The Hills are Alive…

…with the sound of music.  Summer is here and all across the country, outdoor venues are rolling out the grass and filling the night air with a wide variety of music.  Whether traveling or in your own home town, check out some of the great “music under the stars” options.  Here are just a few to get you started:

Locally both Marymoor Park and Chateaux St. Michelle host a variety of national entertainers.  Most venues have food and beverages for purchase  but most also allow you to bring in your own “picnic”.  Many even allow you to bring your own wine.  Check the website for the concert venue you are attending to learn what is allowed.

Same goes for seating, some allow folding chairs, others only the low “sand chairs” or blankets.  Many of the venues offer a blend of reserved seating which are folding chairs they provide and less-expensive, lawn seating where you bring your own.  Again, be sure to read the information on the website for the event you are attending.

If you are traveling, ask your hotel to pack you a picnic meal and borrow a blanket for the lawn – just be sure to return it!  Also, don’t forget to take a sweater, sweatshirt or jacket.  Just about all the venues get cool once the sun goes down.

The Aspen Music Festival is legendary.  The school affiliated with the summer music program is famous for being the “summer camp” of serious, talented, young musicians and the festival draws a large and devoted crowd.

Other mountain venues have concerts as well.  Often the music is provided by a community symphony or philharmonic orchestra.  Some, like the series in Deer Valley, Utah feature national performers such as Chris Botti performing with the Utah Symphony.  The music played is often more “pop” such as the music of the Eagles, Queen or Broadway tunes  featured in the Deer Valley Music Festival this season.

If you are taking the family to Disneyland in Anaheim this summer, you might want to also take in the Pacific Symphony’s summer evening concerts.  The kids – and the kid in you – are sure to love Warner Bros. Studio presents Bugs Bunny at the Symphony at the amphitheater in Orange County.

While in LA, what could be more iconic than attending a concert a the world-famous Hollywood Bowl?  If your tastes run classical, the LA Philharmonic ventures out of the Disney Concert Hall in downtown LA several nights during the summer to perform in the arboretum.   It’s not unusual to hear the peacocks performing as the “warm up act”.  You can reserve a seat up front or at a round table with others or just spread out on the lawn.

The Dallas Arboretum has a summer concert series and the New York Philharmonic performs in parks around NYC.

Parks and Recreation Departments  in communities large and small also offer concerts in their parks – many even free.  Check out the schedules for cities from Minneapolis  to Bellingham, WA!

No matter where you may find yourself this summer, regardless of your budget, there is probably a concert performing under the stars near you.  Take a blanket, your jacket, a picnic, a bottle of wine, friends and family and go enjoy!

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