Is there anything better in Steamboat in the summertime than listening to music outdoors and boogie-ing down with the whole family? I think I just heard a thousand eye rolls from my future teenage children, but current tweenage embarrassment aside, this music loving family adores the kid-friendly Steamboat summer concerts. Even the events that cater to a more adult audience still take careful consideration into making fun areas for kids.

Here are our top picks for mountain music:

IMG_3407Strings Music Festival

Our acclaimed music festival offers up kid concerts every Tuesday throughout the summer. The shows start at 11 a.m. to accommodate nappers’ schedules. Concerts are geared entirely towards kid audiences. These performers aren’t above singing about monkeys, juggling just about anything or cruising around on a unicycle.

Music on the Green

Put away those Baby Beethoven CDs and listen to the real deal. Every Thursday in the summer, Strings Music Festival takes their show on the road to the Yampa River Botanic Park for outdoor classical concerts. These performances are free, taking place every Thursday from 12:15 to 1 p.m.

Bring an umbrella for shade (or get there early and use one of the parks’ complimentary ones), pack a picnic and a blanket and let your baby enjoy classical tunes surrounded by wild flowers in this sacred setting.

If little ones get fussy, there are plenty of streamside benches to calm everybody down. The park is even accessible from the Yampa River Core Trail, so biking or strolling along the paved river path to and from makes this an outdoor musical midday adventure.

Free Summer Concert Series

This one is fun for the whole family. Shows are free, music is more adult flavored, beer trucks are on-site and there’s plenty of room for kids to run around. Spread your blanket out, grab some delicious dinner bites from a variety of food vendors and enjoy the show.

The opening band starts around 5 p.m. with the headliner taking the stage at 7 p.m. There’s a kids area with games and activities. Concerts are downtown at the Howelsen Hill Amphitheater, and the dates are sprinkled throughout the summer, so check the calendar to experience one of these favorite free concerts in Steamboat.

Mountain Music Series

These shows are similar to the free summer concert series located downtown, except they are on the stage at the base of the ski mountain in Gondola Square. Shows are free, food is plentiful, beer is on tap and the kids can splash around in the nearby Burgess Creek.

Happy Hour Music

Steamboat restaurants – especially those of the patio variety - also offer music throughout the summer for those of us who like to get our groove on early. Rex’s American Grill & Bar has music on their outdoor patio on Thursday, Friday & Saturday nights at 5:30 p.m. complete with hula hooping and cornhole.

Aurum Food & Wine offers an upscale and sophisticated approach to afternoon music. This riverside restaurant hosts musicians and bands from 4 to 6 p.m. every Wednesday through Sunday. Kids can move to the music on the fenced in grassy area surrounding the outdoor stage while grown-ups can sit on the sleek patio and enjoy upscale nibbles and wine on tap (yes, on tap!).

Outdoor Movie Nights

We know this doesn’t count for a concert (unless hearing your own kids sing the “Frozen” soundtrack on repeat is considered a concert), but thought I’d mention the family movie nights that are screened throughout the summer.

The outdoor screen is at the base of the ski area and movies begin when the sun slips behind the mountain – around 8:45 p.m. Bring a blanket, a chair and stretch out under the stars. The lineup includes everything from “Frozen” and “Despicable Me 2”, to “ET” and “The Goonies.” These are on Saturday nights in July and August.

Now get up here so you can boogie down – Steamboat style, of course.

All Arts & Entertainment