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Best kids' concert series and music festivals of winter 2013

These kids' concert series and music festivals in NYC cater to music fans of all ages (parents, too!).

  • Photograph: Sari Nickelsburg/MAMA411

    Best kids' concert series and music festivals in NYC

    Just Kidding at Symphony Space

  • Photograph: Maryanne Ventrice

    Best kids' concert series and music festivals in NYC

    Bring Your Own Kid Concert Series at 92YTribeca

  • Best kids' concert series and music festivals in NYC

    Hip Tot Music Fest at Littlefield

  • Photograph: Courtesy The Pop Ups

    Best kids' concert series and music festivals in NYC

    Family Concerts at the Jewish Museum: The Pop Ups

  • Photograph: Maryanne Ventrice

    Best kids' concert series and music festivals in NYC

    Kidrockers at Brooklyn Bowl

  • Photograph: Stephanie Berger

    Best kids' concert series and music festivals in NYC

    NY Philharmonic Young People's Concerts

  • Photograph: Eric Sumberg

    Best kids' concert series and music festivals in NYC

    2013 Jumpin' Juniper Festival at BAX: Mil's Trills

  • Photograph: Noah Stern Weber

    Best kids' concert series and music festivals in NYC

    Lolli-Pops Concerts for Children

     

     

  • Best kids' concert series and music festivals in NYC

    Baby Loves Disco

  • Photograph: Nan Melville

    Best kids' concert series and music festivals in NYC

    McGraw-Hill CarnegieKids

  • Photograph: Rob Davidson

    Best kids' concert series and music festivals in NYC

    VH1 Save the Music Foundation Family Day

Photograph: Sari Nickelsburg/MAMA411

Best kids' concert series and music festivals in NYC

Just Kidding at Symphony Space

From the hallowed grounds of Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall to the grungy hipster havens of Williamsburg and the Lower East Side, the city is chock-full of excellent music venues. Music-loving parents are in luck too, as these same venues also host regular kids' concert series and festivals that cater to concertgoers with short attention spans as well as grown-ups with more refined musical tastes. This winter, there are a bevy of kids' concerts—boasting top-notch talent from the likes of Bill Harley and Justin Roberts—where you can introduce even the littlest members of your family to the joys of music.

Just Kidding at Symphony Space

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Each season, the venerable UWS performing arts space presents a jam-packed bill of family programming. The Just Kidding series includes dance, vaudeville and theatrical productions but focuses heavily on kids' music, from the punk-inflected beats of Seattle's Not-Its to the bluesy tunes of New York-bred Randy Kaplan. $13–$20. All ages.

NEXT UP: Moona Luna (Sat Jan 19), Mista Cookie Jar and the Chocolate Chips (Sat Jan 26), Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band (Sat Feb 2), The Not-Its (Sat Feb 16), Justin Roberts and the Not-Ready for Naptime Players (Sat Feb 23), The Deedle Deedle Dees (Sat Mar 2), Randy Kaplan (Sat Mar 16)

  1. Symphony Space 2537 Broadway, at 95th St, 10025
  2. Saturday at 11am
More info

Bring Your Own Kid Concert Series

  • Price band: 1/4

Every Sunday morning, the Bowery Ballroom–esque concert hall brings in high-profile kindie-rock acts from New York City and beyond. Parents can sidle up to the fully stocked bar while little ones flock to the kiddie mosh pit to rock out to such musicians as local fave Astrograss and Icelandic songstress Elska. This year, look for appearances by Boston-based crew Debbie and Friends as well as Grammy Award winner Bill Harley, who performs tracks from his new album, It's Not Fair to Me, with musician-storyteller Keith Munslow. $15, children under 2 free. All ages.

NEXT UP: Princess Katie & Racer Steve (Sun Jan 13), Jeremy Plays Guitar (Sun Jan 20), Ben Rudnick and Friends (Sun Jan 27), Bubble Do Beatles (Sun Feb 3), Debbie and Friends (Sun Feb 10), Erin Lee and the Up Past Bedtime Band (Sun Feb 17), Bill Harley & Keith Munslow (Sun Feb 24)

  1. 92YTribeca 200 Hudson St, at Canal St, 10013
  2. Sunday at 11am
More info

Hip Tot Music Fest

  • Price band: 2/4

Every second Sunday of the month, Littlefield hosts a variety of children’s bands for little ones to rock out to; Brooklyn kindie rockers Rolie Polie Guacamole and the Grammy-nominated Okee Dokee Brothers headline the first concert of the year. Preshow events like crafting, face painting and readings by local authors (Melanie Hope Greenberg is a regular) add to the series's hip factor. $12, children $10, nonwalkers free; in advance $10, children $8. All ages.

NEXT UP: Rolie Polie Guacamole and the Okee Dokee Brothers (Sun Jan 13), Father Goose (Sun Feb 10), Alex & the Kaleidoscope Band (Sun Mar 10)

  1. Littlefield 622 DeGraw St, between Third and Fourth Aves
  2. Every second Sunday of the month at 12:30pm
More info

Family Concerts at the Jewish Museum

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

The elegant Upper East Side museum lets loose on Sunday afternoons with concerts that appeal to kids of all ages. Expect to see both kindie-rock vets (David Weinstone) and up-and-coming acts (The Pop Ups) in the lineup, as well as special shows for Jewish holidays like Purim and Passover. $18, children $13. Ages 2 and up.

NEXT UP: The Pop Ups (Sun Feb 3), David Weinstone and the Music for Aardvarks Band (Sun Feb 10), Dirty Sock Funtime Band (Sun Feb 24), Milkshake (Sun Mar 3), Art and Dance Party for Passover (Sun Mar 31)

  1. The Jewish Museum 1109 Fifth Ave, at 92nd St
  2. Sunday at 2pm
More info

Kidrockers at Brooklyn Bowl

  • Price band: 1/4

This series at the trendy Williamsburg more-than-just-a-bowling-alley features indie bands performing kid-friendly versions of their own songs (that means questionable lyrics are removed). This year, Kidrockers has proved they can deliver yet again with a lineup of big names like Caveman and Hospitality. Comedians Seth Herzog and Craig Baldo will host, so you can count on a few laughs to go with your dancing. $8, family four-pack $20 in advance only. Ages 3 to 13.


NEXT UP: DIIV and Windowspeak (Sun Jan 13), Caveman (Sun Jan 27), Reputante (Sun Feb 3), Hospitality (Sun Feb 10)

  1. Brooklyn Bowl 61 Wythe Ave, at North 11th St
  2. Sunday at 11:30am
More info

NY Philharmonic Young People's Concerts

  • Price band: 1/4

The kid-friendly concert series has a rich history befitting its affiliation with the legendary symphony: Started in 1922 by "Uncle" Ernest Schelling, Young People's Concerts gained worldwide popularity when Leonard Bernstein hosted them on TV in the 1960s. Today, the performances continue to introduce mini maestros to famous classical compositions as well as cutting-edge works; this season's theme, "Music with an Accent," gives the series a global flavor. Plus, during the Kidzone Live! preshow music fair, little ones get to make some music of their own by testing out different instruments and taking part in tuneful games. $12–$38. Ages 6 to 12.

NEXT UP: Asian Horizons (Sat Jan 26)

  1. Avery Fisher Hall (at Lincoln Center) 132 W 65th St, at Broadway
  2. Various Saturdays at 2pm
More info

2013 Jumpin' Juniper Festival

  • Price band: 1/4

Professional children's performer and educator Joanna Walchuck assumes the persona of Jumpin' Juniper, a 105-year-old forest sprite, to host a series of interactive performances driven by imagination. Musical highlights include a show by Amelia Robinson of Mil's Trills (Sun Feb 10), who plays whimsical songs on her electric ukelele, and a celebration of Congolese music and dance with Funmilayo Chesney (Sun Feb 17). If tots start feeling antsy during any of the shows, they can retreat to a well-equipped play room. $8, children under 2 free. All ages.

  1. Brooklyn Arts Exchange 421 Fifth Ave, between 7th and 8th Sts
  2. Sundays in February at 11am
More info

Lolli-Pops Concerts for Children

With the goal of fostering classical-music appreciation among its pint-size audience members, the Little Orchestra Society  presents an interactive roster of concerts for tots. Alongside regular characters like Buzz the Bee, Toot the Bird and Bow the Panda, kids explore a different theme during each performance, from rhythm and movement to conducting an orchestra. $15–$45. Ages 3 to 5.

NEXT UP: Who's Got the Beat? (Sat Feb 9, Sun Feb 10); Meet the Maestro (Sat Mar 2, Sun Mar 3)

  1. Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College 695 Park Ave, at 68th St
  2. Various Saturdays at 10, 11:30am; various Sundays at 1, 2:30pm
More info

Baby Loves Disco

  • Price band: 2/4

At this series of retro dance parties, a DJ spins family-friendly tracks from the ’70s and ’80s, while you teach your little ones moves from the era. Face painting, temporary tattoos, crafting, snacks and more round out the afternoon, and special; Valentine's Day card making, chocolate treats and slow dances are planned for the February show.  $20, family four-pack $60. Ages 6 months to 7 years.

NEXT UP: Sun Feb 10, Sun Mar 10

  1. Le Poisson Rouge 158 Bleecker St, at Thompson St
  2. Various Sundays at noon
More info

Brooklyn Kids Rock

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Get ready to groove with your brood at this family music fest featuring performances by hot Brooklyn kids' bands like Jeremy Plays Guitar. When kids aren't rocking out, they can partake in carnival games, face painting, crafts, food and drinks. Proceeds benefit the Maple Street School. $17, in advance $14, children under 2 free. Ages 10 and under.

  1. Brooklyn Masonic Temple 317 Clermont Ave, between DeKalb and Lafayette Aves
  2. Sat Mar 2 11am–3pm
More info

McGraw-Hill CarnegieKids

  • Free

Carnegie Hall books top-notch kindie talent for its roving concert series that takes place in venues across the five boroughs. Aimed at the preschool and kindergarten set, each show boasts movement, interaction with the musicians and instrument showcases. The best part? You won't have to spend a dime to see artists like Elizabeth Mitchell. Free. Ages 3 to 6.

NEXT UP: Shine and the Moonbeams (Sat Mar 9)

  1. Jamaica Performing Arts Center 153rd St, at Jamaica Ave
  2. Various weekends at various times
More info

VH1 Save the Music Foundation Family Day

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Celebrate everything musical during this daylong festival. While feature performances (past artists have included Mat Kearney, Hanson and Hot Peas 'N Butter) are sure to have families singing and dancing, the entertainment doesn’t stop there. Aspiring musicians can try out an instrument or two, check out a music-themed puppet show and belt out the lyrics to their favorite tune in a karaoke station. Free. All ages.

  1. Anderson School 100 W 77th St, between Columbus and Amsterdam Aves
  2. Sat Mar 9 10am–4pm
More info


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