With six months of events packed into three over the summer, music is somewhere nearly every night.
But what about live outdoor music for families? Having children doesn’t make you yearn for Tragically Hip covers any less than when you were traipsing from show to show untethered to responsibility, so what are parents to do?
Thankfully, there are plenty of kid–friendly music series for mothers and fathers who still want to rock while making sure their kids get proper exposure to local music icons, tribute acts and the echoing sound of pop-rock standards.
Here are a handful of options.
Concerts in the Park
When: 7 p.m. Wednesdays from June 5 to Aug. 14 at Memorial Park (59 Lake St., Hamburg)
What to expect: Set in the center of the Village of Hamburg, the series of local favorites takes place under the park’s band shell. Attendees bring chairs to set up across the idyllic expanse of the park, and families can bring dinner or snacks to enjoy throughout the performances.
Be ready to: Weave throughout the neighborhood streets off Lake to find a parking spot.
7 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays from June 18 to Aug. 16 at Bidwell Parkway
What to expect: Set on the grass expanse across from its weekly farmers market, the Elmwood Village tradition is the epitome of neighborhood gathering, with come-as-you-are guests from all walks for a night of community and music in the center of their historically eccentric slice of the city.
Live at Larkin
When: 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays from June 5 to Aug. 28 at Larkin Square (745 Seneca St.)
What to expect: This series merges original and tribute acts with the playful backdrop always available for visitors to Larkin. But with ample room under its pergola or surrounding lawn area, kids are free to dance to tracks sure to connect with the whole family.
Be ready to: Explore the space, from its row of food trucks, outdoor bars or spots to freely spin on-site hula-hoops.
What to expect: The series is set in the shadow of the Michigan Street Bridge where families are invited to spread out blankets and chairs for its lineup of local standards. Note that coolers and drinks are not allowed in the park, but refreshments can be purchased. Free parking is conveniently available across Ohio Street.
Thursdays on the Water
When: 6 to 9 p.m. Thursdays from June 20 to Aug. 29 at Gratwick Park (1300 River Road, North Tonawanda)
Be ready to: Look at some sweet wheels, as every Thursday boasts a cruise night for those keen to check out classic automobiles.