by Audrey Trieschman
AMC's Kids Outdoors Boston and Mommy Poppins Boston are excited to bring you a monthly series of guest blog posts on getting outdoors as a family. Mommy Poppins Boston is a free, online guide written by local parents for families looking for the best things to do, see, read, eat, learn, and play in Boston.
Musical sounds of summer can be heard just about every day in and around Boston, and the variety of sounds seems endless. We’ve rounded up over 10 free summer concert series taking place in July and August. But while the musical styles may cover every genre possible - from kindie rock and classical to swing to oldies but goodies and rock ’n’ roll - what they all have in common is that they are free! If your town is hosting a concert series not listed here, please help grow our list by letting us know about it!
The Robbins Library summer concert series includes the following three performances on the Whittemore Robbins lawn. Bring a picnic, family and friends! Schedule follows:
- 6/27, 6pm: Matt and Shannon Heaton
- 7/9, 10am: Hugh Hanley
- 7/18, 6:30pm: Karen K and the Jitterbugs
- 8/8, 6pm: Ben Rudnick & Friends Concert on the Lawn
Each Tuesday, Elma Lewis Playhouse in the Park series features a great program of music and dance, with two performances each day.
- 7/9, 6pm: Opening night with The E-Water Band
We will update the rest of the summer schedule as soon as it is released. The Playhouse is located near the Playstead, the big baseball field where the festivals are held. You can find it between White Stadium and the rear entrance to the Zoo.
The Boston Landmarks Orchestra presents classical concerts at the Hatch Shell on the Esplanade Wednesday nights at 7pm:
- 7/17: Rhapsody in Green
- 7/24: For the Ages: A Family Guide to the Orchestra
- 7/31: Fiesta sinfónica: A Night in the Tropics
- 8/7: Boston Lyric Opera
- 8/14: Guest Orchestra: Longwood Symphony Orchestra
- 8/21: Boston Landmarks Orchestra and Commonwealth Shakespeare Company present Cole Porter's "Kiss Me Kate"
- 8/28: “I Have a Dream” 50th Anniversary Concert
Boston Harbor Islands hosts a number of different concert series, including:
- 6/16, 6/30, 7/4, 12n: Spectacle Island Jazz on the Porch, featuring guitarist David Ehle. Relax on the Spectacle Island porch to the sounds of big bands, folk music, swing, and jazz ensembles
- 7/13, 7/27, 8/10, 8/24, 2pm: Berklee Concerts on Georges Island
- 7/21, 1pm: Berklee Jazz on Spectacle Island
- 8/3, 12:30pm: Family Jam time with Karen K and the Jitterbugs on Georges Island
- 8/17, 12:30pm: Family Jam time with Ben Rudnick & Friends on Georges Island
Brookline Summer Concert Series takes place at the Daniel Ford Playground at Emerson Park from 6pm-8pm on Wednesdays. Bring a picnic basket, lawn chair, and sit back and enjoy a variety of music including pop, folk, oldies, bluegrass, country and rock. Children can play on the equipment within the park as well as in the splash pad or dance along in front of the stage to the music. Schedule follows:
- 7/10: Beatle Tracks (Beatle covers)
- 7/17: Hipsockets (Soul)
- 7/24: The Corvairs (Oldies)
- 7/31: Vanessa Trien & The Jumping Monkeys
- 8/7: Chasing Blue (bluegrass)
- 8/14: Infractions (pop hits)
Lexington’s summer concert series takes place Fridays, from 6:30pm to dusk, on the Lawn at the Lexington Visitors Center, (1875 Massachusetts Ave). Schedule follows:
- 7/12: Boston Black Thorne (Traditional Irish music)
- 7/19: Ben Rudnick & Friends
- 7/26: The Tim Gartland Group (classic rhythm & blues)
- 8/2: The Blue Dogs (popular rock & roll/blues)
- 8/9: Matuto (Latin/salsa/world music)
- 8/16: Soft Touch (big band brass)
- 8/23: Jumpin’ Juba (boogie boogie & NOLA roots)
- 8/30: Ari-Lex 5 & Dime (bluegrass, gospel & country)
Medford’s Wrights Pond Summer Series, Medford
Medford’s summer concert series at Wrights Pond runs Tuesdays at 5:30pm from July 9 through August 20 and includes sing-a-longs, music, dance, and art activities. Pack a picnic supper. If it is NOT pouring, the show goes on. If it IS raining, please call Medford Family Network after 4pm to find out about indoor arrangements (781) 393-2106.
As part of the bigger Lowell Summer Series, a special series of kids performances takes place on Wednesdays and Thursdays and includes make-and-take art (10am), a performance (11am), and natural and organic snacks for the kids. Schedule follows:
- 7/10: Curious Creatures
- 7/11: Ben Rudnick & Friends
- 7/17: Mariana Iranzi
- 7/18: Bonaparte
- 7/31: Roli Poli Guacamoli
- 8/1: Funiki Jam
- 8/7: Yo-Yo People
- 8/8: Marcus Gale
- 8/14: Peter Panic Juggler
- 8/15: The Airborne Comedians
Newton hosts a series of special children’s entertainment on two different days:
Tuesdays, 1pm-2pm, at Newton Centre Greene (across from Panera’s) :
- 7/9: Josh and the Jamtones
- 7/23: Stacey Peasley
- 7/30: Rolie Polie Guacamole
Thursdays, 1pm-2pm, at Ware's Cove, Auburndale (rain location in adjacent field house):
- 7/11: Scott Kepnes
- 7/18: David Polansky
- 7/25: Davey the Clown
Concerts and Movies! on Thursday nights is held at the Ralph Talbot Amphitheatre next to Town Hall. Schedule follows:
- 7/11: Concert: The Jamtones (6:30pm)
- 7/18: Concert: Wayne from Maine (6:30pm)
- 7/25: Concert: The Infractions (6:30pm)
- 8/1: Family Karaoke Night (6:30pm)
- 8/8: Movie: How to Train Your Dragon (8pm)
- 8/15: Movie: Hotel Transylvania (8pm)
- 8/22: The Goonies (at the George Lane Beach; 8pm)
Audrey Trieschman is a veteran city editor who brings over a decade of experience in seeking out and reporting on the best events and activities for families in the greater Boston area.
This article originally appeared on Mommy Poppins Boston in June 2013.
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