Five Outdoor Concerts That Rock

Andrea Stanley - New York
July 9, 2011

Anyone who thinks the Beatles had a cult-like following never met the little kiddie groupies who live for the Fuzzy Lemons and the Laurie Berkner Band. In New York City, kid's musical concert series hit the right note with plenty of free shows around town. And don't worry about securing backstage access to these under(play)ground acts, we've found the top five that truly rock.

Madison Square Kids

This park is to kid's music what Woodstock was to rock n' roll. Strollers roll in by the dozens, pumping in troves of rad kids ready to jam out with their sippy cups turning Madison Square Park into what feels like an opening act at Madison Square Garden. Kids sway, hop and bounce to the beats of some of the most famous faces in children's music. Upcoming acts include The Jimmies and Dog on Fleas. It takes place every Tuesday and Thursday until August 11 at 10:30 a.m. And while it is a sold out affair in terms of space, this music series is free. Dancing until the break of, ahem, lunchtime have you hungry? The famed Shake Shack is in close proximity with their cheesy burgers and custard in flavors like Sour Cherry Cinnamon, Peaches n' Cream and Salted Caramel.

Summer in the Square Festival

A couple blocks down in Union Square Park a music festival plays on. Every Thursday at noon until August 11, kids can get their groove on with acts like Jeremy Plays Guitar, the Anna Banana Band, and even a mini Baby Loves Disco party. Need to get in a zen state of mind before clapping along to kiddie beats in lieu of your REM-filled iPod? There is a 10:00 a.m. Mommy & Me yoga session before the music begins. Hint: it's free! If your kids manage to not hit a sour note in terms of behavior treat them to a special dessert, like crispy chocolate eggrolls, at the nearby Max Brenner's Chocolate by the Bald Man.

Washington Market Park Summer Concert Series

At the Washington Market Park Summer Concert Series, downtown families sway to the beats of the likes of those such as Grammy-nominated Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could and Astrograss every Thursday at 6 p.m. until the end of July. Not even bad weather can rain on this musical parade. In the event of gloomy skies, the series moves nearby to the Downtown Community Center guaranteeing a night of groovy beats. Put fun on repeat after the concert ends with a stroll over to The Odeon's Ice Cream Cart.

Sandbox Music

It might not have the street cred of a mosh pit, but your kids will love chilling out in the sandbox for this Central Park music series. Set across Central Park's different playgrounds, this free music festival takes place everyday Monday through Friday at 11:00 a.m. until August 19. In addition to jazzy tunes, kids get to interact with Central Park Brass to learn how to drum and dancers will teach kids how to move. If you forgot to pack a lunch, swing by the new Rouge Tomate solar-powered food cart near the entrance of the Central Park Zoo that offers homemade ice cream and fruit sodas, as well as yummy BLT sandwiches.

Carroll Park Concert Series

Jamming out across the East River, this concert series hosts four free shows across the summer up until September 25, beginning at 4 p.m. Upcoming acts include StarFish, Karen K & The Jitterbugs and Bubble Do Beatles. Don't worry parents, we won't tell if you dust off your old-school dance moves. In addition to some nifty musical numbers, there is food and crafts beginning at 3:30 p.m. If you are all hyped up after shimmying and shaking go for a dizzyingly sweet breakfast trash and cotton candy ice cream cone at Ample Hills Creamery.

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