Listen Up! Best Free (& Cheap) Family Summer Concerts

a mom and daughter at an outdoor summer concert Annie Spratt on Unsplash
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Who else is ready to hang loose and dance the night away with the kids? Luckily, families can practically find outdoor summer concerts every day or night of the week all over the greater Seattle and Eastside areas. And the best part? Most of them are free, and they’re all great for all ages. With a wide range of music styles to choose from including rock, country, big band, bluegrass and everybody’s kindie favorites, you’re sure to find a toe-tapping summer concert that appeals to your little music lovers. Plus, with early start and end times, you can get the kids home and (hopefully) to bed and still have daylight hours to burn (nobody wants little monsters in the morning). Read on to get footloose!

Seattle Summer Concerts

one of the best seattle summer concerts people gather on the lawn for zoo tunes

photo: Allison Sutcliffe

BECU ZooTunes presented by Carter Subaru – Woodland Park Zoo
This awesome summer concert series and major fundraiser for Woodland Park Zoo returns this summer with an impressive lineup of Grammy winners and ZooTunes mainstays. Indigo Girls, Neko Case, Andrew Bird and The Roots are already sold out, but tickets are still available for Chaka Khan, Old Crow Medicine Show, One Nation Under a Groove Tour and a bunch of other artists. Pack your low chairs and a blanket, and enjoy some great tunes with the family. View the concert lineup and purchase tickets online before you head over.

Good to know: Outside food and drink aren’t allowed at ZooTunes anymore, nor are wagons.

Dates: Jun. 15–Aug. 28, 2022

Woodland Park Zoo–North Meadow
5500 Phinney Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98103
206-548-2500
Online: zoo.org/zootunes

Concerts at the Locks – Ballard
Most Saturday and Sunday afternoons (June through September), you can catch free summer concerts at the Ballard Locks. This summer’s lineup includes everything from “Big Bands” to a band that we’re really intrigued about: Tutti Flutti. Other bands worth mentioning include the Elliott Bay Pipe Band (playing on Father’s Day alongside the Mustangs Northwest Classic Car Show), a special 4th of July concert with music by the Seattle Civic Band and the Seattle Youth Symphony Chamber playing on July 24. Most concerts begin at 2 p.m., but be sure to check the online calendar for schedule changes before you head out. All concerts are free.

Dates: Sat. & Sun., Jun. 4-Sep. 5, 2022

Hiram M. Chittenden Locks
3015 N.W. 54th St.
Seattle, WA 98107
206-783-7059
Online: ballardlocks.org

University Village Sounds of Summer Concert Series
Starting July 20, University Village is the place to be on Wednesday nights. This always-popular, all-ages concert series features live music from some of Seattle’s best bands at the Village Green. A lively beer garden will be on hand as well (sponsored by JOEY Kitchen). This year’s lineup includes Eldridge Gravy, The Paperboys, Night Wave, Kalimba: Spirit of Earth Wind and Fire and Hit Explosion. Fun for everyone! All concerts are free and start at 7 p.m.

Dates: Wed., Jul. 20-Aug. 17, 2022

University Village
2623 N.E. University Village St.
Seattle, WA 98105
206-525-3859
Online: uvillage.com/news-and-events

Downtown Summer Sounds Concert Series – Downtown Seattle
This fave summer concert series is coming back with a bang with over 30 scheduled performances at numerous parks and outdoor venues throughout downtown Seattle. Concerts take place every day of the work week and feature exciting local and national acts. From rock and hip-hop to R & B and alt country, there is something for everyone. Check out their guide for the complete lineup, locations and times. All concerts start at either noon or 5 p.m. and all are free!

Dates: Jul. 5-Sep. 9, 2022

Locations: Westlake Park, Occidental Square, Harbor Steps and more.

Online: downtownseattle.org/events/downtown-summer-sounds

Outdoor Concerts on the Eastside & Beyond

Kirkland Summer Concerts
This awesome summer concerts series offers kiddie bands during the day and all ages fare at night. The kiddie bands are playing on Tuesdays a 10 a.m. at Juanita Beach Park and the family-friendly bands play on Thursdays at Marina Park. All concerts are free, and the awesome line-up is soon to come.

Kids’ Concerts
Dates: Tue., Jul. 5-Aug. 16, 2022

Juanita Beach Park
9703 N.E. Juanita Drive
Kirkland, WA 98034
Online: kirklanddowntown.org

Evening Concerts
Dates: Thu., Jul. 7-Aug. 18, 2022

Marina Park
25 Lakeshore Plaza Dr.
Kirkland, WA 98033
Online: kirklanddowntown.org

Concerts on the Green – Issaquah 
This summer, you and your kid crew can enjoy Tuesday evening outdoor concerts at the Issaquah Community Center. If you’re too tired to pack a picnic dinner, concessions will be available through the Kiwanis Club of Issaquah. Sorry, but Fido is going to have to sit this one out. No dogs are allowed at the concerts. All concerts are free and guaranteed to rock.

Dates: Tue., Jul. 5-Aug. 23, 2022

Issaquah Community Center
301 Rainier Blvd. S.
Issaquah, WA 98027
425-837-3300
Online: issaquahwa.gov

Sammamish Concerts in the Park
This Thursday evening summer concert series will return to Pine Lake Park starting July 7. In addition to great family-friendly tunes, you can give your kitchen the night off. Visit one of the local food truck vendors on site and find tasty ice cream treats from the Sammamish Kiwanis. This free concert series is the perfect venue for the kiddies to get their crazies out before bed.

Dates: Thu., Jul. 7-Aug. 18, 2022

Pine Lake Park
2401 228th Ave. S.E.
Redmond, WA 98053
425-295-0500
Online: sammamish.us/parks-recreation/special-events

Kids Summerstage and Summer Sounds – Auburn
Auburn’s Les Gove Park will be hopping with summer concerts for young and old-er. First, Kids Summerstage is an exciting entertainment series that promises to be fun for the kiddos as well as the caregivers who bring them. Make a playdate, pack up a picnic lunch and meet up at on Wednesdays at noon sharp. Concerts and demonstrations will be presented next to the Discovery Playground. Then on Thursday evenings beginning at 6:30 p.m., Summer Sounds will present family-friendly tunes by local tribute bands, flamenco music, symphony orchestras and even a “rock and roll hypnotist” (we kid you not). Two ways to play!

Dates: Jul. 13-Aug. 17, 2022

Les Gove Park
910 9th St. SE
Auburn, WA
253-931-3043
Online: auburnwa.gov

Music at the Marina – Everett
The Everett Events Foundation presents Music at the Marina at Port Gardner Landing with free summer concerts on Thursday nights. In addition to the toe-tapping tunes, food trucks, a beer garden and the Everett Makers Market will be in full swing too. The event opens at 5 p.m. with all-ages outdoor concerts beginning at 6:30 p.m. Don’t forget to bring $5 for parking!

Dates: Jul. 14-Aug. 18, 2022

Port Gardner Landing
Everett, WA
Online: musicatthemarina.com

Kenmore Summer Concert Series
Enjoy four weeks of free, diverse outdoor concerts on Thursday nights starting July 7. Bring your blankets, lawn chairs and dinner and enjoy these outdoor concerts in beautiful Saint Edward State Park with free admission and free parking (Discovery Pass not required after 4:30 p.m. for concert go-ers). Food vendors and a beer garden are on site, too.

Dates: Jul. 7-28, 2022

Saint Edward State Park
14445 Juanita Dr. N.E.
Kenmore, WA 98028
425-823-2992
Online: kenmorewa.gov/KenmoreConcertSeries

Kid’s Club and Tunes @ Tapps – Bonney Lake
Lake Tapps is where your family is going to want to hang out this summer with two nights of free summer concerts every week starting on July 6. On Wednesday evenings, enjoy the Outdoor Market at 5 p.m. and then stay to listen to great live music by groups like Wally and the Beaves, The Beatniks, Victims of Love and more. Monday nights are Kids Club with concerts by Ella-Bella Bee and the Pollinators, Capt’n Arrr, the Not-Its! and more. All concerts begin at 6:30 p.m.

Dates: Jul. 6-Aug. 31, 2022

Allan Yorke Park
7302 W. Tapps Hwy.
Bonney Lake, WA  98391
Online: ci.bonney-lake.wa.us

Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery Concerts – Woodinville
The outdoor concerts at Ste. Michelle are geared for adults, but kids are welcome (a ticket is required for children age 2 & over, but they can still attend for free). This summer, there will be a lot of great talent, including The Revivalists, Amos Lee, Ziggy Marley, Jackson Browne, Chicago and Steve Miller. Our suggestion? Get tickets while you can. These shows sell out fast!

Dates: Jun. 15-Sep. 17, 2022

Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery
14111 N.E. 145th St.
Woodinville, WA 98072
425-488-1133
Online: ste-michelle.com

Marymoor Concerts – Redmond
Marymoor Park in Redmond is one of the largest outdoor venues locally with a capacity to hold 5,000 people with some big names (and ticket prices) to match. You can pack up your own picnic (no glass or metal containers, or beverages other than reusable water bottles), or you can purchase food and drinks at the park. Concert bands include Ween, The Decemberists, My Morning Jacket, The Head and the Heart and Phoebe Bridgers, among others. Everyone over the age of three will require a ticket, and kids under age 6 are asked to stay out of the reserved section as it’s pretty loud for little ears.

Dates: Jun. 9-Aug. 24, 2022

Marymoor Park
6046 W. Lake Sammamish Pkwy
Redmond, WA 98052
Online: marymoorconcerts.com

—Jeffrey Totey & Kristina Moy

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