Pining for the days when you actually got to hear live music?Dying to open the kids’ ears to sounds beyond the Wiggles and Radio Disney?Get back in the groove at an outdoor music fest that’s a hit for all ages. In addition to extracurriculars like hiking and hula-hooping, these five events have eclectic lineups, stages for groups who cater to the young crowd, and plenty of opportunities for tot rockers to create sounds of their own. No shushing necessary.
Kerrville Folk Festival
At this epic 18-day event, songwriters vie for the New Folk crown (past winners include Lyle Lovett and Nanci Griffith). The site is a ranch turned campground in rugged Texas Hill Country (an hour from San Antonio, or two from Austin). Both pro and aspiring troubadours swap songs around the campfire. Listen in. Kerrville, Texas; May 24–June 10; 830/257-3600; kerrvillefolkfestival.com; adult day passes from $20, children under 12 free.
Rootsy singer-songwriters, including the cream of the Austin and Nashville crops.
Serious "Kerrverts" bring RV’s and tents in order to fully partake of the jam-session scene. Cushier options nearbyinclude the Y.O. Ranch Resort Hotel & Conference Center (2033 Sydney Baker; 877/967-3767; yoresort.com; doubles from $109) and the Inn of the Hills Resort & Conference Center (1001 Junction Hwy.; 800/292-5690; innofthehills.com; doubles from $100).
Calling All Kids
At the volunteer-run activity center, youngsters can take a harmonica lesson or put on a play, and bands like Trout Fishing in America and Washtub Jerry present children’s shows each weekend. On the second Tuesday of the fest, kids dress up for the Kerrdi Gras parade through the campground.
It Happened Here
Michelle Shocked’s 1986 debut, The Texas Campfire Tapes, was covertly captured on a Walkman by an English record producer.