Shows for Babies & Toddlers at the New Victory Theater: An Enriching Experience for the Whole Family
One of the greatest things about raising kids in NYC is that we can expose them to amazing cultural experiences from an early age... and the minimum seems to get younger every year. My nine-year-old saw his first live performance on his second birthday, but his younger sisters, ages 5 and 1, have been regular theatergoers since before they could even walk! At every show, I'm always conflicted: Should I watch what's on stage, or the sense of wonder on their faces? My kids' reactions alone are worth the price of admission, but the benefits extend beyond the show as they learn how to behave at and, more importantly, enjoy live theater.
As part of its current season, our partner, the New Victory Theater, is presenting three shows aimed specifically at very young audiences: Minimón (ages 1 to 4, which I just saw this past weekend with my family), Paper Planet (ages 2 and up) and Babble (ages 4 to 18 months). Unlike the New Vic's main stage productions, these theatrical experiences are presented in a more intimate setting, are completely interactive and have brief running times. They're an ideal way to introduce your baby or toddler to the magic of live entertainment without worrying about tantrums or crazy ticket prices.
This past Saturday I caught Minimón, which runs through Sunday, November 23 at the New 42nd Street Studios just down the block from the main New Vic theater. The setting is much less formal and tots are encouraged to get their sillies out by running around the large space before showtime. As always with the New Vic's shows for very young theatergoers, there were interactive pre-show activities (a large and developmentally appropriate I Spy game board supervised by a staffer) and a reasonably priced snack bar with toddler faves like Goldfish and juice boxes.
Instead of traditional seats, families plop down on comfy floor pillows and are expressly asked not to shush the kids. At these special baby and toddler shows, the performers want to hear their audience, a relief for parents with squirmy or squealy children.
Set in a fantastical bedroom, Minimón features few words and instead captivates very young kids with playful visuals as every drawer, wardrobe door and toy box reveals whimsical surprises, and colorful projections light up the set. After the show, youngsters are invited to play with the performers, and we enjoyed an impromptu dance party that my kids are still talking (more accurately, babbling) about.
If you can't make Minimón, the New Vic has two other shows for tots this season: Babble (March 18-Sunday, March 29, 2015) a multisensory experience for ages 4 to 18 months where families enter a "bubble" featuring projected seascapes and aquatic creatures. Finally, Paper Planet (May 30-Sunday, June 7, 2015) invites children ages 2 and up to explore and enhance an interactive jungle full of cardboard trees and paper flowers. Tickets range from $15 to $20, depending on the production.
For more information on the New Victory Theater and to buy tickets to any of these shows, visit the website. If you order all three shows at once, you automatically become a member, which saves you up to 35% on tickets.
This post is sponsored by the New Victory Theater but the opinions expressed are solely those of the author.