14 Awesome Kids' Summer Concerts

Miss Amy will perform with her Big Kids Band at the Bethlehem Musikfest on Aug. 3.

Midsummer sizzles with family music if you know where to listen. The Plants sprout up everywhere and demonstrate why they’re future superstars. They headline the Abington Art Center’s Kidfest on Aug. 2. Along with summer’s great kids’ music, there’s a Harry Potter marathon ahead! Grab your wand and mark your calendar for some great times.

World Café Live’s Peanut Butter & Jams series is absent until September with the major exception of July 14’s musical dilemma: Lunch Money or Billy Jonas? They’re two outstanding acts at two different World Café Live locations. Both are brilliant songwriters who put on a delightful show. Billy Jonas brings his upbeat rhythms and musical found objects to Philadelphia. Lunch Money, fronted by charming Molly Ledford, makes a rare return to the area the same day and same time in Wilmington. Flip a coin…you can’t go wrong.

The Plants, in a recent performance at the Schuylkill Nature Center in Philadelphia.

The Billy Jonas Band performs "Some Houses"

Lunch Money performs "Cookie as Big as My Head."

There’s a summer full of family offerings at Phoenixville’s Colonial Theatre. End July rooted to The Plants on July 31. Grab every opportunity you can to catch this joyful quartet of musicmakers with a big future. The Colonial is a movie theatre, and Aug. 4-5, it’s home to The Harry Potter Marathon, “eight films…two days…one boy wizard.” Costumes are encouraged. Little ones and (especially) harried parents will love Gustafer Yellowgold, the alter-ego of Morgan Taylor. The Aug. 21 show is a multi-media mix that simultaneously entertains and relaxes.

Gustafer Yellowgold's "Mint Green Bee"

Schedule Philadelphia Zoo visits for alternate summer Tuesday mornings to enjoy their annual Rock & Roar concert series. July introduces new kids’ players The Paisley Pickles, July 10, and Mr. G, July 24. Joanie Leeds earns her rock star status on Aug 7. The series closes with the Cool Beans Band. Concerts are on the Impala Lawn.

Paisley Pickles, "The Pizza Song"

Another pastoral setting for family music is the Morris Arboretum, where the Kids Corner Summer Concert Series sparks two Friday August evenings. Bring a blanket and enjoy outstanding music in a venue with lots of runaround space. Don’t miss The Plants Aug. 3. Their “Monster Under My Bed” was last year’s #1 song on Kids Corner. Suzi Shelton’s show  Aug. 10 promises a great chance to hear her “Tomboy in a Princess Dress.”

Joanie Leeds, "Happy as a Clam"

The Bryn Mawr Gazebo is the site of the Bryn Mawr Twilight Concerts. It’s a small outdoor space that lends itself more toward sitting and listening than running around. But when it’s Tom Chapin’s Family Show, Aug. 4, sitting and  listening is required.

Tom Chapin, "Picnic of the World"

Bethlehem’s Musikfest, Aug 3-12, features its annual outstanding lineup of kids’ artists for free! Highlights include Baze & His Silly Friends, Miss Amy, Meg’s Melodies, Robbi K, Rolie Polie Guacamole, StarFish, Cats Pajamas, Deedle Deedle Dees, Fuzzy Lemons, Uncle Rock, The Uncle Devin Show, and more.

Blaze & His Silly Friends, "This Is Your Body"

Robbi K & Her Band, "Storytelling"

StarFish, "Stop, Drop & Rock & Roll"

Kathy O’Connell is a contributing writer to MetroKids and host of Kids Corner, weekdays 7-8pm on WXPN 88.5 FM.

Categories: Music Reviews