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Your Guide to the City’s Best Free (& Cheap) Summer Concerts

Keeping the kids happy and entertained during the summer months is a full-time job. It’s also not cheap. Thankfully, Seattle has a rockin’ lineup of summer concerts that are either totally free or budget-friendly. If you feel like busting some moves with your sidekick this summer, read on and get ready to fill your calendar with the city’s best summer concerts.

photo: Nancy Tredder for PEPS

Seattle Outdoor Concerts

Concerts at the Locks – Ballard
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 and several jazz orchestras and ensembles, plus a special 4th of July concert, music by the Pacific Cascade Big Band on August 4 and the Microsoft Jumpin’ Jive Orchestra on August 18. Be sure to check the online calendar for schedule changes.

Hiram M. Chittenden Locks
3015 N.W. 54th St.
Seattle, Wa 98107
206-783-7059
Online: ballardlocks.org

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Dates: Sat. & Sun., June 2–Sept. 16, 2018
Times: 2 p.m. (unless otherwise noted)
Cost: Free

BECU ZooTunes presented by Carter Subaru – Woodland Park Zoo
This awesome summer concert series and major fundraiser for Woodland Park Zoo returns this summer with a fab lineup of artists from today’s top talent in rock, folk, soul and blues. 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 – North Meadow
5500 Phinney Ave. N.
Seattle, Wa 98103
206-548-2500
Online: zoo.org/zootunes

Dates: June 13–Aug. 23, 2018
Time: 6 p.m.–8:30 p.m.
Cost: $35 & up (one child 12 & under free with each paying adult)

photo: Woodland Park Zoo – ZooTunes and Events Facebook page 

University Village Sounds of Summer Concert Series
Starting on July 11, University Village is the place to be on Wednesday nights. This always-popular all ages concert series will feature live music from some of Seattle’s best bands as well as a beer garden, gourmet bites and plenty of fun activities for the kids.

University Village
2623 N.E. University Village St.
Seattle, Wa 98105
206-525-3859
Online: uvillage.com/news-and-events

Dates: Every Wednesday July 11–Aug. 22, 2017
Time: 7 p.m.–8:30 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.)
Cost: Free

Downtown Summer Sounds Concert Series – Downtown Seattle
This fave summer concert series, formerly known as Out to Lunch, will return in 2018 with 34 shows playing at various outdoor parks and venues throughout downtown Seattle. Concerts will take place every day of the work week and will feature exciting local and national acts. From afro-soul, rockabilly and Americana, to rock ‘n roll, R&B, electronic and indie, Downtown Summer Sounds will have something for you.

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: Pike Place MarketFront, Van Vorst Plaza (426 Terry Ave. N.), Day One Playfield (2121 7th Ave.), City Hall Plaza, Westlake Park, Occidental Square, Union Square and Freeway Park.

Online: downtownseattle.org/events/downtown-summer-sounds

Dates: July 9-Aug. 31, 2018
Times: TBD
Cost: Free 

photo: Downtown Seattle Association

West Seattle Summer Concerts at Hiawatha Park
You don’t want to miss the Admiral Neighborhood Association’s free outdoor concerts now in its 10th season. The lineup has tons of hip local bands your family will love and some popular kiddie ones, too. Pack a picnic dinner and a blanket and enjoy these Thursday evening concerts. Psst.. the 2018 concert schedule deets are still being worked out. Keep an eye on their website for more info.

Hiawatha Park
2700 California Ave. S.W.
Seattle, Wa 98116
206-684-4075
Online: admiralneighborhood.org/summer-concerts

Dates: Thursdays (exact dates TBD)
Time:  6:30 p.m.–8 p.m.
Cost: Free

Concerts at the Mural – Seattle Center
What could be better than enjoying an awesome outdoor summer concert in the shadow of the newly updated Space Needle? Concerts at the Mural is a free August series (four 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
206-684-7200
Online: seattlecenter.com/concertsatthemural

Dates: Aug. 3, 10, 17 & 24, 2018
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Cost: Free

photo: Seattle Center

Bumbershoot – Seattle Center 
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—The Chainsmokers, Lil Wayne, Blondie, The Revolution and Kailee Morgue are among the performers.

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

Dates: Aug. 31–Sept. 2, 2018
Time: Opens daily at 11 a.m.
Cost: $99 to $750 (7 & under Free with paying adult)

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.

photo: Carnegie Hill Library

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). Shows kickoff on June 10 and go through September 15, 2018.

Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery
14111 N.E. 145th St.
Woodinville, Wa 98072
425-488-1133
Online: ste-michelle.com/events/concertCalendar

Dates: June 10–Sept. 15, 2018
Time: Varies per concert
Cost: $35 & up

Kirkland Summer Concerts
This awesome concert series, held right at Kirkland’s Juanita Beach Park, will feature the best kindie bands in town (think: Caspar Babypants, Recess Monkey, The Not-Its!) every Tuesday morning starting July 10. In addition to kiddie shows, all ages evening shows will take place on Thursday evenings starting on July 5 at Marina Park. Bring the sand buckets and water shoes…these rockin’ concerts are at the beach!

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

Dates: July 10-Aug. 21, 2018
Time: 10 a.m.-11 a.m.
Cost: Free

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

Dates: July 5–Aug. 16, 2018
Time: 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
Cost: Free

photo: Piper Hanson 

Concerts on the Green – Issaquah 
Starting on July 10, you and your kid crew can enjoy Tuesday evening outdoor 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
425-837-3300
Online: issaquahwa.gov/index.aspx?nid=777

Dates: July 10–Aug. 28, 2018
Time: 7 p.m.–8:30 p.m.
Cost: Free

Sammamish Concerts in the Park
This Thursday evening summer concert series will return to Pine Lake Park in July. 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
425-295-0500
Online: sammamish.us

Dates: July 12-Aug. 16, 2018
Time: 6:30 p.m.–8 p.m.
Cost: Free

photo: City of Everett

Everett Children’s Concert Series
For families living in the North Sound, Thornton A. Sullivan Park is going to be the place to be on Thursday mornings starting July 12. Bring a picnic lunch and a blanket and enjoy an hour of top-notch kindie performances from The Not-Its!, Tim Noah, Recess Monkey, Mister G, Brian Waite Band, Eric Herman & Puppy Dog Dave and Caspar Babypants.

Thornton A. Sullivan Park
11405 Silver Lake Rd.
Everett, Wa 98208
425-257-7107
Online: everettwa.gov/808/Childrens-Concert-Series

Dates: July 12-Aug. 23, 2018
Time: 10 a.m.-11 a.m.
Cost: Free

Kenmore Summer Concert Series
Enjoy five weeks of free, diverse concerts on Thursday nights starting July 12. Bring your blankets, lawn chairs and dinner and enjoy these outdoor concerts in beautiful Saint Edward State Park. Psst…no Discover Pass required for concert-goers. View this summer’s lineup here.

Saint Edward State Park
14445 Juanita Dr. N.E.
Kenmore, Wa 98028
425-823-2992
Online: kenmorewa.gov/KenmoreConcertSeries

Dates: July 12–Aug. 16, 2018
Time: 6 p.m.–8 p.m.
Cost: Free

photo: Tukwila Parks and Recreation

Peanut Butter & Jam Family Performance Series – Tukwila
This popular summer series is back with a twist. Instead of family concerts, kids and their parents can enjoy three variety-type shows from a star-studded lineup. Start the series off with Tweenland, then it’s magician Jeff Evans and finish it up with the one and only Reptile Man! After you take in a show, hit the spray park or enjoy a picnic lunch in the large grassy area. Psst…please bring a jar of peanut butter or jelly to donate to the Tukwila Community Center’s summer food drive.

Tukwila Community Center
12424 42nd Ave. S.
Tukwila, Wa 98168
206-768-2822
Online: tukwilawa.gov/wp-content/uploads/PR-Activities-Guide.pdf

Date: July 20 & 27 and Aug. 3, 2018
Time: 1 p.m.- 2 p.m.
Cost: Free (peanut butter and jelly donations encouraged)

Kids Club Concerts – Bonney Lake
For those families living in the South Sound, a host of fun, family entertainers will be performing at Allan Yorke Park this summer. Kids Club events will take place on Monday evenings and you can expect to see kindie faves like Cowboy Buck & Elizabeth, Caspar Babypants and The Not-Its!, plus the Reptileman, Alex Zerbe and other kid-centric entertainers.

Allan Yorke Park
7302 W. Tapps Hwy.
Bonney Lake, Wa  98391
Online: ci.bonneylake.wa.us/section_community/parks_recreation/special_events.shtml#kidsclub

Dates: July 9-Aug. 20, 2018
Times: 6:30 p.m.
Cost: Free

Tunes @ Tapps – Bonney Lake
On Wednesday evenings, enjoy the Outdoor Market at 5 p.m. and then stay to listen to great live music at 6:30 p.m. Beginning on July 11, music groups include The Beatniks, Heart by Heart, Chris Anderson Band and more. View the complete entertainment schedule online.

Allan Yorke Park
7302 W. Tapps Hwy.
Bonney Lake, Wa  98391
Online: ci.bonneylake.wa.us/section_community/parks_recreation/special_events.shtml#kidsclub

Dates: July 11-Aug. 22, 2018
Times: Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m.
Cost: Free

—Kristina Moy & Jeffrey Totey

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