Fun For All Ages

  • Free Admission (age 12 and under)

  • Reduced Admission (ages 13-19)

  • Quite Camping Available

  • Free Music Lessons

  • Full Playground

  • Nightly Movies

  • Youth Volunteer Opportunities Available

Activities by Age Group

Infants and toddlers are welcome at the Rhythm & Roots Festival.

Here are some ideas to make your visit comfortable and fun:

  • Strap on your baby backpack and take a stroll on Ninigret Park’s nature trails.
  • Set up a sunshade at the back of the seating area and enjoy the music while your children keep cool.
  • Bring a blanket to the Family Stage and hear music and stories that are suitable for children of all ages.
  • Relax or play at the playground.
  • Dip your kids’ toes in Little Nini Pond, a freshwater pond in a shady spot.
  • Cool off with free, fresh drinking water at the information booth.
  • Sign up for a quiet camping spot and leave your worries about wide-awake children behind.

We’ve planned lots of activities for kids at Rhythm & Roots.

Beginners are welcome at the free Rhythm & Roots Youth Music Camp for the musically curious.

The Family Stage offers storytelling, music, a costume workshop, two Mardi Gras-style parades (kids included) and movies every night.

The “Funstagators” organize parachute games and other group activities.

Kids can try Jenga, Twister, cornhole, checkers, Yahtzee and various arts and crafts.

Hula hooping is good for a laugh, and volunteers will create gigantic bubbles that capture the imagination.

Bring your bike and bathing suit! Ninigret Park is huge and flat, and therefore great for bike riding. Stop at the freshwater pond to cool off.

Be the first of your crew to discover up-and-coming artists.

Take a dance lesson in the Dance Tent

Still want to be a kid? Check out the massive bubbles, hula hooping, or cornhole.

Ninigret Park covers 227 acres, with a ten-speed bike course, tennis and basketball courts, picnic areas and a freshwater swimming pond.

Check out the night sky at the Frosty Drew Nature Center and Observatory.

Eat your way through the festival with pizza and ice cream

Hang out and meet new friends.

If you need community service hours, volunteer opportunities are available for 15- to 17-year-olds (with parents or guardians on site).

Family Stage

The Family Stage this year will feature parades, acclaimed storytellers and comedians, games, hula hooping, bubble art, crafts, movies and a peek into the indigenous history of Rhode Island. Exeter’s own Tomaquag Museum is sponsoring the Family Stage again this year to bring the music, stories and crafts of native peoples to Rhythm & Roots. Len Cabral, an internationally known storyteller and great grandson of a Cape Verdean whaler, will showcase his exuberant interpretation of African, Cape Verdean and Caribbean folk tales. Games, bands, costume-making and a performance from the Rhythm & Roots Youth Music Camp are also on tap.

R&R Youth Music Camp

Where kids learn, play, and perform Cajun Music from friendly, patient and gifted teachers

Learn How to Play:

  • Cajun Fiddle
  • Guitar

  • Accordion

  • Bass

  • Mandolin

As part of the festival commitment to keeping traditional Cajun music alive and thriving in New England, the Rhythm & Roots Youth Music Camp is offered at no cost.

Renowned fiddle teacher Pam Weeks directs the camp, assisted by Karen McGrath. The gifted and patient teachers include Weeks, Amy Larkin and Cathy Mason (fiddle); Jim Joseph and Tim Kness (accordion);  Bill Olson and Elna Joseph (guitar), and Michael Pattavina (mandolin, upright bass). Michelle Kaminsky serves as advisor.

The program culminates in the very popular Dance Tent performance for an enthusiastic crowd of parents and festival fans on Sunday at 2 p.m. “Les Jeunes Cajuns” and their instructors play and sing tunes they have learned during the weekend.

Local Children Welcome and Encouraged to Participate!

No ticket? No problem! Local children whose families are not attending the festival are invited to participate in the Rhythm & Roots Youth Music Camp. Classes are held in the Ninigret Park picnic pavilion outside the ticket gate. All parents (local and festival patrons) should plan to stay at the pavilion during lessons, so bring a book and your coffee or tea!

  • The academy is open to students 8 to 18 years of age.
  • Students should be able to participate all three days, including Sunday’s concert.
  • Students of all playing levels are welcome and will be divided into classes according to their playing ability and comfort level.
  • Beginning fiddle and accordion students should, at a minimum, be able to play a D or A scale or be able to play a simple song such as ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.’
  • Guitar and mandolin students should know chords D, E, A and G and be able to change from chord to chord.
  • Students must bring their own instruments. However we will have a few accordions for kids to try if they are interested. Please let us us know if you’d like to borrow an accordion.
  • If you have a tuner, please bring it.
  • Also bring a cool hat for Sunday’s performance!

All classes meet in the Ninigret Park picnic pavilion, located between the camping area and concert area ticket gate. Sunday’s performance will be at the Dance Stage.

Friday: (Picnic Pavilion)

  • 6:00-7:00 pm: Orientation. Meet your teachers. Run through the tunes.
  • Bring your instrument! You’ll be playing the first night!

Saturday: (Picnic Pavilion)

  • 10:30-12:30 Sectional, Vocal and Ensemble Instruction

Sunday: (Picnic Pavilion and Dance Tent)

  • 10:30-12:30: Sectional, Vocal and Ensemble Instruction (Picnic Pavilion)
  • 2:00 “Graduation Gig” at the Dance Tent. Bring your coolest hat to wear for the gig!
  • 2:30 pm: Certificates (behind the Dance Stage).

Parents please note:

  1. Please plan to stay while classes are in session. Bring your coffee, a book, camera, blanket or chair. Relax, watch, listen and enjoy!
  2. We are staffed to teach only. If your child needs a trip to the restroom, etc., please attend to his or her needs. Also bring any special items that your child may require. Thank you.
  3. If your child has special dietary needs, please bring along an appropriate snack and drink.


If you need to cancel for any reason, please contact us so that others may have a chance to participate.