Best NYC Kids' Concerts for Winter 2013: Rockin' Live Music Shows

Earlier this week, we shared our favorite NYC spots where kids can run around (or skate or swim or bike) indoors when it's too cold to play outside. But sometimes the best way for the entire family to get their sillies out is to jump around at a live music show. My daughter and I love discovering bands and musicians together, and we're always on the lookout for new-to-us groups to add to our ever-growing list of favorites.

There are so many cool kids' concert series in New York City—Bring Your Own Kid at 92YTribeca, Just Kidding at Symphony Space, the Tot Music Fest at Littlefield, to name a few—that you could easily see three shows every week (as my daughter would like to do)! But to give your dancing shoes (and your wallet) a break, we've rounded up our top 11 family concerts this winter. In addition to picks at all of the major series, we're also highlighting two local kindie rock faves who are playing the BAMkids Film Festival as well as a couple of totally free shows. In fact, almost all of these concerts cost less than $15 per person.

Princess Katie & Racer Steve – Upper West Side
Saturday, January 26 at 11am
The Brownstone School, P.S. 87 Auditorium, 160 West 78th Street between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenue
In advance: $18 for adults, $15 for children; at the door: $20 for adults, $18 for children
Ages 3 to 8
Throw on a costume and dance along to this perennial kid pop favorite, featuring a husband-and-wife duo who croon tunes about sneakers, Japanese robots, getting sand in your sandwich and other funny/silly subjects. Katie is an adorable chatterbox and really knows how to get kids moving. In fact she often goads parents into jumping along, too.

Mil's Trills Gowanus
Sunday, January 27 at 3:30pm
Littlefield, 622 Degraw Street between Third and Fourth Avenues
In advance: $12 per person, $40 for a family four-pack; at the door: $15, free for children under 4
Ages 0 to 4
Amelia Robinson plays folky tunes on her electric ukulele. Mil's Trills shows always have a community feel, as special guests jump up on stage and play along. Families are even encouraged to bring their own shakers and noisemakers. Can't make this show? Mil's Trills will also perform at Brooklyn Arts Exchange on Sunday, February 24 at 11am for just $8 and for FREE at the Brooklyn Public Library's Central Branch on Saturday, March 2 at 1pm.

The Deedle Deedle Dees Fort Greene
Saturday, February 2 at noon and 2:30pm
BAMcafé, 30 Lafayette Avenue between Ashland Place and St Felix Street
$12 for adults, $9 for children under 14
All ages
We're always raving about this Brooklyn band but our ongoing praise is well deserved. While so many other kids' bands cater to preschoolers, the multigenre Dees write catchy songs about historic icons like author Zora Neale Hurston, aviatrix Amelia Earhart, Revolutionary War great Aaron Burr and the Brooklyn Bridge, so even parents will learn a thing or two. The group will play a pair of concerts as part of the BAMkids Film Festival with jazz saxophonist Roy Nathanson and opera singer Emily Serotta. The Dees will also perform at Symphony Space on Saturday, March 2 at 11am where they'll debut new songs about home, community and our resilient city post-Hurricane Sandy.

The Suzi Shelton Band – Fort Greene
Sunday, February 3 at noon and 2:30pm
BAMcafé, 30 Lafayette Avenue between Ashland Pl and St Felix St
$12 for adults, $9 for children under 14
Ages 2 to 9
This Brooklyn mom rocker is also performing at the BAMkids Film Festival. Shelton always steals families' hearts with her upbeat songs featuring sweet lyrics about her real-life experiences. She interacts so naturally with the children in the audience that they feel like she's a friend (my daughter certainly does), and her adorable backup singers, "The Gumdrops," are led by her own eight-year-old daughter.

The Pop Ups Upper East Side
Sunday, February 3 at 2pm
The Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Avenue at 92nd Street
$18 for adults, $13 for children under 12
Ages 2 to 7
These newly minted Grammy nominees put on concerts that are really more like kids' shows, with a plot, costumes and puppets. Today they perform Radio Jungle! set in a magical world of treasure maps, mermaids, glowing stars and huge crayons. The synth-pop and reggae soul songs are so satisfying, some parents listen to the Pop Ups when their kids aren't even around.

Bari Koral Family Rock Band Upper East Side
Sunday, February 10 at 11am
Caspary Auditorium at Rockefeller University, East 66th Street at York Avenue
$10, free for children under 1
Ages 2 to 9
My daughter and I caught this band live at Kindiefest last year and became instant fans. Koral's irresistible melodies are matched by her imaginative lyrics. Take "Anna and the Cupcakes" about a girl who eats all the treats but tells her mom it was a monkey until a tummy ache prompts her to confess. Kids will laugh and relate!

Father Goose Gowanus
Sunday, February 10 at 12:30pm
Littlefield, 622 Degraw Street between Third and Fourth Avenues
In advance: $10 for adults, $8 for children, $35 for a family four-pack; at the door: $12 for adults, $10 for children, free for children under 1
Ages 1 to 5
Best known for his work with the Grammy-award winning group Dan Zanes and Friends, Father Goose gets kids up and moving with his lively Caribbean beats. His concerts always feel more like parties, as families dance to his hip-hop, reggae and funk tunes. Since this show is part of the monthly Hip Tot Music Fest, other activities include art projects, readings by Brooklyn children's book author Melanie Hope Greenberg and a performance by the Cool Beans, costumed characters pretending to sing to recorded music. Frankly it's my least favorite part of these shows but it's the perfect time to hit the crafts table!

The Not-Its! Upper West Side
Saturday, February 16 at 11am
Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at 95th Street
$20 for adults, $13 for children
Ages 3 to 9
Dressed in skinny ties and pink tutus, and rocking a powerful pop-punk guitar and '80s synth, this band gets kids jumping like crazy. Their songs tap into a child's imagination, like being the "First Kid in Outer Space." This is the first public concert in Manhattan for this Seattle-based band.

Erin Lee and the Up Past Bedtime Band Tribeca
Sunday, February 17 at 11am
92YTribeca, 200 Hudson Street near Canal Street
$15, free for children under 2
Ages 2 to 9
No pop or punk here. Erin Lee and her cohorts have plenty of country rock flavor, with some funk and blues to boot. Their silly wintry songs are about wobbly sleds, loud sneezes and itchy hand-me-down snowsuits, subjects kids should know all about.

Alastair Moock Tribeca
Sunday, March 3 at 11am
92YTribeca, 200 Hudson Street near Canal Street
$15, free for children under 2
Ages 2 to 9
My daughter and I became huge fans of this Boston-based musician when he played a Halloween show at the Aquarium in 2011. Now we see him every time he comes to town. His gravelly voiced, soulful songs have well-crafted lyrics and his concerts always feel like a big family gathering.

Shine and the Moonbeams – Harlem
Saturday, March 9 at 4pm
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, 515 Malcolm X Boulevard at 135th Street
Ages 3 to 6
Catch a no-cost concert by this groovy R&B band. The smooth sounds are complemented by serious subjects, like songs about bullying and rushed morning routines, so the band really connects with audiences on an emotional level.

Summer Sports Experience - Jefferson Park
Thomas Jefferson Park - 10:00 AM Pick
Kids in Motion - Marcus Garvey Park
Marcus Garvey Park - 10:00 AM Pick
Mozart for Munchkins
Madison Square Park - 10:00 AM Pick
Bubble Man in Bryant Park
Bryant Park - 2:00 PM Pick
Neighborhood Guides
Activity Guides