All this hot weather has us thinking of one of our favourite summertime activities: Outdoor music events. And while some people think that having a child means the end of watching the sun set behind your favourite band, we say that with the right gear—sunscreen, snacks and a pair of pint-sized ear protectors—your little one can partake in the fun.
Below we round up eight outdoor music events set to take place this summer across Toronto. While some of these shows are free and others are ticketed, all are family-friendly.
CBC Music Festival
Saturday, May 26 at RBC Echo Beach
Summer festival season kicks off at the end of May with the sixth edition of the CBC Music Festival. This year the all-Canadian lineup features July Talk, A Tribe Called Red and Rural Alberta Advantage. Between acts check out the food trucks and the CBC Kids Zone.
$39.50, kids 12 and under free
Saturday, June 2 at Yonge-Dundas Square
Canada’s largest South Asian arts and culture festival takes over downtown Toronto with performances from a mix of fresh faces and established talents. Your kids will love the dedicated kids’ zone that features a bouncy castle while you’re sure to find something at the craft market. And yes, there will be lots and lots of yummy food.
Saturday, June 2 & Sunday, June 3 at Fort York & Garrison Common
Music festivals don’t get much more family-friendly than Field Trip. This year its Day Camp area features Fay & Fluffy’s Storytime, a pop-up from Scooter Girl Toys and of course tons of music. If two days is too much for your little ones, grab a single day ticket.
Starts at $80, kids 12 and under free
Roncy Rocks Music And Arts Fest West
Saturday, June 9
It should be no surprise that one of Toronto’s most child-friendly streets hosts a family-oriented music festival. In addition to multiple stages featuring everything from blues to folk artists, Roncy Rocks offers a sidewalk sale, carnival-style games and a dog stunt show.
Saturday, July 7 & Sunday, July 8 at Woodbine Park
Now in its 30th year, Afrofest is the largest, free African music festival in all of North America. Kids will love listening and dancing to over 35 live performers from around the world as well as checking out the Children’s Creative Village. New this year is a special area just for nursing moms.
Muhtadi International Drumming Festival
Saturday, July 21 & Sunday, July 22 at Regent Park
Have a budding drummer in your house? Then this festival is a must-visit. Kids of all ages can try their hands at various percussion instruments and take in performers—as well as food—from a number of countries.
Beaches International Jazz StreetFest
Friday, July 26-Sunday, July 28, along Queen St. E.
Also celebrating 30 years, this beloved Toronto institution is an easy (and free!) way to introduce your kids to all kinds of music including swing, big band and funk. Between acts, explore Kew Gardens and the nearby beach boardwalk.
The National & More
Saturday, August 4 at Fort York & Garrison Common
With no dedicated kids zone, this event is best suited for babies or older kids who are happy to spend the day dancing to such acts as Father John Misty and Jenny Lewis as well as headliners The National. There will also be plenty of food options, including (we suspect) ice cream.
$89.50, kids 10 and under free