With six months of events packed into three over the summer, music is somewhere nearly every night.
But what about live outdoor music for families? Having children doesn’t make you yearn for Tragically Hip covers any less than when you were traipsing from show to show untethered to responsibility, so what are parents to do?
Thankfully, there are plenty of kid-friendly music series for mothers and fathers who still want to rock while making sure their kids get proper exposure to local music icons, tribute acts and the echoing sound of pop-rock standards.
Here are a handful of options.
When: 7 p.m. Wednesdays from June 5 to Aug. 14 at Memorial Park (59 Lake St., Hamburg)
What to expect: Set in the center of the Village of Hamburg, the series of local favorites takes place under the park's band shell. Attendees bring chairs to set up across the idyllic expanse of the park, and families can bring dinner or snacks to enjoy throughout the performances.
Be ready to: Weave throughout the neighborhood streets off Lake to find a parking spot.
Show to consider: Buffalo Music Hall of Famer Tom Stahl, June 26.
7 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays from June 18 to Aug. 16 at Bidwell Parkway
What to expect: Set on the grass expanse across from its weekly farmers market, the Elmwood Village tradition is the epitome of neighborhood gathering, with come-as-you-are guests from all walks for a night of community and music in the center of their historically eccentric slice of the city.
Be ready to: Find a spot for a picnic spread, with PB&J’s for the kids, and a charcuterie-and-wine spread for the adults.
Show to consider: The Coast Guard Concert Band, pulling into port on July 2.
When: 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays from June 5 to Aug. 28 at Larkin Square (745 Seneca St.)
What to expect: This series merges original and tribute acts with the playful backdrop always available for visitors to Larkin. But with ample room under its pergola or surrounding lawn area, kids are free to dance to tracks sure to connect with the whole family.
Be ready to: Explore the space, from its row of food trucks, outdoor bars or spots to freely spin on-site hula-hoops.
Show to consider: Grateful Dead tribute act Workingman’s Dead on July 3.
When: 6:30 to 10 p.m. Wednesdays from May 22 to Sept. 4 at Buffalo River Fest Park (249 Ohio St.)
What to expect: The series is set in the shadow of the Michigan Street Bridge where families are invited to spread out blankets and chairs for its lineup of local standards. Note that coolers and drinks are not allowed in the park, but refreshments can be purchased. Free parking is conveniently available across Ohio Street.
Be ready to: Take antsy kids for a stroll down the neighboring boardwalk by the site’s Tewksbury Lodge, and wave to the passing boats and kayakers.
Show to consider: The rock, pop and oldies of the Buffalo Five, set for July 24.
When: 6 to 9 p.m. Thursdays from June 20 to Aug. 29 at Gratwick Park (1300 River Road, North Tonawanda)
What to expect: The riverfront series includes food trucks, a DJ spinning crowds favorites between bands, and most importantly, a Kids Zone with games and a rock climbing wall.
Be ready to: Look at some sweet wheels, as every Thursday boasts a cruise night for those keen to check out classic automobiles.
Show to consider: Teach the kids about the great Gord Downie when Strictly Hip performs on July 11.