If you’re looking for ways to keep the family entertained during the cooler months, the theatre is always a great option for indoor entertainment that will make memories to last a lifetime.
Of course, taking young kids to a play or pantomime can seem fairly daunting, so we’ve put together some tips for making your first live show together easy and fun – for everyone!
Familiarity is key
A lot of shows geared towards children are based on books, TV programmes or movies. Make sure that they know what to expect – and are excited for it! – by taking some time to read or watch the source material, and play the best songs on YouTube or in the car on the way over.
Dress up Add an extra element of fun and get them dressed up for the occasion! Whether it’s their favourite party dress or a pirate costume, make sure the whole experience is special. And of course, take lots of pictures!
Explain theatre etiquette
Sit down with your kids before the show to teach them about theatre etiquette. Nobody expects them to sit still for the whole show, but remind them to use their “inside voices” and stay in their seats. Chances are that they’ll be mesmerised anyway!
Then, teach them that they can clap their hearts out when the actors come out to bow.
Keep them fuelled
Make sure your child has had a good night’s sleep – or an afternoon nap, if appropriate – and has eaten before the show. A tired, hungry child is a recipe for disaster!
But do bring a snack!
Have an emergency snack on hand in case. Just make sure it’s a “quiet” snack – no crinkly sweet wrappers.
Get there with enough time
That way, you won’t have to rush to find your seats and skip the all-important trip to the bathroom beforehand! Spend the time before the show taking them around the theatre and pointing out interesting things like the stage, lights, interesting posters, and other eye-catching things.
Try to get an aisle seat
If you’re worried that your child may be too restless or need the loo, then make sure to book an aisle seat for a quick escape without bothering too many other theatre patrons.
Spread out the grownups
Where possible, make sure every child is seated next to an adult to help them feel safe – and get whispered answers to endless versions of: “Daddy, why is the cat wearing shoes?”
Choose your play carefully
Of course, it all becomes a lot easier with the right play! Take careful note of things like age restriction and running time. A purr-fect opportunity is coming up at Gold Reef City – a retelling of the iconic Puss in Boots!
The show is perfect for kids above the age of three years, and is a swashbuckling adventure for the whole family. Book your tickets here.