Growing up, my parents had season tickets to the San Jose Civic Light Opera so we would attend live musicals and performances on a regular basis. I loved the anticipation of the show from getting dressed up, sitting in the plush red velvet seats, the dimming of the house lights, to the costumes, songs, and orchestra. It was a tradition that I looked forward to and like continuing with my own family.
Fortunately the DC Metro area has no shortage of live theater performances, many of which are perfect for young children to attend. Family theater venues feature performances that are the perfect length to captivate even the most wiggly children. Productions specifically designed for families feature nice touches such as shorter performances that allow for an intermission stretch and snack break, dim enough lighting to not be scary, booster seats, and venues that are designed to maximize views even for the shortest visitors.
Here are some of my performances designed for families and kids to attend this holiday season.
Septime Webre’s The Nutcracker at The Warner Theater— This year we’re looking forward to our third year of attending The Nutcracker as a family. It’s a performance that our children truly enjoy. The classic story features some DC-centric twists as it is set in Georgetown, features George Washington as the heroic Nutcracker, and sometimes includes local luminaries in select performances. I personally love the addition of cherry blossoms for the sheer beauty. The Washington Ballet performers of all ages do a phenomenal job and the costumes are spectacular. If you’re interested in attending, be sure to read my tips about attending The Nutcracker with your family before you go. Performances run until December 23, 2012. We started attending The Nutcracker when Captain Computer was 3.
GIVEAWAY: A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Shakespeare Theater— From December 11-16, families can attend special Family Week performances of William Shakespeare’s romantic comedy where attendees can enjoy hand-on activities and crafts in the lobby, courtesy of Target. Priced at $120, Family Four Pack tickets include 4 tickets in the Mezzanine section. Performances run until December 30 and would probably be best for tweens and older.
Seussical at Imagination Stage— We have been season ticket holders at the Imagination Stage for years, enjoying a myriad of performances based on favorite stories that incorporate fun songs and interesting story lines at a theater where there’s no bad seat in the house. Although we haven’t seen the show yet, Seussical is garnering rave reviews from friends who say it’s a great show for early elementary ages and conveys the important message of “a person’s a person, no matter how small” from Horton Hears a Who. Performances run until January 6 and are geared for ages 4-12.
A Little House Christmas at Adventure Theater— Based on the books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, A Little House Christmas conveys a message that sometimes the simple things make living worthwhile. It’s a heartwarming tale that makes parents and children reflect during the hustle and bustle of the holidays as you’re transported back to a different time during the performance. Performances run until December 31 and are best for ages 4+.
What are some traditions that your family enjoys during the holidays or through the years? Shakespeare Theater wants you to incorporate the performing arts into your family and has provided two tickets as giveaways.
To enter this super quick ticket giveaway, leave a comment sharing a family tradition. It can be something you look forward to each holiday season or at a different time of the year. Please leave your email or Twitter handle as part of your comment. Winner will be selected Monday, December 10 receive a voucher good towards tickets to A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Shakespeare Theaterthat can be redeemed for select performances, including ones during Family Week.
I received tickets to the Nutcracker in exchange for this post. All opinions about DC theater venues come from previous experience attending with my family where we personally paid for tickets. Images courtesy of the aforementioned theater companies.