Forget about my kids â€” I canâ€™t remember the last time I hung out at an art museum and drank in the intoxicating paint strokes of a Picasso or pondered the meaning behind a contemporary piece of sculpture. In fact, the last time my husband and I went to the opera to attend â€œThe Barber of Sevilleâ€ at the Met, he fell asleep and I found myself nodding off, too.
Clearly with role models like us, itâ€™s no wonder my kids donâ€™t even know the meaning of the word â€œculture.â€ When asked, my eight-year-old son said itâ€™s â€œsomething amazing, right Mommy?â€
The fact that my kids are so utterly culture-deprived is an even bigger travesty being that we live in a city jam-packed with kid-friendly cultural venues.
So whatâ€™s a guilty mama to do? Find culture-centric activities and venues as close by as possible â€” so that Iâ€™ll have literally no excuse not to expose my kids to the richness of a live stage production and the sweet melodies of a classical music concert.
If you find yourself in a similar predicament, here are three nearly schlep-free ways to help your kids get their culture on, or at the very least provide a better definition of what culture means when asked by a stranger.
CSI CENTER FOR THE ARTS KIDS SERIES
This yearâ€™s CFAâ€™s live theater kidsâ€™ series is based on classic childrenâ€™s books.Â From classic stories to flying acrobats, from oversized puppets to dancing mice, the CFA provides wonder, compassion, and a whole lot of magic to every family-staged production. Allow us to entertain and amaze your child for just a few short hoursâ€”we promise that the memories will last a lifetime. Its next production is The Very Hungry Caterpillar & Other Eric Carle Favorites!
The Very Hungry Caterpillar & Other Eric Carle Favorites
Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia
Sunday November 24, 3pm
Running Time: 1 hour
Tickets: $14, 16
Straight from the pages of these beloved books, take a journey with us as The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Little Cloud, and The Mixed-up Chameleon come to life on stage. Watch as the amazing puppetry, innovative black light staging, vibrant scenery, and an original score brings an entire new life to Eric Carleâ€™s classic characters. (For ages 3-7)
College of Staten Island, 2800 Victory Blvd., Willowbrook.
Five to 9.
What kids will go gaga for
Seeing their favorite literary characters come to life and pre-show activities including: face-painting, coloring stations and post-show meet-and-greets with the actors in the CFA atrium. Also at each performance, the book that corresponds to the show will be available for purchase along with a random ticket drawing to win a copy. Additional live performances include:
Tickets are affordable and include free pre-show and post-show activities.
Itâ€™s the CFAâ€™s mission to introduce families to classic books, instill a love of reading and provide families with quality time together.
Tickets go fast so order yours as soon as possible.
Call 718-982-2504 or visit cfashows.com/cfakids.htm.
MCCEâ€™S FALL CONCERT SEASON
The Musical Chairs Chamber Ensemble is a Staten Island-based consortium of primarily young, high-caliber musicians dedicated to the craft of chamber music. With wide-ranging presentations of both classical and contemporary chamber music, this ensemble will make it â€œpretty painlessâ€ to get your kids engaged in the culture of music.
MCCE believes in making a connection with our listeners even before a single note is played. Our concerts feature low ticket prices of $0 to $15; a presentation style that features casual cabaret seating, wine, food, and audience interaction; and spoken progam notes and informal panel discussions. Together, these attributes combine to provide audiences with an authentic, enjoyable, artistically excellent and educational chamber music experience. We encourage an open dialogue that has proven successful with audiences, and our style and format have been well received especially amongst young adults and individuals new to chamber music. MCCE strongly believes in two goals – entertaining our audiences and exposing them to the valuable musical literature that is seldom heard elsewhere.
What kids will go gaga for
Being exposed to high-quality musicians who manage to blend traditional, classical music with other styles including jazz and rock.
A different kind of family activity that could spark a kidâ€™s interest in wanting to learn an instrument.
Concerts are between one and a half to two hours long and require that kids be attentive and quiet.
Music and music-making is part of what makes us human. Children especially seem to respond to music in a deep, visceral way. For kids, this is truly an opportunity for them to hear and interact with professional musicians and composers in a fun, lighthearted way.
Call 718-907-3488 or visit mcensemble.org.
â€˜JUST KIDDINGâ€™ SERIES
This family program at the Symphony Space offers a full season of music, theater, dance, film and literature events specifically for kids, and the biggest draw, quite simply, is how much fun they are. Planning Saturdays with the kids is easy with Just Kidding! .Â Purchase your subscription for 2013-14 Just Kidding events today.
2537 Broadway at 95 Street, Manhattan.