Kids Really Rock Celebrates 5th Boston Family Festival


The largest family music festival in the Northeast, Kids Really Rock celebrates its 5th year on Sunday, October 1, 11 am to 5 pm at The Lawn On D Powered by Citizens Bank, 420 D Street, Boston. Kids Really Rock is a free, full day family experience welcoming more than 6,000 attendees to two fun-filled performance stages featuring nationally-acclaimed, family-friendly bands as well as hands-on art and activities centered on kindness and building community.

Kids Really Rock is rooted in the aftermath of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. “I had just moved back to Boston and wanted to help heal the city in the wake of the tragic events,” shares event founder, Karen Kalafatas of Reading. “I was inspired to create a family music event focused on kindness, community strength, and inclusion.”  Kalafatas is also the singer/songwriter of Boston’s family band Karen K and the Jitterbugs.

In the first year, with the help of countless volunteers, Kids Really Rock brought together performers, local businesses and other supporters for a spectacular day of music and entertainment.  The event, dedicated to supporting non-profit organizations, collected more than $23,000 in donations for One Fund. The festival continues to partner with Boston non-profits to raise money and awareness for their missions, this year supporting Horizons for Homeless Children.  The non-profit is leading the fight in Massachusetts to help alleviate the trauma and stress of homelessness on both children and their families by providing world-class early education, vital opportunities for play, support for parents, and crucial advocacy on behalf of some of our most marginalized citizens. Families attending Kids Really Rock are encouraged to bring a donation of Play-Doh for the event’s Play-Doh Drive for Horizons for Homeless Children’s play centers located in shelters across the state.

“Each year, with support of the city, state, and our corporate partners we have been able to grow the festival into an even more spectacular event. With a great lineup and super-fun activities, I could not be more excited for what’s in store this October,” said Karen.  Additional supporting partners include Xfinity, Whole Foods, Boston Central, The Lawn On D Powered by Citizens Bank, MCCA, Little Red House Productions, My Gym and the Martin Richard Foundation.

This year’s Kids Really Rock all-star lineup includes some of the country’s best musicians, many based in Boston: Latin Grammy® Award winner Mister G; Grammy® Award nominee Alastair Moock; local favorites Karen K & the Jitterbugs, Josh & the Jamtones, Ben Rudnick & Friends, Debbie & Friends, Vanessa Trien and the Jumping Monkeys, The Stacey Peasley Band, and Matt Heaton and the Outside Toys.  Hip-hop artist MC Kabir and the Mr. Aaron Band entertain at the Kids Really Rock after party.

Celebrity appearances, playful activities and engaging arts include a My Little Pony the Movie® coloring station, Boston’s favorite musical busker Keytar Bear, fitness and games at the MyGym© Fitness Made Fun station; crayon-inspired mobile making with Kidcasso© Art Studio; bracelet making with Jewish Community Centers of Greater Boston; a giant Play-Doh station; an interactive musical playground; a big brown box play area with Little Red House Productions, Tinytropolis: A Tabletop Community with The Discovery Museums, and more.

For a complete activities lineup and performance schedule, visit

About Kids Really Rock

Kids Really Rock is a free, all-day music festival celebrating Boston children and their families. It’s the largest family music festival in the Northeast hosting more than 6,000 attendees throughout the day. Founded in response to the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013, it brings together the country’s top family bands, and offers hands-on art activities focused on kindness, diversity, and community. Kids Really Rock is produced by Karen Kalafatas, of Boston’s own Karen K and the Jitterbugs. Learn more at visit, or follow Kids Really Rock on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.