Friday, June 25, 2010

Music in Duke Gardens

One balmy summer night, I went with some friends to hear the Bowerbirds play as part of Duke's Music in the Gardens series. Ok, I'll admit, I did not take C to this event because of bedtimes and schedules. But there were a lot of kids here, so I decided it was worth sharing with you all.

The concerts are on Wednesday nights (with a few exceptions, see the online calendar linked below) behind the visitor's center. It cost us $10 to get in (kids 12 and under are free), but you can bring in your own cooler with food and any beverages (including adult beverages). They do sell wine and beer for cash, which is a nice addition.

The concert we attended was fairly crowded, so it is best to get there early to set up. Also, we noticed that the ground slopes away from stage, so chairs would be great if you are really keen on seeing the act. We were there to chat and enjoy the music, so it didn't bother us.

The Duke Gardens are just a beautiful setting all the time. It is an even better place to take in a live show. The lily pond next to the stage is picturesque and calm, and the crepe myrtles bend over the audience in splendor and color.

The one thing we did notice about this event, which is something to keep in mind when bringing kids, is that this is very much about the music and the performance. Some people came for the band, not the experience. Which means that not everyone appreciated chatty-cathys behind them, and kids were either fairly well contained to their blanket, or further from the event entirely. There wasn't the gaggle of kids running around the event you see at, say, a Weaver Street music concert or Carolina Inn's summer music series. Which is why this seems better for older children, who have the attention span for a music concert and/or can meander on their own independently for a short time.

Strollers are welcome, but you might have difficulty maneuvering it amongst the crowd and the grass, so probably best to leave it in the car altogether.

Duke does a great job of providing adequate, free parking for this event (it helps that students are gone). And given that the Gardens are one of the highlights of our area, seeing a live show in them could be a highlight of your summer. My friends and I had a great time.

Music in the Gardens
Sarah P. Duke Gardens
http://dukeperformances.duke.edu/series/music-in-the-gardens
Wednesdays and select Thursdays in the summer, 7 pm
Rain or shine


The Sarah P. Duke Gardens are located off of Anderson Street between Campus Drive and Erwin Road. Performances are held in Kirby Horton Hall and Angle Amphitheater. Kirby Horton Hall is located inside of the Doris Duke Center at Duke Gardens, and Angle Amphitheater is located directly behind the Doris Duke Center.

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