It’s holiday drivin’ season, and while 3 of the world’s top children’s authors already got “To Grandmother’s House We Go” all teed up for you, there’s still the trip home to consider. You know full well your kid’s not falling for the same trick twice, so you’ll need a few more playlists to ensure you don’t need a vacation from your vacation by the time you get back. Fortunately, there are more songs about hitting the road than just about any other topic, in both the kids’ and dads’ music universes, so throw on these road trip playlists curated just for you (both of you).
The only feeling more helpless than being stuck in traffic is being stuck in traffic with a hysterical kid. Actually, there is one feeling that’s even more helpless — the one you get when you’re forced to accept that your kid just doesn’t understand the genius of post- Kid A Radiohead. Fortunately for you, kids’ music has undergone something of a renaissance lately, with plenty of artists making stuff that’s musically clever enough for you, but features enough butterflies driving trucks for your kid. So hit play and relax, because you’re not going anywhere anytime soon.
1. Mahna Mahna — Cake
2. I Wanna Be Like You — Louis Prima 3. Big Wheel — The Pop Ups 4. Green Light, Go! — The Not-Its 5. Butterfly Driving A Truck — Caspar Babypants 6. Car Wash — Recess Monkey 7. This Train — Ziggy Marley ft. Willie Nelson 8. Sunday — Vered 9. Speed And Velocity — They Might Be Giants 10. Race U — Josh & The Jamtones 11. I Didn’t Do It & It Wasn’t Me — Big Bang Boom 12. Road Trip — Brady Rhymer & The Little Band That Could 13. Erie Canal — Dan Zanes 14. Heigh Ho — Los Lobos 15. Bored Is A Bad Word — Secret Agent 23 Skidoo 16. Big Rock Candy Mountain — The Okee Dokee Brothers 17. On My Bike— Lucky Diaz And The Family Jam Band 18. Skateboard — Ozomatli 19. Are We There Yet? — Bunny Clogs 20. Vroom — Todd McHatton 21. A Lot Of Moving – Jonny Bregar 22. Vamos, Let’s Go! – Moona Luna 23. Minivan Hot Rod– The Jimmies 24. Drivin’ in My Car – Ralph’s World 25. Jig Along Home – Red Yarn
No matter what level of quality children’s music achieves, at some point in the drive you’re going to declare enough is enough and invoke the “Driver’s Choice” rule — but that doesn’t mean your kids should bury their faces in iPads. These 25 songs aren’t just classics about the open road (or getting off the road, or other road-adjacent topics); they’re practically a beginner’s guide to karaoke domination. So use the next few hours wisely and teach them how to belt out a tune with authority, because as previously mentioned, you’re not going anywhere anytime soon.
1. Interstate Love Song — Stone Temple Pilots
2. Up Around The Bend — Creedence Clearwater Revival 3. Willin’ — Little Feat 4. Theme From The Dukes Of Hazzard — Waylon Jennings 5. Immigrant Song — Led Zeppelin 6. Thunder Road — Bruce Springsteen 7. My House — Kacey Musgraves 8. Where The Streets Have No Name— U2 9. Here I Go Again — Whitesnake 10. Wagon Wheel — Old Crow Medicine Show 11. Send Me On My Way — Rusted Root 12. Cadillac Ranch — Bruce Springsteen 13. Drive My Car — Paul McCartney 14. Midnight Rider — The Allman Brothers Band 15. I’m A Ramblin’ Man — Waylon Jennings 16. Holiday Road — Lindsey Buckingham 17. Uptown Funk — Mark Ronson, Bruno Mars 18. Keep The Car Running — Arcade Fire 19. Woke Up This Morning — Alabama 3 20. The Passenger — Iggy Pop 21. Crosstown Traffic — Jimi Hendrix 22. East Bound And Down — Jerry Reed 23. Free Ride — The Edgar Winter Group 24. Home — Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros 25. Big Yellow Taxi — Joni Mitchell