Boston-area kids events


“SIDEWAYS STORIES FROM WAYSIDE SCHOOL” Imagine attending a school that has one classroom on each of the building’s 30 floors? Seems like a great way to get exercise. Watertown Children’s Theatre presents the Play Factory production about a school that was accidentally built sideways. May 17 at 7 p.m. (through May 19). $10. Black Box Theater at the Arsenal Center for the Arts, 321 Arsenal St., Watertown. 800-838-3006.

MOTIF NO. 1 DAY Head north for the instrument petting zoo where kids will learn from the pros how to hold a Celtic harp, strings, brass, and woodwind instruments (10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.). Then bring all that knowledge to the noon concert by Wenham Street Brass. May 18 from 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Free. Old Firehouse Trust, Dock Square, Rockport (petting zoo); Shalin Liu Performance Center, 37 Main St., Rockport (concert). 978-546-7391.

IMPROVBOSTON FAMILY SHOW Called the Pixar of Boston Comedy, this weekly improv and music show lets your kids be part of the action which changes every week. May 18 at 6 p.m. $14, $8 under 12 (recommended for ages 4 and older). ImprovBoston, 40 Prospect St., Cambridge. 617-576-1253. www.improv


ELLIS PAUL FAMILY SHOW In addition to their mom and dad, do your kids have heroes? Singer/songwriter Ellis Paul wrote about Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, Jackie Robinson, Woody Guthrie, Rosa Parks, and others for “The Hero in You,” one of two Parents’ Choice Award-winning albums featured on the setlist. The other is “The Dragonfly Races.” May 18 at 3:30 p.m. $12, $10 students. Club Passim, 47 Palmer St., Cambridge. 617-492-7679.

June Wulff


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LOUNGE LIT: A CONVERSATION WITH DAMIEN ECHOLS AND SHAKA SENGHOR Both men spent time in prison where writing was a big part of their transformations. Echols was one of the wrongly accused “West Memphis Three” and is the author of “Life after Death;” Senghor is an MIT Media Lab Director’s Fellow and author of the memoir, “Writing My Wrongs.” The ex-cons will talk with WBUR’s Bob Oakes. May 16 at 6 p.m. $12, $15 at the door (a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Prison Book Program). MIT Media Lab, 75 Amherst St., Cambridge. 617-945-9552. www.

EARTHFEST While having fun, stop by the booths and displays with the kids to pick up a few ideas on how to be environmentally responsible. Music at the annual Radio 92.9 event includes Vertical Horizon, Cracker, Gentlemen Hall, Fastball, and Camper Van Beethoven. May 18 at 11:15 a.m. (kids concert at 10 a.m.; check website for security
procedures). Free (donations accepted for One Fund
Boston). DCR Hatch Memorial Shell along the Esplanade, Boston.

FOUR STORIES AT THE HARVARD GENERAL STORE The theme for the fiction and non-fiction readings by Lauren Slater, Pagan Kennedy, Dillon Bustin, and Linda Hoffman is “Beneath the Surface: Confessions, Guilt and Redemption.” Kennedy is the author of “Confessions of a Memory Eater” and “Spinsters.”
May 18 at 7 p.m. (wine tasting, dinner, live music at
6 p.m.). Readings are free. Harvard General Store,
1 Still River Road, Harvard. 978-430-0062.

“ASSEMBLED” More than 400 area artists are part of Boston Etsy, an online group featured in this kick-off event. Stock
up at the arts market of handmade treasures featuring
jewelry, terrariums, photo­graphy, home decor, and clothing. Live music and food trucks will help sustain you. May 18 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. (most Saturdays through Sept. 21). Free admission. Grand Union Boulevard along the Mystic River, Somerville.

June Wulff