FREE Outdoor Summer Concert Directory! Live music and entertainment around the Seacoast.
School just got out and my kids are already raiding my wallet. Summer is expensive!
As my cherubs and I convene to compile our Summer Bucket List, my aim is to sprinkle in as many free events as I can find, because like I said, summer ain’t cheap. The Seacoast offers a slew of outdoor concerts and entertainment fun for the whole family and the ones listed below will cost you zippo. The entertainment is free, but if you stop at Dunkin before, that’s on you.
Hampton Beach Seashell Nightly Concerts
Every summer from Memorial Day to Labor Day, the Hampton Beach Seashell Stage will host over 80 shows featuring music from the 50’s – 90’s and beyond. Shows run seven nights a week from 7-9:30pm. Come down and get nostalgic with the music of your generation or enjoy Country Night on Thursdays. Seating is available unless you find yourself dancing in the aisles. It happens. Also, stay late on Wednesday nights to see the weekly firework displays at 9:45pm. To see the summer concert lineup, visit hamptonbeach.org.
Exeter Summer Concert in the Park Series
Exeter Recreation hosts their free Summer Concert in the Park Series held every Thursday evening from 6-8pm in the gorgeous Swasey Park located in downtown Exeter. BYOC (bring your own chair) and enjoy performances by New England-based bands playing Country, Rock, Bluegrass, Top 40 and Alternative Folk (that sounds interesting). Concerts run Thursdays, June 15 – July 27. Visit exeternh.gov for more details.
Dover’s Cocheco Arts Festival
The Cocheco Arts Festival gives you a few opportunities to grab a spot of grass at Henry Law Park and kick back for some good live tunes. Every Wednesday night at 6pm (July 12-August 16), Shark in the Park offers a solid lineup of the Seacoast’s best classic rock bands. The Friday Night Headliner Concerts (Fridays at 7pm, July 7-August 18) offers and eclectic mix of talent from swing jazz to Afro-pop to singer-songwriter—a great evening outdoors with the family. Visit cochechoartsfestival.org for more details.
Dover’s Cocheco Arts Festival for Kids
Here’s a special one just for the kids! Starting in July, Cochecho Arts Festival hosts a different national or regional children’s performer every Tuesday morning at the Rotary Arts Pavilion Stage in Downtown Dover. The 2017 summer performers include Wayne from Maine, BJ Hickman, Rockin Ron the Friendly Pirate and more. Concerts start at 10:30am and are free. Visit cochechoartsfestival.org for more details.
Somersworth Kids’ Koncerts
Starting in July, the annual Kids’ Koncert series kicks off at the Somersworth High School Outdoor Pavilion. Every Wednesday for five weeks in the summer (July 12-August 9), you can view family-friendly entertainment on the lawn. Bring a picnic dinner or purchase a Meal Deal from their take-out area (Hot dogs, chips, soda, ice cream, popcorn and water are provided a reasonable price—hey, it’s summer, why not). Shows start at 6pm and are usually about an hour in length. Free! For more information, visit nhfestivals.org.
Stratham Kids’ Summer Show Series
Stratham Parks & Recreation has a great summer lineup just for kids! Every Friday at 10:30am from July 14-August 4, you can check out the best in children’s entertainment for free including Wayne from Maine, Wildlife Encounters, Anderson Magic and Pogo Fred (this guy sounds like a lot of fun). Performance locations vary, visit strathamnh.gov for more details.
Atlantic Grill’s Music By The Sea Concert Series
This one is not free but it’s for a good cause and deserves a mention. Atlantic Grill’s Music By The Sea Concert Series has a setting that can’t be beat. Kick back with your family and friends oceanside on the Seacoast Science Center grounds on Thursday evenings July 6-27 to enjoy some of the hottest bands in New England (including family favorite Jumbo Circus Peanuts). Just bring your blanket or chair, pack a picnic, or purchase freshly grilled fare and beverages (including beer and wine) onsite. Tickets are $12 for adults and $2 for children ages 3-12; under 3 are free (members receive half off), but all proceeds go towards supporting the Center’s ocean education mission. Concerts are held under the tent rain or shine. For more info, visit seacoastsciencecenter.org.
For a complete listing of these concerts and absolutely everything else going on around the seacoast this summer, visit our calendar of events!