We’ve taken our girls to quite a few of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's kid-friendly events at Kleinhans Music Hall over the past three or so years. We went to the Halloween Symphonic Spooktacular, the Cirque de la Symphonie at the BPO, Peter Rabbit and Other Tales, and a few others.
Every time - very single time - my girls have had the best time. The shows are always a big hit. The orchestra strikes just the right note, knowing what the little ones are looking for and hoping for. For my girls, it’s always perfect. And the adults enjoy it, too.
It’s so much more than just a performance. If you arrive early - and you should - your kids can meet special characters like Mickey Mouse and friends or Sponge Bob and princesses. The characters walk around and pose for pictures and the children love it.
It’s also a great opportunity for kids to learn about instruments, even touch them and play them. It’s amazing watching the kids play a violin or harp. It’s a life-lesson in culture, too. The music hall is stunning and there’s always a brief pre-produced spot on a big screen about the dos and don’ts while inside the hall. They make it very kid-friendly and quite funny.
Once the show starts, it’s a solid hour or so. There is not an intermission which is great. It’s just the right length of time - it's not too long where the kids get bored.
I know what you might be thinking: My kid won’t sit still. My child will not be quiet. My little one is just too little. Give it a chance. For starters, most kids aren’t quiet in there. And it’s fine. The show goes on. The other people there know it’s a show for children, they’re all in the same boat. It really is OK.
Don’t believe me? I’ll let you in on a little secret. My 2-year-old spent about 15 minutes of the last show we went to on the floor in the aisle. And she wasn’t alone. There were several kids – maybe half a dozen – doing the same thing. It was fine.
The players are pros and know what happens when you get a bunch of kids in a hall like that.
The truth is, besides the handful of little ones who couldn’t quite make it all the way through, most of the children were just fine. Watching every move, listening to every note. My 5-year-old doesn’t budge. She loves it and talks about it for days.
The next kid show is "Jingle Bell Jam" on Dec. 10. Dancers from the Royal Academy of Ballet and Verve Dance Studios will join the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra for what will surely be an amazing show. Get there at 1:30 p.m. to make cards for military men and women stationed far from home. Stay after the show and join Santa and Mrs. Claus for milk and cookies.
As for what to wear for this show, maybe some nice holiday clothes. Something they would wear to a special event. The Halloween-themed shows are dress-up and my girls wore their costumes. They both wore nice dresses for the Peter Rabbit and other shows. Your kids will love it. And you will love that they love it!
"Jingle Bell Jam"
2:30 p.m. Dec. 10 in Kleinhans Music Hall; pre-concert activities start at 1:30 p.m. Tickets are $14 for children, $24 for adults. Visit BPO.org