Leawood’s Park Place is celebrating summertime with its annual concert series, Summer Sounds in the Park, and the first performance — Wednesday — will be focused on parents and families.
The concert, featuring the musical talents of Peanut Butter Hamster and Rockin’ Rob and called Rally for Kids, is a partnership among Park Place, Shawnee Mission Health and authors Barbara Unell and Jerry Wyckoff. Unell and Wyckoff have written six parenting books and have helped gear other activities at the concert toward a theme of parenting advice.
Although a workshop or lecture would be a more traditional venue to discuss parenting techniques, Unell said that they wanted to make the experience more fun.
“We’re of that ilk that we want to have a good time,” Unell said. “We want parents and families to come together. We know that parents’ time these days is very limited in terms of the free time they have, and we thought we’d have something that was more of a gathering. The bottom line is building positive relationships with children.”
Never miss a local story.
The first 100 adults at Wednesday’s concert will receive a gift bag containing Unell and Wyckoff’s latest book, “Discipline with Love and Limits,” along with various goodies from Shawnee Mission Health and coupons for Park Place merchants.
In addition to the giveaway, Unell, Wyckoff and some pediatricians will be on hand to answer questions parents may have about child-rearing topics.
“It’s all about having fun but also having the information and resources available for parents,” said Amy Kraft-Watkins, marketing manager for Park Place.
Also on the bill are various children’s entertainers with offerings such as a magic show, balloon animals and face painting. All the activities are free.
“We’re thrilled to put a positive light on building relationships. Oftentimes, we hear about terrible things in this world with children, and I think this is reinforcing the opportunity we have to build” good things, Unell said.
Park Place has been holding the concert series every summer for about six years, Kraft-Watkins said.
“I really tried to get a wider variety of genres included in the lineup this year,” Kraft-Watkins said. “We see a lot of the same attendees multiple weeks, and I want to make sure they’re seeing something different and something fresh.”
On average, a concert in the series might garner 300 or 400 attendees who come and go throughout the evening. Attendees can hear the music in the Barkley Square green area or from nearby restaurants. There will be food such as pizza or hamburgers available for purchase at all of the concerts.
Beth Lipoff: firstname.lastname@example.org
The concert series runs every Wednesday evening from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. from June 1 to July 27 at Barkley Square at 116th Place and Ash Street in Park Place. Other artists scheduled to perform include Kim and the Gas Men (June 29), Big Time Grain Co. (July 13) and Rattle & Hum (July 20). In case of rain, concerts will take place indoors at the Grille at Park Place.