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Monday, June 29, 2009

Free Outdoor Concerts All Summer

The DC area is chock full of wonderful FREE outdoor concerts each summer. Outdoor concerts are a great way to relax with your family while exposing your kids to great music. Because you are outside, the kids don't have to sit still and be quiet. Of course, if you let them run wild you're likely to get the stink eye from other patrons, but they can get up and dance or walk around a bit while you sit back and enjoy a beautiful evening.

Be sure to pack a picnic basket and blanket! If the ground continues to be as saturated as it currently is, pick up one of those $1.99 shower curtain liners and put it down under your blanket to keep your bottoms dry.

Between Prince George's County and DC you can enjoy free outdoor music almost every day throughout the summer. The list below is arranged by day of the week.


The U.S. Navy Band plays on the West Front Steps of the U.S. Capitol each Monday at 8pm, weather permitting. Dates: June 22, 29; July 6, 13, 20, 27; August 3, 10, 17, 24, 31


The U.S. Air Force Band plays on the West Front Steps of the U.S. Capitol each Tuesday at 8pm, weather permitting. Dates: June 23; July 7, 14, 21; August 11, 25


Music on the Plaza takes place Wednesdays from 5pm-8pm at the University Town Center, 6500 America Blvd. in Hyattsville. Make sure you dress your kids appropriately so they can have fun in the shooting fountain--they won't be able to resist it on a hot evening! This series lasts through October.

The U.S. Marine Band plays on the West Front Steps of the U.S. Capitol each Tuesday at 8pm, weather permitting. Dates: June 24; July 8, 15, 22, 29; August 5, 12, 19, 26


Watkins Regional Park, 301 Watkins Park Drive, Upper Marlboro, offers free concerts every Thursday from 7-8:30pm through August 13. Be sure to arrive early so you have time to take a ride on the fantastic miniature train or antique carousel as the rides end at 7pm.

Jazz-o-scope at the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden begins Thursday, June 26 and continues through Thursday, Aug. 28 (no event Aug. 21), from 5:30 to 7 p.m. The concerts are held on the museum’s outdoor Plaza (weather permitting; otherwise Ring Auditorium), and seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.


Montpelier Mansion (9652 Muirkirk Road & Route 197, Laurel) offers free concerts most Fridays through the summer on the west lawn of the mansion grounds. Concerts are offered at 7:30pm on June 26, July 10, July 24 and August 7. On Friday, July 17 at 8:30pm there will be a free family film (TBD) and on July 31 at 7pm you can enjoy a performance of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew.

"Jazz in the Garden" Concerts take place every Friday from 5-8:30pm at National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden May 23–October 3, 2008 rain or shine!

The U.S. Army band plays on the West Front Steps of the U.S. Capitol each Friday at 8pm, weather permitting. Dates: June 19, 26; July 10, 24, 31; August 7, 14


The town of Bowie offers free concerts on Saturdays at 2pm in the Town Green Park now through August 8. Genres include bluegrass, reggae, classic rock, jazz and folk/rock/country.


The Bladensburg Waterfront Park (4601 Annapolis Road, Bladensburg) offers Arts at the Waterfront concerts with artists ranging from soul to African dance to jazz to Broadway each Sunday through August 16 from 6-7:30pm.

What did I miss? Be sure to add your favorite summer concert spot in the comments!

Pssst! Don't forget to enter my GIVEAWAY for 4 lawn seats to Bugs Bunny on Broadway at the Merriweather Post Pavilion!

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

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