There is nothing like listening to music under the stars, and given our fabulous climate here in Southern California, we have the opportunity to do so most of the year. What follows is a list of Los Angeles’ outdoor concert halls.

(credit: cgkinla)

The Hollywood Bowl

2301 North Highland Avenue
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Of course, when you’re talking about outdoor concerts, you’ve got to start with the premier venue, the Hollywood Bowl, the outdoor home of the LA Philharmonic. The world-famous bandshell has played host to the greatest names in the music industry since the 1920’s, and there are concerts scheduled here all year long. Please check with the Box office for ticket prices. There are dining options on site provided by the Patina restaurant group, or of course, you are welcome to bring your own picnic fare. There is stacked parking on site, and also many options to park off site and either walk or take public transportation the rest of the way.

Upcoming concerts include: ¡Viva Mexico! with Ozomatli, Calexico, the Mexican Institute of Sound, Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles, and Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet Company on September 19th, The famous Sing-A-Long Sound of Music on September 25th, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers on October 1st, Jack Johnson on October 8th, and LCD Soundsystem on October 15th.


The Greek Theatre

2700 North Vermont Ave.
Los Angeles
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Nestled in the hills within Griffith Park, The Greek Theater is a wonderful place for a concert and a picnic, surrounded by trees in the foothills of LA. The Greek, as it is commonly referred to, was built in the 1920’s and plays host to contemporary artists throughout the year. Ticket prices vary by artist, so check with the Box Office. There are packaged picnic boxes available to order online, or of course, you can bring your own. There is ample stacked parking available on site for $15, or you can pay $20 for limited, “non-stack” parking, if you like.

Upcoming concerts include: Willie Nelson and Family on September on September 24th, Dane Cook on October 2nd and 3rd, Van Morrison on October 5th, Maroon 5 on October 8th and 9th, and Widespread Panic on October 22nd.


Los Angeles County Museum of Art

5905 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles
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Every Friday evening from 6pm – 8pm, April – November, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art offers Jazz at LACMA free concerts are held on the LA Times Central Court plaza of the museum. The concerts are how many Angelenos start their weekends, since the museum restaurants remain open late those evenings for either light refreshments or full dinners. There are many options for parking nearby, either in parking lots or on the street, just don’t forget to read posted signs.

Upcoming concerts include: Bob Mintzer Canyon Cove Trio on September 17th, Kristen Korb on September 24th, Tom Rizzo Quartet on October 1st, Ernie Watts Quartet on October 8th, Peter Erskine Quartet on October 15th, and Louis Van Taylor Band on October 22nd.


The Getty

1200 Getty Center Drive
Los Angeles
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The Getty Center offers its free concert series, Saturdays Off the 405, an antidote to the rat race of the commute, outdoors in the museum courtyard from 6pm – 9pm. Food and drinks are available for purchase, and admission to the Getty is always free. Parking at the Getty costs $15, except after 5pm, when it is also free.

Other upcoming concerts at the Getty include: Mani Bolouri on October 23rd, and the Gordon Getty Concert: Piffaro (tickets cost $20) on November 13th.


Grand Performances

California Plaza in Downtown Los Angeles
300-350 S. Grand Avenue
Los Angeles
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It just gets better when summer rolls around again – mark your calendars for the 2011 season of
Grand Performances, which hosts free outdoor concerts all summer long at the Watercourt at California Plaza.

Sarah Auerswald publishes the blog Mar Vista Mom.


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