Family Friendly Venues for Live Music, or What I did this weekend

The fall I was pregnant was the fall of shows.  We bought tickets for every touring band we cared to see that came through Minneapolis that fall, and we tried to hit up as many local bands as we could.  We were pretty certain that having a baby would tie us down to the point that we would never get to a concert ever again.  Well, maybe not “ever again” but certainly we thought that was the last time it would be simple to go to a concert.

It’s true, I guess, that it isn’t simple anymore.  Either Chad and I have to take turns going out or get a babysitter, and that can be kind of a hassle.  We have, however, found ourselves taking advantage of a wide range of kid-friendly venues for music–and I’m not talking about kid’s music.

You can take your kids to see music in various parks in Minneapolis all summer long thanks to Music and Movies in the Park.  The Uptown Apple Store regularly has live music, including local acts like Hot Ashes and Fake Places last year and touring bands like David Bazan (we were there).  It seems like every weekend in Minneapolis there is some festival or block party with live music–many of which are totally kid-friendly.  I posted about the Lyn-Lake Fest mentioning Koo Koo Kanga Roo, but I neglected to mention that several of my local favorites also played including Haley Bonar and Phantom Tails.

This is what I found myself thinking about as Ladybug and I sat in Painter Park in Minneapolis this past Saturday watching one of my favorite bands play to a crowd of families and others.  It happened to be the Senate District 60 DFL Picnic.  I’m not a card-carrying Democrat, but I am in line with them on several issues, so we decided to join them for politics and music on a Saturday afternoon.   The highlight of the picnic, for me, was Low.  I’ve been a Low fan for years, and I’ve seen them probably a dozen times, including at First Avenue.  But nothing beats seeing them free at a park supporting a cause they believe in.   Where else can “some guy” interrupt and talk about politics and other issues without people getting upset?  If some guy is Al Franken, Low will wait patiently and applaud with the rest of us as he talks about getting out the vote.   I appreciated some of the things he had to say, especially about the Marriage Amendment (I’m too lazy to find a link that isn’t partisan), and the importance of getting outside of this district in our efforts to get out the vote.  He encouraged Uptowners to leave their “hipster” in Minneapolis and volunteer to knock on doors in the suburbs to speak respectfully to people about the human rights issue at

stake in the upcoming election in Minnesota.

All politics aside, though, Low was excellent as usual, and my three year old was right there with me.  She entertained herself for the whole set, though she did ask a couple of times if that was going to be the last song.  It was a great opportunity to connect with the community and enjoy some local music–two of my favorite things.  :)

I’ll be posting about more family friendly music and local events throughout the summer, so check back often.  Or connect with me on Facebook for general updates about family life in the Twin Cities and more.

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