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How to Use Miles and Points This Summer at the Best US Music Festivals for Families

June 19, 2019
12 min read
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Summer’s here, bringing with it endless sunshine, picnics in the park, ice cream, outdoor fun -- and music festivals. Although many festivals are teen- and adult-centric, there are plenty of events that cater specifically to families. Here are four of our favorite festivals from around the country, with guidance on how to use your miles and points for tickets, hotels and more.

Outside Lands: August 9–11, 2019

Photo by Josh Withers/Outside Lands
Photo by Josh Withers/Outside Lands

What It Is: Held in San Francisco’s prettiest venue — Golden Gate Park — Outside Lands draws some of the biggest names in the biz, in addition to hosting a wide range of local food and beverage vendors, art galleries and plenty of family-friendly events. Additionally, the festival is home to Eco Lands, a series of local organizations devoted to promoting environmental awareness through eco-friendly activities for the whole family.

Headliners: Paul Simon, Twenty One Pilots, The Lumineers, Leon Bridges, Kacey Musgraves, Counting Crows, Mavis Staples and more

Why It’s Family-Friendly: Outside Lands is brimming with awesome bands that the whole family will love, plus countless food options — especially Choco Lands, an entire area dedicated to chocolate treats and desserts. And at Eco Lands, everyone can enjoy healthy snacks at the Farmers Market, learn how to make compost piles, brush up on their gardening skills and take part in a variety of other eco-friendly activities.

How to Get Tickets: Children under the age of 2 are free; a one-day general admission pass is $155 per person. Also, Chase Sapphire Preferred Card cardmembers have access to a pop-up Sapphire Lounge that features a custom coffee bar, artisanal snacks, happy hours, private restrooms and a viewing deck. You can even bring a friend along.

Where to Stay: Near Golden Gate Park, centrally located Marriott properties include the JW Marriott San Francisco Union Square and the Courtyard San Francisco Union Square, both for 50,000 points per night. Or, you can use your annual free night certificate that that comes with the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card at both of those hotels (free night certificate is capped at hotels costing 50,000 points).

More about San Francisco:

Bumbershoot Music & Arts Festival: Aug. 30–Sept. 1, 2019


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What It Is: A diverse, multi-disciplinary music and arts festival that’s become one of Seattle’s biggest cultural touchstones, Bumbershoot is chock-full of top musical performers, arts programming and hands-on activities for the whole family. It’s the quintessential summer music festival.

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Headliners: The Lumineers, Louis the Child, Taking Back Sunday, Carly Rae Jepsen, REZZ, Alina Baraz and more.

Why It’s Family-Friendly: For starters, kids under 8 receive complimentary admission. Not to mention Bumbershoot has a specific children’s area, Youngershoot, that’s curated by the Seattle Children’s Museum and features crafts, dance classes and performances. The festival offers a printed guide with a list of events that are kid-friendly. For those with younger kids, this is a great way to not only save money on a summer concert, but to also ensure your kids are well entertained.

How to Get Tickets: A three-day general admission pass costs $220 per person; you can buy tickets online. If you are an American Express card holder, you can purchased a reduced pass at just $205 per person. (Seniors age 70 and over also will be admitted for free to Bumbershoot without a ticket).

Where to Stay: Book a stay at either the Vintage Seattle or the Monaco Seattle, both Kimpton properties, which offer evening social hours and free milk and cookies. Both hotels put you close to many family-friendly eateries and offer onsite dining. At 50,000 IHG points a night you can book a room with two queen beds. Remember that Gold Elite, Platinum Elite and Spire Elite IHG Rewards Club members get a Raid the Bar credit when staying at a Kimpton property, and don’t forget to use the secret password to unlock a free gift at check-in. If you have the IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card you'll also receive your fourth night free when you use points if you want to extend your stay and enjoy Seattle before or after the concert.

More about Seattle:

The RIDE Festival: July 12–14, 2019

The Ride Festival kids
There are always plenty of fun things for kids to do at The Ride Festival. (Photo by Dylan Langille/The Ride Festival)

What It Is: Nestled in one of the most scenic box canyons in the country, in Southwest Colorado, Telluride is a dreamy mountain town any time of year — but The RIDE Festival makes for a wonderful visit. Laid-back, serene and folksy, the RIDE takes place in various locations throughout Telluride at the height of summer, when the air is crisp, the valley is lush and the mountains are bathed in hot pink at sunset.

Headliners: Widespread Panic, Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit, Big Something, The Temperance Movement, Los Colognes and more.

Why It’s Family Friendly: Kids aren’t just welcome guests at The RIDE Festival, they are encouraged to come out and join the fun. The Kid’s Tent has face painting, T-shirt decorating, jewelry crafts, hula-hoop creation, a glass blower display and more. Children 12 and under get into the festival free of charge.

How to Get Tickets: Buy tickets online; a general admission weekend pass is $225 per person. You can also buy just one-day tickets: tickets for Friday cost $75, Saturday and Sunday tickets are each $110.

Where to Stay: Spend the night at the Dunton Town House, a stylish, intimate B&B next to Telluride’s main drag. Book with the Citi Prestige® Card to earn 3x points on your stay and take advantage of the fourth-night-free perk. Or book the hotel with your Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and "erase" the expenses, coded as travel, from your credit card statement.

More about Telluride:

Lollapalooza: Aug. 1–4, 2019

Have fun with the entire family at this year's Lollapalooza. (Lollapalooza 2018
Have fun with the entire family at this year's Lollapalooza. (Photo by Candice Lawler/Lollapalooza 2018)

What It Is: One of the most historic music festivals in the country, Lollapalooza is held every year in the heart of Chicago, in sprawling Grant Park. While its roots are in '90s alternative rock, Lollapalooza has since morphed into a hugely popular (and very family-friendly) multiday arts and music event.

Headliners: Ariana Grande, The Strokes, Tame Impala, Flume, The Chainsmokers, Janelle Monae, Hozier and more.

Why It’s Family Friendly: At Kidzapalooza, children of all ages can rock out while participating in arts and crafts activities, hip-hop workshops, skateboarding demos and photo booths. There’s even a music video area, a colorful LED stage where kids can sign up to play cool instruments and control their own lighting. Best of all, children ages 10 and younger are admitted free of charge with a ticket-holding adult.

How to Get Tickets: There are several ticket options, but a one-day general admission pass costs is $130 per person.

Where to Stay: Both the Hilton Chicago and the Palmer House are both Hilton properties costing 60,000 Hilton Honors points a night. Both properties are right outside of Grant Park giving you easy access to the festival. The Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card comes with automatic Gold status which will give your family great benefits such as complimentary breakfast and the possibility of an upgraded room. Or, if you prefer a Hyatt property, you can stay at the Hyatt Regency Chicago for just 12,000 World of Hyatt points a night.

More about Chicago:

How to Use Miles and Points for Other Concerts

In addition to summer music festivals, you could also opt to use points and miles for summer concerts. With Hilton Honors Experiences, card holders can grab a pair of lawn seats for some of the summer's most popular concerts for just 10,000 points for two tickets. And if you have Marriott Bonvoy points, you can redeem them for entertainment "moments," such as concert tickets (plus premium seats), luxury suites and hotel packages. There's a host of packages and concerts to choose from.

Just a few of the concerts available from Hilton Experiences.
Just a few of the concerts available from Hilton Honors Experiences.

Bottom Line

This summer, take the family on a musical adventure they won't forget. There are plenty of action-packed, family-friendly music festivals throughout the country, where kids of all ages can discover new tunes and have a blast. Just be sure to use your points and miles whenever possible, to score some great savings.

Featured image by Katrina Barber
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.