Free Outdoor Kids Music Concert Series in NYC This Summer

Madison Square Kids, Carroll Park Concert Series, SummerStage Kids, SummerStage Family Days, and More Outdoor NYC Concerts for Kids

While lots of New York City's fantastic seasonal events are kid appropriate, children hold a special place in their hearts for music. And what's better than not just one but a series of spectacular, outdoor, family-friendly and FREE music performances?

It's likely that your neighborhood parks, playgrounds, piers and plazas right around the corner have a kiddie-filled line-up throughout the summer, so scroll, click, and set reminders with your favorites. With top family bands playing annual series like Mad. Sq. Kids and SummerStage Family Workshops, you're sure to find something everyone can wiggle to from one week to the next. We've already told you about the great concerts playing in June for NYC kids, and now we're rounding up the rest of the summer with concerts in July and August to keep the kids grooving all summer!

For specific family concert picks, check out our roundups of the best performances, or you can find even more family fun in our jam-packed Summer Guide.

July


The Ladies of Hip Hop lead a family dance worshop at Queensbridge Park on July 12th. Photo courtesy of The Ladies of Hip Hop.

SummerStage Family Workshops — Citywide
SummerStage has developed a calendar of free pre-show workshops, ranging from beatboxing and hip hop to Latin percussion and DJ'ing. Though the lineup includes events for adults, there is a specific calendar for family-friendly entertainment. 

  • Everyday People, ft. Beatbox Workshop, July 1
  • Just Sole! Street Dance Theater Company / Pretty BIG Movement, ft. Dance Workshop, July 5
  • Slick Rick The Ruler / GrandWizzard Theodore, ft. Scratch Academy Workshop, July 7
  • Ladies of Hip Hop  Festival with Special Guest Amirah Sackett, ft. Dance Workshop, July 12
  • Judy Torres / Cynthia, ft. Freestyle Dance Workshop, July 13 
  • The Legendary Ladies of SKYY / Felix Hernandez Rhythm Revue, ft. Scratch Academy Workshop, July 15
  • TKA, ft. Freestyle Dance Workshop, July 19
  • Lisette Melendez, ft. Scratch Academy Workshop, July 20
  • Joe Bataan/Felix Hernandez Rhythm Revue, ft. Dance Workshop, July 21

Hot Summer Nights Outdoor Concert Series – Manhattan Beach
Performing at the Kingsborough Outdoor Bandshell, these evening performances are perfect, rain or shine. Big Band Jazz is the theme of choice, and kids are welcome to get up and swing! 

  • The Rob Stoneback Big Band with Guest Vocalists Kathy Jenkins & Rob Kevlin, July 1
  • Wycliffe Gordon and His International All-Stars, July 8
  • Dan Levinson's Gotham Sophisticats featuring Vocalist Molly Ryan, July 15
  • Swingadelic, July 22

Music in the Grove Series — Fort Greene, Brooklyn
Bring a blanket and start your days with some tunes. Every Wednesday at 10am there will be a family-friendly performance to enjoy.

  • Vered and the Babes, July 5
  • Astrograss, July 12
  • Rozz and Val Show, July 16
  • Dad Beats, July 19
  • Mil's Trills, July 26
  • Hopalong Andrew, July 30

Staten Island Philharmonic Concert and Fireworks — Staten Island
July 4
Allow yourself to be swept away by the remarkable sounds of the Staten Island Philharmonic Orchestra while watching a grand fireworks display.

RELATED: Free Outdoor Movies for NYC Kids This Summer: Hundreds of Them! 

Watch as 75 accordionists perform at Bryant Park throughout July.

Accordions Around The World — Bryant Park
July 5, 12, 19
Not just for Polka fans. More than 75 accordionists will gather with other musicians to share music from around the world. Introduce children to instruments they may never have seen like the harmonium, a piano-like pump organ. It's bound to keep them entertained. And what better location than shady and family-friendly Bryant Park.

Summer In The Square — Union Square
All summer long, every Thursday in Union Square, families are welcome to an array of entertainment. The concert series starting in July is unique and geared toward children of all ages. Performances get the audience on their feet, often interacting with the kids and getting them to sing and dance along.

  • Rolie Polie Guacamole, July 6
  • The Little Rockers, July 13
  • Story Pirates, July 20
  • Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre's The Princess, The Emperor and The Duck, July 27

Hudson RiverKids — Tribeca & Chelsea 
Taking place on the pier, Hudson RiverKids is not just a fun resource for free music but a great experience. The lineup for July includes Tim Kubart with his tambourine and the Bilingual Birdies Band who sing in multiple foreign languages including, but not limited to, French, Mandarin, and Hebrew.

  • Mil's Trills, July 6
  • Mike Messer, July 10 & 13
  • Tim Kubart, July 17 & 20
  • Rolie Polie Guacamole, July 24 & 27
  • Bilingual Birdies Band, July 31

RELATED: The Best Annual Family Festivals for NYC Kids


Seattle band The Not-its are taking the kindie rock scene by storm. They’ll be performing at the Madison Square Park Concert of Kids.

Madison Square Park Concert for Kids — Flatiron/Chelsea
Mad. Sq. Kids is the perfect weekly interactive sing-along music experience for kids. And the best part is that it’s in the heart of MSP, complete with gated playground, beautiful lawns, and Shake Shack. 

  • Joanie Leeds & The Nightlights, July 6
  • Mister G, July 13
  • The Not-its!, July 20
  • Lucky Diaz & the Family Jam Band, July 27

Summer on the Hudson: Children's Performance Series — Upper West Side
Although the NYC Parks' Summer on the Hudson Series hosts everything from Yoga to Tango, it's the Children's Performance Series we're looking forward to the most. This is perfect for younger kiddos 7 and under. Get out the sunscreen and hats, leave the stroller in stroller parking, and prepare for some fun times in the sun.

  • Mister G, July 6
  • Lucy Kalantari & the Jazz Cats, July 13
  • Danny Weinkauf and his Red Pants Band Live!, July 20
  • Life's A Real Dream, July 27

Dance Away the Night with the City Stompers — Citywide
July 10, 20, 22, and 27
Part of the NYC Parks Arts, Culture & Fun Series, The City Stompers are touring across Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. No child can resist the upbeat, rhythmic call of the American fiddle. Children (and grown-ups) are encouraged to dance until the sun goes down. Check the NYC Parks website for location details.

August

Jon Samson: Music in the Grove Series — Fort Greene, Brooklyn
August 2
This will be the last Wednesday to enjoy a family-friendly performance at Fort Greene Park. So get that picnic packed and everyone head on down to watch Jon Samson who promises to lift spirits and make smiles!

RELATED: NYC's Best Playgrounds: 14 Parks Worthy of a Subway Schlep

Grammy winner, Mister G, has traveled the world but he’ll be at Hudson RiverKids in August.

Hudson RiverKids — Tribeca & Chelsea 
The fun continues at Hudson RiverKids with tot-friendly Suzi Shelton; Ramblin’ Dan and the Freewheelin’ Band, who brings instruments to get the kids involved; Latin Grammy winner Mister G, and more!
  • Bilingual Birdies Band, August 3
  • Suzi Shelton, August 7 & 10
  • Penny Jones Puppets, August 14 & 17
  • Ramblin' Dan and the Freewheelin' Band, August 21 & 24
  • Mister G, August 28 & 31

Summer In The Square — Union Square
August in Union Square is going to see two great performances

They Might Be Giants will be performing science themed hits for kids.

Family Day: They Might Be Giants: Kids, Science and Beyond/Bill Childs of Spare Rock, Spoil the Child Radio — Central Park
August 12
SummerStage ends its Family Workshops calendar by welcoming They Might Be Giants and Bill Childs to their stage. You probably remember alt-rock band TMBG from high school, or maybe as the guys who did the Malcolm In The Middle Theme Song, but they are also two-time Grammy winners who produced three children albums, including "Here Comes Science." And parents, there will be science songs and audience participation, so get ready to have fun for the whole family.

September

Hudson RiverKids — Tribeca & Chelsea 
The sun will still be shining on the Hudson River, so get to these free concerts.

  • Mil's Trills, September 7
  • The Pop-Ups, September 11 & 14

Top photo: Kids can't resist dancing to bilingual rocker Mister G. Photos courtesy of the bands.

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