Free Summer Fun

Longer daylight hours and warmer weather means everyone is getting out of the house and staying out later. There are lots of cool and fun things to do, and unfortunately, many are costly. How many times have you or a friend said, “I want to go, but money is tight this week.”? Rhode Island might be a small state, but that’s one of the things that makes it the premier place for arts, entertainment and recreation. Even better, this summer offers many of these events free of charge to get you acquainted with local businesses, introduce you to upcoming artists and entertainers, and bring out the neighborly spirit of RI.

Movies On The Block
Ever traveled by the intersection of Westminister and Union Streets, looked up at a wall, curiously stared at the blank movies screen and wondered what that was all about?  That must mean you don’t know about “Movies on the Block.” Presented by InDowncity and Cornish Associates, this free outdoor movie theater presents bi-weekly films on Thursdays after sunset. Families, friends and leashed pets bring blankets, beach chairs, food and drinks, and relax to fairly new features and all-time classics. Last year, MotB featured the 40th anniversary of Jaws with Narragansett Beer selling their 1975 retro cans.  The ninth season of MotB will feature such films as Silence of the Lambs, Clue, Superman (1978), Star Wars: The Force Awakens, True Grit, Snow White, and a “Creature Double Feature” finale of silver-screen hits The Wolfman and Bride of Frankenstein. For a list of films and dates, go to

Pride Festival
For 40 years, the LGBT community of Rhode Island has brought out the pride and festivities with the Rhode Island PrideFest featuring nearly eight hours of entertainment and the Illuminated Night Parade through downtown Providence.  Some of the special guests attending this year will be Mr. and Miss Gay RI, Jodi Jolt and The Volt, Complete Destruction, Nina Sky, Sarah Potenza, Ephraim Adamz and many more.  For a list of performances, go to See story page XX.


2nd Annual “Hi Neighbor!” Statewide Block Party
Look for a fun outdoor social gathering on Wednesday, June 15 at 5pm at the Steel Yard (27 Sims Ave., Providence).  Sponsored by Yelp Providence, this event will have live reggae from Natural Element, adult beverages from Narragansett Beer, food from Julians, and many other local names. Family and friends are encouraged and invited along for a nice late-evening picnic and dancing to celebrate the arrival of summer.

One of the staples of the summer nightlife in Providence is WaterFire. With vendors, entertainment, food and drink all along the Providence River cutting through the busy streets of downtown, there’s so much do. However, if relaxing and enjoying the sight of the fires while listening to beautiful instrumental music is what you are looking for, then check out the schedule of upcoming WaterFire events at

Aurora Free Mondays
Rhode Island has celebrated their local music scene for decades. As we all know, every big name in the music industry started as a local act, and you might have seen one or two before their prime. Not all of the best events are on the weekends — Aurora on Westminster Street offers free live music every Monday. Some of the scheduled acts include Matt Valentine (of MV & EE), Ports of Spain and Sire. All performances and events for the summer are on on their website:

Tuesday Night Summer Concert Series
North Kingstown Arts Council and Centreville Bank have put together a free summer concert series running every Tuesday night at North Kingstown Town Beach starting at 7pm. The first show, featuring Partygirlrocks, is on June 14 and the series concludes on August 16 with Panoramic View. A list of acts can be found on the Facebook event page, keyword: 2016 Summer Concert Series.

Parks and Beaches
Sometimes it’s not the entertainment, but the quiet recreational areas one seeks. RI might be the smallest state, but it’s home to some of the finest parks, beautiful hiking trails and relaxing small beaches. Want to jog or bicycle around Roger Williams Park? Desire to sit on the sands of the less-crowded Goddard Memorial State Park Beach? You can get all that information and more at

Other free events to check out this summer include the concert series at Burnside Park, and a bunch of other stuff.