Your Guide to the One Family Music Festival

You may have already realized this, but I’ll just come out and say it anyway: We want your family to be at the One Family Music Festival. Moms, we get that it’s Mother’s Day, we really do. But the music festival starts at noon, leaving plenty of time in the morning for brunch, whether it’s homemade or chef made. Plus, what better way to celebrate being a mom than to get together with other families, rock out with Boston’s best kids’ bands, reclaim the city for our kids, and do something good for the community?

This is your guide to the festival. There’s lots going on and free stuff galore, and we don’t want you to miss a thing. Read on for the who, what, when, where, and why of the One Family Music Festival

Who: Boston’s greatest kindie bands, plus a band coming all the way from LA to share their “blend of Urban-Island-Folky-Rock & Roll for the Inner Child”. Featured performers include: (in order of lineup) Stacey Peasley Band, Josh & the Jamtones, Karen K & the Jitterbugs, Vanessa Trien & the Jumping Monkeys, Alastair Moock & Friends, Mista Cookie Jar, and Ben Rudnick.

What: In addition to great music, the festival has fun activities for kids and special treats for moms.

It all starts before Sunday: Email us your child’s drawing or photo illustrating your family’s favorite thing(s) to do in Boston. We’ll add it to our slideshow, which will be playing at the festival all afternoon! If you need inspiration, check out our 100 Things to Do in Boston with Kids

At the festival, you can get silly in the Kidcasso Photo Booth (and download your free photo when you get home), make cards to thank first responders for their service with Catching Joy, meet a firefighter from Boston’s MASSport Fire Department, and celebrate the city of Boston, Kidville-style. When your kids need some down time, take them upstairs to the Milk & Cookies room to curl up with a good book from Henry Bear’s Park, jump into a story with Tim Seston (between music sets), or help create a Building Boston mural. When the kids are ready to rock again, join Berklee College of Music education students for mini-sessions of their KidsJam class.

Moms, we know you are the real stars of the show. There will be a special Mom’s Time Out Room (sorry kids, this one is for moms only!) with wine, bakery treats, and a small (but luxurious) gift for you. Back downstairs, your kids can also make a lovely blooming flower necklace for you (which will hopefully make up for the fact that they forgot it was Mother’s Day).

After all that booty shaking and art making, you’re going to hear the inevitable “I’m hungry” and “I’m thirsty” from the kids. We’ve got you covered. There will be free food (I recommend getting there early) and drinks, plus food trucks out on the patio with super delish meals for purchase. I heard there will be icees for sale, too (just a heads up).

When: Sunday, May 12, 2013, 12 pm to 5 pm. See the One Family Music Festival website for the full schedule, including the band lineup.

Where: The Exchange Conference Center  has generously donated use of their gorgeous space overlooking the water for the festival. They are located in the Fort Point neighborhood, at the Boston Pier. There is lots of free parking and two paid parking lots for overflow (get there early if you don’t want to pay for parking!). Click here for the address, directions, and parking info. Did I mention that the whole festival is indoors? 

Why: Because moms rock! Also, because the One Family Music Festival was created by Karen Kalafatas (Karen K and the Jitterbugs) to help Boston area families heal after the tragic events surrounding the 2013 Boston Marathon. It is intended as a time for families to come together to celebrate Boston as the safe, vibrant place families have always enjoyed, and to reclaim the city for our children.

Admission to the festival is free, thanks to a generous donor and sponsors, but if you’re able to make a donation, please do. Proceeds from the event will benefit the One Fund Boston, which supports the victims of the bombings and their families. Look for a cute little wagon making its way through the festival, carrying a jar to be filled with donations for the One Fund. You’ll also have the opportunity to enter a raffle to win fabulous prizes from Magic Beans!

For a full schedule and lots of useful info about the festival, visit 

Artwork by Maxwell S., age 9