A summer of music celebrations started up when a 10 a.m. crowd welcomed well-known local children’s performer Andy Z at the Mountain View Civic Center Plaza May 21. He was kicking off KidStock, a series of three Saturday morning concerts with attendant balloon crafting, caricature art and more.
Next up will be Charity Kahn and the JAMband 10 a.m. June 18, with a magician scheduled to provide ancillary entertainment. July’s KidStock is scheduled to include sensory activities as well as an Octopretzel performance and free shaved ice for the first 300 kids in attendance.
The city’s “Thursday Night Live” series won’t return this year – the concerts had shut down Castro Street for a street party each Thursday, but in the post-COVID landscape of parklets and reimagined events, the city pivoted to growing its “Concerts on the Plaza” series, according to city recreation supervisor Maureen Grzan-Pieracci.
The band Livewire is set to kick off the series 6-7:30 p.m. Friday at 500 Castro St., followed by the Groovy Judy Band June 10.
“It used to be two times a month, now it’s every Friday of the month from June through the end of September,” she said. “We chose very different bands, more ‘Thursday Night Live’ bands. … This is all high-energy dance music.”
The cafe on the plaza serves beer and wine during the concerts, though there won’t be food trucks at the events, which Grzan-Pieracci described as focused on “the music and community and getting back to the party.”
The Summer Outdoor Movie Night Series returns to Mountain View starting in July, with a film series selected by the city’s Youth Advisory Committee kicking off with “Sing 2” July 8. The same group of teens are planning what scope of related activities might happen in a kidzone before the show this year – in the past, it involved options such as bubbles, Hula-Hoops and soccer, Grzan-Pieracci said.
Because the movies start after sundown, the movie nights typically cater to an older crowd of kids than KidStock, though families have been known to bring comfortable blankets and let younger members fall asleep while older ones watch the film to the end.
The last of the city’s Spring Park Pop-Ups runs 4-6 p.m. June 8 at Pioneer Park, a Mountain View series expanded after a summer experiment last year proved a hit as the city moved bubble-making materials and low-key lawn games from site to site around the city for late-afternoon neighborhood gatherings.
Another opportunity to gather as a family is scheduled 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 11 at Rengstorff Park for the city’s “Summer Community Kick-off,” which includes fun (art classes, crafts, shaved ice) and opportunities to learn about a variety of public services and resources available to families in Mountain View. Participating organizations include the city, the Community Health Awareness Council, Mountain View’s Community Services Agency, Community Legal Services of East Palo Alto, the Mountain View Mediation Program, Project Sentinel, the YMCA, the Mountain View Day Workers Center and Santa Clara County.
A final item for the calendar, stretching further into June: Peninsula Youth Theatre is staging a free 3 p.m. performance of “Crashed in Camelot” June 17 on the ParkStage at Pioneer Park.
The city of Los Altos has not yet resumed the park concert and movie events that, pre-pandemic, hopped from park to park around Los Altos.