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5 Tips for Your Child's First Broadway Experience by a Westchester Mom

"Tomorrow! Tomorrow ! I love ya Tomorrow!" These lyrics have been belted out by my children and their 5-year-old friends for the past year or so. When I heard "Annie" was coming to Broadway, I knew it was the perfect first Broadway show for my 5-year-old girls.

Are you considering attending a show on Broadway with your child? Consider these five tips for your first theater visit the kids in tow.  

1. Introduce your child to the story of the show in advance.

We viewed the original movie about 100 times, listened often to the original Broadway album, saw a kids theater performance of "Annie" and even attended an Annie-themed birthday party. They were very familiar with the show! Tip:Remember, the show may be different than the story or movie. Prepare your child for this possibility so they aren't confused if a scene from the movie is not part of the show. And please make sure the show is age-appropriate!  

2. Share the rules of attending a Broadway show.

We've attended many local theater productions, but it's always good to remind kids that there is a certain behavior expected, including no talking, no singing (even if they know every single word), staying in seats, not kicking the seats in front, and waiting until intermission to use the bathroom. Tip:If the show offers boosters, take them before the show. While my kids weren't sure at first whether they'd sit on them, as soon as the show started, they immediately wanted them so they could see better. A friend suggested to set rules about what, if any, merchandise you'll purchase.  

3. Keep their bellies full.

Kids get hungry and its always good to have snacks. Think about foods that don't make noise or make a mess. We tried applesauce squeeze packs, gummy bears, and some chocolate. Tip:Bringing snacks was allowed in this theater and food is available for purchase. Bring wipes and hand sanitizer too, they both came in handy.  

4. Enjoy the area.

We saw an evening show and had the opportunity to walk to the theater through Times Square. My  kids loved seeing the bright lights on Broadway and it was part of their first Broadway show experience. Tip: Look around for parking lots and coupons in advance. I knew the show would end well past my kids' bedtime and that it was cold, so I didn't want to walk too far to the lot and found a coupon online. Also think about where you might want to eat, as it is NYC, you may need a reservation for a more popular spot.  

5. Review the show afterwards.

Your kids might have questions about the themes in the show or be confused about what they saw. Tip:Have them draw or write a review of the show or their favorite scene. I recorded my kids singing songs as if they were the performers in the show.  

Have you attended a Broadway show with your kids in NYC? What are your tips?


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