: Adults (ages 13 and up): $5 / Children (ages 2-12): $7

Here they come! Eagles, Owls, Hawks and Falcons are headed to Bristol, Rhode Island on September 10 and 11, 2016. These rulers of the avian world have razor-sharp talons, highly developed eyesight and hooked beaks that rip and tear. They are also strikingly beautiful.

These birds of prey will be descending on the Audubon Society of Rhode Island’s Environmental Education Center in Bristol, Rhode Island for Raptor Weekend 2016. Wildlife rehabilitators and experts from across the Northeast will bring a wide variety of these extraordinary birds to the largest raptor celebration in New England. Amazing and formidable birds of prey will be featured in live flight demonstrations, educational programs and activities for bird enthusiasts of all ages.

Audubon presents a unique opportunity for visitors to get up-close with many species and learn about amazing birds of prey in this fun, family-friendly weekend event.

European Eagle Owl Spreads its Wings by Hope Foley (Taken at Raptor Weekend 2015)

European Eagle Owl Spreads its Wings by Hope Foley (Taken at Raptor Weekend 2015)

Presenter Highlights

Eyes on the sky! Join master falconer and crowd favorite Lorrie Schumaker of Talons! A Bird of Prey Experience for breath-taking free flight demonstrations on September 10 & 11. Coming from Hamilton, New York, Ms. Schumaker highlights aerial agility in this popular program focusing on falconry, raptor biology and conservation. A European Eagle Owl, Saker Falcon and Harris’s Hawk are just a few of the raptors she may present.

Returning this year is Connecticut-based raptor rehabilitator Mary-Beth Kaeser of Horizon Wings. On Saturday, September 10 she will be presenting a Bald Eagle, Golden Eagle, Barn Owl, American Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon and more.

On Sunday, September 11, ever-popular presenters Marcia and Mark Wilson of Eyes on Owls will introduce the audience to a variety of live owls found in New England as well as other parts of the world. The Wilsons will also explore the protection of owls and their habitats. Also speaking on Sunday will be well-known Maine wildlife rehabilitator Hope Douglas of Wind Over Wings.

Entertaining and educational games and activities for families will be featured both days. Admission also provides access to the award-winning Audubon Environmental Education Center and entrance to the Center’s 28-acre wildlife refuge, including the scenic boardwalk to Narragansett Bay. Food and refreshments will be available.

Harris’s Hawk in Flight Presentation by Hope Foley (Taken at Raptor Weekend 2015)

Harris’s Hawk in Flight Presentation by Hope Foley (Taken at Raptor Weekend 2015)

The Details:

ri scavenger hunt cover 2016 onlySpring has sprung and the scrumptious Rhode Island growing season is underway! The Rhode Island Fruit Growers Association and the URI Extension Outreach Center are making the harvest that much sweeter with the 6th annual 2016 Farm Scavenger Hunt. Explore the beauty and bounty of farms across our diverse Ocean State landscape while solving picture clues along the way in exchange for prizes.

The Farm Scavenger Hunt began in 2011 with players setting out to sample the state’s apple orchards and has now grown to 32 participating farms including pick-your-own, nurseries, family-friendly vineyards, Wright’s Dairy Farm, and the ever-surprising The Fantastic Umbrella Factory. So get picking, sipping and tasting the best around the state: Ready, GO!

Here’s how to play:

  1. Pick up a free brochure/game board at a participating farm or download the brochure HERE.
  2. Explore! Visit a participating farm, locate the picture clue on the brochure, and the farmer will give you a sticker to place on your game board. The Farm Scavenger Hunt entries are eligible between May 1 and December 31, 2016. Be sure to confirm each farm’s operating hours before visiting.
  3. Send in your completed game board to the listed address. Visit at least 20 farms to win a prize pack of coupons to use at participating farms the following season – limited to the first 50 correct entries. The first 50 entries to visit all 32 farms win a larger prize pack of coupons and will be entered into the Grand Prize drawing of an overnight farmstay for a family of 4 in Tiverton. The 2015 winner is a 12-year-old girl from Wakefield.


ri scavenger hunt farm listings 2016

We made it! The snow and colder days of Winter have finally bid us farewell and we welcome the warmer days of birds nesting and rain clouds with open arms. Is it wrong to say I miss those slower, cozy days of winter? Browsing the airwaves for some easy Spring craft ideas, I came across the following gems to create on a rainy afternoon or a sunny day outside.

Paper Plate Bird's Nest
Can be created with found feathers, yarn or sticks. Your feathered friend can be painted, made out of fabric or snazzy paper.

Paper Butterflies
Spring butterflies! Cut pretty paper, accordion fold them and add pipe cleaners (or ribbon). Hang individually, or make a garland of them!


Flowers in a Pot
How does your garden grow? Using sturdy card as the backing, you can apply, fabric, felt or paint for the flowers on this beautiful Spring display.


Stained Glass Flower
Using black paper for the outline and wax paper as the backing. Stick brightly colored tissue paper onto an endless possibility of shapes - flowers, animals, kites, faces. Makes a gray day in Spring feel lovely and bright.


Originally posted April, 2015


Whether you are experienced hikers or totally new to the trails, The Rhode Island Family Hiking Guide and Journal has everything you need to help you prepare for and enjoy exploring the great outdoors with children of all ages and abilities.

The 42 family-friendly hikes include short, stroller-friendly walks as well as longer, more rugged excursions throughout Rhode Island. Each hike description includes essential and helpful information, a detailed map, and driving directions, as well as journal pages for your family to use to reflect upon and document your experiences.


Written by local Mom and founder of RI Families in Nature and Kidoinfo contributor, Jeanine Silversmith, this wonderful guide offers local hiking ideas and a nature journal which is sure to inspire young and old to head outdoors in our beautiful state. It's a great gift idea for the hard to buy for family member or teacher for the holidays!

Check out RI Families in Nature - there are details of upcoming hikes, places to explore and lots more.

Order a copy of The Rhode Island Family Hiking Guide and Journal here.

Step off the 21st-century treadmill and celebrate the simple life at Coggeshall Farm Museum's 42nd Annual Harvest Fair on Saturday, Sept. 19 and Sunday, Sept. 20 from 9 am to 4 pm. The festival takes place on the 48-acre living history farm located at 1 Colt Drive in Bristol.

Sack Race 400 x 300

Harvest Fair engages visitors of all ages in friendly competitions, games, lively music and dance, hay rides, pony rides and much more against the backdrop of a working 18th-century living history farm.

This year's event features performances by some of the region's most beloved performers for children and families, including two-time Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Bill Harley on Sept. 19 and nationally renowned multicultural storyteller Norah Dooley on Sept. 20. Contra dancing lessons with live music and a professional caller will be held on Sept. 19, and visitors will see authentic Morris dancing by the Ladies of the Rolling Pin on Sept. 20.


The daily program also includes an apple pie contest, watermelon seed-spitting contest, and "A Gentleman's Disagreement," performed by two of Coggeshall's historic interpreters.

Tickets can be purchased online at or directly from Coggeshall Farm Museum. One-day tickets are $7 for children (under 12), seniors (62-plus) and active-duty military; adults are $10. Children 3 and under are free. Two-day tickets are $12 for children, seniors and military, and $15 for adults. For information on discounted tickets for Coggeshall members, email or call 401-253-9062.

You can try your hand at more than a dozen 18th-century games, like Jacob's Ladder, graces or hoop-and-stick. Discover one-of-a-kind handcrafted items from local toymakers and artisans, visit heirloom sheep and cattle on a hayride through the pasture, and put your own artistic skills to work at the craft tables. Family-friendly food will be provided by a variety of local food vendors, along with jonnycakes on the grill.

Harvest Fair will feature the first-ever Arts on the Farm Exhibit, displaying works of art that were inspired by or created at Coggeshall. You can also find bargains and heirloom-quality surprises at Coggeshall's Trash and Treasures Sale.

All proceeds benefit Coggeshall Farm Museum, a nonprofit living history museum founded in 1973 to preserve the 1790s salt marsh farm and serve as an educational resource to the community and beyond.

A full schedule can be viewed here. is published by Gale Force Communications

Mailing address:
57 Rolfe Square, PO Box 10094
Cranston, Rhode Island 02920


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