Best things to do in RI this week: May 6-13

Food from a truck just hits different. #Fact.

Mulligan’s Island Food Truck Festival kicks off its food truck season May 6 from 4:30 to 8:30 pm Truck season runs every Friday evening through Oct. 28. Opening night featuring live music, some 20 Rhody food trucks, and local brews from a mobile Beer Garden. 401-464-8855. 1000 New London Ave., Cranston. Details here and here.

Also May 6:15 local food trucks park at Roger Williams Park at 5 pm Bring a chair or blanket and soak up live tunes from local artists, jump on the carousel, hop the train ride. #FoodTruckFridays. 1000 Elmwood Ave., Providence. Details here.


A feast for the senses, “Shen Yun” hits PPAC May 7 and 8. “Fascinating stories from 5,000 years of Chinese culture are told through the vivid athleticism and deep expressiveness of classical Chinese dance,” according to the billing. “Shen Yun” – which means “the beauty of divine beings dancing” – sees artists “tell of a time when divine beings walked upon the earth,” according to the company’s website.

“Ancient Chinese wisdom, infused with Buddhist and Taoist spirituality and values, gave birth to everything from medical innovations to opera, dance, architecture, and even martial arts. But after decades of communist rule, much of this divinely inspired culture has been destroyed or forgotten. ” If your interest is piqued, it’s well worth checking out their Website and Instagram to learn more. Tickets from $ 85. May 7 and 8. 220 Weybosset St., 401-421-2787. Details here.

Members of Shen Yun Performing Arts will perform at the PPAC in May 2022. Courtesy of Shen Yun Performing Arts


Yes. Enough said. I’m in.

… But if you want more details: Roger Williams Park Zoo hosts a 60-minute morning yoga class alongside their African elephants. The class is for all levels. BYO mat, water bottle and mask. The class ends before the zoo opens, so your ticket includes a post-class Q&A with a trained animal educator, and all-day zoo admission. #ElephantPose. $ 40. May 7. 7 am check-in. Details and register here. 1000 Elmwood Ave., Providence. 401-785-3510.


If you’ve ever wished you took a nature class in college, it’s your chance to hike with a professor. URI’s Dr. Peter Paton will lead a group hike at Little Creek Preserve on May 7 at 9 am Walk and learn as he searches for various wildlife. BYOB – binoculars, that is. Little Creek Preserve, Bramans Lane, Portsmouth. Details here.


If you plan May 7 right, you could start the day learning about wildlife on the trails, and end it learning about the night sky. This sounds fascinating: See binary stars, open star clusters, globular star clusters, galaxies, and more under the guidance of the Frosty Drew Observatory staff. Dress warm, pack a thermos of hot chocolate and some snacks, and meet on the lawn outside the South County Museum for a telescopic viewing of the night sky. Free. All ages. 8-10 pm 115 Strathmore St., Narragansett. Details here.


May 7 is Derby day, baby. This one’s a splurge, but cheaper than a roundtrip to Churchill Downs. Don your best hat for a Kentucky Derby party – complete with mint juleps, live music, great food, bourbon tasting – at Bristol’s Linden Place mansion. Live streaming of the race, a live and silent auction, and more. Prizes for best-dressed, biggest hat, most dapper couple, plus silent auction and more in this fundraiser. #DerbyStyle. $ 120. Proceeds benefit restoration and preservation of Linden Place. May 7, 4-8 pm 500 Hope St., Bristol. Details here.


Deadheads will want to check out a recreation of the Dead’s cult classic Cornell ’77 show in Wakefield. Check out “The Barton Hall AllStars” Dead tribute May 7 at the Pump House Music Works. #OneMoreSaturdayNight. $ 15. 1464 Kingstown Road, Wakefield. Doors 6 pm Details here.


Public Service Announcement: Sunday is Mothers’ Day! I repeat: Call your mom, mail your cards, buy your gift. Or, if she’s artistically inclined, treat mom to a paint lesson with wine:

  • Paint with Mom – or go on your own and make her a gift – at Newport’s Huddle hosts a Mothers’ Day Paint & Sip. You’ll make an 11×14 ″ canvas landscape of the Newport bridge with guided instruction – play a glass of local wine and snacks. $ 55. May 8, noon to 2 pm 42 Spring St., Newport. Details here.
  • Muse Paintbar in Providence also offers a Mothers’ Day Paint & Sip: The family can try their hands at various scenes, including “Spring Stroll,” Mama Giraffe and her Calf, and Mountaintop Violets. Prices vary. Book online. Details here. 117 North Main St., 888-607-6873.
  • Revival Brewing hosts a Paint & Sip at 5 pm on Mothers’ Day ($ 10), as well as a free admission Mother’s Day Brunch with live DJ. They’re offering a “special menu” and “Mom-inspired cocktails,” according to the event page. Noon to 8 pm 50 Sims Ave., Providence. Details here.


Tiverton Farmers Market hosts its 2nd Annual Mother’s Day Specialty Market May 8. Mom might win a gift basket, and can browse some 45 vendors inside and outside – think jewelry, pottery, handmade balms, seaglass sun-catchers, handmade cutting boards and trays, build-your-own-bouquet bar, vegan donuts and more. 10 am to 2 pm, Tiverton Middle School 10 Quintal Drive, Tiverton.


This one’s a splurge, but if mom’s been especially good this year, take her to a ballroom by the sea: the luxe Ocean House offers a “Mother’s Day Buffet in the Ballroom.” Start with salads – perhaps arugula, with striped beets, goat cheese and pistachio vinaigrette – then antipasto – from artisan breads to cheese plates and chilled mint soup – and raw bar – shrimp, local oysters, smoked salmon. Carving stations serve prime rib and roasted pork loin, the main buffet includes Maine lobster and spring vegetable risotto, crab hash, roasted chicken with creamy farro, grilled asparagus. Desserts include red velvet cake pops, banana-caramel mousse, tiramisu.

The day starts at 10 am, so if you’d rather, there’s also a breakfast buffet. Think croissants, muffins, melon, scrambled eggs with chives, applewood bacon, French toast with whipped cream, rosemary marble smashers, perfect yogurt with local honey, vegetable quiche. $ 125 / person, $ 65 / child ages 4-12. Kids 3 & under free. May 8, 10 am to 4 pm Reservations by phone only. 401-584-7000. 1 Bluff Ave, Watch Hill. Details here.


You want me to play arcade games for two hours with free beer and free food for a cause? Uh, sure. Yup, head to Free Play Bar Arcade on May 10, and donate $ 25 to the Jewelry District Association. You’ll get free play for two hours on some 150 video games, air hockey, pinball machines and other arcade classics, free food and two free beers. #ItsOnLikeDonkeyKong. 5-7 pm 182 Pine St., Providence. Details here.


Grab your paddle. This looks amazing. Lorén Spears, executive director of Tomaquag Museum, aims to educate the public on Native history, culture, environment and the arts. Here, you’ll take a guided gentle kayak on the Wood River to “explore indigenous plants and discover their uses in the traditional life ways of the Narragansett People.” May 11, 3: 30-6 pm Free to register. Kayaks requested upon reservation. Guides will be present for safety and to provide paddling tips. 203B Arcadia Road, Hopkinton. Details here.


The name says it all and I love every word. Guided by a Norman Bird Sanctuary naturalist, hike the Hanging Rock Trail in Middletown, as the evening sun glows. “Learn about the geology of the region, the most recent glacial activity in southern New England, and the formation of the Hanging Rock and Red Fox Ridges,” according to the event listing. #RockOn. May 11, 5: 30-7 pm $ 8. Blankets recommended. 583 3rd Beach Road, Middletown. Details here.


RISD presents its 2022 Film / Animation / Video Senior Show from May 11-14. Check out free screenings at the Main RISD Auditorium May 11-14. Free. 7 Canal Walk. See schedule here. Details here. (You can also stream movies via RISD’s Official You Tube channel May 20 and 21 at 7 pm)


The picturesque village of Wickford kicks off its Harbor Lights season May 12. Like a village version of WaterFire, they’ll be illuminating the harbor with fire, plus food trucks, face painting, balloon art, horse drawn carriage rides and live music. Details here.


… Kind of. It’s just a partial lighting – 12 stationary braziers in front of Memorial Park— but hey, I’ll take it. May 13. Sunset (7:56 pm) – 10:00 pm #WaterFireSeason. Check full schedule here. Read more here.


Puck & co take stage at Warwick’s Gamm Theater for the company’s first-ever staging of William Shakespeare’s rom-com, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Runs through May 29. Ticket prices vary. 1245 Jefferson Blvd., Warwick. 401-723-4266. Details here.


Yes to all those words. The 12th Annual Misquamicut Springfest Weekend kicks off the beach season in Westerly. Ride the Ferris wheel, slide the Super Slide, hop on Bumper Cars, Tilt a Whirl and Fun House. Plus dozens of food and craft vendors, live music and more. Because that’s springtime in Rhody, baby. May 13-15. $ 10 advance, $ 12 door. Kids under 7 free. 257 Atlantic Ave., Westerly. Details here and here.

Until next week, Rhody: Keep rockin ‘.

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

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