7 Local Spots that Rock!
Enjoy the area’s wealth of talented kids’musicians
This spring and summer Delaware Valley families can check out established, Grammy-nominated kids’ musicians, and our area’s wealth of local kids’ music talent.
Good kids’ musicians make you feel happy and welcome immediately, and not as though they have something to sell. Remember, though, they do have something to sell…and you should consider bringing enough cash to buy CDs or merchandise directly from the artist at a show. You can also sign up for their mailing list so you’ll know the next time they’re in town. Many kids love hearing their favorite artists over and over. Wherever you live, make an effort this summer to find and support musicians who bring the spirit of musical fun to your kids all year long.
Here, by location, is a selection of great spring and summer kids’ concerts.
Abington Art Center, Jenkintown, PA
At the Center’s Aug. 4 Kidsfest evening show, see Princess Katie & Racer Steve. The high-powered, rocking princess isn’t afraid to muss her gown by jumping into the audience. We hope Racer Steve’s insulated racing suit has breathing room. They were the hit of the recent Kids Corner Music Festival. www.abingtonartcenter.org
This annual musical takeover of Bethlehem, PA promises outstanding music Aug. 5-14 at all its venues. For the kids, Banana Island’s free daytime family shows provide a wonderful opportunity to check out local and regional favorites like Steve Pullara & the Cool Beans Band, Uncle Rock, Miss Amy, Erin Lee & the Up Past Bedtime Band, Alex & the Kaleidescope Band, Yosi and the Super Dads, and Robbi K. The Verve Pipe is doing a special kids’ show on Aug. 13 for a fraction of the cost of their “adult” shows later that day. www.musikfest.org/lineup
Colonial Theatre, Phoenixville PA
At an Aug. 2 10:30 Tuesday morning show, Gustafer Yellowgold creator Morgan Taylor’s one-man combination of music and cartoon graphics relates the tale of the visitor from the sun whose gentle adventures form the backbone of the show. www.thecolonialtheatre.com
Longwood Gardens,Kennett Square, PA
There’s something for everyone in this series, from chamber music to jazz to world music. Family performers scheduled for this season’s evening concerts include Laurie Berkner, July 1, Yosi & the Superdads, July 8, Moona Luna, July 15. www.longwoodgardens.org/SummerPerformances.html
Philadelphia Zoo, Rock n Roar
New Jersey kidrockers Ernie & Neal kick off the every-other-Tuesday morning music series on the Zoo’s Impala Lawn June 14. They’re followed by Yosi & the Superdads, June 28; Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, July 12; Paisley Pickles, July 26; and Joanie Leeds, Aug. 23. All these high-energy bands are perfect for the Zoo’s wide open spaces. www.philadelphiazoo.org
Sesame Place, Langhorne, PA
Sesame Place’s outstanding musical residencies feature artists Justin Roberts and the Not Ready for Naptime Band, May 14-15, Dan Zanes and Friends, June 4-5, and Ralph’s World, June 11-12. Each artist has three shows per day, and reservations are required. These are the top artists performing for families today, and you can’t beat the casual, water-soaked vibe of Sesame Place. www.sesameplace.com
World Café Live, Philadelphia and Wilmington
World Café Live Philadelphia isn’t letting the quality slip on its Peanut Butter & Jams series, with Billy Kelly & the Blah Blah Blahs, May 14 and Alastair Moock (known for her song “I Have Two Mommys”), June 4.
Wilmington’s latest musical addition has reopened the city’s Queen Theatre, and they promise the same excellent PB&J series for kids featured in the Philadelphia mothership. July 17 brings another of family music’s brightest lights, the Seattle-based trio Recess Monkey. www.worldcafelive.com
Kathy O’Connell is a contributing writer to MetroKids and host of the Peabody-award-winning Kids Corner, weekdays 7-8pm on WXPN 88.5 FM.