Outdoor summer concert series to dance like no one’s watching

There are few better ways to enjoy summer than an outdoor concert where the kids can dance like no one’s watching. Here are some of our favorite outdoor concert series for children that are also music to parents’ ears—and wallets.

Ravinia Kids’ Concerts

200 Ravinia Park Drive, Highland Park

Check website for dates, times and ticket costs

Ravinia is the crown jewel of the outdoor summer concert scene, and taking your kids is fun and doesn’t have to break the bank. Lawn tickets for kids’ concerts are $5; all attendees need a ticket, regardless of age. Interactive exhibits on the North Lawn include large-scale percussion instruments. (Better there than your house, right?) The KidsLawn also features stories, videos and the renowned instrument petting zoo.

This year’s Kids’ Concert Series includes Tom Chapin& Friends, Laurie Berkner, The Joyous String Quartet and Opera for the Young’s presentation of Mozart’s The Magic Flute.

Children’s Concert Series at Cantigny

1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton

Noon, select Sundays, June 12-Aug. 21 (check website for dates)

Free with $10 parking

Concertgoers are advised to bring lawn chairs and/or blankets to these fun events, but chances are your kids won’t do a ton of sitting when they can move to the music of ScribbleMonster, Jeanie B! and Wendy& DB.

If you feel like dancing in the rain, you may just get your chance—children’s concerts are held rain or shine with the exception of extreme weather.

Dancin Sprouts at Chicago Botanic Garden

1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe

5:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesdays, June 8-Aug. 31

Free with parking fee ($25 weekdays)

Get your groove on in the garden! Be sure to check out concerts by The Exceptionals, a group of teachers from the Old Town School of Folk Music, who present a concert to accommodate children with sensory differences by creating a space that welcomes all kids. Little Miss Ann Band, Duke Otherwise and Miss Jamie and the Farmhands are also in the lineup.

For parents in need of sustenance, food and beverages, including wine and beer (!!!), are available for purchase onsite through the Garden View Café. Picnicking is permitted. If the weather takes a turn for the worse, the show will go on inside the McGinley Pavilion or the Regenstein Center.

Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce Concert Series

4731 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago

6:30-9 p.m. Thursdays, June 9-Sept. 1


Families flock to the heart of Lincoln Square for these fun concerts in Giddings Plaza. The music is appropriate for all ages, but not necessarily aimed just at kids, so it’s a great way to introduce little ones to new genres and performers. There are lots of places to grab a sweet treat nearby, including Café Selmarie and Paciugo Gelato& Caffe’.

Children’s Lunch Hour Entertainment by Naperville Park District

11:30 a.m. select Tuesdays, June 14-July 26


Check website for specific dates and locations

(either Frontier Park or the Riverwalk Grand Pavilion at Centennial Park)

One of the many awesome parts of being a kid is that in the summer you can bust a move before noon on a random Tuesday. Pack a picnic and dancing shoes for these fun lunchtime concerts in Naperville. Performances by favorites like Super Stoli, Scott Piner, and Istvan& His Imaginary Band last about 50 minutes and will get your kids twisting, turning and twirling. Pack a lunch, so you can nosh while you mosh (pit).

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