Part of my job as a mom is to introduce mis chiquitos to the arts. Exposing children to the arts, like the ballet, is important for their development because it can bring out their creativity, help them be stronger problem solvers, introduce them to cultures from around the world and build confidence and community. Personally, I want my boys to feel confident when they attend fine arts programs, like they belong there too, and that can only happen if I take them now.
As a family, we’ve ventured out to ballets and symphonies and some performances were without incident and some were not. Once, my husband had to wait in the lobby with mi chiquito because he lost interest in the middle of the second half and my oldest and I wanted watch the rest of performance. And still, we’ve made it through entire concerts when both boys have walked out with smiles on their faces and sharing their favorite parts. We were determined to continue to expose them to the arts and so far, so good.
It’s understandable that parents are hesitant to take kids to fine arts programs like the ballet because, well, kids are kids. Kids can be loud when they should be quiet. Kids can be restless during a long performance. Kids can also learn audience etiquette, if we teach it to them.
During the holiday season, families want to experience ‘The Nutcracker’ as part of holiday celebrations. Isn’t it a children’s story after all? Here are a few tips for taking kids to the ballet:
- Share the story of The Nutcracker with your kids before the performance so there are no big surprises like giant mice on the stage.
- Play the soundtrack for them leading up to the performance so when they hear the numbers during the performance, it will be familiar to them and make them feel comfortable.
- Practice when to clap and yes, practice being quiet.
- Talk to your kids about what to expect. Let them know there will be breaks.
- Plan to arrive early because performances do start on time and kids tend to make us later than we expect.
- Become familiar with the venue. Learn where the concessions and restrooms are located (especially in relation to your seats).
- Learn what drinks and snacks will be available. It’s best to feed kids before the performance as what’s available are snacks, not dinner.
- Most importantly, if you need to leave, leave. Maybe have a plan with your partner, if they are with you like my husband and I did with our chiquito. We did anticipate that happening.
ARTS San Antonio has a few tips for the often asked, “What if I want to bring my kids?” to The Nutcracker.
The Nutcracker performance is two hours in length and depending on the age of the child and the time of day, it’s best to follow your instincts if your child can enjoy and sit quietly for a live performance of this length.
If you choose to attend a nightly performance, this may stretch beyond “bedtime” or if you choose an afternoon matinee, this may be a time when your child is most alert.
Whichever is the case, we strong recommend weighing if your child requires extra attention to sit quietly during this two hour time span, as it may be difficult for youngsters to not interrupt the performance.
In the event that this should happen, we kindly ask for you to wait in the lobby until you feel that your child will not disturb others around them.
If you are looking for an opportunity to take the family to the ballet, join ARTS San Antonio as they present The Nutcracker, Mejia Ballet International. This production of The Nutcracker is choreographed and directed by the founder of Mejia Ballet International, Paul Mejia, a well-recognized name in ballet. Mejia is a former principal dancer under George Balanchine at New York City Ballet which has been largely responsible for the ballet becoming part of the Christmas tradition in the United States. He danced principal roles in many Balanchine ballets. Mejia’s production of The Nutcracker continues the holiday tradition of this popular ballet.
ARTS San Antonio
The Nutcracker, Mejia Ballet International
Lila Cockrell Theatre, San Antonio, TX
Performance times are:
12.16.16 | 7:30 pm
12.17.16 | 2:00 pm
12.17.16 | 7:30 pm
12.18.16 | 2:00 pm
Purchase your tickets online with a SPECIAL OFFER 20% OFF (discount already applied)!
Queridos, if you’re thinking about taking your kids to the ballet, I hope you venture out to see The Nutcracker this year. Do something different and begin a new tradition for your family. See you at the theatre!
Disclaimer: QMW received complimentary tickets in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own.