I’m not going to lie. I was slightly hesitant to take my four year old to an event put on by The Pittsburgh CLO. Though the show in question was definitely kid friendly, I worried if the theater was the best place for my talkative preschooler. After some deliberation, my desire to see Disney’s Beauty and the Beast far outweighed my hesitations. So I decided to give our first mother/son date in Pittsburgh’s Cultural District a go. However, I knew the outing would require some preparation on my part.
A couple of days prior to our big date, Miles and I talked about how to behave at a live show and appropriate theater attire. I truly believe that communicating expectations for behavior and giving Miles some say so regarding his outfit helped set us up for a successful night. I was honestly surprised at how receptive he was to theater etiquette and how excited he was to get all dolled up for the show. He was the one to suggest that he wear his bow tie in order to be “fancy”. No mom can pass up that level of adorable. So a bow tie it was!
On the night of the show, I held my breath the whole way to The Cultural District. Was I doing the right thing taking a rambunctious four year old to The Benedum? Thankfully, I was able to exhale the moment we reached our destination.
Parking was a breeze thanks to Parking Panda. Then it was a quick one block stroll from our parking spot to The Benedum. Miles was intrigued by all the sights and sounds of the surrounding area. By the time we reached the box office, I felt fairly confident in my decision to take him to the show.
I’m happy to report that my mother’s intuition was totally on point. Our date to Beauty and the Beast was one of the best nights we’ve had together in quite some time. Pittsburgh does family friendly theater right! We couldn’t have asked for a better first experience.
The Benedum Center is not only kid-friendly, it is the PERFECT place to spend an enriching evening out with the whole family. From the simple parking options, to the friendly ushers, to the candy concession stand, The Benedum was more than ready for the many families there to see an excellent, broadway caliber show.
Not only were the employees and set up child friendly, the other patrons couldn’t have been any more kind. We were seated around primarily adults. Yet, they were all totally receptive to Miles. We enjoyed chatting with those seated near us before the show and during intermission.
In fact, I think seeing the show through a well-behaved child’s was actually enjoyable for those in our row. They were patient with him as he hid behind me when The Beast first took the stage. Then they helped him gather all the streamers that rained down on us at the end of the first act. They even cheered with him when The Beast and Belle got their “happily ever after”. They helped make his first show an experience that I don’t think Miles or I will ever forget!
Long story short, my husband and I will DEFINITELY be taking Miles back to the theater. And based on The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s schedule, we will have PLENTY of opportunities to do so in the coming year.
Here are just a few of the options for your family during the remainder of 2018 and 2019:
Disney’s Aladdin (recommended for ages 6 and up): PNC Broadway In Pittsburgh-August 22-September 9, 2018
Anastasia (recommended for ages 7 and up): PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh-October 16-21, 2018
Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells (all ages, children 12 months and older must have their own ticket): Cohen & Grigsby TRUST PRESENTS Series-November 23-24, 2018
A Musical Christmas Carol (All ages with select 1/2 price tickets for kids 3-14 sponsored by The Charity Randall Foundation): Pittsburgh CLO-December 7-23, 2018
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (recommended for ages 6 and up): PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh-January 29-February 3, 2019
American Girl Live (all ages, children 12 months and older must have their own ticket): Cohen & Grigsby TRUST PRESENTS Series-February 9-10, 2019
Disney’s Newsies (all ages, children 12 months and older must have their own ticket): Pittsburgh Musical Theater-May 2-12, 2019
Peter Pan–Pittsburgh CLO-July 12-21, 2019
As you can see, our city goes above and beyond to offer family friendly performances. I’m so glad that we took the leap and attended a CLO performance early in Miles’ life. Our little family will definitely be hitting The Cultural District again soon. We hope to see you (and your littles) at the theater!