Tips for Attending Live Shows with Kids
Like most kids, my kids love characters and seeing their favorite characters on tv. One of our family’s favorite ways to view their favorite characters is by attending live performances or movies. My kids are 2 and 4, and I’d like to share tips and tricks we have learned through our adventures at various shows!
Think strategically about your seats.
Do you want to be near an aisle? Front and center? On the floor or in the balcony? For my crew, I like to be on the floor and near an aisle for quick access for bathroom breaks, concession stand runs, or to step out during a tantrum. Tip: The box seats of Mahalia Jackson are my favorite seats.
Purchase tickets in advance.
FYI, most locations require a ticket is purchased for every attendee regardless of age. So yes, even a baby you are wearing or planning to hold will require a ticket.
Skip the meet and greet.
When you are buying tickets, you’ll often see VIP tickets or tickets with a meet and greet with the character scheduled. Unless you know for sure that your child will enjoy it, I would skip this. The show itself is exciting enough, and I’m not sure that the meet and greet is worth the cost if I can’t guarantee my child will enjoy it.
Prepare for the show.
Try to read up on the performance if you can. Look up how long it is, where you should park and what the venue’s bag policy is. Try to arrive early to find your seats before the lights are dimmer. But not too early that your kids get restless.
Think about your outfits.
Trust me… get them a shirt, costume, anything. 90% of the kid attendees will be dressed the part.
The theater performance venues like the Saenger and Mahalia Jackson are limited on the kid friendly drinks and snacks they have available, so I recommend packing a few snacks in your bag. Larger venues like the Lakefront Arena and the Superdome have more of a variety.
Prepare to buy souvenirs.
It’s hard to skip the vendor table that is full of trinkets advertising the character and the show. Also, once you enter the theater, it will feel as if almost every child present has a light up wand or toy they are waving.
Whew, a 15-20 minute break in the middle of a show my kids are loving almost certainly causes a meltdown every single time. I suggest trying to explain intermission in advance. For me, I tell my kids that the characters are taking a nap.
Prepare for them to not enjoy it.
Live shows aren’t for everyone. For some kids the dark, the volume, and the crowds will be overwhelming and unenjoyable. At our first live show, I remember being disappointed that my toddler didn’t love Paw Patrol as much as I expected him to. He specifically asked to go home in the middle of the show. Just give it time. Fast forward to a year later, and he has been to 3 more shows and has loved each of them!
Let them dance in the aisle, stand on the chair, and have fun. Remember, this is the equivalent of a Taylor Swift or Beyonce concert for them!