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Art&Seek Jr: A Little Night Music – Outdoor Concerts For You And Your Night Owlets 21

When you become a parent you find yourself saying lots of things you never thought you’d say before you had kids. Phrases like, “Leave the cat alone. She doesn’t like it when you sing ‘Barbie Girl’ right in her face,” and “Who put the grill cheese sandwich in the DVD player?” are now part of your lexicon. Your childless friends giggle when they overhear, “You can’t play with those LEGOs now that they’ve been in your underpants,” but you know it’s just another day in the neighborhood.

Another thing we say far too much once we become parents is, “We should (fill in the blank) more often.” Whether it’s dinner out, playing tennis, or catching the latest foreign film, lots of things take a backseat once the tinies enter the picture.

Your 4-year-old might be a lousy doubles partner, but one thing you can absolutely do more often during these warm summer months is to catch an outdoor concert. Grab a blanket and a picnic basket and check out our picks for the best music under the stars.

If you don’t have plans tonight, stop by the bandshell at Fair Park and catch the Spazmatics. They’ll be performing hits from the ’80s, that happy-pappy, bouncy, fun era that gave us Cindy Lauper, Billy Idol, and the Beastie Boys. Free parking is available. Enter at Gate 6 (MLK Gate). You can also ride DART Green Line to Fair Park Station. Get there early and enjoy the lovely art deco architecture around the park. If you can’t make it tonight Taylor Dayne will be on deck next week for their last concert of the season. Oh, and did I mention this–these concerts are free!

Join the fun this Thursday evening  for the Twilight Tunes Concert Series on the Denton County Courthouse-on-the-Square lawn. Now in it’s 24th year, the free concerts offer an an eclectic assortment of music perfect for all listeners. Catch Americana singer songwriter Crystal Yates this week.

Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden

Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden

 White Rock Lake is the perfect backdrop for the Cool Thursday Concert Series at the Dallas Arboretum. Performing in the garden this Thursday is the Limelight Band. They’ll play a high-energy set that includes tunes from the standards to the hits of today. Speaking from experience, these concerts never disappoint. Besides the oh-so-serene view overlooking White Rock Lake, the wee ones will have an excellent time chasing fireflies, rolling down the hill and dancing up close to the stage with the band. Next Thursday, June 29 is the last concert in the Cool Thursday series.

The City Keller is also rocking Thursday nights in June with Keller Summer Nights. The evening starts with music on the front lawn of Keller Town Hall, then after the music stops there are family-friendly movies on the back lawn. This weekend’s free event features music from Andy Meadows and the film is ‘Rogue One.’

Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra/Brian Luenser

Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra/Brian Luenser

Enjoy a tribute to the Star Man under the stars when the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra performs the music of David Bowie at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden this Friday night.  Hear classics like “Space Oddity,” “Changes,” “Under Pressure,” Heroes,” “China Girl” and more. You can bring a blanket or reserve a table for extra comfort. Besides this show, you can hear the music in the pastoral setting the gardens on July 1, 2 & 7.  Best of all there will be fireworks after every show!

This Friday is your last chance to catch Irving’s annual concert series. The party sounds of Jay B & the Zydeco Posse will close out the series. Their music is a a blend of Creole, hip-hop, soul and reggae with a blues influence. Authentic New Orleans food will be available for purchase or bring a picnic meal from home. The concert is free and happens at Whistlestop Plaza in Irving. Don’t forget to bring a blanket or lawn chair as there is no seating.

Stop by the Dallas Zoo Saturday evening for Safari Nights. Besides great music, the evening also features activities like an elephant keeper talk and an Animal Adventures presentation. You can also visit the Children’s Zoo and the Birds Landing exhibit until 8 p.m. And don’t worry about heat because the concerts take place in Cat Green, the zoo’s shady haven. The concerts are free with zoo admission, which is $15 for ages 12-64; $12 for ages 3-11 and seniors; and free for children under age 2 and DZS members. On the bill this Saturday is Rebirth Brass Band, a New Orleans brass and jazz band.  You can catch Safari Nights concerts Saturdays through July 15.

Chill out at Addison Summer Series this Saturday night at Beckerd Park in Addison. You and the family can bring a picnic, spread out a blanket, and listen to live music. On deck this week is BJ Stricker & The Kings of State St. Their music has a Dave Matthews Band, Counting Crows kind of vibe. The series runs through August 26 and best of all they’re free!

Grab your picnic dinner and head to Levitt Pavilion in Arlington this Saturday for a concert on their great big open lawn. This Saturday the road goes on forever and the party never ends with singer/songwriter Robert Earl Keen. His show requires a ticket, but upcoming shows are free and run Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights through July 23.

You know how the kids love it when dad plays his air guitar to “Slow Ride?” Well, get ready to rock on this Saturday to the music of Cherry Bomb at Old Downtown Carrollton’s Concert on the Square. This is the first concert in the series. Other free concerts will happen July 22 & August 26. Coolers are permitted and friendly pooches are welcome to join their people aslong as they are on a leash. Don’t forget your blankets and your bug spray!