Not all summer entertainment on Long Island comes with a hefty price tag. In fact, some shows don't come with a price tag at all.
We've rounded up a host of FREE local outdoor concerts—all parents need to do is grab a lawn chair or picnic blanket and get ready to shimmy, shake, and smile with the little ones.
For more seasonal fun, be sure to check out our ideas for outdoor summer games and our picks for the best beaches for Long Island families. Our summer fun guide offers more ideas for getting the best out of the summer months. Enjoy.
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Nassau Pops Symphony Orchestra
Various parks, including the Village Green in Valley Stream and Heckscher Park in Huntington
July 7-August 10
Pop concerts with Broadway, TV, and film themes are sure to please the crowds. The Nassau Pops Symphony Orchestra performs everything from the melodies of Rodgers and Hammerstein to the screen music of John Williams.
Blockbuster Summer Concert Series — East Meadow
Eisenhower Park, parking fields 6, 6A
June 24-August 31, 8pm
Enjoy tribute bands covering the music of Neil Diamond, Bruce Springsteen, and U2 as well as disco hits and oldies. Families are sure to enjoy these outdoor concerts; bring beach chairs and blankets.
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Delight in a sunset concert at Planting Fields Arboretum. Photo courtesy of the arboretum
Clark Botanic Garden Summer Performances — Albertson
193 I. U. Willets Road
Tuesdays, July 10-August 14, not including August 7, 7pm
Children will enjoy the scenery at this beautiful garden and performances by Dance Visions and a live production of The Wizard of Oz by Plaza Theatrical Productions. Other Tuesday evenings offer up folk music and a Celtic night.
Concert in the Park — Oyster Bay
Planting Fields Arboretum, Coe Hall, 1395 Planting Fields Rd.
Saturdays, June 16-September 8, 6pm
Bring a chair and blanket, and enjoy music and the beauty of Planting Fields. Look forward to the music of Beatles tribute band Penny Lane, the Como Brothers, the Hambones, and others. Families can pack their own picnic or purchase snacks, sandwiches, desserts, and drinks from the park's caterer.
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Enjoy music and dance in the streets of downtown Glen Cove. Photo courtesy of the city of Glen Cove
Downtown Sounds — Glen Cove
Village Square, intersection of Glen and Bridge streets
Fridays, July 6-August 31, 7:30pm
During July and August the Village Square comes alive with music from New York-area artists. Guests enjoy a host of tribute bands, including Gloria's Miami Sound Machine featuring Nikki Torres, Fleetwood Macked, and Strawberry Fields to name a few. FREE parking is available; in the case of rain, concerts are held at R.M. Finely School at 1 Forest Avenue.
Evening Concerts in the Village — Westbury
Piazza Ernesto Strada, Post and Maple avenues
Thursdays, June 28-August 30, 7pm
Live bands performing rock, jazz, blues, ska, and polka will have kids and adults shimming and shaking all summer long. FREE parking is available.
International Nights — East Meadow
Harry Chapin Theater at Eisenhower Park, 1899 Park Boulevard
Sundays through September 1 (other dates as well), 7pm
International Nights celebrate a new culture each week. Children will enjoy learning about different traditions through live music and dance.
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Kids shows take center stage at the Jones Beach bandshell this summer. Photo by Darlene Graham
Live Music Series — Jones Beach State Park
Bandshell at Jones Beach, Field 4
Saturdays, June 23-September 1, 8pm
Jones Beach offers upbeat, interactive music and dance at the bandshell each week. FREE parking after park hours.
Mary Jane Davies Green Summer Concerts — Manhasset
Mary Jane Davies Green, Plandome Road, across from 220 Plandome Road
Mondays, July 9-August 6, 7:30pm
Whether you are a fan of oldies, country, rock, or R&B, this concert series will be your soundtrack for the summer.
Morgan Park Summer Music Festival — Glen Cove
Morgan Park, Germaine Street
Sundays, July 1-August 5, 7:30pm, other dates as well
Nonprofit volunteers organize this festival and bring the Long Island Orchestra, folk music, winners of the Marguerite Suozzi talent competition, and more to families every weekend in July and August. The harbor and Long Island Sound are gorgeous backdrops for an evening's entertainment.
Sunday Afternoons at the Beach — Port Washington
North Hempstead Beach Park, 175 W Shore Road
Sundays, July 8-August 5, 1pm
Kids will enjoy dancing to performances from country music to a Beach Boys tribute band and R&B through the decades. Parking fees apply.
Young People and the Arts Series — Town of North Hempstead
Various locations, including Manorhaven Beach Park, Clark Botanic Garden, Fuschillo Park, Clinton G. Martin Park
Tuesdays, July 10-31, 10:30am
The whole family will enjoy this children's summer festival, which includes music and much more.
Summer Concert Series – Port Washington
Parent Resource Center, West Lawn, 232 Main Street
Wednesdays, July 11-August 1, 6pm
Enjoy live music while supporting the Family Resource Center. Admission is FREE for Family Resource Center members with a $5-per-child suggested donation for nonmembers.
Babylon Summer Concert Series — Babylon
Various locations, including Hermann Griem Park, Tanner Park, Brennan High School
June 27-August 10, various times
With some of the hottest original acts and tribute bands in the country, the Town of Babylon's Summer Concert Series is sure to get the family dancing. More than a dozen concerts are scheduled to provide kids with a summer of unforgettable tunes. A nonperishable food donation or cash donation to the Town of Babylon Fire Chief’s Relief Fund is appreciated.
Bay Shore Brown-Bag Lunchtime Concerts — Bay Shore
Bay Shore Bandshell, 80 East Main Street
Tuesdays, July 3-August 28, 12:30pm
This concert series is a great excuse to take a long lunch and spend time with the kids. Located on Main Street in Bay Shore, music talents play everything from reggae to bluegrass, leaving the whole family smiling.
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Enjoy magical musical moments in downtown Kings Park. Photo courtesy of community of Kings Park
Musical Moments in Kings Park — Kings Park
Russ Savatt Park, Main Street
Fridays, July 6-August 31, 7:30pm
The summer series features local musicians such as Hoodoo Loungers, Just Sixties, North Creek Band, and Mystery Play. Families are welcome to bring their own picnics or enjoy local restaurants. Concerts are canceled on rainy days.
Nesconset's Summer Concerts — Nesconset
The Gazebo at Neconset Plaza, 127 Smithtown Boulevard
Tuesdays, July 10-August 14, 7pm
Raffles, family fun, and live music are part of this concert series. Guests can expect to hear jazz as well as tunes from the 70s and 90s.
Northport Harbor Family Nights — Northport
Main Street, Northport Village Park
Tuesdays, August 7 and August 14, 6:30pm
Enjoy two jam-packed evenings of live music, sidewalk sales, and family fun, including scavenger hunts and contests.
Port Jefferson's Sunset Concerts — Port Jefferson
Harborfront Park, Port Jefferson
Wednesdays, July 11-August 29, 6:30pm
Enjoy concerts at Jeanne Garant Harborfront Park every Wednesday. In the event of rain, concerts move to the first floor of the Village Center. Acts such as Gene Casey and the Lone Sharks, The Foxfires, and Eastbound Freight Bluegrass perform.
Stony Brook Summer Concerts — Stony Brook
Stony Brook Village Center, Main Street along the harbor
Sundays, July 8-August 19, 7pm
Enjoy live music to the backdrop of Stony Brook Harbor. Bring a lawn chair and tap your feet to NY’s Most Dangerous Big Band, the Queen of Dixie Land, the Jazz Loft Big Band, and others.
Summerfest Concerts — Northport
Robert W Kruger Bandshell, Village Park
Thursdays, August 2-30, 7:30pm
The waterside commons area features a playground, chess tables, and live music at the bandshell. Sponsored by the Northport Chamber of Commerce.
Summer Concerts at the Bellport Bandshell — Bellport Village
Fridays, June 29-August 31; also, Saturday, September 1, 8pm
This series features rock-a-billy, reggae, blues, country rock, and a dance performance by Stage Door School of Dance. In the event of rain, concerts are held at the Bellport Community Center, 4 Bell Street.
Summer Concert Series — Smith Haven Mall, Lake Grove
Lifestyle Village at 313 Smith Haven Mall
Thursdays, July 5-September 6
This expanded summer concert series includes a variety of tribute and cover bands playing classic rock. Families are encouraged to bring their own seating. FREE parking is available.
Village of Lindenhurst Free Summer Concert Series — Lindenhurst
Village Square Park, 430 S. Wellwood Avenue
Saturdays, June 16-August 25, 7:30pm
The village hosts its annual free summer music series. Picnics are welcome, and there are a number of restaurants within walking distance of the park.
Wednesdays in the Park — Sayville
The Common Ground at Rotary Park, Gillette and Candee Avenues
Wednesdays, June 27-August 22, 7pm; no performance on July 4
Musicians include Captain Jack, a Billy Joel tribute band, as well as folk, rock, and R&B artists, including a performance by the American Dance Theater of LI. In the event of rain, concerts are held the next day, Thursday.
The East End
Southampton's concert series at Cooper's Beach offers surf, sand and amazing sounds. Photo courtesy of Southampton Cultural Center
Concerts at the Park — Southampton
Agawam Park and Cooper's Beach
Tuesday, July 3 through Wednesday, August 29, 6:30pm (with some other dates)
This annual series of concerts, celebrating its 33rd year, is organized by the Southampton Cultural Center. The lineup includes bands such as New Life Crisis, also an Earth, Wind and Fire tribute band, Billboard Live, Mambo Loco, and others.
East Quogue Village Green Concert Series — East Quogue
East Quogue Park, 630 Montauk Highway
Tuesdays, July 3-31, 7pm
In addition to great music, there is a playground on site and two ice cream trucks on premises. FREE parking is available on Lewis Road and Montauk Highway.
Kids on the Green – Westhampton Beach
The Great Lawn, Main Street
Tuesdays, July 10-August 28, 5:30pm
These concerts will have kids hopping and bopping with the Squeaky Clean Band, Rock N’ Roll Mother Goose, Music with Keri Wirth, and other entertainers.
Monday Night Concert on the Green — Montauk
742 Montauk Highway
Mondays, June 25-August 27, 6:30pm (August shows start at 6pm.)
Bring a blanket, and beach chair and enjoy the sounds of local performers. This series features reggae, rock, blues, jazz, and classic rock.
Rock’n Good Ground Park – Hampton Bays
Good Ground Park, 9A Squiretown Road
Friday, July 20, 6:30pm
Show your support for youth bands and local artists at this showcase event sponsored by the Southampton Youth Bureau. It is held at the town amphitheater in Hampton Bays.
Southold Summer Concerts — Southold
Town Green, at Silversmith's Corner Park (Youngs Avenue and Route 25)
Wednesdays, June 27-August 29, 7:30pm
Performances showcase a variety of musical styles from local bands under the park's gazebo in the heart of Southold.
This article is updated annually. Writer Thien August contributed additional reporting.