Local Lineup: Your Guide to Free (and Cheap) Summer Concerts

Keeping your beach bums happy and entertained during the summer months can really take a hit on your wallet. Thankfully, Seattle has a stellar lineup of summer concerts that are either free or at budget prices. So if you feel like bustin’ some moves with your crew this summer, mark your calendars with these popular all ages concerts.

2013+Pepsapalooza-kids jumping


Concerts at the Locks
Most Saturday and Sunday afternoons (May through September), you can catch free summer concerts at the Ballard Locks. This summer’s lineup includes the Seattle Civic Band and several jazz orchestras and ensembles, plus a Fuchsia show with Dixieland jazz on July 26, 2014 and a car show and tunes by the Microsoft Jumpin Jive Orchestra on August 16, 2014. Be sure to check the online calendar for schedule changes.

Hiram M. Chittenden Locks
3015 N.W. 54th St.
Seattle, Wa 98107
Online: nws.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/LocksandDams/ChittendenLocks

Dates: Saturdays & Sundays, May 29–Sept. 1, 2014; special 4th of July concert at 2 p.m.
Times: Varies; check the online schedule
Cost: Free

BECU Zoo Tunes
This awesome summer concert series (and major fundraiser for Woodland Park Zoo) returns in June with a fab lineup of artists. Pack a picnic dinner and a blanket and enjoy some great tunes with the family. View the concert lineup and purchase tickets online.

Woodland Park Zoo – West Entrance
5500 Phinney Ave. N.
Seattle, Wa 98103
Online: zoo.org/zootunes

Dates: June 18 – August 24, 2014
Time: 6 p.m.–8:30 p.m.
Cost: $25 and up (12 and under free with a paying adult)

zoo tunes 2013

University Village Sounds of Summer Concert Series
Starting on July 9, 2014, U Village is the place to be on Wednesday nights. This all ages concert series will feature live music from bands like The Paperboys, Vicci Martinez, and Hit Explosion as well as a beer garden, gourmet bites, and plenty of fun activities in the kid’s play area including face painting, a balloon artist, and sponsor giveaways.

University Village
2623 N.E. University Village St.
Seattle, Wa 98105
Online: uvillage.com/sounds-of-summer-concert-series-9

Dates: July 9 16, 23 & 30 and August 6, 13 & 20, 2014
Time: 6:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m.
Cost: Free

Summer Concerts at Belltown Artwalk 
Downtown Seattle’s newest park is going to rockin’ this summer on the second Fridays of the month starting in June. These free evening concerts will feature a series of diverse local musical artists ranging from soul/funk to indie rock. Along with fab tunes, enjoy Belltown’s Artwalk and delicious ice cream from Street Treats.

Bell Street Park
Bell St. between Second and Third Ave.
Online: downtownseattle.com/Summer

Dates: June 13, July 11, August 8 & September 12, 2014
Time: 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m.
Cost: Free

Out to Lunch Summer Concert Series
This fave summer concert series returns on July 9, 2014 to various outdoor parks and venues throughout downtown Seattle. Concerts will take place on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and will feature exciting local and national acts during the lunch hour. Now you have three excuses to hop on the bus and take the kiddos downtown!

Bonus: Garage parking with rates the same or less than street parking will be available near many of the concerts. Visit downtownseattleparking.com for more info.

Locations: Westlake Park, City Hall, Columbia Center, Two Union Square, Occidental Square, Wells Fargo Center, Metropolitan Park, Fifth Avenue Plaza, Harbor Steps, Waterfront Park, Federal Courthouse, and Freeway Park.
Online: downtownseattle.com/Summer

Dates: July 9 – September 5, 2014
Times: 12 p.m.–1:30 p.m.
Cost: Free 

Out To Lunch Concerts 2013

West Seattle Summer Concerts at Hiawatha Park
You don’t want to miss the Admiral Neighborhood Association’s free outdoor concerts. The lineup has tons of hip local bands your family will love. Pack a picnic dinner and blanket and enjoy these Thursday evening concerts starting on July 24, 2014.

Hiawatha Park
2700 California Ave. S.W.
Seattle, Wa 98116
Online: admiralneighborhood.org/summer-concerts

Dates: July 24 & 31 and August 7, 14, 21 & 28, 2014
Time:  6:30 p.m.–8 p.m.
Cost: Free

Concerts at the Mural
What could be better than enjoying an awesome outdoor summer concert in the shadow of the Space Needle? Concerts at the Mural is a free August series (4 shows in total) for all ages. Discover the best of our area’s independent music scene at these Friday night shows put on by the Seattle Center and KEXP 90.3 FM.

Seattle Center – Mural Amphitheatre
305 Harrison St.
Seattle, Wa 98109
Online: seattlecenter.com/concertsatthemural

Dates: August 1, 18, 15 & 22, 2014
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Cost: Free


Bumbershoot & Youngershoot 
This festival caps off summer with a Labor Day weekend filled with great music. The Seattle Center will be bumping with the fun music from the Bumbershoot festival (Foster The People, Elvis Costello and The Imposters, and The Replacements are among the performers). There’s even a Youngershoot portion of the festival—events and music that are kid-specific and particularly family friendly. Kids 10 and younger do not need a ticket.

Seattle Center
305 Harrison St.
Seattle, Wa 98109
Online: bumbershoot.org

Dates: August 30 – September 1, 2014
Time: Opens at 11 a.m.
Cost: $50 to $550 (10 and under free with paying adult)

Rock On

Library Shows
Who says libraries are quiet? Check out your fave library online or ask the librarian for a listing of summer concerts for kids. The King County Library System and Seattle Public Library both have great tunes lined up this summer.

Eastside and Beyond

Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery Concerts, Woodinville
The outdoor concerts at Ste. Michelle are geared for adults but kids are welcome (a ticket is required for children age 3 and over, but they can still attend for free). Or, make it a date night and drop the kiddos off at nearby childcare facility, The Nest, which is open every Saturday night from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. for Parent’s Night Out. Call for details and to secure a reservation.

Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery
14111 N.E. 145th St.
Woodinville, Wa 98072
Online: ste-michelle.com/events/concertCalendar

Dates: June 13 – September 14, 2014
Time: Varies per concert
Cost: $29.50 and up

Kirkland Summer Concerts
This awesome concert series, held right at Kirkland’s Juanita Beach Park, will feature the best kindie bands in town every Tuesday morning starting July 8, 2014. In addition to kiddie shows, all ages evening shows will take place on Thursday evenings starting July 10, 2014 at Marina Park. Bring the sand buckets and water shoes… these rockin’ concerts are at the beach!

Juanita Beach Park (children’s concerts)
9703 N.E. Juanita Drive
Kirkland, Wa 98034
Online: kirklandsummerconcerts.weebly.com

Dates: July 8 – August 19, 2014
Time: 10 a.m.
Cost: Free

Marina Park – (all ages concerts)
25 Lakeshore Plaza Dr.
Kirkland, Wa 98033
Online: kirklandsummerconcerts.weebly.com

Dates: July 10 – August 21, 2014
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Cost: Free

Concerts on the Green, Issaquah 
Starting on July 8, 2014 you can enjoy Tuesday evening concerts at the Issaquah Community Center. If you’re too tired to pack a picnic dinner, concessions will be available through the Kiwanis Club of Issaquah. Sorry, but Fido is going to have to sit this one out. No dogs are allowed at the concerts.

Issaquah Community Center
301 Rainier Blvd. S.
Issaquah, Wa 98027
Online: ci.issaquah.wa.us

Dates: July 8 – August 26, 2014
Time: 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Cost: Free

concerts on the green

Sammamish Concerts in the Park, Sammamish
This evening summer concert series returns to Pine Lake Park on July 10, 2014. In addition to great family-friendly tunes, enjoy tasty treats provided by Sammamish Rotary and Sammamish Kiwanis and plenty of space for the kiddies to get their crazies out before bed.

Pine Lake Park
2401 228th Ave. S.E.
Redmond, Wa 98053
Online: sammamish.us

Dates: July 10 – August 28, 2014
Time: 6:30 p.m.–8 p.m.
Cost: Free

Kenmore Summer Concert Series
Enjoy six weeks of free, diverse concerts on Thursday nights starting July 10, 2014. Bring your blankets, lawn chairs, and dinner and enjoy these outdoor concerts in beautiful Saint Edward State Park.

Saint Edward State Park
14445 Juanita Dr. N.E.
Kenmore, Wa 98028
Online: kenmorewa.gov/events

Dates: July 10 – August 14, 2014
Time: 6 p.m.–8 p.m.
Cost: Free

Redmond Town Center Summer Concerts
We can’t think of a better way to enjoy the weekend than with a free concert put on by some of the hottest bands from around the Puget Sound. Mark your calendars and get ready to enjoy your fave tunes on Saturdays from 4 p.m.-7 p.m. starting on July 19, 2014.

Redmond Town Center
7525 166th Ave. N.E.
Redmond, WA 98052
Online: redmondtowncenter.com

Dates: July 19 – August 16, 2014
Time: 4 p.m.-7 p.m.
Cost: Free


PEPSapalooza, Everett
This one day outdoor kiddie music fest on August 16, 2014 will benefit Program for Early Parent Support (PEPS). Tickets go on sale on June 1, 2014––snatch them up before they sell out! In addition to a fantastic line-up of kindie musicians (Caspar Babypants, The Not-Its!, and Rolie Polie Guacamole), enjoy a special Wo’ Pop Dance Party with KEXP DJ Darek Mazzone. The music smorgasbord will also feature tons of kids’ activities, inflatables, giveaways, food, and awesome raffle items.

Memorial Stadium (Home of the Everett AquaSox)
3900 Broadway
Everett, Wa 98201
Online: peps.org/support/pepsapalooza

Date: August 16, 2014
Time: 10 a.m.–2 p.m. (gates open at 9:30 a.m.)
Cost: $25 to $35 per family; $15 per single adult ticket; buy 3 family tickets for the price of 2 online.

Peanut Butter & Jam Concert Series, Tukwila
This popular noontime concert series will feature a star-studded lineup of local kindie performers on Wednesdays throughout the month of August. Start the month off with Recess Monkey and Johnny Bregar and finish it up with The Not-Its! and Eric Ode. After you take in a rockin’ concert, hit the spray park or enjoy a picnic lunch in the large grassy area.

Tukwila Community Center
12424 42nd Ave. S.
Tukwila, Wa 98168
Online: tukwilawa.gov/recreation/recevent.html

Date: August 6 – August 27, 2014
Time: 12 p.m.–2 p.m.
Cost: Free


Summer Nights in the Village – Suncadia
If you’re planning a getaway to Suncadia this summer, check out some of the Northwest’s best musical talent at the resort’s outdoor amphitheater in June, July, August and September. Nine acts are scheduled to appear starting June 21, 2014. Pack your blankets, lawn chairs, and a picnic or purchase food and beverages from the on-site vendors and take in the stunning Cascade Mountain views at these free summer concerts.

Suncadia Village Amphitheater & Pavilion
3600 Suncadia Trail
Cle Elum, Wa 98922
Online: suncadiaresort.com

Dates: June 21 – September 13, 2014
Time: 2 p.m. or 7:30 p.m. (check listing)
Cost: Free

Did we miss your favorite summer concert series? Let us know in the comments section below and we’ll add it to our list.

–Kristina Moy

Photos courtesy of Downtown Seattle Association, PEPS/Nancy Treder Photography, Recess Monkey/Kevin Fry, Woodland Park Zoo – Zoo Tunes and Events Facebook page, Bumbershoot/Morgan Keuler, City of Issaquah website