NORTH ADAMS -- When Tara and Kyle Bowles were deciding to go to Wilco's Solid Sound Festival for the first time, one of the biggest determining factors was whether there would be kid-friendly activities on site.
"It's what made it work for us," Tara Bowles said Saturday.
The Bowles family, which arrived at Mass MoCA from Richmond, Va., includes 7-year-old Maddox, who was busy playing catch with members of the North Adams SteepleCats team Saturday, and 5-year-old Charlotte.
"We're lucky that the kids love music and Wilco," Kyle Bowles said. "I'm a really big Wilco fan. I wanted to come. When I read reviews about the festival, people with families said it was fantastic."
Although Charlotte wasn't interested in playing catch, she was really excited about the special "Kidstock" activities going on at Kidspace.
"I made this headband," she said proudly.
In Kidspace, children and their parents were busy crafting tie-dye headbands, bubble wands and hemp bracelets -- activities that were festival-themed, according to Shannon Toye, education coordinator at Kidspace.
"We expect to have a ton of kids in here over the entire weekend, as we have in the past," she said. "I think having kid-friendly activities is something unique. I go to festivals and I think it's fun that we have things that you can do besides just listening to music. We have activities, Storey Publishing has quite a few activities around the campus and there are quite a few other things for kids going on."
Among the kid-friendly events were a birds of prey show in Gallery 5, under Xu Bing's giant "Phoenix" sculptures, and an hour-long rock band camp offered by the nonprofit "Plugged In" teen rock band program from Needham.
"We came two years ago to Solid Sound to run the band camp and we came back this year," Frank Bond, a member of the program's board of directors and a city native, said.
After choosing an animal shelter as their charity, children attending the workshop broke into groups to learn how to play Wilco's "Misunderstood" on keyboard, drums and guitar, while a few others went off to write new lyrics.
Pam and Joe Fusaro, of Westchester County, N.Y., were among the parents watching their children enjoy the band workshop. Their son, Paul, 8, was among the group of guitar players.
"I'm really excited to see him jump right in," Pam Fusaro said. "He's a little timid."
The Fusaros, who are Mass MoCA members, arrived at the festival just over an hour before the band camp kicked off.
"We arrived, got ice cream and came straight here," she said. "We love Mass MoCA. We love North Adams and we love Solid Sound. My husband came the first year. I came with him the second year and this time, we brought Paul. We were confident he'd have enough to do here."
To reach Jennifer Huberdeau, email