Whether you want to hear classical music under the stars, escape into a Broadway musical, or dance to the rhythm of a rock concert, America’s legendary amphitheaters make an ideal summer adventure! And whether you go solo or with family and friends, there’s nothing like live entertainment in a beautiful, outdoor setting to make great memories. Let’s explore some of America’s most awesome amphitheaters.
Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Chiseled into the side of Mt. Morrison in Morrison, Colorado, the Red Rocks Music Amphitheatre, well, rocks. Ranked the best amphitheater in America by Rolling Stone Magazine, this venue features breathtaking mountain views and a varied performance schedule.
In addition to concerts featuring many types of artists, the Red Rocks Music Amphitheatre also holds film screenings and stargazing sessions. Whether you want to curl up on your ToastyTote blanket and listen to Lionel Richie or look for shapes in the clouds with your family, this mountainside amphitheater has something for everyone.
Kansas City Starlight Theatre
Ancient amphitheaters dating way back to Ancient Greece and Rome were not typically venues for rock concerts. Instead, they were the settings for theatre. Starlight Theatre in Kansas City, Missouri carries on this tradition (plus a bevy of rock concerts). In addition to touring shows, Starlight remains one of only two major self-producing outdoor theaters in the United States.
Also praised by Rolling Stone Magazine, this amphitheater features the spectacle of fully produced Broadway touring shows, made possible by a recent renovation and investments in state-of-the-art technology. To foster local talent, they offer camps and classes for thespians both big and small. Starlight is a summer entertainment destination for hundreds of thousands of Kansas Citians and visitors each year. Plus, it’s in ToastyTote’s backyard! We love the summer Broadway series.
Located on Chicago’s North Shore, this outdoor venue is home to the Ravinia Festival, North America’s oldest outdoor music festival, as well as the summer residence of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Each summer, approximately 600,000 visitors spread their blankets on the lawn and enjoy almost 150 events spanning all genres of music.
Legendary past performers have included Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Janis Joplin, and Yo-Yo Ma. Aside from the diverse array of music options, Ravinia offers the KidsLawn Interactive Musical Playground, a family-friendly space where kids can create their own music with interactive exhibits including the “instrument petting zoo.”
The Hollywood Bowl
The epicenter of glitz and glamor, the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, California is where history and theatricality intersect. Few other amphitheaters can boast a near century-long resume of success.
From one perspective, the Buzzfeed –praised Hollywood Bowl evokes modernity. It features high-end technology and the magnetism of nearby Hollywood and Los Angeles, but it is also a monument in music history. Built in 1922, this California fixture has housed Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, and nearly every other music legend.
Outdoor amphitheaters have existed for centuries as entertainment destinations and as meeting places, bringing people together under the open sky. We encourage you to take part in this ages-old human experience this summer – it doesn’t matter what the venue is, or the occasion – spending time in nature with your friends or family is what’s important!