Wednesday, June 15, 2016

SV Toddler's Summer Music Guide

Nothing more fun that summer concerts with your pals!
One of my favorite parts of summer is getting outdoors to listen to some live music, and it's been twice as fun (though ten times as much work -- but worth it!) to enjoy this activity since Toddler X came along. Over the past several years, we've hit outdoor concerts in Campbell, Los Gatos, Santa Clara, and Los Altos, seeing both kids' artists and artists of more general appeal, and each outing has been a blast.

Before choosing a concert, take a look at the website (I've included links) to find out the rules for each -- some of the adult concerts allow alcohol (some even serve it!); others don't. Some allow chairs; others don't. Some allow pets; others don't. Regardless of the venue, when concert-going with kids, plan to bring a blanket, some food, warm layers, and something to entertain them (maracas are lots of fun at rock concerts!). And if a concert has a playground nearby, that's a big plus too.

Happy grooving!

(As you'll notice, I haven't finished the "Concerts of General Appeal" section yet, but I thought I'd get the Kid-Specific concerts up asap so that you don't miss any summer fun!)

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Kid-Specific Concert Series
  • Santa Clara Concerts in the Park (Central Park): Mondays, 7:00 p.m., June 13-27
    • A fun concert series in the pavilion at Central Park, this year's lineup features Andy Z, Ballet Folklorico, and Drummm. We've been to at least one of Santa Clara's concerts each year for the past two years, and there's plenty of room for kids to move around, as well as a nice lawn area or perimeter picnic tables for dinner or snacks. The toddler playground is just a short distance away if your child loses interest in the music. For more information, see the link above.
  • Linden Tree Books (Los Altos): Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m., June 15-August 3.
    • We've really enjoyed this concert series in summers past, with admission "cost" being a new book to be donated to a literacy program (they prefer that you buy the book at the store, obviously, but that's not required). They've got the local kids' music scene covered, with many weeks of concerts featuring favorites like Andy Z, Peter Apel, and Mary Lee Sunseri. Stick around to check out the darling book store itself, as well as some of the other great kids' offerings in Los Altos, like Adventure Toys, Play! and Bumble.
  • Sing a Summer Song (Mountain View Library): Tuesdays, 10:15 a.m., June 7-August 2.
    • While I haven't been to this outdoor concert series before, the lineup of performers looks impressive, including favorites like Andy Z, Peter Apel, and Mary Lee Sunseri. Bring a blanket to sit on. See link for details.
  • Magical Bridge Playground (Palo Alto): Fridays, 6:30 p.m., May 27th - September 9th
    • With a lineup featuring local favorites, including Andy Z, Mister Q, and Sean's Music Factory, as well as instrumentalists, jazz musicians, world music performers and more, this is a perfect concert series for families. The setting is the Community Stage at Magical Bridge Playground (located at Mitchell Park), which means kids can rock out to the music or, if they lose interest, enjoy the fantastic and creative play equipment. You can find the full calendar at the link above. 
  • Kidchella (Redwood City): Sundays, 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., July 17, August 21, September 18.
    • Somehow I've never made it up to Redwood City for this popular music festival-ish series of kids' concerts, which include fun activities alongside great performers (and annual MC Andy Z). The performers this year include The Hipwaders, Alison Faith Levy's Big Time Tot Rock, and, of course, Andy Z himself, along with his Andyland Band. I'm hoping to make it to one of the shows this year!
Concert Series of General Appeal (Work in Progress)
  • Los Gatos Music in the Park
  • Vasona Vibrations
  • Campbell Summer Concert Series
  • Willow Glen
  • Mountain View
  • Santa Clara Concerts in the Park (Central Park): Certain Fridays, various times, June through August.
    • With musical styles ranging from pop to salsa to classic rock, this somewhat sporadic series takes place at Central Park's Pavilion, with space to picnic and a playground nearby if kids lose interest in the music. For the full lineup, check out Santa Clara's calendar of events at the link above -- you may have to dig through a bit to find the concerts.

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