How to Expose Children to the Theatre… Without All The Toddler Drama
I was not compensated for this post, but I did receive complimentary tickets from the Magik Theatre to watch Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical.
There are so many events that our family has waited to experience “until the kids are a little older”. With all of my children being a few years apart, we always seemed to be in somewhat of a “we have to wait” situation. There was always someone just too young to go.
In terms of taking children to the theatre, we finally decided to forgo the wait when our second child was 2 years old. We wanted to expose them early, get them used to the experience/setting, and instill a love for the arts in them.
But we still played it safe.
We focused on child-friendly performances like Yo Gabba Gabba, Sesame Street, and Fresh Beat Band. But no matter which favorite character was on stage, for each one of those performances, I have a horror story to go along with it. Either someone had a major meltdown, almost got lost, had an accident, or fell asleep mid-performance.
As with everything else in parenting, we continued to try. We felt it was important to expose to the arts- regardless of the type of program and even if it meant having to corral a screaming toddler out the doors, mid-performance.
We came to accept our fate and the fact that one of us would likely miss the show and have to deal with “the screamer”. So instead of refraining from performances, we just go to places where we know we’ll get the reassuring, “I’ve been there, too” nods instead of the stares. It hasn’t always been easy, but it’s been necessary.
And I have no regrets.
My kiddos are more open to watching performances and as they’ve all gotten a little older, they’re able to sit through them, too. I’ve learned a lot during the trial and error process and wanted to tell you what worked for me.
(Stick around for the Family 4-Pack Giveaway to take your little ones to see a great show at Magik Theatre this weekend!!)
Here are 10 Tips for Taking Children to the Theatre:
- It needs to be about something they like/love.
- It needs to be short enough to hold their attention.
- Don’t go to the show during nap time, or adjust their nap time to before the performance so that you don’t run the risk of having a cranky toddler at the show.
- Don’t drive too far to get there. Sitting in the car followed by sitting in the theatre isn’t a good mix.
- Be prepared. Pack all the things- snacks & drinks (if allowed), extra clothes, and charge your phone- you will need it.
- Dress everyone comfortable and bring jackets or sweaters.
- Make a trip to the potty before the performance starts and right before intermission (if applicable) because you don’t want to stand in those lines with a toddler who has to go.
- Bring your partner/a buddy (especially if you have more than one child- you may need to split up).
- Plan on leaving early and assume that you will not see the whole performance.
- Set expectations. Let them know exactly what they are in for. (You can always grab a short clip on You Tube of a similar performance to have them see what to expect. But don’t show them too much! You don’t want to ruin the surprises.)
If your child is just not feeling it, you’ll need to leave. Forcing them to stay doesn’t do anyone any good, but don’t give up hope!! Having a positive experience is what matters and they will be more open to the next one if you don’t make them feel as if they are trapped there.Check out these 10 Tips for Taking Kids to the Theatre!! #parenting #kids #Magiktheatre Click To Tweet
Best Shows For Kids
As my kiddos are getting older it is getting easier… but there’s still a good spread between the ages and finding something appropriate for ALL of them is starting to get a little difficult.
Another issue we are running into is finding shows with more substance.
Don’t get me wrong, Yo Gabba Gabba and Sesame Street were very entertaining, but as the kids have gotten older, the older ones have outgrown these types of shows. We like to see shows that are appropriate for the range of their ages and shows that can offer our kids more than just a few silly dances and songs. Furthermore, we prefer to take them to places where we feel accepted and more comfortable.
In San Antonio, one of those places is The Magik Theatre.
The Magik Theatre
The Magik Theatre is a family-friendly theatre whose mission is to, “…nurture young people’s growth and education by providing extraordinary and accessible theatre experiences based on great literature.”. Since it was founded in 1994, The Magik Theatre has held over 160 productions for families and the core of their mission is provide family-friendly entertainment in a relaxed setting for ALL of their audience members to enjoy. I’ve mentioned them before here.
They are a non-profit 501(c)(3) who aims to, “…enhance the lives of children with disabilities and at-risk youth through its community accessibility, education, and outreach programs.”. They hold special sensory-friendly performances, ASL Interpreted performances and special performances for military and first-responders. They even have special performances for kids aged 0-5!! For more information, visit MagikTheatre.org.
Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical at The Magik Theatre
As a parent, there is so much to appreciate in a theatre that is family-friendly and this theatre is one of San Antonio’s gems. In addition to the atmosphere, the shows they produce are quality productions, often based on award-winning literature. For instance, their current production of Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical is based on the Caldecott-winning book by six-time Emmy Award winner, Mo Willems in partnership with Grammy Award-winning composer, Michael Silversher.
This show is the story of a little girl named Trixie, whose wild imagination transforms an everyday trip to the laundromat into a world of wonder. The issue arises when Trixie leaves her beloved stuffed animal at the laundromat and through sound and performance, the audience is whisked into her world as she tries to explain the severity of the situation to her Father.
This show is great for kids aged 3-7 and will run from March 2, 2018 through April 7, 2018. There are Saturday and Sunday afternoon performances and children of all abilities are welcome. For tickets, visit MagikTheatre.org or call the box office at 210-227-2751. Tickets are $13.50 for adults and children; senior, military and educator discounts are available.
I have a Family 4-Pack of FREE tickets for this weekend’s performance to give away!! If you’d like to win tickets to see Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical, complete the Rafflecopter below.
You’ll need to:
-Visit The Magik Theatre on Facebook and Like them to get updates on future performances.
-Share this giveaway on Twitter and/or Facebook to earn more chances to win, too!
The Giveaway ends midnight on Thursday, March 8th. Winner will be announced Friday, March 9th.
If you can’t make Saturday’s performance, no worries- I can still get you a discount on tickets! Here’s how to redeem for reduced price ($10) tickets to see the show:
- VISIT: http://boxoffice.printt
- Click on desired date
- Select the number of Adult tickets, then select Find Seats
- Select the Seating Option you prefer then click on “Next Step”
- Above “Apply Code” type in MagikMoms, then select Apply Code and click on Check Out and continue.
Do you have any tips to add for parents taking little ones to the theatre? I’d love to hear them below!!