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Get Your Groove On: Your Summer Concert Guide

Keeping the kiddos happy and entertained during the summer months is a full time job. It’s also not cheap. Between the cost of theme parks, summer camps, and movie and museum tickets, your wallet can take a big hit during the summer. Thankfully, Seattle has a stellar lineup of summer concerts. The best part? Many of these concerts are free or at budget prices. If you feel like busting some moves with your little ones this summer, read on and mark your calendars for your fave upcoming shows.



Concerts at the Locks
Most Saturday and Sunday afternoons (June through September), you can catch free summer concerts at the Ballard Locks. This summer’s lineup includes the Seattle Civic Band, several jazz orchestras and ensembles, plus a Fuchsia show on July 27 and a car show on September 17. Be sure to check the online calendar for schedule changes.

Hiram M. Chittenden Locks
3015 NW 54th Street
Seattle, Wa 98107

Dates: Saturdays and Sundays June 1 – September 2; special July 4th concert at 2:00 pm
Time: 2:00 pm
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
601 North 59th Street
Seattle, Wa 98103

Dates: June 23 – August 23
Time: 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Cost: $24 to $107.50 (12 and under free with an adult)

University Village Sounds of Summer Concert Series
Starting on July 10, U Village is the place to be on Wednesday nights. This all-ages concert series will feature live music, a beer garden, and gourmet bites, plus plenty of fun activities in the kid’s play area including face painting, a balloon artist and hands-on activities.

University Village
2623 NE University Village Street
Seattle, Wa 98105

Dates: July 10, 17, 24 & 31 and August 7, 14 & 21
Time: 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Cost: Free


Out to Lunch Summer Concert Series
This fave summer concert series returns in July to various parks and venues throughout downtown Seattle. Concerts will take place on Wednesdays and Fridays and will feature exciting local and national acts. Now you have two excuses to hop on the bus and take the kiddos downtown!

Locations: Westlake Park, Columbia Center, Two Union Square, Occidental Park, Fifth Avenue Plaza, Harbor Steps, Waterfront Park, Federal Courthouse, Freeway Park & Westlake Park

Dates: July 10 – September 20
Times: 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Cost: Free 

Seattle Presents – Seattle City Hall Concerts
Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy free lunchtime concerts on Thursdays throughout July and August (some are kiddie faves!). Concerts will take place on the City Hall Plaza on dry days and inside City Hall lobby on rainy days.

City Hall Plaza
600 Fourth Avenue
Seattle, Wa 98104

Dates: July 11, 18  & 25 and August 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29
Time: 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Cost: Free

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—look for Glen Crytzer & His Syncopators jazzy tunes, rousing horns from The Dusty 45’s and a mesmerizing combo of fiddle, guitar and voice from Impossible Bird. Pack a picnic dinner and blanket and enjoy these Thursday evening concerts starting on July 25.

Hiawatha Park
2700 California Avenue SW
Seattle, Wa 98116

Dates: July 25 and August 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29
Time:  6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
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 Street
Seattle, Wa 98109

Dates: August 2, 9, 16 & 23
Time: 5:30 pm
Cost: Free

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 some 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 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm for Parent’s Night Out. Call for details.

Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery
14111 NE 145th Street
Woodinville, Wa 98072

Dates: June 15 – September 2
Time: Varies per concert
Cost: $39.50 and up

kids concert

Kirkland Summer Concerts
This awesome concert series, held right at Kirkland’s Juanita Beach Park, will feature kid-focused bands on Tuesday mornings beginning July 9 and all-ages evening shows on Thursday nights beginning July 12 at Marina Park. Bring the sand buckets and water shoes…these rockin’ concerts are at the beach!

Juanita Beach Park – Children’s Concerts
9703 NE Juanita Drive
Kirkland, Wa 98034

Dates: July 9 – August 20
Time: 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Cost: Free

Marina Park – All-ages Concerts
25 Lakeshore Plaza Drive
Kirkland, Wa 98033

Dates: July 11 – August 22
Time: 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Cost: Free

Concerts on the Green, Issaquah 
Starting on July 9, you and the fam 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 Boulevard South
Issaquah, Wa 98027

Dates: July 9 – August 27
Time: 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Cost: Free

sammamish summer concert 1

Sammamish Summer Concerts in the Park, Sammamish
This popular evening summer concert series returns to Pine Lake Park on July 10. 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 SE
Redmond, Wa 98053

Date: July 10 – August 28
Time: 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Cost: Free

Kenmore Summer Concert Series
Enjoy six weeks of free, diverse concerts on Thursday nights starting July 11 and going until August 15. Bring your blankets, lawn chairs, and dinner and enjoy these outdoor concerts in beautiful Saint Edward State Park.

Saint Edward State Park
14445 Juanita Drive NE
Kenmore, Wa 98028

Date: July 11 – August 15
Time: 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Cost: Free

recess monkey

Eats and Beats Concert Series - KidsQuest Museum, Bellevue
Two great kid performances–one each month this summer–hit KidsQuest Museum. Recess Monkey in July and Brian Vogan and his Good Buddies in August. The museum stays open late (until 8:00 pm) just for concert goers. Rock out with some great kindie tunes, enjoy a pizza and lemonade dinner, and explore the museum.

KidsQuest Museum
4091 Factoria Mall SE
Bellevue, Wa 98006

Dates: July 13 & August 10
Time: 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Cost: $9 to $14; $3 extra for pizza & lemonade

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 cover bands from around the Puget Sound. Mark your calendars and get ready to enjoy your fave tunes from the  80′s and beyond. The series runs on Saturdays at 4:00 pm through July and August.

Redmond Town Center
7525 166th Avenue NE
Redmond, WA 98052

Dates: July 20 – August 10
Time: 4:00 pm
Cost: Free

2012 Pepsapalooza-Nancy Treder

PEPSapalooza, Everett
This one-day outdoor kiddie music fest on August 17 will benefit Program for Early Parent Support (PEPS). Tickets are on sale now–snatch them up before they sell out! In addition to the fantastic line-up of kindie musicians (Caspar Babypants, The Not-Its!, Recess Monkey and Rolie Polie Guacamole), the music smorgasbord will also feature TONS of kids’ activities, food, and awesome raffle items.

Memorial Stadium (Home of the Everett AquaSox)
3900 Broadway
Everett, Wa 98201

Date: August 17
Time: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm (gates open at 9:30 am)
Cost: $29 to $49 for single family admission; $15 per additional ticket

Peanut Butter & Jam Concert Series, Tukwila
This noontime concert series and family fave will feature a star-studded lineup of local kindie performers on Wednesdays throughout the month of August. Start the month off with Eric Ode and Recess Monkey and finish it up with The Not-Its! and Caspar Babypants. 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 Avenue South
Tukwila, Wa 98168

Date: August 7 – August 28
Time: 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Cost: Free


Bumbershoot & Youngershoot 
This festival caps off summer with a Labor Day weekend filled with music. The Seattle Center will be bumping with the fun music from the Bumbershoot festival (Death Cab for Cutie, Heart and FUN. are among the performers). There’s even a Youngershoot portion of the festival–events that are kid-specific and particularly family friendly. Kids 10 and younger do not need a ticket.

Seattle Center
305 Harrison Street
Seattle, Wa 98109

Date: August 31 – September 2
Time: Opens at 11:00 am
Cost: $50 to $150 (10 and under free with adult)

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 KEXP Blog/Brittney Bush Bollay, University Village, Downtown Seattle Blog, PEPS/Nancy Treder Photography, City of Sammamish website, and Recess Monkey/Kevin Fry


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