With summer fast approaching, stir-crazy kids and parents can all look forward to an upcoming season of long days, pleasant weather, and toe-tapping, head-boppingly great music. Slap on the sunscreen and pack a picnic for these fun family-friendly outdoor concerts.

San Francisco

Yerba Buena Gardens Festival
various times
760 Howard Street
Yerba Buena Gardens Festival

Running six months out of the year, The Yerba Buena Gardens Festival is a go-to destination for residents and visitors alike. Let BART or Muni do the driving and cop a squat at the Gardens for the day. The festival features a Children’s Garden series on Fridays and Saturdays, along with jazz, opera, orchestral, and dance performances on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

Stern Grove Festival
June 19 – August 21
all concerts at 2 p.m.
19th Avenue and Sloat Boulevard
Stern Grove Festival

Along with being a huge destination for adult music lovers with a diverse range of tastes, the Stern Grove Festival also serves to engage the little ones. Each concert features a KidStage full of hands-on arts projects and workshops before each show. The festival also hosts Kids Days, which are interactive and fun arts education programs for ages 4-13 that run on select Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. (Pre-registration required.)

JAMband Family Festival
Park Chalet
1000 Great Highway
all concerts at 3 p.m.
JAMband Family Festival

“Kindie” favorites, Charity and the JAMBand have been rocking out on the lawn of the Park Chalet for five summers now. You can’t beat being immersed in festive, hip-shakin’ music at a venue that’s “nestled between the forests of Golden Gate Park and the sandy shores of our beautiful Ocean Beach.” Check them out monthly now through October.

East Bay

Open Opera Concert in the Park
May 21 @ 3 pm
Opera Concert in the Park
Live Oak Park in Berkeley
1301 Shattuck Avenue

July 31 @ 4 pm
Opera Concert in the Park
Orinda Community Park
26 Orinda Way
Open Opera Concert In The Park

Want to attend an opera without having to buy pricey tickets or don formal wear? Open Opera brings free, professional opera to the Bay Area community and public spaces, exposing the uninitiated masses to the jubilant sounds of Mozart, Verdi, Puccini, and Bizet performed by professional opera singers.

Berkeley World Music Festival
People’s Park/Telegraph Avenue
Saturday June 4, 2011
Noon to 9 p.m.
Berkeley World Music Festival

The much anticipated annual World Music Festival takes over Berkeley’s People’s Park and numerous Telegraph Avenue cafes and shops, providing the community with some of the world’s best world music around. The festival originally began as a block party and continues to grow each year.


Belvedere Concerts in the Park
Belvedere City Hall
450 San Rafael Avenue
Belvedere, CA
June 9-September 4
all concerts at 4 p.m.
Belvedere Concerts In The Park

The Belvedere community presents its 14th year of summer concerts happening on four Sunday afternoons and featuring local talent as well as tributes to Johnny Cash, Michael Jackson, and Big Band Swing.

-Leanne Maxwell