I took the kids to see Peter Pan but I hardly saw the performance.
I was so enjoying watching my boys, aged 6 and 8, react to everything from Nana the canine nurse to the moment that the Darling children first learn to fly to the incredible life-size pirate ship, that I simply didn’t have enough time to truly focus on the performers.
I love the theatre. Always have. Musical theatre (Les Miserables anyone?) is a particular favourite but I’ll take a good dramatic production as well. And I’ve been waiting for the days when my kids were old enough for me to introduce them to it as well.
I’ve taken my oldest to see The Sound of Music and trooper that he is, he valiantly fought off sleep through the Nazi scenes to see it through to the end. But this was the first outing for both boys. It didn’t disappoint.
Elaborate costumes, kid-friendly humor and an intermission at just the right time made it the perfect introduction for the 6-year old. The play is running through October and I’d encourage you to go.
A few things you should know before you go:
1. Unscheduled washroom breaks during the play are going to mean they miss something and you really don’t want that, so make sure they go just before the bell rings to signal “5 minutes until Curtain rises” and again during the intermission.
2. Tempting Intermission snacks have to be eaten outside of the theatre, so skip the ice cream bar unless your kids are faster eaters than mine
3. If you can fit it in, take them on the Costume and Props Warehouse tour. The hour-long tour walks you through the building where costumes and props are stored and ends with a costume try-on that they (and you) will love!
4. Ask for a kids program at the ticket counter and your kids will have something to keep them busy pre-performance in their seats. The books have fun facts about the festival and a drawing contest they can enter.
5. Take them on their birthday! Kids under 18 are free on their birthday day performances.
6. Choose carefully. I took them to Peter Pan, not Dangerous Liaisons. Call ahead for tickets and ask about a play’s suitability for kids.
Heather Greenwood Davis is the Globetrotting Mama. Reach her at @greenwooddavis at firstname.lastname@example.org Her tickets to the play were provided courtesy of the Stratford Festival. Her opinions are her own.