We recently took our two boys (ages 6 and 7) to their very first theater performance on Broadway. And… they loved every second!
They were at perfect ages to pay attention and still be in awe of the production. Our kids have seen local theater and smaller scale performances, but Broadway is really something special. As we reflected on the day, four things stood out as helping us create a memorable and smooth experience for our whole family and hopefully yours as well!
Check what time the theatre opens– We had tickets for the 8pm show of Frozen and assumed that the theatre would be open when we arrived, which was a few minutes before 7pm. It was not. We stood in (what became a long) line until about 7:15 when they opened the doors to a throng of excited patrons rushing in. In perfect weather this might not be an issue, but cold, rain or the heat of summer in the city could quickly result in frustration; which isn’t how you want to begin your experience. And, really, no one likes waiting in line.
Come prepared to deal with merchandise– While the kiosks are small, they are choked full of expensive stuffed animals, blankets, sweatshirts and more that your kids will want to buy immediately. Our little one had birthday money burning a hole in his pocket, so we allowed the extravagant purchase, but understand going in that your kids will see goodies readily available. We have found that if we have the conversation in advance that either (1) we are not purchasing anything or (2) that they have a set amount of money, the whole evening runs more smoothly. Most importantly, just realize this is the case so you can handle it however works best for your family.
Ask an attendant for a booster seat– We happened upon additional cushions by accident as we saw another mother retrieving one for her child. When we asked, we found there were plenty of extra thick cushions the size of the seat base to help boost up little ones! I would never have imagined that these were available, but it was absolutely needed and appreciated. I can only say that if you have tickets to Frozen at the St. James’ theater they are available, but I am assuming most shows (particularly those who cater to a younger crowd) would have these as well.
Book the matinee unless you have a hotel room in the city– Our 8pm tickets seemed like a good idea until the show was over at 10:00 and we still had to retrieve our car from the parking garage and start the 3-hour drive home. Luck was on our side and all went smoothly, but if I were to do it all over again I would either buy tickets to the matinee or splurge for a hotel room near the theater district. We also had a nerve-wracking 15 minutes where I thought my 6-year-old might fall asleep, but the excitement of the performance won out and he powered on. Needless to say, a matinee time would have solved both issues. If you haven’t yet purchased tickets, I would consider both scenarios before you settle on a time for your child’s first Broadway show.
All in all, we had a really great experience. And, while I know from my lack of childhood memories, my boys might forget this, I won’t. I love watching them develop a love for something new and different.
We hope these few quick tips will help you and your family plan a memorable Broadway experience!
Thanks for stopping by!