Girl at outdoor concert
Bigstock/Anton Matushchak

2021 Family-Friendly (and Date Night) Outdoor Summer Concerts

Plato is credited with saying “music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.” For many of us, we’ve been without the wonderful gift of music since the start of the pandemic and thus starved from its life-giving power. But the time has come to experience the power of music once again with these outdoor concerts across the DMV. So, grab your kids or partner (for a date night) and enjoy some live music!

D.C. –

Millenium Stage Summer at the REACH

The Kennedy Center is kicking off an event-filled summer on Thursdays through Saturdays until October 2nd. Performances are free, open to the public, and will include films, live performances, arts vendors, dance and yoga lessons, and more. Check out the full schedule of concerts and activities online. The Kennedy Center, 2700 F St., NW, Washington, D.C. 20566.

U.S. Air Force Band’s Summer Concert Series

Enjoy weekly concerts of the USAF’s Band on Fridays at 7:30 PM at the Air Force Memorial and on Saturdays at 7:00 PM at the National Harbor. Performances are free to the public, no tickets or reservations are required. Air Force Memorial, 1 Air Force Memorial Dr, Arlington, VA 22204. National Harbor, Oxon Hill, MD 20745.

U.S. Marine Band at Yards Park

Every third Wednesday of the month from June to August, catch the U.S. Marine Band playing in Yards Park while you picnic and take in the views of the Anacostia River. Admission is free and open to the public. Yards Park, 355 Water Street SE, Washington, DC 20003.

Friday Night Concerts at Yards Park

The free Capitol Riverfront Friday Night Concert Series is back for its 11th Season! Every Friday night this summer, head to Yards Park to relax and enjoy the river view, fantastic bands, food and beverage, and a large variety of great restaurants within a few minutes walk from the park. Family-friendly lyrics and grassy open space make this an enjoyable event for adults and kids alike. Yards Park, 355 Water Street SE, Washington, DC 20003.

DC Jazz Fest

The 2021 DC JazzFest will take place this September 1-5, with 20+ concerts, interviews and exclusive events featuring international superstars and homegrown talent. Due to Covid-19, the event will be a hybrid of in-person and livestream performances to a worldwide audience. For lineups and ticket details, visit DC Jazz Fest online.  The Wharf, 760 Maine Ave SW, Washington, DC 20024.

Transit Pier Concerts

Summer never sounded better! Join us for free concerts on Transit Pier every Wednesday evening starting at 7:00 PM. With R&B, Americana, Motown, Jazz, Reggae, and your favorite pop covers, there is something for everyone. Grab a snack and a beverage and enjoy live music and waterfront views. The Wharf, 760 Maine Ave SW, Washington, DC 20024.

Maryland –

Olney Outdoors

Olney Theatre is hosting “Olney Outdoors” on its Root Family Stage from July 2 – August 25, featuring free Shakespeare, an in-person edition of its popular online series “Just Arts: A Celebration of Arts and Activism,” jazz concerts, theatre for young audiences and more! Olney Theatre, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney, MD 20832.

Patio Stage at Strathmore

Legendary music venue and performing arts center Strathmore will be hosting outdoor concerts this summer at its intimate and socially-distanced venue, the Patio Stage. With seating for only 124 guests and reservations requiring tables of 4, don’t miss out on your chance to revel in contemporary and chamber music or soak in new international sounds. Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD 20852.

Lake Arbor Jazz Outdoor Concert Series

The Lake Arbor Jazz Outdoor Concert Series features some of the nation’s and the region’s finest contemporary jazz and R&B artists including Gerald Albright, Maysa, Jeff Bradshaw, Najee, and Norman Brown. All shows begin at 7:30 PM.  SouthePoint at National Harbor, 701 National Harbor Blvd, Oxon Hill, MD 20745.

Concerts in the Parks

Bring your family, blankets, lawn chairs, a picnic dinner or just a dessert, and join Anne Arundel County Parks for the wonderful sounds of summer. Free park admission for all concerts. Quiet Waters Park, 600 Quiet Waters Park Rd, Annapolis, MD 21403.

Summer Concert Series at the Streetery

The Bethesda Urban Partnership is happy to present their summer concert series on Friday evenings from 6-8 PM. Performances take place on the “Streetery” located on the corner of Norfolk & Del Ray Avenues. Grab a table and food from the any of the local restaurants and enjoy the music! Bethesda Urban Partnership, 7700 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda, MD 20814.

Summer Concerts at National Harbor

Dozens of music concerts and outdoor events will take place at National Harbor this summer including Salute the Sunset featuring various US Military Bands and School of Rock’s concert on the Plaza Stage. For more information on these concerts and more, visit National Harbor online. National Harbor, 701 National Harbor Blvd, Oxon Hill, MD 20745.

Virginia –

Jamin’ Java Outdoor Concert Series

This year marks the 20th anniversary of Jamin’ Java bringing communities and music together under one roof. Or in the case of their concert series, sans roof. There are tons of artists performing this summer, with a majority of them on their outdoor stage. Jammin’ Java, 227 Maple Ave E, Vienna, VA 22180.

Tyson’s Corner Center Summerfest

Each week from May through October, Tysons Corner Center will welcome local musicians to perform on the Plaza. Performances Thursday-Friday from 4-7 PM and Saturday-Sunday from 2-7 PM. Tyson’s Corner Center, 1961 Chain Bridge Rd, Tysons Corner, VA 22102.

Fairfax County Park Authority

The FCPA presents its Summer Entertainment Series with a summer-long lineup of family-friendly shows, concerts, and movies held across its local parks. Bring a picnic dinner, blankets, and lawn chairs to enjoy the best local and regional entertainers. Visit their website for more information. Fairfax County Park Authority, 12055 Government Center Pkwy. Fairfax, Virginia 22035.

Wolf Trap

Visit Wolf Trap in Vienna this summer for its world-class music concerts, children’s performances, and theatre. Part of this summer’s season is a 50th anniversary celebration with the National Symphony Orchestra. Check out their website for tickets and information. Wolf Trap, 1551 Trap Rd, Vienna, VA 22182.

Lubber Run Summer Concert Series

The Lubber Run Summer Concert series features free performances from a variety of genres including big band, blues, soul and orchestral music as well as cabaret at the Lubber Run Amphitheater. The series will run Friday, July 9 through August 15, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm, and Sundays at 11 am. Arlington Cultural Affairs, 3700 S. Four Mile Run Drive, Arlington, VA 22206.

Summer Concert Series

Reston Community Center is hosting several free summer concerts for families including Summerbration Fab Fridays, Family Fun Entertainment Series, and the Take a Break Concert Series. All performances and activities are free and open to the public. Reston Community Center, 2310 Colts Neck Road, Reston, VA 20191.