5 Great Tips for Taking Kids to the Theater


Admittedly, I am a huge musical theater geek.  I absolutely adore it.  I’m that crazy person singing at the top of her lungs in my car while I’m stuck in traffic.

My husband and I have nosebleed seats to the local theater where the Broadway touring shows come.  On occasion we will bring a child with us.  Our oldest daughter loves musical theater too, and the other kids have been subjected to it so often, they have started to sing along too.

Exposing children to art is so important.  It helps them see the world through different eyes than their own, opening them up to the experiences other people are having.  Plus, it puts the whole “use your imagination and play pretend” thing on display.   But considering how much tickets to these shows cost, you don’t want to be the jerk whose kid is being a total turd and ruining the experience for everyone else (and you!)  Here are a 5 tips for taking children to the theater.

  1. Follow the theater’s recommended age guidelines.  If it says inappropriate for children under 13, don’t take your 5 year old!  Come on, while they may find the acrobatics thrilling, little kids don’t need to see the simulated sex scenes in Pippin.
  2. Choose a show that’s appropriate for your child’s age group.  Your 7 year old may love the Wizard of Oz, but some parts of Wicked are kind of scary.  Matilda or Annie may be a better choice.  Your 15 year old my thing The Book of Mormon is hilarious, but be a giant pain because he’s bored during Cinderella.
  3. Go on a weeknight, they’re usually cheaper and not as full.
  4. Dress your child appropriately.  You want your kid to look cute, it’s just a fact that a kid who looks cute will be more accepted than one who looks grungy.  Sorry people, that’s reality.  I didn’t make the rules, I’m just helping you not get glared at!  Also part of “dress your child appropriately” means their cute clothes need to be comfortable.  If your kid is wearing an itchy lace dress, she’s more likely to be wiggly than if she’s wearing one made out of soft cotton.
  5. Feed your child before you go.  Sometimes snacks are allowed in the theater and sometimes they’re not, just depends on the rules.  Don’t break the rules, rustling candy wrappers are distracting and nobody wants to step on fish crackers.