13 Concerts for Kids in New York City: Culture Guide Spring 2011

4/11/11 - By Stephanie Ogozalek

We recently highlighted 11 great stage shows and 6 cool exhibits for families this spring. Now it's time to tell you about all of the wonderful kids' bands that will be performing this season. Big names include Grammy winner Dan Zanes; legendary folk singer Peter Yarrow; Seattle’s answer to The Beatles, Recess Monkey; David Weinstone and the Music for Aardvarks band and an all-day concert at KindieFest.

So put on your dancing shoes and head to one (or more) of these 13 family-friendly concerts.


Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights – Crown Heights
Brooklyn Children’s Museum
Saturday, April 16 at 1 and 2 pm
FREE with museum admission
Beautiful songstress Joanie and her band play tunes from their brand-new CD, What a Zoo, which is full of fun, animal-themed songs like "Happy as a Clam" and "Mosquitoes." Of course they'll also croon a few of their beloved favorites like "Blast Off" and "I Am a Rock Star." Joanie and her pals will also rock the Children’s Museum of Manhattan (Tuesday, April 19 at 2 and 3pm, free with admission) and at 92YTribeca (Sunday, May 15 at 11am, $15).

The Fuzzy Lemons – Williamsburg
The Knitting Factory
Sunday, April 17 and Sunday, May 15 at 3pm
These Hoboken rockers don’t dial it down for the kiddies. They deliver  powerful anthems, classic guitar licks and even a little head banging in their American roots influenced tunes. You can also catch them for free at the Tribeca Family Festival Street Fair on Saturday, April 30.

AudraRox – DUMBO
Pier 1 in Brooklyn Bridge Park
Saturday, April 23 at noon
Kids (and parents) will totally relate to this group's colorful songs, like "Sugar High," "I Like to Pretend" and "I Hope My Mama Says Yes."

David Weinstone and Music for Aardvarks
– Chelsea
The Highline Ballroom
Saturday, April 30 at noon
$12 in advance, $15 at the door, family four-pack $40
Admit it: Ever since your preschooler came home singing "Taxi" you haven't been able to get it out of your head! Every family will receive a free a copy of the band's brand-new CD, All I Want, filled with more catchy tunes for city kids.

Sugar Free Allstars – Upper West Side
Symphony Space
Saturday, April 30 at 11am
For adults: $19 in advance, $20 at the door. For kids: $13 in advance, $14 at the door.
Fresh and groovy, this band offers something different on the junior music scene thanks to its big, blaring organ. Parents will appreciate the group's mash up of '70s funk and 21st-century pop. The Sugar Free Allstars will also do a series of complimentary concerts at a number of Brooklyn libraries in April. Click here for schedule.

Kindiefest Family Festival
– Boerum Hill
Sunday, May 1 at noon
$12 in advance, $15 at the door, babies free.
Don’t miss this: A slew of cool performers at the Kindiefest Family Festival, the finale of the annual kids' music industry conference. Catch Verve Pipe, Elizabeth Mitchell, Tim & the Space Cadets, Aaron Nigel Smith, Oran Etkin, Heidi Swedberg and more.

Recess Monkey – Tribeca
May 1 at 11am
With hysterical songs that merge current indie and '60s pop (the band's been compared to the Fab Four), this trio of Seattle elementary school teachers will have audiences of all ages dancing in the aisles. The group's also playing a free concert at the Brooklyn Central Library on Saturday, April 30.

Dan Zanes and Friends
– Upper East Side
Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Saturday, May 7 at 3pm
Grammy winner Zanes, the godfather of the family music scene, makes music with a little help from his multicultural friends. Expect jangly guitars, rock and roll riffs and a bilingual (English and Spanish) show. Tickets are already selling fast!

The Deedle Deedle Dees – Williamsburg
The Knitting Factory
Saturday, May 7 at 11 am
Brooklyn’s super-popular band sings gleefully nerdy tunes about history and science. Some songs boast barbershop quartet-style harmonies, others feature banjo and some sound like The Ramones. Total Brooklyn.

Jeremy Plays Guitar Fort Greene
The Habana Outpost
Saturday, May 14 at noon
Jeremy and the gang play for free at this eco-eatery's annual block party. Don’t miss the children’s educator and guitarist as he gives kids a chance to jump around to his catchy tunes.

Peter Yarrow & Friends
– Midtown West
The Town Hall
Sunday, May 15 at noon
I had the pleasure of catching Yarrow in concert for free last summer. The Peter, Paul and Mary vet plays his own brand of peace, love and happiness music for kids during this sing-along show. Start practicing "Puff, the Magic Dragon!"

Hot Peas 'N Butter – Harlem
Schomburg Center For Research In Black Culture
Saturday, May 21 at 1pm
Groove to lively Afro-Caribbean and Latin beats with vocals in English and Spanish. Tots will recognize the band members from their appearances on Jack’s Big Music Show. Free but RSVP required. Call 212-491-2040.

Billy Kelly & The Blahblahblahs – Tribeca
May 22 at 11am
With upbeat and peppy songs like the bouncy "Me and My Haircut" or the indie rock "I Can’t Get Away From Myself," this band is also quite funny and uses over-the-top props like a giant doodle pad in its lively concerts.

Find even more music shows in the Mommy Poppins Events Calendar.