The audience joins dancers on stage at Red Butte Garden; photo courtesy of Red Butte Garden.

Utah’s a surprising and colorful blend of cultures.

For proof, grab a blanket, pack a picnic and take the kids to experience Utah’s cultural mosaic on stage at Red Butte Garden’s Monday Family Night Concerts.

When Family Night started about 15 years ago, magicians and puppet troupes entertained small crowds in the courtyard. Now, performers draw big crowds in the Garden Amphitheatre—the same stage Sheryl Crow plays this August.

And the acts have changed to include Native American storytellers, Maori dancers, Bollywood dancers, Scottish bagpipers and Japanese Taiko drummers.

“Before, it was for straight entertainment value,” says Patrick Newman, director of programs. “But we really wanted something educational, so we made the move toward highlighting Utah’s cultural richness and diversity.”

Kids also learn a bit of botany. Each performance includes free crafts or projects highlighting a plant tied to the performers’ culture.

“We often see the same families at each of the Monday Family Nights,” says Newman. “It’s kind of a summer tradition.”

Concerts are held June–August and are included with admission to the garden. 

Here is this summer's schedule:

Monday, June 9: Wasatch Eagle Dancers, Native American Dance & Music

Monday, June 16: Kenshin Taiko, Japanese Drum

Monday, July 7: Red Desert Ramblers, Bluegrass Music

Monday, July 14: Island Traditions, Polynesian Music & Dance

Monday, Aug. 4: Capoeira, Brazilian Martial Art

Monday, Aug. 11: Salt Lake Scots

Red Butte Garden, 300 Wakara Way, SLC, 801-585-0556. For specific dates and performers, visit

EXTRA: Red Butte holds family summer campouts, where the fam can sleep under the stars and wake up to eggs and pancakes in the garden. Kids day camps are also available. Visit for info.  

Back>>>More stuff to do with the kids this summer.

Back>>>Read other stories from our May/June 2014 issue.