In tune and on-key: 6 great places to hear music as a family

You don’t have to look far—the dinner table or the nursery will probably do it—to realize that music is something that everybody in your family can relate to and enjoy. Whether you have a toddler or a teenager at home, here are some great places to hear music as a family.

Old Town School of Folk Music

4544 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago

While it’s known for its exceptional array of classes, Old Town School of Folk Music also is an excellent venue to hear music. The Lincoln Square campus holds concerts that range from children’s artists who engage even the littlest of babies to teenage open mic nights that allows middle schoolers to express themselves. In addition to the rotating calendar of talented performers, each week Old Town holds a World Music Wednesday and Global Dance Parties on Friday. It’s a place where families with kids of all different ages can find something that fits their own personalities and music tastes.

The Beat Kitchen

2100 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago

Although most of the concerts at Roscoe Village’s Beat Kitchen are for 21 and over, there is a successful series for families that cannot be missed. Concerts for Kids! are scheduled throughout the school year and geared toward families with school-age children. The Beat Kitchen’s brunch menu, which has kid-friendly options, and a full bar are available during the concerts, making it an outing that mom and dad will enjoy, too. Plus, with well-known Chicago performers like Mr. Singer, The Boogers and Mr. Dave, your kids will feel like rock star groupies.

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

220 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago

While the CSO often is thought of as a sophisticated adult-only outing, it actually offers a variety of options for families. The Once Upon A Symphony series is geared toward kids 3-5 and introduces the symphony in a small setting with vivid storytelling, music, props, costumes and instruments. The CSO’s Family Matinee series is intended for kids 5 and up and is an interactive, musical and engaging performance for the entire family. This year’s roster includes “Symphonic Superheroes,” “Don Quixote” and “Peter and the Wolf.” Both of the programs include preconcert activities and are a great option for a cultured and musical outing.

The Hideout


The Chop Shop

1354 W. Wabansia, Chicago

2033 W. North Ave., Chicago

These two concerts venues are some of the most popular in Chicago for adults, but keep your eye on their calendars for children’s concerts, too. Every month or so, they feature special concerts for families, such as Little Miss Ann and her band. It’s also a great way to engage older kids who are interested in music and want to see different venues in the city.

House of Blues

329 N. Dearborn, Chicago

If you are looking to expose your kids to different kinds of music, the weekly Gospel Brunch on Sunday mornings at the House of Blues is the perfect outing for families. Before and during the show, there is an all-you-can-eat buffet that includes House of Blues’ signature chicken and waffles. The brunch—which features traditional and contemporary Gospel music, natch—will leave your entire family tapping their toes, rejoicing and getting down together.

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