Category Archives: Arts & Culture for Kids

Baby Got Bach event returns to St. Louis

Have you and your child experienced Baby Got Bach yet? This entertaining and high quality production returns to St. Louis on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 10:30 am, Centene Plaza, 7700 Forsyth Road. Baby Got Bach is a classical music interactive event for 3 to 6 year olds founded by internationally known pianist Orli Shaham.

The first 30 minutes of Baby Got Bach features Backstage Up Front in the lobby area, where children can explore real instruments, learn about sound, and meet musicians from the St. Louis Symphony. Immediately following in the performance hall, audience members sing familiar songs, play rhythm sticks and small percussion instruments (this is a bit of the “get out the wiggles” portion of Baby Got Bach), and hear a chamber music concert. The concert portion features pianist Orli Shaham, St. Louis Symphony percussionist Thomas Stubbs, and other St. Louis Symphony musicians.

Music will include:

Johann Sebastian Bach: Invention in C Major
Beata Moon: The Curious Engine
Steve Reich: Clapping Music
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov: Flight of the Bumblebee

The Baby Got Bach performance is FREE, but advance reservations are strongly recommended. Online reservations can be made starting on Monday, November 12, 2012 at noon. All the spots for previous St. Louis performances were filled within one or two days, so be sure to plan ahead! Seating is limited. Walk-ins without reservations may be admitted, space permitting.

* Paid parking is available at the Centene Plaza garage. Street parking is free and fairly ample on Saturdays.
* The St. Louis Symphony, The Centene Charitable Foundation, and numerous individuals donate their time and funds to the nonprofit, Baby Got Bach. Please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to Baby Got Bach.
* The program runs from 10:30 am to about 12:10 pm, so it is prime snack or lunch time for many young children. The format is casual, so feel free to take your child out to the lobby for a break or snack if she/he needs it.
* The concert will include music by living composers. This is a great opportunity to point out how all the music we hear everywhere in movies, television, commercials, games, etc… is written by someone and how kids can learn how to compose music too.

About Orli Shaham, Artistic Director, Host, and Pianist
Orli Shaham got an early start in her music career. She began playing piano at age four, and got her first music scholarship when she was five. Just a couple years later, she began her studies at The Juilliard School with Herbert Stessin. That was the beginning of a flood of prestigious performances and awards, launching her international career. Ms. Shaham has performed with many of the world’s great orchestras and has been lauded for her recitals at Carnegie Hall, the 92nd Street Y, and Lincoln Center, as well as many other renowned concert halls around the globe. Ms. Shaham has 5 year old twins Nathan and Alex and college-age stepsons Peter and Jonathan. She lives in St. Louis and New York with her husband, St. Louis Symphony music director David Robertson.

Photo by Jennifer Lin. Backstage Up Front at Baby Got Bach, with St. Louis Symphony cellist Bjorn Ranheim, February 2012.

St. Louis Symphony Family Concerts

Do you want to introduce your child, friend, or relative to the world of classical music and the sounds of an orchestra? Are you just interested in learning about classical music from a world class symphony in an informal setting without a big ticket price? The St. Louis Symphony’s Family Concerts Series is for you.

The series kicked off in October with an entertaining performance of Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham, brought to life by the Really Inventive Stuff theater group. Be sure to experience the remaining Family Concert Series performances with your family (recommended age for children is 5 to 12, but mature preschoolers may be fine) or on your own. Performances are approximately 45 minutes to one hour long.

Have fun at the “Instrument Petting Zoo” in the Wightman Grand Foyer one hour prior to the concerts. Children can try out instruments from each of the music families. Symphony volunteers will be on hand to help in this very up close and personal musical experience. Kid friendly refreshments and drinks are also available at concessions.


Hip Hop Symphony
Presented in partnership with COCA (Center of Creative Arts)
Sunday, November 4, 2012 at 3 pm
Powell Hall,
718 N. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63103
Tickets $12 to $17

Learn about music form (e.g. canon, fugue, theme and variations) in this innovative program pairing hip hop choreography by COCA’s Redd Williams with classical favorites performed by the St. Louis Symphony. When the dancers take the stage, you’ll see the visual and physical representation of what you’re hearing.

Magical Movements: The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra
DanceWorks Chicago, special guest artists
Sunday, February 17, 2013 at 3 pm
Powell Hall, 718 N. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63103
Tickets $12 to $17

Benjamin Britten’s classic The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra gets a new spin with the addition of dancers from DanceWorks Chicago. Watch as the orchestra comes together section by section before your eyes. This dynamic partnership makes for a magical experience where the whole is much larger than the sum of its parts. If you’re a fan of dance this is a great performance to see!

The Remarkable Farkle McBride, Based on the book by John Lithgow
Sunday, April 7, 2013 at 3 pm
Powell Hall, 718 N. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63103
Tickets $12 to $17

Poor Farkle McBride tries every instrument, but not one of them is quite right. Brian Owens narrates the popular children’s book by John Lithgow and illustrations from the book are projected on a screen behind the orchestra. Join Farkle McBride on a journey to find his place in the orchestra and learn about the different instrument families along the way. The first half of this concert features interactive performances by the St. Louis Symphony in which kids can clap and sing along!

Watch a video of John Lithgow narrating the book, The Remarkable Farkle McBride.

Buy your tickets online, call 314.534.1700, or visit the St. Louis Symphony box office in person at 718 N. Grand Blvd, St. Louis.

Photo: St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and COCA

Arts events for families on October 7

What are you doing on Sunday, October 7, 2012? We are so lucky in St. Louis to have many quality, family friendly arts events to choose from this Sunday. Join in the fun and enjoy visual art, dance, jazz, or classical music!

Visual arts open studio at COCA
Sunday, October 7, 2012, 1 to 3 pm
524 Trinity Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63130

Children (3+) explore collage, book art, watercolor, and paper maché under the guidance of COCA’s visual arts instructors. Children under 6 must be accompanied by an adult.

hip hOZ performance at COCA
Sunday, October 7, 2012 at 1:30 pm and 3:30 pm
524 Trinity Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63130
$16 to $20

COCA presents the world-premiere of this original production that takes audiences on a high energy, hip-hop adventure down the yellow brick road. Created by international hip-hop sensation, and COCA’s own, Redd Williams, hip hOZ features innovative choreography to mash-ups of classic and contemporary music. Tickets are almost sold out as of October 4, 2012.

Get Hip! Jazz St. Louis Youth Concert at Touhill Performing Arts Center
Sunday, October 7, 2012 at 2 pm
One University Boulevard, St. Louis, Missouri 63121
FREE (no tickets needed)

Presented by Jazz St. Louis, Get Hip! is a fun, interactive introduction to jazz that illuminates the art form’s cultural origins, concepts about improvisation and creative self-expression, and explores the role and responsibility of each individual member of the jazz ensemble and how they all must work together. Instrument “petting zoo” and face painting begins at 1 pm in the lobby.

St. Louis Symphony Family Concert: Green Eggs and Ham at Powell Hall
Sunday, October 7, 2012 at 3 pm
718 North Grand Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63103
$12 to $17

This 45 minute interactive performance features a theme of “trying new things,” something everyone needs help with! The first half of the concert includes music by Copland, Reich, and Ives and encourages the audience to join in with clapping, rhythm patterns, and singing. The second half of the concert brings the famous book Green Eggs and Ham to life, with words by Dr. Seuss, music by Rob Kapilow, actor Michael Boudewyns, and soprano Kimberly Schroeder of the Really Inventive Stuff theater group.

Photo: Jazz St. Louis

Kids yoga class at Prana Yoga

Prana Yoga in Des Peres offers a fun yoga class designed for kids age 5 to 13 on Wednesdays at 4:30 pm. No prior yoga experience is necessary and mats are available for use during class or bring your own. The 45 minute session is $10 and caregivers can participate with their child as well. Be sure to wear clothes that are easy to move in.

Yoga instructors, Jessica Key of Mini Yoga STL, or Mara Bruce, create a friendly and dynamic atmosphere, filled with downward dog, wheel, cobra, hand stands against the wall, and much more. This yoga class is a great after school activity for kids (and Moms too!) to get some exercise, take some deep breaths, and regroup after a busy day.

Prana Yoga is a beautiful and thoughtfully designed yoga facility located at 11771 Manchester Road in Des Peres. The studio is beneath the Terra gift store in the Ace Hardware shopping plaza. Mary Jane Cusumano and Melanie Zuanich opened the studio in 2011 and have built an enthusiastic and dedicated yoga community.

Current Prana Yoga Schedule

Photo: Mini Yoga STL

Admission discounts to museums & more


Do you have a drawer or folder filled with membership cards to art museums, history museums, children’s museums, zoos, aquariums, and botanical gardens? If your workplace offers at matching gift program, have you had your donations matched and subsequently you have been bumped up to the next donor level with increased donor benefits?

If yes, you are sitting on a budget friendly way to visit museums and other cultural destinations throughout North America for free or at a discounted price. Many cultural institutions offer patrons who give at a certain level access to reciprocal admission programs of the North American Reciprocal Museums, the Association of Children’s Museums, and more.

Here’s how to discover your discounts:

1. Check your current membership of your local museum, zoo, aquarium, or botanical garden. At your donor level, are you eligible for any reciprocal benefits? This information can usually be found on your local cultural institution’s donor benefits web page or contact the organization’s development office.

2. If yes, visit one of these web sites to view the reciprocal admissions participants list and what kind of discounts are offered. Typically, organizations offer admission, gift shop, parking, audio guide, or tram tour discounts. Be sure to note any restrictions, especially for number of admissions, special exhibitions, and distance from your hometown.

* Association of Children’s Museums
* North American Reciprocal Museums
* Association of Science and Technology Centers (i.e. science related museums)
* Time Travelers Program: Reciprocal Benefits at History Museums
* American Horticultural Society Reciprocal Admissions Program
* Association of Zoos and Aquariums

3. Contact the cultural organization you plan on visiting to confirm reciprocal benefits.

4. Remember to bring your membership card with you on your trip.

5. Have fun exploring with your family!

6. Although you may have gotten in for free with your reciprocal benefit, consider making a small contribution, eat in the museum’s cafe, or buy something in the gift shop. Most of these nonprofits run a very tight ship administratively, so every penny counts in helping them thrive. Be sure to talk to your kids about the whys of donating.


Let’s get the blue tape

You know how it goes. Your child gets a great present from the grandparents and all she/he wants to do is play with the bubble wrap and wheel stuffed animals around in the big box the toy came in. Yes, sometimes the cheapest and insignificant items are what holds little ones’ attention the most.

Hence, blue painter’s tape. I’m not sure how our love affair with this tape began, but my daughter has been playing with blue painter’s tape for a couple of years now and it is a big part of her daily play. The beauty of this tape is that it comes off of all surfaces (well maybe not so much hair), is reasonably priced, is reusable, and really does build spatial, construction, and motor skills. There’s something intriguing about blue painter’s tape for kids–I think that they feel like they have some control over it and what they can create with it. Most kids can rip their own tape by the age of 3 or so. We recently bought a 9 pack from Amazon for $31.12 that lasts about a year.

Here are some ways to get creative with blue painter’s tape:

  • pretend bandages on stuffed animals
  • build anything and everything with blue tape, paper, cardboard, paper plates, etc…
  • decorating or dressing up stuffed animals
  • “wrapping” objects (see the mini-pumpkin above) or pretend gifts
  • fixing things–of course this involves “breaking” or ripping something apart first!
  • attaching dolls or other objects to cars, play houses
  • art projects when you don’t want to use glue or just don’t have any glue on hand
  • airplane ride entertainment
  • pretend bridges (attach it between chairs)
  • create “do not enter” sections of a room
  • mini kites
  • fun abstract greeting cards or wall/window art
  • marking off a pretend house on a wooden floor
  • pretend jewelry
  • play food

Add some packing peanuts to the blue tape mix sometime and you’ve got an afternoon of non-battery powered fun.