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Free-for-all Saturday

The RISD Museum is the place to be the last Saturday of every month. I admit it, my family and I are groupies. Through their creative monthly programs, they open up the art world to our kids. They teach them how to see, create, learn and experience different art forms, cultures, and parts of the museum.

Each month the museum plans a schedule of events based on a different theme (e.g. colors, heros, Degas) – including 2 crafts, a scavenger hunt and a live performance. Whether you have toddlers or older kids – there is something for everyone in these events. This event is Free-for-All the last Saturday of every month, 11am-4pm. Come for an hour or stay for the whole program.

Plan ahead and pack some snacks. There is no cafeteria or place to buy food in the museum or very nearby. You can picnic in a small floor space in the basement. Once the museum completes its grand renovation in a couple of years, there will be a cafe.

Parking is usually available on Benefit Street or area sidestreets.

Get directions and museum hours.
Location: Providence | College Hill

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  • <p>I am sorry you feel this way. Everyone is entitled to their opinions but I have to disagree with you – I have taken my boys since they were 2 years old and now they are almost 7. When they were younger, we worked around their nap schedule and we usually attended the music or theater events (usually around 3 pm in the RISD auditorium). When my boys were about 3 or 4, we started taking them to the make the project of the day as well (usually 2 to choose from). And now they love the whole day of events; the scavenger hunt, the craft projects and the performance of the day. I rave about this program to everyone I see. It is one of my absolute favorite family events in the city. Marianne does an amazing job programing a different theme each month complete with projects, a tour of the collection and an hour long performance—all for free.

    What a treat for our children to be exposed to the arts in such a fabulous hands-on environment. Kids are exposed to art of many forms for free. This is truly a gift from Marianne and the museum to the community. </p>
    <p>My boys still have many of the projects they have made including: an african village, superhero capes, drums, a message in a bottle, and a japanese scroll to name just a few.</p>
    <p>A helpful reminder: for now there is no food nearby (except for a few snacks), plan to have extra snacks for your kids you can feed them outside before or after the event.</p>

  • I would actually have to say that free for all Saturday is a complete mess. I’ve gone for about a year, and every month, the programs are getting worse and worse. The event is poorly organized and chaotic on the day of the event. Hardly educational, and programs seem to lack a strong connection with the theme. I feel that some performances are inappropriate, and the program seems poorly put together.