Best NYC Kids' Concerts for Winter 2014: 12 Live Rockin' Music Shows

So far this month, we've told you about the best museum exhibits for kids, family theater shows and children's film festivals happening this winter. Now we wrap up our winter culture coverage with a list of the top 12 kids' concerts this season.

It's quite an eclectic roundup for music fans of all ages, even grown-ups. Preschoolers can get their sillies out grooving to interactive kindie rock groups like the Dirty Sock Funtime Band, and David Weinstone and the Music for Aardvarks Band. Older kids can learn about jazz great Dave Brubek and enjoy the offbeat Songs for Unusual Creatures. Meanwhile parents can take a nostalgia trip courtesy of a Rockapella reunion (of Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego fame), and Macaulay "Home Alone" Culkin's pizza-themed Velvet Underground cover band (no, I didn't make that up—I only wish I were that creative). Here are a dozen cool concerts to catch with kids this winter.

XRP in Concert: Rockapella from Carmen Sandiego Reunited – East Harlem
Saturday, February 1 at 6pm
New York Academy of Medicine, 1216 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street
In advance: $18 for adults, $8 for children 2-12; at the door: $25 for adults, $15 for children ages 2-12
One of our top event picks for February: Ever wonder what in the world happened to Rockapella, the beloved a cappella group that appeared on the Emmy-winning PBS game show Where In the World Is Carmen Sandiego? in the '90s? You can solve that mystery on February 1, when the original lineup of the band, now called XRP, reunites for a one-night-only concert benefiting local public elementary school Central Park East II (where two of the members' kids go along with, full disclosure, my daughter). Expect lots of classic tunes, including their catchy Carmen Sandiego theme song.

The Itty Biddies – Long Island City
Tuesday, February 4 at 10 and 11:30am
LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, 31-10 Thomson Avenue between Thomson and 47th Avenue
FREE
This playful all-girl trio isn't like any other band on the kids' scene, perhaps because they moonlight as the adults-only Lascivious Biddies. But as the Itty Biddies, they're strictly G-rated and perform joyous original tunes as well as covers of songs by bands like The Smiths, all with lovely three-part harmonies. Catch them at no cost courtesy of CarnegieKids' free concert series.

Family Concert: Who is Dave Brubeck? – Upper West Side
Saturday, February 8 at 1 and 3pm
Rose Theater at Lincoln Center, 60th Street and Broadway
$12-$28
Even if you don't recognize his name, you probably know Dave Brubeck's music, especially his ubiquitous "Take Five", the epitome of cool instrumental jazz. The late pianist-composer was also a father with a wonderful sense of humor: He even created an eccentric, absent-minded alter ego named Professor Nooseknocker just to amuse his sons. At this interactive family concert, Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra will teach kids about Brubeck's life and his musical legacy.

Kidrockers Featuring Caveman And The Pizza Underground – Greenwich Village
Saturday, February 8 at 11:30am
NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, 566 LaGuardia Place at Washington Square South
$28 but you can get $15 tickets through our affiliate Goldstar
No acoustic "Itsy Bitsy Spider" sing-alongs at Kidrockers. This series of indie rock concerts is hosted by underground comics and features cutting-edge grown-up bands that are still kid-friendly. This edition sounds particularly memorable: Catch NYC-based quintet Caveman and The Pizza Underground, former child star Macaulay Culkin's Velvet Underground cover band with all the lyrics rewritten to be about, you guessed it, pizza. Gives "I'm Waiting for the Man" a whole new meaning.

David Weinstone and the Music for Aardvarks Band – Upper East Side
Sunday, February 9 at 11:30am and 2pm
The Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Avenue at 92nd Street
$18 for adults, $13 for children ages 2-12
Even though my eight-year-old outgrew Music for Aardvarks years ago, we heard a mom and her young son singing "Taxi" the other day and my child chimed right in—she still remembered all the words! If you've got a NYC preschooler, you need to see Weinstone and his band in action. His sweet tunes are mellow and catchy, and many celebrate how wonderful it is to be a New York City kid.

AudraRox – Gowanus
Sunday, February 9 at 11am and 1pm
Shapeshifter Lab, 18 Whitwell Place between 1st and Carroll Street
In advance: $10; at the door: $15
Local mom Audra Tsanos has been a popular music educator since 1999, but we love her best when she breaks out her rock 'n' roll alter ego AudraRox. The punk diva and her band will be celebrating love at a special Valentine's Day-themed concert at the monthly Hip Tot Music Fest, which also features crafts, giveaways and a reading of Down in the Subway by Brooklyn author-illustrator Melanie Hope Greenberg.

Gustafer Yellowgold's Valentine Ball – Upper West Side
Saturday, February 15 at 11am
Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at 95th Street
$25 for adults, $15 for children
I realize that we frequently rave about Gustafer Yellowgold but even though my daughter says she's over the group, I still catch her watching the videos. That's because there really is nothing else out there like Gustafer, a mash up of music, animation and whimsy. The cartoon adventures of a ray of sun living on Earth are set to singer/songwriter/artist Morgan Taylor's Beatles-esque tunes. At this concert, Taylor will be joined by his full band, which should make the songs sound extra sweet. Plus, you'll get to see what happens when Gustafer's pet eel, Slim, goes on a Valentine's Date.

The Okee Dokee Brothers – Upper West Side
Saturday, February 22 at 11am and 2pm
Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at 95th Street
$20 for adults, $15 for children
This Minnesota duo won the 2013 Best Children’s Album Grammy for "Can You Canoe?" They'll be playing all of their hit nature-themed Americana tunes on guitar and banjo at a pair of stomping concerts. Note: The 2pm performance includes special guest star Hubby Jenkins of the Carolina Chocolate Drops.

Billy Kelly and the Blah Blah Blahs – Upper West Side
Saturday, March 1 at 11am
Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at 95th Street
$20 for adults, $15 for children
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.

Songs for Unusual Creatures – Park Slope
Saturday, March 1 at 4pm
Barbès, 376 9th Street at Sixth Avenue
$10 suggested donation
I'm not even sure how to describe writer/composer Michael Hearst's unique project Songs for Unusual Creatures, a five-piece band that shows videos and croons tunes about strange animals from across the globe. The instruments are pretty weird, too. No guitars or drums here. Hear the wacky sounds of the theremin, claviola, daxophone and stylophone. Still not sure what to think? Watch one of the videos on the group's site and I guarantee you'll know within seconds whether this gig is your cup of hipster tea.

The Dirty Sock Funtime Band – Upper East Side
The Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Avenue at 92nd Street
Sunday, March 16 at 2pm
$18 for adults, $13 for children ages 2-12
An annual Purim tradition! Dig those costumes out of the back of your closet and celebrate the Jewish Halloween with these groovy retro rockers, who are always as colorful and glitter-covered as the kids in the audience. Front man Mike Messer has more energy than a toddler hopped up on sugar as he and his pals get the audience on their feet with songs like "Dino-Soaring," "ClownaHagila" and my favorite "No Good Reason Party".

The Pop Ups – Upper East Side
The Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Avenue at 92nd Street
Sunday, March 30 at 11:30am
$18 for adults, $13 for children ages 2-12
This Grammy-nominated, Brooklyn-based duo isn't just a band, they're a full entertainment experience. Their concerts are really mini musicals, with a plot, puppets and songs. At this performance, they'll be playing new tunes from their upcoming album Pop Up City! that will get the kids dancing, singing and even drawing in their seats.

Find out about other great things to do with kids this season in our Winter Fun Guide.

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