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Family-Friendly and Low-Cost? YES PLEASE AND THANK YOU.

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I remember being at work one and mentioning to a coworker that she should take her kids to see a production at our local children's theatre. She gasped in horror, like I had suggested she take them to see burlesque or attend a live tattoo session.

"You know Johnny's only nine years old, right?" she asked.

I looked at her, surprised by her answer. At what age would you find children's theatre appropriate, exactly?

I think that people who are uninitiated to theatre are intimidated by it. They hear the Millionaire talk to His Wife about "thuh theee-ate-tuh" and you assume that you're just not classy enough to be there. Or that you'd be bored. Or that your kids will hate you for it.

But honestly? It's not like that. ESPECIALLY in children's theatre.

My husband and I have an especially soft spot in our hearts for children's theatre, because it's one of our favorite things to do. Both of our boys have been audience members since they were two years old, and they love every single performance. It has become a staple in our house at least one weekend a month.

Children's theatre is geared toward young minds, invoking their sense of imagination and wonder, and often employing audience participation. That means that your kid doesn't need to be perfectly silent for the length of the show. Even as a performer, I can promise you that we LOVE hearing the kids react during the show! And shows are carefully considered before being produced - they are family-friendly and typically run just over an hour to avoid squirmy little ones. Taking your kid means learning to relax and let them find a way to enjoy themselves.

(This is easier said than done for a Type A parent like myself, but it's worth it in the end.)

And most shows produced by a children's theatre are based on another medium for children - be it a fable, a popular book, a song, or even a TV show. When we visit shows, we try and take it full circle; we'll read the book that night at bedtime, or we'll download the song for the car trip. It helps kids make that connection between the written word and the stage. IT'S A LIFE SKILL, IS WHAT I'M SAYING HERE.

We're incredibly fortunate that our local children's theatre has been able to keep their ticket prices incredibly reasonable, even through the recession. It's cheaper for us to go see a live show than a movie. And while we've had the boys randomly mention movies after the fact, the dialogue and conversations that a live stage show have spawned have been monumental.

(And yes, the boys work behind the set as well. Their daddy is a masterful carpenter and a certain redhead is KIND of good on stage. The life skills they've gained in working backstage - both technical and social skills - are something that we feel will serve them well.)

So if you're looking for something to do this weekend, but you don't necessarily want to shell out the moolah for the next rodent sequel in 3D (let's not even DISCUSS the funds required to snack while there!), google your hometown + children's theatre and see what's happening there. At the very least, you'll do something new. Best case scenario? You'll make family memory.

Has your family visited a children's theatre performance?

by on Mar. 12, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Replies (31-40):
ethans_momma06
by on Mar. 13, 2012 at 11:36 AM

We havent but I hope we get to soon!

momkaribg
by on Mar. 13, 2012 at 12:25 PM

 This looks like alot of fun.

momkaribg
by on Mar. 13, 2012 at 12:25 PM

 We dont here either.

Quoting Kainalu55:

unfortunately we don't have any theatres here...my daughter would probably enjoy it though!

 

dusky_rose
by on Mar. 13, 2012 at 12:31 PM

We have never been to the local child's theatre and to be quite honest, I never knew it was an option. I will have to look online and see if there is one available in this area. Thanks for enlightening me on this subject. :-)


I'm thankful for a hubby that loves me, 4 healthy children, a warm
place to sleep and enough food for our meals... God bless America!

Bmat
by Bronze Member on Mar. 13, 2012 at 12:34 PM

We have at the community college. Very fun for the children.

gacgbaker
by on Mar. 13, 2012 at 2:23 PM


Quoting elasmimi:

My 5 y/o just went to a play at our children's theatre with her pre-k class. It was about Dr. Seuss, and the pictures the teacher took show the kids enraptured. Never to young to learn the delights of live performances.

I bet that was a good one!

gacgbaker
by on Mar. 13, 2012 at 2:24 PM


Quoting goddess99:

Not really. There isn't anything like that around here. We traveled 5 hours once so she could see Disney on Ice but that was it and years ago.

I've heard that Disney on Ice is a really great show- 5 hours is a long time to travel for it!

gacgbaker
by on Mar. 13, 2012 at 2:25 PM


Quoting Samanthamommy:

A friend hosted a b-day with Little Mermaid characters, it was fun! But no real theatre experience.

That sounds really fun!

gacgbaker
by on Mar. 13, 2012 at 2:26 PM


Quoting ceciliam:

We have never gone to a children's theater but we have been taking our son to Broadway plays since he was almost 4. He loves it!

That is really cool- what Broadway play is his favorite?

ceciliam
by on Mar. 13, 2012 at 2:36 PM

He really enjoyed West Side Story but his favorite so far is Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark. His least favorite was Addams Family.

He now wants to go see, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.

Quoting gacgbaker:


Quoting ceciliam:

We have never gone to a children's theater but we have been taking our son to Broadway plays since he was almost 4. He loves it!

That is really cool- what Broadway play is his favorite?


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