scorecardresearch Skip to main content

Best things to do in R.I. this week: Sept. 29-Oct. 7

You’ll have the best times! This week: Songwriting with Dar Williams, laughing with Amy Schumer, and celebrating Rhode Island’s role in ‘Hocus Pocus 2′ on Disney+

Dar Williams performs during the Club Passim 60th anniversary show at the Shubert Theatre on Nov. 14, 2019.Ben Stas for The Boston Globe/file

Cue the Sanderson Sisters GIFs. “Hocus Pocus 2″— starring Rhode Island herself — hits Disney+, Oktoberfests abound, and a fall burger night offers more seasonal fun. Plus, PPAC features “Mean Girls” and Amy Schumer, while The Vets hosts David Sedaris. Now let’s make like a kid at a leaf pile and jump right in.


Founded by German immigrants in 1890, Narragansett Beer celebrates its roots with a three-day Oktoberfest Sept. 30-Oct. 2. Try celebratory brews including “Fest,” a German-inspired Märzen lager and “Gourd Reaper,” a pumpkin ale. Plus authentic German treats, live music from TubaFrau and Bavarian Bros, stein-holding competition and more. Tickets from $25. 271 Tockwotton St., Providence. Details here.



Who says burger nights are just for summer? Let’s make this a thing. Pat’s Pastured — a family-run farm in East Greenwich raising grass-fed beef and pasture-raised chickens, ducks, turkeys and pigs — hosts a night of grass-fed burgers, music from Ryan Muir, plus “baby chicks to visit, and tons of other on-the-farm fun.” Adult dinners will include choice of grass-fed burger, veggie burger, or two Pat’s Pastured hot dogs, plus a seasonal side salad and seasonal vegetable. Kids can nosh on hot dogs or mac and cheese. BYO blankets and chairs. Oct. 1. 4-7 p.m. 30 South Road, East Greenwich. Adults $25, kids $10. Full details here. Artist details here.


Light the pyres, friends: it’s the first WaterFire of October on Oct. 1. You know the drill, but two highlights: the Kweku Jazz Trio starts at 7 p.m. on the Steeple Street Stage, and RISD opens its ISB Gallery doors to the public for “Mahler Ryder.” According to WaterFire’s billing: The late RISD Illustration professor Ryder was a civil rights pioneer and founding member and first secretary of the Studio Museum in Harlem, who had a solo show at the Whitney Museum, and works featured throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. Details here.



Treasure hunters, we fly! Little City Thrifty Vintage Market, a curated gathering of some 85 vendors, offers 15,000 square feet of indoor treasure hunting at the Water Fire Arts Center. They made a splash last March (check out their gallery). Think vintage records, art, books, furniture, antiques and home decor, vintage clothing, VHS tapes, cassettes, glassware, and so much more. Plus free drinks on Oct. 2 (drink tickets for Oct. 1 are already sold out.) Your Sunday ticket includes a free small beverage: perhaps a cocktail from Bully Boy Distillers, beer from Rejects Beer Co. or Trinity Brewhouse, coffee from New Harvest Coffee Roasters. Available tickets as of this writing: Oct. 1 late entry, no beverage: $8. Oct. 2, with beverage noon to 6 p.m: $8. WaterFire Arts Center, 475 Valley St., Providence. Details here and here.


The Norman Bird Sanctuary hosts its 45th annual Harvest Fair Oct. 1 and 2, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Find live music, food and beverages, kids activities, crafter’s tent, sack races, games Ragged Island beers for purchase in the Live Music and Beer Garden, and a “Home & Garden Competition,” according to billing. $12 adults, ages 3-18 $8; 3 and under free. 583 Third Beach Road, Middletown. Details here.



A longtime New England favorite, Dar Williams cut her teeth on the Boston folk scene of the ‘90s. With a new book out this month, “How to Write a Song That Matters,” Williams has led songwriting workshops in person and online. Catch those writing chops live at the Greenwich Odeum Oct. 1. Tickets from $39. Doors 7 p.m., show 8 p.m. 59 Main St., East Greenwich. 401-885-4000. Details here.


The great John Lennon would’ve turned 82 on Oct. 9, and the Greenwich Odeum is celebrating a week early on Oct. 2 with “In His Life: John Lennon — A Birthday Celebration.” This looks fascinating for any Rhode Island Beatles fans. According to the billing, Beatles historian and WUMB’s “Breakfast With The Beatles” radio host ChaChi Loprete, along with Beatles film archivist Erik Taros guide you through an “evening of rare and never-before-seen films and stories” from Lennon’s childhood through to his years as activist and peacenik. #WereGonnaHaveAGoodTime. $25. Doors 6 p.m., show 7 p.m. Details here.


“Inside Amy Schumer” fans, rejoice: Inside PPAC, Amy Schumer.

The Emmy-winning comedian and “Trainwreck” star brings her stand-up to Rhode Island with “Whore Tour” Oct. 2 at 5 p.m. The Tony and Grammy nominee released a bestselling book, filmed parts of “I Feel Pretty” in Boston, and more recently, wrote/executive-produced/directed /starred in the Hulu comedy “Life & Beth.” Her bread-and-butter is the premise that there’s no such thing as TMI — but there is such a thing as too many phones. Note that the PPAC show is a “phone-free experience.” For details on that and more, see here. From $66. 220 Weybosset St. 401-421-2787.



You’ve seen the cult-favorite Lindsay Lohan movie. (Twice.) Now see the play. The hit musical — created by Tina Fey, composer Jeff Richmond (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”), lyricist Nell Benjamin (Legally Blonde) and director Casey Nicholaw (“The Book of Mormon”) — hits PPAC Oct. 4-7. And don’t worry — you can sit with us. From $60. Details here.


Enough said. I will see him read anytime, anywhere. A book-reading that hits like stand-up. Hear him at The Vets Oct. 6. Plus a Q&A and book signing. And stay tuned for our upcoming interview with the bestselling humorist. From $35. 7:30 p.m. 1 Avenue of the Arts, Providence. Details here.


Literally. It’s the first full week for The Roger Williams Park Zoo Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular, up now through Halloween. See thousands of pumpkins aglow with this year’s theme: Celebrating 75 years of Television. Open nightly 6-10:30 p.m. Mon.-Thurs.: $18 adult, $15 child. Fri-Sun.: $21 adult, $18 child. 1000 Elmwood Ave., Providence. 401-785-3510. Details here.


Nothing says fall in New England like cider donuts, hayrides and apple-picking. Rhody has all three.

  • Cucumber Hill is full-on fall funhouse: corn maze, hay rides, axe-throwing, nighttime flashlight maze, lantern-lit hayrides, pick-your-own pumpkins, pony rides, food trucks and more. 39 Cucumber Hill Road, Foster. 401-397-7500. Details, prices and hours here.
  • Escobar’s Farm in Portsmouth offers an 8-acre corn maze, hayrides, pumpkin-picking, concessions and more. GPS: 255 Middle Road, Portsmouth. 401-683-1444. Details, rates and hours here.
  • Clark Farms in Matunuck boasts a corn maze, petting zoo, hayrides, pumpkin patch and more. 2984 Commodore Perry Highway. 401-783-8844. Details, rates and hours here.
  • Adams Farm in Cumberland offers a weekend corn maze, farm food truck and hayrides, plus pumpkin patch, farm animals, cornhole, “tire playground” and “hay mountain” for kids and more. 495 Sumner Brown Road. 401-714-4425. Details, rates and hours here.
  • At Johnston’s Salisbury Farms, find pumpkins, popcorns, candy apples, a giant corn maze and more. 11 Peck Hill Road. 401-942-9741. Details, rates and hours here.
  • It’s prime apple-picking time. Check out our list of spots to gather Galas here.


I don’t know about you, but nothing stops me in my tracks on the beach like spotting a sand sculptor building something epic or seagulls fighting over Cheetos. (You crazy birds.) So I’m intrigued by this sand-sculpting competition, held under a tent on Misquamicut Beach, Oct. 7-10. “Atlantis RIsing,” billed as their “first annual international sand sculpture competition,” will see “artists from all over the world” competing for a cash prize in an epic sand sculpture contest. Vote for your fave. We’re getting into next week’s column here, but winners will be announced Oct. 10. Plus food trucks, live music, photo opps, kids’ activities and more. (Free idea: a “Hocus Pocus” themed Sand-erson Sisters sculpture. Gold, amiright?) Details and musical line-up here.


Until next week, Rhody: Keep rockin’.

This article has been updated to remove details about an event that was sold out before publication.

Lauren Daley can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @laurendaley1.