Families in St. Louis are lucky to have lots of fun activities to take advantage of during summer months. Concerts are one of them, and nearly every small community in the metro area hosts concerts in local parks during the summer months. Concerts tailored to the musical tastes of kids are a bit harder to find, but completely worth the effort.
They give kids a chance to experience live music designed to engage growing minds, and your little ones can dance around and sing to their heart's content (in fact, it's encouraged). They'll most likely hear and learn about musical styles that are new to them. And what kid wouldn't want to rock out to a heart-thumping version of "I Wanna Play?"
Here are a few concerts to catch this summer with your budding music lovers:
• Summer Family Concert at the Contemporary Art Museum. The Contemporary Art Museum is hosting some of the hottest children's music stars around, including St. Louis' own Babaloo, and the punk-infused band The Boogers on Saturday, June 15. You can kick off your Father's Day weekend at this afternoon jam-fest, where kids can also make their own air guitar, have their faces painted and have fun with balloon animals.
The Boogers, based in Chicago, are known for their high-energy performances, and Babaloo encourages his pint-sized audiences to get up and dance, stomp, sing, shout and wiggle if they want to. The concert winds down with a performance by St. Louis' Crystal Brown, a music teacher and performer who will cool down the crowd with an acoustic set inside the museum. Admission is free for kids; adults are $10 for the first adult and $5 for additional adults in the same group. The concert is from 1-3 p.m. at the Contemporary Art Museum (CAM), 3750 Washington Blvd. For more information visit CAM's web site: www.camstl.org
• Free Concerts for Children at the Piper Palm House. Kids are introduced to a wide variety of music during these concerts in beautiful Tower Grove Park in South City. The concerts, which kicked off earlier in June, are held Wednesday mornings at 9:30. The interactive concerts are educational and lots of fun, featuring world music as well as classics like Peter and the Wolf.
Here's the schedule for the rest of the summer:
June 12: The Bull and the Bee
June 19: Bach, Baroque and More
June 26: Where in the World is the Music?
July 3: Sparkling Brass
July 10: Peter and the Wolf
July 17: The Little Pine Tree
July 24: The Bremen Town Musicians
July 31: Stringing Along
Aug. 7: Drumming Out the Summer
Tower Grove Park, also the site of one of the city's most popular Saturday-morning Farmers Markets, is located at 4256 Magnolia Avenue. Seating is limited and on a first-come basis. Stick around after the concert to check out the park's playgrounds and wading pool/sprayground.
• Concerts Hosted by KDHX Musical Merry-Go-Round. KDHX is known for its Saturday morning Musical Merry-Go-Round featuring two hours of music for kids, stories and special guests hosted by Paul Stark. But they also bring bands from around the country to St. Louis for matinee shows at Voce Nightclub (212 N. Tucker, St. Louis). Tickets are $8-10, and kids under 2 are free.
Upcoming shows feature Gustafer Yellowgold (June 30), Poochamungas (July 27), and (Grammy nominated) Justin Roberts and the Not Ready for Naptime Players (August 3). More information about these shows can be found here. You can catch the Musical Merry-Go-Round anytime at www.kdhx.org
Honorable Mentions. These concerts are for all ages, but they have some perks that make them very kid-friendly.
• Whitaker Music Festival at the Missouri Botanical Garden. Held on Wednesday evenings at the Missouri Botanical Garden, the concerts are free and include free admission to the Children's Garden, a summer nature paradise for kids. (See our Top 10 Reasons to Visit the Children's Garden to find out why). The Whitaker Music Festival features a wide variety of music and are among the most popular outdoor summer concerts in St. Louis. Concert goers can bring a picnic, or purchase food and refreshments on site.
• Jungle Boogie Concert Series at the Saint Louis Zoo. These free concerts are held in the middle of the Zoo on Friday evenings. Need I say more?
Kids can work on existing gym skills, learn new skills or just play around during Open Gym at Miss Kelly's Gym. Reservations are not necessary.
With the help of ten truckloads of sand, The Magic House's backyard will be transformed once again into a beachfront park for the popular Sandcastle Beach exhibit. Sandcastle Beach opens May 26 with a Kick Off to Summer event that includes ice cream, the Bubble Bus and a dance party!
Catch a movie or two at the Saint Louis Science Center's OMNIMAX Theater, where films are shown featuring the IMAX with Laser. This state-of-the-art theater provides the sharpest images, unmatched sound quality and 40% greater color range than traditional theaters. The five-story, 80-foot-diameter dome will fill your entire field of vision providing a truly immersive experience. Opening May 24: The Little Mermaid: The IMAX Experience.
Visit the James S. McDonnell Planetarium in Forest Park and see a star show to experience the largest artificial sky in the Western Hemisphere. Star shows are lead LIVE by one of the Planetarium's educators, creating a new and tailored experience for every audience.
Science Tots is designed for children ages 18 to 36 months. The class provides opportunities to support brain development and learning. Toddlers and their grown-ups will explore STEM topics through songs, stories, hands-on exploration and play.