Tag Archives: st louis

Artsy Summer Camps in St. Louis

There is an abundance of excellent summer camp offerings in the St. Louis region for kids of all ages. Looking for something special for your little arts enthusiast? Here are some suggestions. Classes are filling up quickly, so be sure to register soon. Note, some nonprofit organizations offer discounts for members.

Doesn’t this list make you want to have summer vacation again?

COCA (Center of Creative Arts)
COCA has numerous summer camps located in University City and Creve Coeur that focus on dance, music, visual art, story telling, theater, cooking, clowning, acrobatics, stage combat, comic books, film, legos, photography, pottery, and pretty much anything and everything art related. For ages 3 to 18. Summer camp brochure.

Laumeier Sculpture Park
4 to 6 year olds get to create artwork with composer-in-residence, Eric Hall! Expect fun experiences at these week long outdoor summer camps that explore the Laumeier Sculpture Park’s incredible collection. The average staff to camper ratio is 1:7. For kids ages 4 to 15. The park is located in the Sunset Hills area. Summer camp brochure.

Yucandu Art Studio
Located in Webster Groves, this unique hands on art studio offers small visual art camps for grades K-12. Projects include painting, decoupage, collage, mosaics, and more. For those of you who head scout troops or have a million cousins in the area, Yucandu also offers a special friends and family summer camp designed for 8 to 16 kids.

The College School
Also located in Webster Groves, the Reggio-Emilia geared College School offers all day camps for ages 4 to 15. Arts themed camps include Funtastic Fantasy, Make Your Mark, Junior Circus Skills, Science, Art, and Cooking, and Art by Nature. Summer camp brochure.

Camp Curtain Call at The Magic House
Children ages 8-11 can experience the magic of live theater during a weeklong drama camp at The Magic House. Through activities and games, campers learn about putting on a theatrical production including basic theater terms, line readings, projection, stage directions, rehearsing, props, scenery, and dress rehearsal. Participants present their theatrical production to a live audience and then give a special performance for their families on the last day of camp.

Community Music School of Webster University
Summer opportunities for infants through high school students include a family “zoo train” session for children and their caregivers, band camp, flute camp, low brass week, chamber music camp, strings camp, composing camp, and individual instruction.

Opera Theatre of St. Louis
Youth entering grades fourth through eighth spend a week singing, dancing, writing words and music, making instruments, and learning about costumes and makeup, lighting, and set design. They tour backstage, work with Opera Theatre of St. Louis professionals and leading music educators, and see a performance of Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderland. Located in Webster Groves. Summer camp brochure.

Piwacket Theatre for Children
Located in Maplewood, this delightful children’s theater offers week long camps for children ages 6 to 15. Participants create an original show through games, music, dance, theater, and play.

Craft Alliance
These summer camps are packed with creative art experiences for 4 to 18 year olds. Activities may include working with clay, glass, graphics, metal arts, wearable art, fiber materials, and more. Camps are held at the Delmar studios or the Grand Center studios. Summer camp brochure.

Dave Simon’s Rock School
Band rehearsals, recording studio, private lessons, music appreciation, rock history, song writing, and/or improvisation is offered for students ages 9 to 18. Youth should have at least one month of instrument instruction prior to the beginning of a camp session. Beginners and advanced students are welcome. Located in Olivette.

ArtsINTERsection at New City School
Metro Theater Company’s ArtsINTERsection summer camp is for children ages 4 to 11. The camp offers kids a great place to experience art, music, movement, and drama in a safe and warm environment. Classes are taught by experienced, professional artists and are located near Forest Park.

Photo: COCA

Staying in ballet shape during the “off-season”

It’s that in-between season for serious ballet classes in the St. Louis area. If you’re an adult/teen ballet student looking for drop-in classes, many studios in the area are on break or have changed over to their summer intensives which require enrollment for the entire workshop. Here are a few suggestions to keep your technique strong until your regular ballet classes start up again. The ballet studios I mention here offer drop-in classes. COCA in University City does have some great adult/teen ballet classes right now, but you need to register for the entire summer or be a student or professional dancer to purchase a class punch card.

1. East West Ballet (Crestwood)
Kay Tabisaura-Hahn owns and runs this excellent studio located inside Crestwood Mall. Kay is a certified Royal Academy of Dance teacher and previously performed with Ballet Philippines and Singapore Dance Theatre. On Saturdays she teaches a beginning class from 8:45 to 9:55 am. On Sundays there is an intermediate class from 2:30 to 4 pm. Class cards are $53 for 5 classes or $12 drop in rate. If you’re new to the studio, there is a $5 trial class rate. Kay is also offering an adult ballet workshop on Saturdays from 1 to 3 pm (June 25 through July 30). The workshop includes strengthening floor exercises, a regular ballet class, and a variation. If you’re interested in the workshop, be sure to email info@eastwestballet.com to register. East West Ballet has a great noncompetitive environment, beautiful floor, and quality teaching. Your turnout will thank you! There are also spots available in the kids summer camps.

2. Caston Ballet Academie (Webster Groves)
Caston Ballet Academie offers adult/teen intermediate classes from 6 to 7:30 pm, Monday through Thursday, from now until July 21. The classes are taught by Lynette Khoo-Summers, Shannon Caston, or Akari Manabe (they rotate, so contact the studio if you’re interested in a particular teacher’s class). Akari’s classes are particularly comprehensive, well-paced, and full of smart corrections. The only drawback on these classes is that the drop-in rate is $20!

3. Dance Center of Kirkwood (Kirkwood)
This gem of a studio has a dedicated group of adult ballet students and a wonderful teacher and owner, Kathleen Massot. The studio is currently on break but will be open July 5 through August 15. The adult ballet classes are offered on Wednesdays at 9:30 am and Saturdays at 1:15 pm. The drop-in rate is $12 per class. The adult classes are mixed levels, but tend to be geared towards advanced beginners and early intermediate students. These classes are a perfect place to gain some strength, back flexibility, musicality, and a clean tendu.

4. Bikram Yoga
What? That’s not ballet. And why would I want to get heated to 105 degrees inside when it’s hot and muggy already outside? I recently returned to Bikram yoga classes after several years off from it, and am happy at how it is affecting my ballet strength, flexibility, and endurance. The 90 minute sweat fest is not necessarily something I look forward to, but Bikram yoga’s 26 postures definitely work your body thoroughly in parallel (even turned in), your mid and upper back, and your core. There is a tough mental aspect to Bikram yoga as most of the teachers tend to be boot camp-ish in approach. Regularly practicing this type of yoga can build your self-reliance and focus, both great skills for ballet. Bikram yoga studios in St. Louis include Yoga St. Louis and Prana Yoga. Both studios offer a $18 drop-in rate.

Are you an obsessive adult ballet dancer with a crazy work/family schedule in the St. Louis area? How do you get your fix in the summer?

Circus Flora’s “Little Top” perfect for the squirmy set

Jam packed into one hour, Circus Flora presents a delightfully entertaining performance designed for the irregular attention spans of most toddlers and preschoolers. The “Little Top” shows (on Wednesday mornings at 10 am) are abbreviated versions of Circus Flora’s full length 25th anniversary production and also highlight a great deal of acrobatics and animals doing humorous and amazing feats.

We went to the show this morning and brought my four-year old daughter. After consuming some heavily salted boxed circus popcorn, she settled into her front-row side box seat and grabbed onto her Dad’s leg. Then her eyes popped wide open. There were miniature horses and donkeys, enormous and comedic horses, juggling, dogs running around on their hind legs (and front legs for that matter–that was just whacky), a woman demonstrating her abs of steel on a very, very high rope, a family riding bicycles on the high wire, the St. Louis Arches (a youth circus performance troupe) flipping all over the place, a rooster, a sweet and wry clown, a mystical narrator, beautiful music, and plenty of outstretched ta-da arms to get the audience cheering. I also loved how engaging all the performers in Circus Flora are. During the end of show bows, my daughter covered her ears because the tent got pretty loud. One of the performers smiled at her and covered his ears too. Compared to last year’s “Little Top” Circus Flora production, this one is much tighter in continuity, cleaner in technique, and a lot more daring.

If you want a little wow, a little magic, or a little inspiration for you and your child this summer, get your tickets to a “Little Top” Circus Flora show soon. Only two performances of the special one hour production remain: Wednesday, June 15 at 10 am and Wednesday, June 22 at 10 am. The “Little Top” shows are $8 to $18 per person. Children ages 2 and younger do not require a ticket, however, must be seated on an adult’s lap.

How to buy Circus Flora tickets
About the circus stars
Some tips about your visit from my earlier post
Directions to the show

The Children’s Garden is open!

The adventure filled Children’s Garden at the Missouri Botanical Garden opened for the season this month and the beautiful spring weather has made visits to this outdoor gem even more ideal. The Children’s Garden is mainly designed for toddlers up through middle school age. It features elaborate tree house type constructions, rope bridges, a creek with boats and locks, slides, fake branches to hang from, pretend play areas including a general store, an unending amount of structures to climb on, a big sand box, musical instruments, water play, and much more. Plus, you have the nature aspect of the garden as well, so you may find your kids entertaining themselves with piles of bark or fallen leaves.

The Children’s Garden is open daily, April through October, 9 am to 5 pm. The cost varies from free to $5 for ages 3 to 12 (see tip number five below). View a map of the Missouri Botanical Garden. The Children’s Garden is number 29 on the map.


1. The bathrooms are conveniently located inside the Children’s Garden and do not have automatic flush toilets (in case your child has a complex about this). There is also a nice frog step stool for kids to use at the sink.

2. You can easily spend a couple of hours at the Children’s Garden with preschoolers. Be sure to bring a snack and drink for your child with you. Technically no outside food is allowed, so be discreet, clean up, and definitely no picnicking. More about the Garden’s rules.

3. The Children’s Garden is about a 10 to 15 minute walk from the parking lot (and double or triple that if you have a meandering toddler). So if you anticipate that your child may not walk the whole way, bring your stroller. You can park your stroller near the waterfall by the front entrance of the Children’s Garden.

4. Beyond just running around and going crazy (an important experience in itself!), there are lots of socialization, shape recognition, texture, tempo/speed, color, size, and counting learning opportunities throughout the Children’s Garden for your little one.

5. Although there is a $3 to $5 fee for kids ages 3 to 12, the Botanical Garden offers ample options to experience the Children’s Garden for “free.” Ages 13 and up and 2 and under are free. Garden members Tuesdays all day, and Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9 am to noon are free. Family-level members and above are free everyday and St. Louis City and County Residents are free on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9 am to noon. Depending on what membership level you join at, members also receive varying numbers of “Bonus Bloom Passes,” that can be used for a complimentary anytime visit to the Children’s Garden or a tram ride. Memberships start at $65.

6. If you have a child who isn’t taking afternoon naps anymore, the Children’s Garden is less busy on weekday afternoons. This is often a fun time to visit.

7. The Sassafras Cafe located inside the Visitor’s Center is a nice place to eat after a morning at the Children’s Garden. The Cafe serves lunch until 2 pm on weekdays and until 3 pm on weekends. It tends to get very busy from noon to 1:30 pm and the lines can get long so plan ahead.

8. Bring a change of clothes if your child is going to play in the water area. They can get soaked!

Photos: Jennifer Lin

Two engaging music classes for preschoolers

Do you like to listen to soul, jazz, and global music or are you more of a classical and folk song kind of fan?

In the St. Louis area, Robert’s Music Together (tends to be more soul, jazz, global music focused) and Lori Burkhardt’s Kindermusik classes (more classical and folk music oriented) are both excellent options for preschooler music classes. We’ve taken Robert’s mixed ages class (infant to 4 year olds) for a ten week session and he is engaging, funny, and genuinely great with kids. We’ve also taken Lori’s Kindermusik classes for about a year (in addition to taking Kindermusik in California for a year) and liked how consistent her classes are, how nicely the activities flow (think Mary Poppins singing through her day and tasks), and how organized she is.

Here are some thoughts about Music Together and Kindermusik.

Robert’s Music Together

1. I really want to emphasize how genuine Robert is in his teaching. Robert enjoys sharing music with people, isn’t easily ruffled by whacky kid moments, and has an open heart. I’ve heard from a lot of parents that Robert was the first teacher their child had hugged. This is big!

2. The typical class format is 45 minutes of a greeting song, rhythm patterns, pitch play, instrument play (rhythm sticks, egg shakers, bells, etc…), movement, lullaby time, and a goodbye song. The order of these varies from class to class. Robert brings his guitar and banjo to class, in addition to integrating recorded music. I think it’s really important for kids to see real musical instruments being played especially in our digital life. There is something very tangible and wonderful about hearing an instrument resonate in person.

3. Some of the songs in Music Together are very rhythmic, have a lot of fast syllables in the text, and in some ways are designed for people who don’t have much of an ear. Think of it as chanting/singing songs more than soaring melodies (which Kindermusik does tend to lean towards).

4. One of the Music Together locations is at Shirlee Green Preschool (Robert has two other class locations in St. Louis). The room has a nice big sunny window, new facilities, and clean bathrooms. Also, because it is located in a fairly large preschool, there is a security door at the entrance.

5. A Music Together session meets 10 times and costs $165 total. This is pretty much on par with other kids classes in the area.

6. Robert’s Music Together tends to be more focused on not so structured play than definite music knowledge. What the class seems to be best at is encouraging your child to enjoy music (with you), see how she/he can create it, and experiencing sound/rhythm/movement in a social setting. All very valuable experiences!

Lori’s Kindermusik

1. Lori has been teaching Kindermusik classes since 1995 and is really at ease with all sorts of things that come up in her classes (i.e. the kids that decide they are going to start a game of tag during music class, the cutie pie toddler who refuses to get out of Lori’s lap, or the child that starts screaming and sobbing at every transition point and does so for eight lessons in a row, etc…). She is good at reassuring parents that children learn in different ways and encouraging to let the process unfold at its own pace.

2. Lori’s typical class format for the 1 1/2 to 3 1/2 year olds is 40 minutes of a greeting song, instrument play (rhythm sticks, egg shakers, bells, xylophones, toy cars, etc…), active listening, specific movement (e.g. fast/slow, high/low, staccato/smooth), pretend play with objects like hula hoops, storytime, lullaby time, a goodbye song, and hand stamps. The order of these can vary from class to class.

3. As I briefly mentioned above, Kindermusik songs are quite melodic and easy to remember. The Kindermusik curriculum finds some really catchy yet beautiful melodies that you can sing over and over and over and over with your child. Many of the songs also relate to everyday activities like cooking, laundry, waking up, riding in the car, and more.

4. We took Lori’s Kindermusik class at the Webster Groves Presbyterian Church and I must admit, the room is tiny (not much room for movement), and is in need of new carpeting, a paint job, and happier lighting. There is no window in the small room.

5. A Fall or Spring session meets 15 times and costs about $240 which breaks down to $16 per class. For my 3 year old daughter, I felt like the 15 class session was a bit long.

6. Curriculum wise, you can’t go wrong with Lori’s Kindermusik classes. It is beautifully thought out from a pedagogy standpoint (yeah, I’m the nerd who went to music school and listened to Mahler all the time instead of going to the bars after finals) and smart in its organization. Your child will definitely gain language, cognitive, emotional, physical, social, and musical abilities during Kindermusik. Lori does a great job at actively engaging kids with sound, sight, touch, and speech within a rich learning framework.

So if you’re on the fence, I would recommend taking a preview class and seeing what best meshes with you and your child (and your crazy schedule of course!). But overall, Robert’s classes are a bit more spirited and laid back in some ways and Lori’s classes may do more for your child’s overall development, partly due to the fact that she has narrower age specific classes instead of broad mixed age classes.

Q&A with Robert Bernstein, Music Together

Culture Mama [CM]: What do you like most about teaching?
Robert Bernstein [RB]: I have been enjoying interacting with families during classes as well as watching them interact with each other. Music Together really succeeds when it is a shared experience (between teacher/families and between child/parent or caregiver), so I have come to appreciate how important and fun that aspect of the classes can be.

[CM]: How will a child benefit from taking your Music Together classes?
[RB]: Music Together is designed to be an introductory and interactive music making environment (for infants to 4 year olds) and is intended to be experiential, so it is a very “hands on” class. It also promotes family interaction and sharing the experience of making music with each other.

[CM]: Is enrollment available now?
[RB]: Enrollment is currently available for the spring session which starts on April 21st.

Q&A with Lori Burkhardt, Kindermusik

Culture Mama [CM]: What do you like most about teaching?
Lori Burkhardt [LB]: KIDS and FAMILIES! And watching them have ‘aha’ moments experiencing the joys of music and seeing faces light up as entering the room, knowing they will have a fun-filled, musical (and learning) experience. Parents, too!!

[CM]: How will my child benefit from taking your Kindermusik classes?
[LB]: When you take class with me you get a Kindermusik educator that has a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Therapy, excellent customer service, fair studio policies, flexible make-up policies, and 16 years of experience teaching Kindermusik (since 1995). In a Kindermusik class, I lead a group of parents and their children through joyful activities, using music and movement to nurture skills in the whole child: cognitive, physical, social, emotional, and language.

[CM]: Is enrollment available now?
[LB]: Families may enroll at anytime for Spring, Summer and Fall classes. Tuition is prorated for late enrollment and home materials (CDs, literature books, activity books, instruments) are generally in full. Families may also preview one class for free at anytime with a reservation.

[CM]: A big thanks to Robert and Lori for helping our kids grow and making our daily life a little brighter, happier, and musical of course.

Circus Flora, a little magic for your soul

Are you a fan of the Tiger Lillies, Tom Waits, Krzysztof Kieslowski, the accordion, whimsy, and um, face paint? Or, do you just like a little no brainer entertainment, sawdust, laughter, animal antics, and popcorn? Then here’s something for you. I mean, for your child.

St. Louis’s very own nonprofit, unique one-ring circus, Circus Flora, opens its summer show on June 2. Tickets for these delightful performances are on sale now. Celebrating their 25th Season, Circus Flora gives you heartfelt twisting acrobatics, humorous clowns, amazing “choreographed” animals, solid music performances, rope and ribbon dancing, and maybe a little bit of inspiration, among other circus thrills. Circus Flora isn’t exactly about the utmost precision in performance, but there is a genuine, mysterious, magical, and memorable quality about this company.

This year’s production, “Vagabond Adventures,” reunites Circus Flora favorites: the Flying Wallendas, the St. Louis Arches, the Flying Pages, and the famous clown, Giovanni Zoppé as Nino, along with several new acts.

Tickets start at $8 and shows run June 2 through June 26. Children under 2 are free when seated on an adult lap.

Some tips:

1. If you’re bringing a child under the age of 5, consider the Wednesday at 10 am performances. These are one hour shows and cost considerably less.

2. If you don’t mind sitting up close, try one of the side box seats. They are less expensive than the center boxes but since the show is essentially in the round, you don’t really miss much in terms of sightlines. Your child will be amazed at watching dogs and other animals run around the ring right in front of them.

3. If you have allergies to dust, fur, or hay, etc… take your Nasonex or SOMETHING before the show. The tent is air conditioned but the animals and performers stir up a lot of allergens.

4. If you are one of those types who prefers to drive round and round for free parking, arrive early! There is a nearby paid lot as well.

5. In case your child is wondering, yes… there are port-a-potties. Bring your hand sanitizer.

6. Last year, there were pony rides adjacent to the tent. Bring your camera (and your cash).

7. There is NO photography allowed inside the tent during the performances.

Photos: Scott Raffe

Discovery Room at the St. Louis Science Center

The Discovery Room on the second floor of the St. Louis Science Center is a brilliant room filled with magnets, water play, construction toys, cars, puppets, sound and music toys, pretend play items, doll houses, fish, books, arts and crafts, x-rays, and much more. Basically it is a pumped up preschool room filled with beautiful wonder for kids ages 2 to 6. You’ll have to work a little bit at transitioning your child out of this fun place… they definitely won’t want to leave.

Discovery Room sessions last 45 minutes and start at the top of the hour Monday through Thursday, 10 am to 3 pm; Friday and Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm; and Sunday, noon to 4 pm. Space is limited to 50 people (one adult chaperone for at least every four children) and the cost is $3.50 for adults, children, and seniors. Members of the museum get free Discovery Room admission depending on their membership level. General admission to the museum is free.

Some tips:

1. If you can, go on a weekday. There are usually only 10 kids or less playing in the room on most weekday mornings that we’ve visited. Avoid holidays, school breaks, and weekends. During those busy times, tickets are often sold out and the museum is crazy loud, so call ahead to confirm Discovery Room availability, 314.289.4424.

2. The bathrooms are a bit of a walk from the Discovery Room (at least it’s far for your
four year old who has to stop and look at everything along the way). Make sure that you use the
restroom BEFORE your Discovery Room visit. Oh, and there is automatic flush in the bathrooms,
so bring those post-it notes or stickers to cover the sensors if your child is concerned.

3. The Discovery Room play session only lasts 45 minutes. Most likely, your child will only get to see half of the room during this time frame. Give ample warnings (i.e. “you have ten more minutes to play… what would you like to play with before we have to clean up?”) before the session ends. For those with jumpy kids, the Discovery Room staff usually announces on a loud microphone that it’s clean up time right when the playtime ends. Please note that they do not give time warnings.

4. There is limited food service during the week at the museum. Kaldi’s Cafe (but not Pizza Hut) is open but their food isn’t necessarily appealing to some little kids, so be sure to bring some of your own snacks.

5. There are lockers on the lower level for 25 cents so you don’t have to schlep coats, bags, and the stuffed animals that your child insisted on bringing into the museum and then decided they didn’t really want to hold.

6. Consider a membership if you plan on coming several times throughout the year. Parking is regularly $9 and the Discovery Room is $3.50 per person. With different levels of membership you can get both of these free as part of your member benefits.
Plus your membership donation is tax-deductible. If you work for a larger company,
your donation may be fully matched which bumps up your membership level and benefits.

7. If you are a member and you have unlimited free Discovery Room visits, you can play in the room more than once a day! Especially on the not-so-busy weekdays, we’ve played in the Discovery Room, had lunch in the cafe, and then went back to play again.

Museum Directions & Hours of Operation

Pricing & Amenities

Photos: Jennifer Lin

Story Time at Subterranean Books

Looking for a different and almost magical story time in the St. Louis area? If you haven’t experienced one with Georgy Rock at Subterranean Books at 6275 Delmar Boulevard, you’re missing something quite unique.

YouTube Video of January Story Time.

A favorite storyteller in the region, Georgy Rock (recently named the best storyteller in St. Louis Magazine’s A-List 2010) spins tales, shares stories, warms hearts, sings, and generally captivates kids and their parents on Thursdays from 11:30 to noon at Subterranean Books. She has 30 years of experience telling stories and in 2009, was ordained a maggid, or Jewish itinerant storyteller.

Last Fall, when one of our usual Thursday morning classes was canceled, my daughter and I had a chance to hear Georgy Rock at Subterranean. Up in the cozy second loft like floor of the bookstore, Georgy welcomed all the children by name and sang/spoke her way through four books. She has a beautiful ability for creating a seamless tempo in her readings and integrating song and humor throughout the event. She also sang a couple of songs that involved hand and arm movements which the kids enjoyed. There were only about six children there when we went, infants to preschoolers.


* It is lunch time for most kids at this time, so many of the children ate a few quiet snacks and sucked down milk/juice boxes. Come prepared with some fruit or semi crumb-free snack.
* Parking on Delmar during the week at lunch time isn’t too bad–you can usually find some street parking. There is also a public ramp about a block from the bookstore. Be sure to bring your quarters!
* A few doors down is a great kids store, City Sprouts. They have a lovely play area with trains and kitchen toys, plus plenty of kids clothes, gifts, furniture, and design ideas. City Sprouts also has a pretty extensive selection of Tea Collection clothing.
* Want to spend the afternoon in the area? Nice map of Delmar.


An important note: Subterranean Books is struggling financially to stay afloat, as are many independent bookstores. If you have time, browse the store before or after story time. There are some incredibly thoughtful and smart selections of children’s books. We are library and bookstore junkies and were happily surprised at some of the new titles we discovered. Please remind your kids to be gentle with the books while browsing–this tiny store doesn’t have much wiggle room on their inventory.

Read more about story time from UniversityCityPatch.com.

COCA Family Theatre Series

In addition to being a great arts education facility, the Center of Creative Arts (COCA), located in University City, has a fun and entertaining performing arts series with reasonable ticket prices, good programming, and a small hall (400 seats) that makes each performance easy to see and enjoy.

We saw Michael Moschen last weekend–a juggler extraordinare and MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant recipient. He demonstrated some incredible feats of physics, illusion, perception, and rhythm. The show seemed more suitable though for 8 year olds and up. Most of the preschoolers in the audience at the Sunday matinee were getting a little squirmy and bored (including my 3.5 year old–but she’ll sit through opera, go figure), although the show was billed as a performance for all ages. Be sure to ask the COCA staff if you’re unsure about age suitablity and do some of your own research about the artist or performing group before you buy tickets.

Most performances are about an hour long. Tickets range $14 to $18 each (everyone entering the theater must have a ticket). Arrive at least 10 minutes early to find parking and well, 20 minutes early if your kid needs to use the potty. The COCA parking lot fills up fast and street parking can be tough at times.

Two upcoming productions you’ll want to bring your preschooler to this season (be sure to read the original books with your child before going):

COCA Family Theatre Series 2010-2011 Season Brochure

Box Office Information

Seating tips

  • There are booster seats available in the coat room outside the theater doors.
  • Try to buy your tickets early so that you can get an aisle seat (if you anticipate that you’ll have to take your little one out for a potty break mid-performance). Each seating section does not have a center aisle (see web site for seating chart–scroll down to Founders’ Theatre seating chart), so it is at times tough to climb over a lot of people if you have to head out before the show ends.
  • The padded and cushioned seats fold up like in a lot of movie theaters. If your child is under 35 pounds, he or she probably won’t be able to lean back in their chair and not fold up! Be prepared to hold the seat down for your child throughout the performance or put them on your lap.
  • If you can, don’t buy tickets too far over to the right or left. Your neck will thank you.