Summertime soundtrack

Round up family and friends and soak in live musical performances nearby

The western suburbs will soon be alive with the sound of music. The season of live outdoor concert series is right around the corner, blending the joy of good tunes with the delight of summertime weather.

Watch future issues for more information on Hinsdaleans' favorite summer concert series, Uniquely Thursdays.

Here are a few others in the area to check out.

• Cantigny Park's Summer Concert Series runs from 3 to 5 p.m. Sundays from May 26 to Sept. 1 (no concert June 23).

This concert is outdoors and features lawn seating. Guests are encouraged to bring chairs or blankets and picnics; a designated area will be reserved for guests with pop-up tents and canopies. House-smoked pulled pork sandwiches, beef brisket and hot dogs will be available for purchase, as well as cotton candy, popcorn, artisan candies and crêpes, and craft and domestic beers, wines, cocktails and soft drinks.

Internationally acclaimed touring star Brandon Bennett opens the series with "Elvis My Way" May 26.

Admission is free but parking is $20.

Cantigny Park is located at 1S151 Winfield Road in Wheaton. Visit for more information.

• Enjoy tunes amidst the trees at Morton Arboretum's Arbor Evenings concert series from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday nights from May 29 through Aug. 21.

Purchase drinks, ice cream, and menu items from a variety of food trucks, try your hand at lawn games and see spectacular sunsets from atop Frost Hill.

The band R-Gang will kick off the season on May 29; admission starts at 5:15 p.m. Tickets are $15 and $5 for ages 2-12, and advance purchase is required.

The arboretum is located at 4100 Route 53 in Lisle. Visit for tickets or more information.

• Burr Ridge's Concerts on the Village Green will deliver free live musical entertainment from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursdays from June 6 to Aug. 1 (no concert July 4).

Libido Funk Circus will open the series. Tickets are not required, and guests are permitted to save their space with chairs and blankets starting at 6 p.m.

Concerts are held at Burr Ridge Village Center, 701 Village Center. Visit for more information.

• The Westmont Park District presents its Summer Concert Series from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays, June 19, July 17 and Aug. 21.

Guests are welcome to bring picnic baskets, lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy an evening of free outdoor entertainment.

The band Hoopla is first up, performing classic rock from the '60s through the '80s at Ty Warner Park. 800 Blackhawk Drive. Subsequent concerts will be held at different locations. Visit for more information.

• Head to the Brookfield Zoo for Roaring Nights from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, June 22, and Saturday, July 27. (Barenaked Ladies July 12 is sold out.)

Celebrate the zoo's 90th anniversary with performances by chart-topping groups The Fray June 22 and Gin Blossoms on July 27. Several animal habitats will be open until 7 p.m., animal ambassadors will be on hand on the East Mall between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. and guests can take spin on the carousel until 7 p.m. and on the zoo's anniversary Ferris wheel until 9 p.m. (extra fees apply)

Tickets are $45-$55, and every individual ticket purchased comes with free entry for one child age 12 and under. Special VIP packages are available for some performances.

The zoo is located at 8400 31st St. Visit for tickets or more information.

• Get your feet moving to Clarendon Hills for the free Dancin' in the Streets music series from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays, June 26 and July 10 through Aug. 7.

A beer tent will be set up, and guests are invited to visit local eateries for tasty menu items. Chairs and blankets are encouraged.

Opening act The Wayouts will bring their vision of authentic 1960s rock n' roll for listeners to enjoy.

The event takes place on South Prospect Avenue in downtown Clarendon Hills. Visit for more information.

• Oak Brook Park District's Summer Concert Series will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursdays, July 11 through Aug. 1.

The band Live Stream, playing '80s and '90s music to get the audience moving and grooving, will headline the first of the free performances on July 11.

The concerts will be held in Central Park, 1450 Forest Gate Road. Visit for more information.

College of DuPage's Lakeside Pavilion reopens for the season with concerts Fridays, July 12 to Aug. 9, and Thursdays, July 18 and 25.

Bring a blanket, lawn chair and a picnic. Food, beverages and a bar also will be available; outside alcohol is not permitted. Once capacity is reached, the park will close.

New Philharmonic will open the series with a pops concert July 12. Admission is free, but a food donation is appreciated to benefit local food pantries.

Lakeside Pavilion is located at 425 Fawell Blvd. in Glen Ellyn. Visit for more information.

- compiled by Ken Knutson