Dinner & a Rock Show: Where to Eat Out & Boogie Down

Gone are the days when kids’ music made adults want to murder purple dinosaurs — at least in Portland. Our fair city is home to a bevy of kiddie rockers and venues that let your tiny dancers get their groove on without sending you to the dark side of the moon. What’s more, you can often enjoy happy hour beverages and fine vittles while you’re at it.

Mr. Ben at Village Ballroom

photo: Mr. Ben at Village Ballroom by Kaitlin Schofield via Facebook

Mr. Ben: Ben There, Rock That
Mr. Ben gets the week started with a bang at Mississippi Pizza. He’s on from 5–6 p.m. Mondays every week, with pizza and beer but a hop away. You can also catch Mr. Ben’s great act on Wednesday evenings at Santa Fe Taqueria on NW 23rd from 5–6 p.m.  Extra bonus: a kiddo entree is free with the purchase of one adult meal. Go ahead and get some guac with your marg. You’ve earned it.

Mo Phillps by Victoria Kukreti

photo: Mo Phillips by Victoria Kukreti via Facebook

Mo Phillips: The Mo Down
Check out cool dad Mo Phillips every Wednesday from 5–6 p.m. at the Oregon Public House. This “philanthropub” is as rad as Mo, making it easy to donate to a local charity while enjoying a brew and a burger. Happy hour prices are on during his set so take the OPH’s mantra to heart and grab a pint to change the world.

You can also catch Mo with Johnny & Jason every second Thursday of the month at Mississippi Pizza. They rock and roll together from 5:30–8 p.m. It’s a tri-perfecta of talent in a sweet venue ideal for bigger boot stompers. Game on, y’all.

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photo: Red Yarn and Pals by Red Yarn Productions

Red Yarn: Rock the Cash Bar
Everybody’s pal Red Yarn takes the stage with his Deep Woods puppet pals every Thursday at Mississippi Pizza at 5 p.m. It’s an hour of puppets, folk songs and down-home good times. Yee-haw to that. He’s also playing a special Halloween show on October 31 at 5 p.m.

Muddy Rutter by Kathleen M. Yelp

photo: Muddy Rudder by Kathleen M. via Yelp

Mr. Hoo: Happy Hours Await
Mr. Hoo plays Poa Cafe every Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. He and his letter-singing partner in crime Mr. E also sing together there as The Alphabeticians every fourth Saturday at 4 p.m.

If a Sunday happy hour is more your thing, consider a drop-in at the Muddy Rudder. This family-friendly public house hosts live Irish music every Sunday at 4 p.m., and while it isn’t specifically billed as kiddie music, we’re betting your little leprechauns won’t be able to resist a jig.

Location, Location, Location: Three is the Magic Number
Our friends at Woodlawn Swap n Play have joined forces with the Oregon Public House and the Village Ballroom to bring once a month Fall/Winter Family Concerts on Sundays starting at 4 p.m. (doors open at 3:30 p.m.). On November 16, you can jam out with Play Date; and on January 11 enjoy a gig by The Not Its!. Beer, food and wine are available and this venue is superb for getting a kiddo jig in motion. Check the Woodlawn Swap’s web site for details and tickets.

Besides your living room, where do you and your kids like to get your dance on, post-sunset?

— Ty Adams