Nothing screams summer like an outdoor concert. Sprawled out on a blanket in the warm air, your favorite song streaming through the speakers. You probably have many memories of outdoor concerts through the ages, which is why making your child’s first outdoor concert experience a great one, is so important. While crowds and loud music may sound like the exact opposite place you want to bring your toddler, some preparedness can help make it an enjoyable experience for you, your kids, and those around you. Check out our tips for taking your kids to their first outdoor concert:
- Plan Your Transportation Accordingly
Outdoor concerts are some of the most popular events in local communities, so it’s important to plan ahead for how you’ll get to and from the concert. Just because there is abundant parking on most weekends, doesn’t mean you’ll slide in with ease on the night of a concert. If you can’t get there early to find parking, public transportation is almost always your best bet. Look up train and subway schedules, but don’t forget to check out the concert website. Many times, event hosts will offer off-site parking with shuttle service that can make your trip to and from, a breeze. If you do take public transportation, consider downloading an app like Moovit, touted as the “Waze of public transportation” so you can map out the best and least stressful way to get to the venue.
- Bring Snacks
This is pretty much a given for any event where you’re concerned your child might get a bit distracted or antsy, so it’s no different at their first outdoor concert. While many hosted events also have food vendors, the lines can be long or they may be inconvenient to where you’ve setup camp. Bringing along some crackers and some fruit, or look up simple recipes. This can help both you and your kids keep their sanity. Again, it’s important to check the concert venue website before packing your cooler to make sure you don’t bring along any banned items.
- Bring Bottle Caps, Too
Now this may seem like a strange idea, but many concert venues remove bottle caps from beverages when they’re sold. If you don’t want to pay $10 for a soda, only to have your son or daughter spill half of it, bringing your own bottle caps is a good idea.
- Consider Noise-Cancelling Headphones
Concerts are loud, even for the most avid of concert-goers, so keep in mind that you child’s ears are going to be sensitive to all of the commotion. Rather than pack up and leave when the tunes turn up, consider bringing along noise-cancelling headphones so they can block out the sound if it becomes too much. Manufacturers like Sony carry a wide variety of sizes and styles. With this option, your kids can still enjoy the atmosphere that outdoor concerts afford, without throbbing ears.
- Don’t forget to pack layers
It may be sunny and 70 when you leave the house, but by the time the sun goes down and the concert really gets going, the atmosphere can take a sharp turn. To make sure you don’t have to cut your night short, bring along sweaters and blankets for yourself and the kids. Comfortable clothes will not only keep your kids warm, but will help them feel at ease throughout the evening. Bringing along one of their favorite toys or stuffed animals is another great way to help them feel at home, even in the large crowd.
- Bring Some Memorabilia
Nothing gets kids more excited than the idea of meeting someone “famous.” Whether you’re seeing a Billboard Top artist or your favorite local musician, bringing along a t-shirt, poster or CD to get autographed can help kids get excited. Not only that, but it’s something they can keep and cherish for years to come.
Though it can seem daunting, taking your kids to their first concert can be a great bonding experience and (depending on how old they are), on they’ll never forget. While bringing kids to the concert certainly requires more planning than a quaint trip to the park, it’s not impossible to pull off and enjoy.
Have you taken your kids to a concert? Tell us about it in the comments below!