I know you love the word “free.” Really, who doesn’t?
And as the weather warms and you have the itch to be outside as much as possible, sitting on restaurant patios eating and drinking can get to be a bit expensive. To save money, you’re only option may be an outdoor workout — but you’re not always in the mood to drip sweat, and maybe you even workout outdoors in the early morning hours to beat the sun’s stronger rays. There’s still another free option, though, and it’s much less sweaty: outdoor summer concerts!
Once the warm weather hits, they’re everywhere! Shopping centers, parks, local downtown areas and lakefronts all have them. While the concerts may not host the most well-known artists — you can bet Beyonce won’t be showing up — it’s a great way to get out of the house, enjoy the weather, and let your ears listen to something new.
Depending on the location, you may be allowed to BYOB. If not, there’s often vendors selling alcohol and lite fare — an option to take it from a free night to still a fairly cheap night. Even better, oftentimes local business offer deals and specials in conjunction with the concerts. At shopping centers and downtown areas there may be some free sampling, special happy hour deals, and/or free wine tastings. Be sure to check out any local shops as well; window shopping and casual browsing are free of charge! Parks and lakefront areas often allow outside picnics, and there’s always the option of strolling around a bit, too.
Whether you’re looking to get out of the house, need a date night, or want to entertain kids for a few hours, free outdoor summer concerts are a great way to do so! If you’re not sure where there are free concerts in your area, check your local newspaper or county magazine. A simple Google search will also do the trick. Just search “free summer concert” with the name of your city or town. I bet there’s something within a half-hour’s driving distance or less!
If you’re a local reader in the Ellicott City area, check out of some of the nearby events. Last weekend my fiance and I went to a concert in downtown Ellicott City and went to a free wine tasting at The Wine Bin; the store was also hosting an outdoor movie in its parking lot with wine, beer and popcorn available for purchase. Tuesday, we went to a concert at the Columbia Lakefront where we walked around the lake, hanging out and listening to the music.
- Sunset Serenades at Centennial Park — Wednesdays at 7 p.m.
- Lakefront Summer Festival — Concerts Tuesdays to Thursdays from 7:30-9:30 pm., Saturdays from 7:30-9:30 p.m., Sundays from 6:30-8:30 p.m.; outdoor movies Mondays and Fridays at 8:30 p.m.; free outdoor dance lessons Fridays from 6:30-8 p.m.
- Concerts on the Courtyard — Saturdays from 6:30-8:30 p.m. with outdoor movies starting in The Win Bin’s parking lot at 9 p.m.; The Wine Bin offers free wine tastings all day Saturdays
- Turf Valley Towne Square Summer Concert Series — Thursdays from 6:30-8:30 p.m.