EMPIRE TOWNSHIP-Imagine chilling on a blanket in the warm weather under the big sky of Whitetail Woods Regional Park and listening to tunes.

If you have not traveled the short jaunt to Whitetail, you have been missing out since it is located halfway between Rosemount and Farmington in Empire Township.

Now there are three free Music in the Park concerts to take in this summer.

"There is an outdoor amphitheater, so you have to bring your own seating and you can bring a blanket for the ground or sit on the grass, but you are welcome to bring camp or stadium chairs or picnic blanket if you like," said Katy Pata, visitor services coordinator with Dakota County Parks system.

The park offers mini sidewalks near the amphitheater for people who need a hard surface or those with mobility limitations.

This is the second season of summer music at Whitetail. The opening act 6 p.m. June 30 is the Gritpickers, a self-described as an old time string band with a banjo. The group will play Americana tunes.

"Summer is so precious in Minnesota that we kind of get through winter and some love winter, but we should come out and enjoy the music and the highest point in Dakota County is out there," Pata said.

Visitors are encouraged to bring along bug spray.

"Come and enjoy the big sky of Whitetail Woods and families can enjoy concessions with hot dogs and pretzels and the higher end options for adults to explore with food truck food," Pata said. "The views shed light on how beautiful the Vermillion River Valley is and how you feel on top of the world being away and still so close to the Twin Cities."

If you go ...

What: Dakota County's Music in the Park

Where: Whitetail Woods Regional Park, Empire Township

When: 6-7:30 p.m. last Saturday in June, July and August

Dates and bands:

June 30: Gritpickers

July 28: Bend in the River Big Band

Aug. 25: Blue Groove Bluegrass

Cost: free