Tips for Taking Your Kids to the TheatreSep 11, 2023
As a parent, it can be difficult to bring your kids to the theatre. From trying to find appropriate showings and making sure everyone is comfortable during the performance to picking out snacks that won’t become distractions, there are so many things to consider. We asked our friends at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora to give us some simple tips for making a trip to the theatre an enjoyable experience for all.
Research the Show Ahead of Time
Before heading off to a show, it's always a good idea to do some research. This not only helps you know what you're in for but also allows you to make an informed decision about whether or not it's suitable for you or your family. In addition to knowing what the show is about and its format, you also want to check the intended age group and take note of any content warnings that might be included. The Paramount includes this kind of information with each show's description on its website. Click here to learn about their current show, School of Rock.
Plan Out a Pre-Show Schedule
Planning out a pre-show schedule for your family's theatre outing can make the experience more enjoyable for everyone involved. Give yourself ample time to get to the theatre and factor in some extra time for some pre-show fun, such as grabbing a bite to eat where you can chat about what you’re most excited to see once the curtain goes up. Many theatres provide a list of area dining options on their website.
Make Theatre Etiquette Part of the Experience
It's important for kids to learn how to follow theatre etiquette, so start teaching them before you even step foot in the theatre. Have a chat with them and explain the importance of not talking during the performance or using electronic devices that may distract other viewers. Let them know that it's important to arrive on time, dress appropriately, and not eat or drink loudly.
Plan for Intermission
Intermission can be a welcome break during any event, but it can quickly become tedious for both kids and adults alike. To keep everyone happy and entertained, it’s a great idea to have a few snacks and activities on hand. Small snacks, such as carrot sticks or fruit snacks, can help stave off hunger pangs and keep energy levels up. As for activities, coloring books or quiet games can be a great way to help kids unwind and focus before the second half of the event. Be sure to check out the theatre’s food options–many have fun drinks and snacks that go with the theme of the show.
Explain What to Expect During the Show
Tell your kids what will happen during certain moments of the show (lights dimming, thundering applause) so they don’t get too scared and can enjoy the experience. If, at any time during the performance, kids start to feel a little scared or nervous, remind them that everything happening on stage is make-believe and you’re perfectly safe.
Talk About What You Saw Afterward
Discussing what took place at the theatre can help reinforce their knowledge and appreciation for live performances and foster their love of the arts. Whether it is talking about the actors, commenting on the set design, or simply reliving the most memorable moments, reflecting on the experience can make it even more meaningful. Is your child excited to learn more about theatre? Check out the various camp and class options at the Paramount School of the Arts. Starting as young as 3, these opportunities give kids the chance to experience all that is beautiful and fun with storytelling and the arts.
With just a bit of planning and preparation, trips to the theatre with your kids can be thrilling and fulfilling experiences each and every time.
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