Ticket scalpers, all-night camp outs, and screaming crowds. OK, kiddo’s first big concert may not be a crazy sell-out event, but with a number of great kids music bands and venues to choose from around town, you can make going to see live music a fun and memorable experience for your mini- groupie. From hot spots like the Kennedy Center’s free Millennium Stage, to Jammin Java in Vienna there is music in the air pretty much everywhere, so find your favorite stage and get your groove on.

Photo: Tulsa City-County Library via flickr

Busboys and Poets
On select weekday mornings at this local chain‘s DC, Takoma, Hyattsville and Shirlington locations, join friends and neighbors for a half hour “Chat and Chew,followed by 45 minutes of “Rise and Rhyme” with a slate of regular performers like Culture Queen, and Marsha and The Positrons, now featuring their new album Positronic.

Online: busboysandpoets.com

Eastern Market
Boogie Babes series for the youngest among us is at Eastern Market on Capitol Hill Thursday mornings, September through July. This is where local GRAMMY winner 1-2-3 Andrés got his start. Admission is a twofer, showcasing DMV area kid musicians and raising money for Greater DC Diaper Bank.

Online: greaterdcdiaperbank.org

Jammin Java
Don’t miss out on Tot Rock, an always hoppin’ Friday-Saturday line-up at this strip mall location in Vienna. Jammin Java, a well known big people’s music club too, began hosting kids performers in 2008 and continues to welcome headliners like Justin Roberts and the Not Ready for Naptime Players out of Chicago, as well as local acts like Mr. Jon and Friends and Rainbow Rock.

Online: jamminjava.com

AMP by Strathmore
Occasional late afternoon performances for families called Pajama Jams, or morning interludes with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO), and jam sessions with jazz artists are staples at this intimate and urban loft-like location on Rockville Pike. AMP by Strathmore next hosts the BSO Music Box series for babies and toddlers February 16, March 23, and May 11.

Online: ampbystrathmore.com

El Golfo Restaurant
Hosting the monthly Jump Start the Arts Series, El Golfo Mexican restaurant in Silver Spring welcomes families for a reasonably priced Family Fun Night out promoted by the Silver Spring arts organization, Carpe Diem. Join popular ukulele, guitar and other artists the first Thursday of each month for two 25 minute sets, capped off by the celebrated Grandson’s Jr. at season’s end in June.

Online: carpediemarts.org

Kennedy Center‘s Millennium Stage
The marble halls and red carpet may make the Kennedy Center seem the unlikeliest of family friendly venues, but the daily 6 p.m. schedule and free admission, including an occasional Family Night or other kid worthy selection, make Millennium Stage at the end of the Grand Foyer a good bet pretty much any night of the week. Littles can get a taste of everything from world class classical musicians to Japanese taiko drumming, featured in the Family Night performance on April 12.

Online: kennedy-center.org

—Carolyn Ross

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