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Free summer fun returns!

Kidoinfo and the Downtown Providence Parks Conservatory offer free weekly programming.

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All photos: Curtesy of the Downtown Providence Parks Conservatory.

Kidoinfo is proud to support the Downtown Providence Parks Conservatory (DPPC) to offer multiple fun and enriching programs for children this summer. These programs include:

  • Kidoinfo Play in the Park (along with the Downtown Farmer’s Market)
  • Kidoinfo Storytime + Art in the Park

In addition, you can go to:

  • DPPC’s Imagination Center & Inspiration Theater, which includes free-play activities and an open-air reading room.
  • Branson’s Beach at Burnside Park, downtown Providence’s only outdoor playground, which sports a nautical theme.
  • The “Leave a Book – Take a Book” bin to encourage reading.
  • The mid-day Food Truck Market.
  • Burnside Park Music Series + Beer Garden.

DPPC Family Programming reaches more than 5,000 children and their family members over the summer. Below are the details!

Kidoinfo Play in the Park (along with the Downtown Farmer’s Market)

When: 3-6 pm, Tuesdays, starting July 10, 2018
Where: Burnside Park, adjacent to Kennedy Plaza, Providence
What: Tons of fun with many different types of activities.

Kidoinfo Play in the Park is a free, family-friendly program that features a range of activities including music, art, science, nature, and more. The DPPC’s Imagination Center, which includes the Open-Air Reading Room and Creative Playspace, will be open during Play in the Park, offering free access to books, art and crafts, theater projects, and more.

Kidoinfo Play in the Park kicks off at 3 pm on Tuesday, July 10, 2018, at Burnside Park with playSCIENCE’s Miss Katie presenting Powerful Percussion which explores all of the sounds that can be made on a drum. Play drums big and small, and experiment with making your own shakers. Guess what’s inside Miss Katie’s Rainbow Egg Shakers and take your shaker home to see if anyone can guess what’s inside!

From 4:30–6 that day, July 10, Malian drummer Sidy Maiga hosts an Open Drum Circle. Bring your own djembe or any musical instrument or sit in on one of Maiga’s to participate in an open drum circle with one of Rhode Island’s musical treasures.

The rest of the summer schedule includes:

  • July 17: Providence Children’s Film Festival’s Stop Motion Workshop with Rachel Blumberg.
  • July 24: playSCIENCE’s Miss Katie presents Super Seeds.
  • July 31: Audubon Society of Rhode Island presents Live Raptors. Meet several of Audubon’s live raptors and learn about their adaptations, behaviors, habitats, and more!
  • August 7: Biomes Marine Biology Center presents Traveling Tidepool which includes starfish, sea urchins, crabs, oysters and more! There will also be a small fish tank with other animals for viewing. Visitors can visit the bins at their own pace and Biomes staff will be there to educate and answer questions.
  • August 14: playSCIENCE’s Miss Katie presents Marking Music and Sidy Maiga hosts an Open Drum Circle.
  • August 21: Providence Children’s Film Festival’s Stop Motion Workshop with Rachel Blumberg.
  • August 26: playSCIENCE’s Miss Katie presents Incredible Ice.

Also during Play in the Park, there will be a Downtown Farmer’s Market, which in a partnership with Farm Fresh RI, features local farms, producers, and food trucks using local ingredients. The list of food trucks and vendors varies weekly but includes returning favorites such as Pezza Farm, Hill Orchards, Honey Shop, Daily Farm and others. The Downtown Farmer’s Market begins Tuesday, July 3 and continues through October.

Kidoinfo Storytime + Art in the Park

When: Storytime (10:30-11:30 am) + Art in the Park (11:30 am -12:30 pm), Thursdays, starting July 12, 2018
Where: Burnside Park, adjacent to Kennedy Plaza, Providence
What: Fun and enriching activities to inspire reading and art. Plus, enjoy a picnic with food trucks after the fun!

Kidoinfo Storytime + Art in the Park is two children’s programs in one.

Storytime hosts local authors, illustrators, storytellers, and performers to inspire a love of reading. This series kicks off at 10:30 am on July 12, at Burnside Park with Rhode Island favorite, Big NazoFind a spot in the shade of the trees and watch as Big Nazo’s intergalactic creature troupe wanders through Downtown Providence and invades Burnside Park. Sing and dance to their fun and funky songs, and even try on some of Big Nazo’s costumes for a creature dance party.

Other prominent authors, illustrators, and storytellers featured during Storytime this season include:

  • July 19: Storyteller Valerie Tutson draws her stories from around the world with an emphasis on African traditions. 
  • July 26: The Rainbow Beard Show & Friends. Ricky Katowicz is back in Burnside Park with his Ricky Rainbowbeard Show. He’ll be joined by special friends as they celebrate color, sound, play, and everyone.
  • August 2: Author, illustrator, and Art in the Park co-founder Alison Paul reads some of her favorite stories with illustrator Jen Corace Illustration and Stuff. Be sure to check out the mural Alison painted on the sides of the Imagination Center inspired by this year’s Art in the Park theme, the classic book Where the Sidewalk Ends.
  • August 9: Keith Munslow – Musician/Storyteller. Hilarious musician, cartoonist, and storyteller, Keith will have kids and adults singing, dancing, and laughing. 
  • August 16: Internationally acclaimed Rhode Island storyteller Len Cabral retells African, Cape Verdean, and Caribbean folk tales as well as his own original stories and tales from around the world. 

During the second hour, Art in the Park brings an iconic children’s book to life through hands-on art projects led by local artist Alison Paul. This year’s Art in the Park theme is Shel Siverstein’s classic book Where the Sidewalk Ends.

Here are the poems being done each week during Art in the Park:

  • July 26: “The Unicorn.” Noah gathered the green alligators and long-necked geese, some humpty-backed camels and some chimpanzees, some cats and rats and elephants, but not the unicorn! Can you help us make some? We will have the makings for unicorn horns!
  • August 2: “Somebody has to Polish the Stars.” Come get your rags and your polishing jars, (and maybe some glitter), and help make our stars shine! Then we’ll hang them and watch them sparkle!
  • August 9: “Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take the Garbage Out.” Do you dare add to Sarah’s tower of trash? It’s already full of ‘greasy napkins, cookie crumbs, blobs of gooey bubble gum’…what special ingredient can you add to this group collage project? Cover photo by James Lastowski.
  • August 16: “Enter this Deserted House.” You’ve all seen the mural painted on the side of our Imagination Center, now will be your chance to finally ENTER that deserted house [mural]! For our finale, the Imagination Center will be transformed, bringing Shel Silverstein’s poem to life! Come add to the fun!

Imagination Center & Inspiration Theater

These areas will be open during the programs. They inspire free play activities that promote creativity, independence, and problem solving in children of all ages; plus, it’s a blast! Beanbags and benches provide a perfect perch for children and their families to sink into a great story. The Imagination Center also features free play activities, board games, and crafts. The Big Blue Blocks that make up Imagination Playground are especially popular! 


Brandon’s Beach at Burnside Park

Play with kids from around the city and visitors in Downtown Providence’s only outdoor playground, Brandon’s Beach at Burnside Park. The nautical theme of the playground, designed by Rhode Island native Tiffany Rodrigues for Kompan Play Equipment, was inspired by the Ocean State and Providence’s historic harbor, where large ships would dock in the Providence River. It is a one-of-a-kind, custom design which features climbing structures unique to Burnside Park, and evokes the look of a marina, with nautically inspired poles and ropes.

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.

“Leave a Book – Take a Book” bin

Donations for the “Leave a Book – Take a Book” bin are sought for the series. Your donations make it possible for any child to take a book home with them and keep the excitement about stories and books going! If you want information about how you can get involved and support this free, high-quality, and accessible family programming, email Jen Smith at jen@kennedyplaza.org.

Food Truck Market

When: Food Truck Market: 11:30 am – 1:30 pm, Tuesday-Friday each week.
Near Burnside Park and Kennedy Plaza, Providence

The Food Truck Market brings food trucks to Kennedy Plaza every Tuesday-Friday from 11:30am-1:30pm. See the schedule. The following trucks are included this year: Bon Me, Incred-a-Bowl, GottaQ BBQ, Mijos Tacos, Poco Loco Tacos, Portu-galo, Red’s Street Kitchen, Cafeina and Rocket Fine Street Food.

Burnside Park Music Series + Beer Garden

When: 4:30-7:30, Thursdays beginning July 12, continues through August.
Where: Burnside Park, adjacent to Kennedy Plaza in Providence.

The Burnside Park Music Series + Beer Garden transforms Downtown’s largest public green space into a mini-music festival featuring local and regional musicians, as well as local beer from Trinity Brewhouse and food from a different food truck each week. The 2018 series kicks off Thursday, July 12 with a special double header featuring Boo City and the Extraordinary Rendition Band, two creative groups that will get the crowd dancing. During the event, Red’s Street Kitchen will roll into Kennedy Plaza with delicious and fresh food available for purchase. See the schedule.

Sprinkle or Shine

These events are sprinkle or shine but may be canceled or postponed due to extreme weather or heavy rain. Stay up to date on any special announcements by following the DPPC on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter @KennedyPlazaPVD.

About DPPC and Kidoinfo

The Downtown Providence Parks Conservatory (DPPC) is a public-private partnership responsible for stewardship and programming in Greater Kennedy Plaza, and is a project of The Providence Foundation. This is the 11th year of free summer programming from the DPPC.

“Healthy fun in public spaces is at the core of our mission to create a world-class parks system in Providence’s historic urban core,” said DPPC Executive Director Cliff Wood. “We believe the best way to transform a space is by transforming the way people use it. With a variety of activities and programming throughout the season, we’re transforming Kennedy Plaza into a first-choice summer destination for everyone.”

Kidoinfo is the most comprehensive local parents’ website featuring a family events calendar, interesting articles by experts, giveaways, and KidoGuides – unique online shopping guides for needs such as camps, schools, birthday entertainment, and more.

“Helping the community, especially children, is our mission so we are excited to continue to support these important programs which serve thousands of kids each summer,” said Susan Gale, Kidoinfo owner and publisher.