Thank you to Booth Amphitheatre for partnering with us on this post. All opinions are genuine and my very own.

Summer is in full swing and so is the North Carolina Symphony’s Summerfest, presented by UNC Rex Healthcare, at the Booth Amphitheatre in Cary, NC. The outdoor symphony concerts are a favorite summer activity for our family.

We love packing our coolers, grabbing our picnic blankets and lawn chairs and heading out to Koka Booth in Cary for a date night, as a family (kids 12 and under are FREE on the lawn!) or for an evening with friends. We get there early, find our favorite spot on the lawn close to Symphony Lake and pull out our brie and crackers, mixed olives, salads, and beverages and settle in for the Summerfest concerts.

During the year we enjoy the NC Symphony at the gorgeous Meymandi Concert Hall in Raleigh but their summer home in Cary, NC is perfect for a casual night outdoors. Picnicking on the lawn, drinks in hand while we enjoy the music makes it feel like the Symphony is in our own backyard. Pretty amazing. And on date nights, very romantic.

Summerfest music offers something for everyone. Each concert is unique- there are Broadway show tunes (my favorite, of course), classical masterworks, pop and rock.

One of the most anticipated Summerfest concerts this season in our family is the evening with North Carolina native singer, songwriter, and pianist, Ben Folds.  My husband was a huge fan of the Ben Folds Five. We are so excited to have him come through our hometown on tour this year.

Folds is a classically trained pianist and percussionist with a really unique sound. It’s been described as being a mesh of classical and pop. Besides being supremely talented, he’s a champion for arts education funding in public schools, so, of course, that makes us love him even more. We can’t wait to hear him sing some of his hit songs under the stars on our date night this weekend.

Summerfest opened up its season on Memorial Day but there are plenty of opportunities left to catch shows all summer.


Save these dates on your calendar:


•June 22nd– NC Symphony Presents: Ben Folds

•June 29th– NC Symphony Presents: Broadways’ Greatest Hits

Musical theatre stars Julie Reiber and Rodney Ingram join the Symphony for tunes from Broadway’s biggest hits—including songs from Wicked, The Phantom of the Opera, Chicago, Cats, The Lion King, Les Misérables, Mamma Mia!, and Beauty and the Beast.

•July 4th– The Town of Cary Presents: Independence Day Celebration

This evening is in addition to the Summerfest series and is a FREE concert, complete with fireworks!

•July 6th-NC Symphony Presents: Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture

Orchestral showpieces by some of Russia’s greatest composers from heart-racing overtures by Shostakovich, Rimsky-Korsakov, and Glinka, to familiar romantic tunes by Khachaturian, to the theatrics and pure fun of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture.

•July 12th– NC Symphony Presents: The Music of Chicago with Brass Transit

Chicago tribute band Brass Transit (which includes one of Chicago’s founding members!) takes the stage with the Symphony. The band will perform classic hits including “Saturday in the Park”, “25 or 6 to 4”, “If You Leave Me Now,” and “You’re the Inspiration.”

•July 20th– NC Symphony Presents: Annual Beach Party Starring the Embers

The Summerfest season concludes with NCS presenting local legends The Embers, who
will have audiences singing and dancing along to Carolina beach music until the stars come out. (The Symphony will not perform at this concert.)


We love that the concerts are laidback and fun and that most include pre-performance activities like Instrument Zoos (where kids can try out the orchestra instruments) or the always fun, Picnic of the Week contest. Which reminds me-I definitely need to up my picnic game this summer.

Ticket package options include Lawn Flex Passes that can be used for lawn admission to any of the Symphony’s Summerfest concerts; and Covered Crescent Packages, which include a ticket to each of the 10 concerts in the Summerfest series, seated at a table in the Covered Crescent section.

Single-concert tickets are also available in advance or at the gate. Don’t forget kids under age 12 are admitted free on the lawn so Summerfest at Booth Amphitheatre makes for a fun, family night outdoors.

For more information and to purchase tickets, click on the event names above, visit or call 919.733.2750. You can also visit the NCS State Headquarters Offices at 3700 Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh. See you on the lawn!


PS. Have you been to any Summerfest concerts at Koka Booth? Which one are you most looking forward to? Let’s chat in the comments below!