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A fun and cheap way to take your kids to the theater

Ah, the lights of Broadway are so shiny, so amazing and so expensive. But, we want our kids to love the theater. We want them to appreciate the arts, learn to love music and dance, and be well-rounded humans. But, we don't want to go broke getting there.

Buffalo's theater scene is pretty amazing. But, there's not all that much that directed at kids. And tickets can be pretty pricey.

Plus, if your kids are like mine, they might not make it through the entire show. Last spring I brought my 4-year-old to see "The Wizard of Oz" at Shea's Performing Arts Center and it was amazing. She sat through the entire show and loved it. But that's not always the case and it's never really the case for my little one, Ella. She's not quite two and not quite ready to sit still for very long.

So, here's an idea to get around all of that.

Your local middle and high school. Or any middle or high school for that matter. They often put on some pretty cool plays or musicals, often ones that your child will know. It's a win-win however you look at it. You get to bring your child to a wonderful performance that won't break the bank, and you will be supporting your community. Those kids work very hard on their shows and love a full house.

Here are a few coming up:

West Seneca West Middle School (395 Center Road, West Seneca) presents "The Little Mermaid Jr." at 7 p.m. Dec. 2 and 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 3. Tickets are $8.

Cheektowaga Middle School (3600 Union Road, Cheektowaga) presents "Shrek Jr. " Dec. 2-4.

North Tonawanda High School (405 Meadow Drive, North Tonawanda) presents "Shrek Jr." Dec. 1-3.

Arcade Elementary School (315 Main St., Arcade) presents "Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus!" at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 2 and 2 p.m. Dec. 3 and 4. Tickets are $10 adults, $8 for children.

Many schools also have holiday concerts as well. Check with your district to see what they have coming up.  You can also check with your local church. They usually just run a few dollars and are an awful lot of fun.

If you're looking for something a little more advanced, Buffalo's Theatre of Youth has some children's shows coming up. Tickets usually run around $26-$28 (

  • "Junie B Jones in Jingle Bells Batman Smells" - Dec. 3 to 18 (ages 6 and older)
  • "The Shakespeare Stealer" - Jan 29 to Feb. 12 (ages 8 and older)
  • "Charlotte's Web" - March 18 to April 9 (ages 6 and older)



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