Warm summer days bring cool evenings that are great for going on a family stroll, watching sunsets, or enjoying summer music concerts outdoors. There is nothing like the experience of live music! Music is contagious and the opportunity for young children to see people performing live with instruments make for great memories. With today’s technology, it’s too easy to just pull out your phone and click on a playlist to dance around the house with your child. However, the chance to watch performers in the moment really helps children connect the art of making music and moving rhythmically to the beat. Dancing to live music is an experience on a whole different level, especially outside. Besides the music, there are sometimes vendors or food trucks that set up shop at outdoor concerts. It’s sensory heaven. . .listening to the music, the feel of the grass underneath your feet as you dance barefoot, the smell of the evening air, etc.
One of the hidden treasures in the Willamette Valley is that there are so many summer concert series going on. Many of the concerts headline local artists and are of little (i.e., “suggested donation”) to no cost to enjoy. Other concerts may have a higher ticket fee if a more well-known artist/band is performing. Regardless, the Willamette Valley has many options for families to enjoy live music locally.
Below are a few links to the concert series in the surrounding areas.
Before planning your evening of summer music, here are a few things to consider:
- Make sure to bring blankets or chairs, many concert series are in open grassy areas and they do not provide seating.
- Depending on the concert, alcoholic beverages and/or smoking may or may not be allowed in the concert area.
- Although many concerts are geared towards being family-friendly, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is dog-friendly. Check ahead to see if it’s okay for Fido to tag along.
- Consider bringing ear protection for young children if the music is too loud.
- Talk with your children ahead of time of what they may see when going to a concert. They may see people dancing, or they may see people seated enjoying the music. Ask them about the different instruments they see, perhaps that can isolate the specific beat or sound that instrument makes. Talk to your children about how the performers are expressing themselves through music and how does the music make their bodies want to move.
If going to an outdoor concert may seem daunting to your child, consider visiting your local farmers market. Many farmers markets have street performers or buskers where for a small child is much more close up and personal to enjoy.
The Parenting Hub would love to hear how you jam out with your kids to music. Please send your ideas to: firstname.lastname@example.org