Reasons to Love Living in Carlsbad – The Arts #3

Reasons to Love Living in Carlsbad

The arts are just one of many reasons residents love Living in Carlsbad. Furthermore, visitors enjoy our town for the same reasons.

In Part 1 of this series on the Arts in Carlsbad we talked about theater.

Part 2 of the series was about film and outdoor movies.

In Part 3 the focus is on the musical offerings in Carlsbad. There are lots of popular options as far as music is concerned. The following are some of the major musical offerings.


The TGIF Concerts are a series of live bands, performing on consecutive Fridays every Summer. The concerts take place in 4 of Carlsbad’s beautiful community parks. In recent years there have been more events each Summer (9); in 2023 there were 6 concerts but plenty of variety.

TGIF Concerts in the Parks in Carlsbad

The concerts are a great way to enjoy a summer evening. There’s something special about several hours in a beautiful park, enjoying an al fresco dinner, great music and dancing. Be sure to bring low back chairs, your dinner, and a blanket in case it gets chilly.

Venues open at 5 pm, and the concerts are from 6 pm to around 8 pm with an intermission.

The TGIF Concerts are free and usually crowded so plan to get there early to find the best parking. There are raffles held during intermission (with great prizes) with tickets sold during the 1st half of the concert. Thus, the TGIF Concerts are a leading resource of funds for the arts programs in Carlsbad we all enjoy.


If you enjoy music the Museum of Making Music (MOMM) in Carlsbad is a real treat. The museum is an amazing history of music, archives, instrument displays, and interactive exhibits. You’ll find it easy to spend a couple of hours visiting. But that’s not all the MOMM offers.

The MOMM also offers concerts each year and a wide range of music and amazing talent – local, regional and even international. The good news it that tickets are very affordable. The venue is fairly small, and seats often sell out. Here’s the 2023 Late Summer/Fall schedule of performers.

We saw Brazilian composer/singer/guitarist Chico Pinheiro a few years ago and he was amazing.


There are musical performances at the New Village Arts Center in the Village in addition to theater productions. And the Schulman Auditorium at the Dove Library complex also has occasional concerts.

You also find free music throughout the year at multiple venues, especially during the holidays. This includes performances in the Courtyard at the Carlsbad Village Faire Shopping Center, and at the arts and crafts fairs.

Do you enjoy the bar scene or a restaurant with music? Carlsbad has plenty of those options.

The Coyote Bar and Grill at the Carlsbad Village Faire is well known for live music. Le Papagayo Restaurant on Carlsbad Village Drive offers live bands and good food. Chandlers Restaurant at Cape Rey (the Hilton) on the Coast Road is an option with some views of the ocean. Another possibility is the Black Rail Kitchen and Bar at the Paseo Real Shopping Center in the La Costa area.

There is live music at The Landings at Carlsbad Palomar Airport where you can also watch planes land and take off. Check out the Witch Creek Winery or Hennessey’s Tavern in the Village, or the bar area at the Park Hyatt Hotel Aviara. You’ll find plenty of other options on-line.

In Part 4 we’ll talk about some of the visual arts in Carlsbad, including wall murals and sculpture.