By Mahala Herron, @MahalaHerron

Nothing says summer quite like a music festival in a park. From Jazz to classical tunes, here’s a list of some free concerts for you and your family to enjoy.

The Stern Grove Music Festival

The Stern Grove Music Festival is every Sunday at 2 p.m. from now through Aug. 19. The featured performers this year include the San Francisco Ballet (July 29) and the Bay Area funk/soul act the Humidors (Aug. 12). There’s also fun and games for the kids, such as dance lessons and arts and crafts. Food vendors will be on hand, and shuttles which can take you down to the event in the grove.

Take Caltrain to the Millbrae Station, then BART from there to the Daly City Station. Next, hop on the MUNI 28 to be in the midst of the fun.

The 32nd Annual Summer Jazz Series

The 32nd Annual Summer Jazz Series is every Thursday at the Stanford Shopping Center with highlights from vocalist Pamela Rose and pianist John R. Burr. They perform July 19, and San Francisco-based funk/jazz/R&B act The Love Gangsters performs Aug. 2. Concerts end Aug. 23, so there still are many chances to experience the fun.

Take Caltrain to the Palo Alto Station then take a short walk to the Shopping Center. SamTrans routes ECR, 35, 280, or the 281 will take you to the Shopping Center as well.

Music in the Park

Stafford Park in Redwood City hosts Music in the Park every Wednesday from now through Aug. 22 at 6 p.m. Highlights are set to include Cajun/Zydeco/New Orleans R&B act Gator Nation Band who performs July 11, and the Kyle Rowland Blues Band on July 25.

Take SamTrans routes 295 or ECR and a five minute walk to the park. Take Caltrain to the Redwood City Station then walk 15 minutes to the park.

San Mateo Central Park Free Concerts

The city of San Mateo’s is putting on free concerts every Thursday night during the summer in Central Park through Aug 16. On Thursday, July 19, enjoy some Latin Musica with Tito Garcia y su Orquestra Internacional, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Bring your low-back chairs and blankets to enjoy the show.

Take Caltrain to the San Mateo Station and walk roughly 10 minutes to the park.  You can also take SamTrans ECR, which makes multiple stops near there.

Summer Country and Rock Concert

On Wednesdays through Aug. 23, Menlo Park is hosting free concerts from 6:30 p.m. to  8 p.m. Upcoming performances include The Groove Foundation (Dance Party) on July 18, and Rachel Steele (Country, Rock) on  July 25. There is space reserved near the stage reserves for people of all ages to dance.

Take Caltrain to the Menlo Park Station then walk five minutes to the event or take SamTrans ECR and 286 routes to a nearby station.

Music is Magic

On Fridays through Aug. 31, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. the Magical Bridge playground in Palo Alto will be the site of the Music is Magic Festival. The Magical Bridge is considered the nation’s most inclusive playground, attracting visitors of all abilities and disabilities.

Don’t miss the sweet sounds of artists such as Andy Z, Tim Cain, and the Noise Lab at the theater in the park, then bring the kids to the nearby playground for some more summer fun.

Take Caltrain to the Palo Alto Station, and then take the city’s  Palo Alto Shuttle C  to the festival. You can also take SamTrans Routes 88 and 35.


Mahala Herron is one of the San Mateo County Transit District’s summer interns. She studies at UCLA and is from Oakland. She is interning in the District’s communications department.

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