Concert series for NYC kids
These family-minded shows will get your tykes grooving.
Tue Apr 20 2010
Steel Phantoms at 92Y Tribeca
Frances England at 92Y Tribeca
Dream Jam Band
Bowery Poetry Kids
Justin Roberts at House of Kids
Sippy Cups at House of Kids
Concert at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe
Deedle Dees at Knitting Factory Brooklyn
Suzi Shelton at Housing Works Playhouse
Sippy Cups at Symphony Space
Steel Phantoms at 92Y Tribeca
Jamming to your favorite playlist at home is fun, but there's nothing like seeing your musical heroes in person—and that goes for tots, too. Read on for some of our favorite live venues.
Bowery Kids Presents at Bowery Poetry Club
A remnant of the East Village boho culture of past decades, the 100-seat coffee shop-poetry club offers more than just rock and roll. Previous attendees have been able to pick up a bachi and thwack a taiko drum during Japanese drumming lessons; other audiences have witnessed a one-man circus show. In addition to these offbeat treats is a hearty lineup of groovy tunes; previous performers include Uncle Rock, New Jersey--based StarFish, and Key Wilde & Mr. Clarke.
308 Bowery between Bleecker and Houston Sts (212-614-0505, bowerypoetry.com). Subway: B, D, F, V to Broadway--Lafayette St; 6 to Bleecker St.
Bring Your Own Kid (B.Y.O.K.) at 92YTribeca
At the Bowery Ballroom--esque concert hall, parents can park at the fully stocked bar while little ones bop to the music in the kiddie mosh pit. Past acts have included bilingual Latin alternative band Moona Luna, and the Macaroons, whose catchy pop-rock recalls the Kinks, Queen and the Shins.
200 Hudson St between Watts and Desbrosses Sts (212-601-1000, 92ytribeca.org). Subway: A, C, E, 1 to Canal St.
Family Concert Series at the Highline Ballroom
The Chelsea venue regularly hosts everything from South African a capella groups to more familiar rock and pop acts for a grownup crowd; occasionally the space opens its doors for family affairs. Kids can head to the standing area and boogie down; when they've danced themselves to exhaustion, they can sit and munch on snacks from the venue's expansive children's menu. Past acts have included Brady Rymer and his rollicking Little Band That Could.
431 W 16th St between Ninth and Tenth Aves (212-414-5994, highlineballroom.com). Subway: A, C, E to 14th St; L to Eighth Ave.
Family Matinee Series at Joe's Pub
Blacked-out windows (due to construction) at the East Village venue create a dark, underground vibe; yet the jams are pure family fare. Tots can take a break from grooving to scarf down brunch—hamburgers or a kid-sized serving of scrambled eggs. The venue has hosted Bubble Do Beatles and Brooklyn dad and musician John Carlin and his band, the Kids Music Underground.
425 Lafayette St between Astor Pl and E 4th St (212-539-8778, joespub.com). Subway: N, R, W to 8th St--NYU; 6 to Astor Pl.
Housing Works Playhouse at the Housing Works Bookstore Cafe
In an impromptu setup at the Soho location's charming bookstore—rolling ladders scale the vast shelves—concertgoers can sit on alphabet foam mats or, if the packed floor allows, get up and move to the beat. The monthly series has showcased accomplished songwriters like Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary, as well as up-and-comers such as local music teacher Joanie Leeds.
126 Crosby St between Houston and Prince Sts (212-334-3324, housingworksbookstore.org). Subway: B, D, F, V to Broadway--Lafayette St; 6 to Bleecker St.
The Jewish Museum
The family programming at this Upper East Side cultural hub brings both theatrical performances from the Paper Bag Players and rousing concerts to the Scheuer Auditorium. The space seats 220 people and leaves plenty of room for tots to move and groove during the show. Past acts include Dirty Sock Funtime Band, David Grover and Grover's Gang and local chanteuse Shira Kline (a.k.a. ShirLaLa).
1109 Fifth Ave at 92nd St (212-423-3200, thejewishmuseum.org). Subway: 4, 5, 6 to 86th St; 6 to 96th St.
Just Kidding at Symphony Space
Mimicking the cultural mecca's varied adult offerings, the series features everything from music to film to dance. In addition to being a key venue for the New York International Children's Film Festival, the Upper West Side space has showcased featured bluegrass-playing comedy troupe Astrograss, Justin Roberts and the Not Ready for Naptime Players, and Gustafer Yellowgold.
2537 Broadway at 95th St (212-864-5400, symphonyspace.org). Subway: 1, 2, 3 to 96th St.
This series features indie bands performing family-friendly sets of their own songs (with questionable lyrics removed). Chosen for their ability to entertain hip parents as well as their youngsters, past acts have included Rogue Wave, The Hold Steady and Silversun Pickups.
154 Ludlow St between Rivington and Stanton Sts (212-533-7235, livingroomny.com). Subway: F, V to Lower East Side--Second Ave; F to Delancey--Essex Sts.
After reopening across the East River in 2009, the Manhattan transplant unleashed its first-ever family programming. The popular Deedle Deedle Dees star in a monthly variety show with music and celebrity guests, including children's-book authors and Broadway performers.
361 Metropolitan Ave at Havemeyer St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (347-529-6696, bk.knittingfactory.com). Subway: L to Bedford Ave.