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Free outdoor concert series for New York City families in summer 2013: SummerStage Kids
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Photograph: Courtesy Madison Square Park ConservancyFree outdoor concert series for New York City families in summer 2013: Madison Square Kids Concerts
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Photograph: Samantha ModellFree outdoor concert series for New York City families in summer 2013: Summer in the Square
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Photo: Beth LevendisFree outdoor concert series for New York City families in summer 2013: Washington Market Park Concert Series
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Photograph: Adam AbramsonFree outdoor concert series for New York City families in summer 2013: Carroll Park Kids' Concert Series  
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Photograph: Courtesy of Bryant ParkFree outdoor concert series for New York City families in summer 2013: Bryant Park Word for Word Kids
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Free outdoor concert series for New York City families in summer 2013:  Family Fun Nights at Shipyard Park
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Courtesy Madison Square ParkFree outdoor concert series for New York City families in summer 2013: Mad. Sq. Music: Oval Lawn Series
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Photograph: Courtesy Fort Greene Park ConservancyFree outdoor concert series for New York City families in summer 2013: Music in the Grove
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Photograph: Courtesy FAB AllianceFree outdoor concert series for New York City families in summer 2013: FAB Concerts for Kids
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Free outdoor concert series for New York City families in summer 2013: Today Show Concert Series
 (Photograph: Ida Mae Astute/ABC)12/16
Photograph: Ida Mae Astute/ABCFree outdoor concert series for New York City families in summer 2013: Good Morning America Concert Series 
 (Photograph: Courtesy of Fritz Haeg)13/16
Photograph: Courtesy of Fritz HaegFree outdoor concert series for New York City families in summer 2013: MoMA Nights
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Photograph: Michael KirbyFree outdoor concert series for New York City families in summer 2013: New York Philharmonic: Concerts in the Parks
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Free outdoor concert series for New York City families in summer 2013: Summer on the Hudson: Children's Performance Series
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Photograph: Katherine KritzalisFree outdoor concert series for New York City families in summer 2013: Broadway in Bryant Park

Free outdoor concert series for NYC families in summer 2013

Take to city parks this summer for tons of free open-air concert series, from local kindie rockers to classical chamber music

By Rebecca Jennings
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It’s not summer until you’re jamming to your favorite tunes in the great outdoors, and we’ve got you covered nearly every day of the week. Check out our list of the best open-air concert series for kids this summer, taking place at museum gardens, street corners and even on a floating barge. So whether your little one is the get-up-and-boogie type or prefers chilling out on the picnic blanket, she’ll find something to love.

RECOMMENDED: More summer activities for kids in New York City

FAB Kids' Concert Series
Photograph: Courtesy FAB Alliance

FAB Concerts for Kids

Once a month during the spring and summer, FAB Alliance hosts live outdoor concerts for tots, plus crafts and activities. This year's series kicks off with singer-songwriter and music therapist Jon Samson (Apr 26), followed by Brooklyn-based kindie rockers Rolie Polie Guacamole (May 31). The lineup continues into the summer with Roderick Jackson and Palms Down Percussion Ensemble (June 28), Lou Gallo (July 26), the Good Ms. Padgett (Aug 23) and the Rozz and Val Show (Sep 27). Ages 18 months to 8 years.

Today Show Concert Series

Early-rising tweens will likely be dragging their sleep-deprived parents to this free concert at the crack of dawn. Catch Hunter Hayes (June 21), Phillip Phillips (June 28), John Mayer (July 5), Ed Sheeran (July 12), Fall Out Boy (July 19), Train (July 26), The Band Perry (August 2), Michael Buble (August 9), Luke Bryan (August 16), One Direction (August 23) and Chris Brown (August 30). Arrive by 6am for the best spot in the crowd. Ages 7 and up.

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Good Morning America Concert Series

Catch the hottest names in pop music for free—there's just one catch: All concerts start at 7am. See R&B pianist John Legend (June 21), Disney megastar Demi Lovato (June 28), Imagine Dragons (July 5), OneRepublic (July 12), Jennifer Lopez (July 19; advance tickets required), Selena Gomez (July 26), Ne-Yo (August 2), Kenny Chesney (August 9), Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (August 16), The Wanted (August 23) and Alicia Keys (August 30). We highly recommend lining up at park's 6am opening time. All ages.

60bargemusic01
Photograph: Etienne Frossard

Bargemusic Family Concert

Head to Brooklyn Bridge Park for a TBA chamber music concert (programs are announced at the beginning of each performance) every Saturday all summer long. Each 60-minute concert is followed by a Q&A session with the musicians. Be sure to arrive early; doors open at 2:30pm. Ages 5 and up.

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MoMA Studio: Common Senses Workshop
Photograph: Courtesy of Fritz Haeg

MoMA Nights 2013

On Thursdays in midsummer, the museum stays open late for live sets in the sculpture garden starting at 6:30pm. July's acts include indie rockers selected by MoMA's PopRally committee, followed by musicians related to the exhibition "Soundings: A Contemporary Score" (Aug 1, 8, 15). Rounding out the summer are blues and folk performers to compliment the "American Modern: Hopper to O'Keeffe" exhibition (Aug 22, 29). Ages 2 and up.

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Spring Fair at Hippo Park
Photograph: Marielle Solan

Hippo Playground Concert Series

This uptown afternoon concert series kicks off with Mil's Trills on the electric ukulele (July 10), followed by girl rocker Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights (July 18), charming soulful songstress Sweetbeatz (July 25) and Tim of Space Cadet-fame (July 31). All ages.

Summer on the Hudson: Children's Performance Series

This morningtime children's series isn't music only—check out family-friendly performances by Rolie Polie Guacamole (July 11), Appleseeds' Songs for Seeds (July 18), Moey's Music Party (July 25), Meg's Melodies (Aug 1), Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights (Aug 8) and a performance by the puppeteers from the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater (Aug 15). Ages 7 and under.

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Broadway in Bryant Park
Photograph: Katherine Kritzalis

Broadway in Bryant Park

If you’re too tired (or tapped out) to sit through Wicked again, bring the kids to the park on Thursdays for free lunchtime concerts by cast members of the Great White Way’s hottest musicals, who will perform two or three numbers from their shows. Perennial faves include Mamma Mia, Annieand The Lion King; check the Bryant Park website for the complete schedule. This event is presented by 106.7 Lite FM. All ages.

Summer Sandbox Series

Weather permitting, Upper East Side families can jam to local groups' educational music programming. Learn a few new words with I'm Bilingual (July 16), get in touch with children's innate musical talents with Eastside Westside Music Together (July 23), play with musical props at Moosiki Kids (July 30), singalong with LIly Rose and her puppet Princess Francesca (August 6) and bond with little ones as they master developmental goals with I Make My Music (August 13). Ages 5 and under.

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