Parenthood doesn't have to signal the end of good times at music concerts, especially if your kids are music-lovers, too! There are events all over the country -- and right in your own town -- that present music in a family-friendly atmosphere.
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Look online to find out what's scheduled in your area. Symphony orchestras frequently celebrate summer with concerts in the park or a summer-concert series. These are usually evening performances, and are a wonderful opportunity to introduce children to classical music mixed with more popular tunes. The audience picnics on the lawn and is bathed in starlight and sound.
Almost every town celebrates the 4th of July with public fireworks accompanied by a musical performance with regional flavor. You might experience jazz, pop, bluegrass or classical at this event, and you're sure to hear some version of classic Americana as well... rousing Sousa marches and the National Anthem.
Check out your local chorale, musical theater performances and live music showcases. These will be listed under "arts and entertainment" for your city on a web search. Local performances are fun and inexpensive, and you'll be able to select professional theater presentations or seasonal chorale concerts and amateur showcases for aspiring musicians. The variety allows your family to sample different styles of music.
There are literally hundreds of family-friendly music events throughout the country every year. Some of the best to consider:
Jazz and heritage festival
Twelve stages of jazz, blues, folk music and Cajun-inspired offerings take place during two weekends in April and May each year. The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival features a Kid's Stage with non-stop Louisiana-based musicians keeping children and teens entertained. There are musical parades and Native American pow-wows throughout the day, and the festival closes with a performance by the iconic Neville Brothers on the final Sunday.
Bumbershoot is one of the largest urban music and arts festivals in the world and a Labor Day institution. The venue is large -- presented in a 74-acre park -- and the festival offers diverse performances for the younger set in the special Kid's Pavilion.
Austin City Limits
Taking place in late September, the ACL Festival features an entire children's section and a stage called "Austin Kiddie Limits." There's even a School of Rock that teaches guitar licks, plus songwriting seminars and breakdancing workshops. The mix of acts is sure to get everybody's toes tapping!
Sharing music as a family is fun, relaxing activity, so search for local events or plan a special trip to experience a concert or music festival together. There's plenty of "ear candy" with playbills specifically designed for young music lovers.
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