It likely doesn’t come as a surprise to you that I like to take my kids to plays when I can. Well, the nine month old doesn’t get much from it, but the three and a half year old LOVES it.
It’s one of the reasons I love FringeKids! at the Toronto Fringe Festival. It’s only $6 for a kids ticket to a show at FringeKids! I am feeling compelled now to indicate that the exclamation point is part of the branding of FringeKids!, not just me being very excited, although, it is exciting. There are eight shows that play during the day at the Palmerston Library in the very kid-friendly theatre downstairs.
I contacted each company to find out the age range for their shows, because unfortunately only a few companies included this in their Fringe program write-up or press release. Hopefully that will help you make the decision about what shows would be appropriate for the kids in your life. Also, remember, these ages are only a guideline, every kid is different. Mine for instance hates loud noises, so a show with lots of yelling isn’t going to be a good pick for him, even if he is in the right age bracket.
So, here’s a list of show, with the ages I’ve been told, linked to the Mooney on Theatre reviews of them:
- Empire of the Magic Beanstalks (“all ages”)
- The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (ages 3 and up)
- Mabel Moon Meets The Milky Way (ages 3 – 9)
- ROCKgarden PARTY (ages 4 – 8)
- Something From Nothing (ages 4 – 12)
- The Super Secret Subway Society (ages 5 – 12)
- The Tempest . . . A puppet epic (ages 6 and up)
- Water (ages 5 and up)
If you have taken a kid to any of the shows above and have something to say about what age *you* think it is best for, let us know in the comments. An example from me is that my son is not yet four, but did enjoy ROCKgarden PARTY.
I say the venue is kid-friendly not only because it’s filled with other kids and no one cares too much if kids talk and stuff, but also because there are bathrooms right in the theatre. So, like any Fringe venue, if you have to leave the auditorium to pee, you can’t come back in, BUT, unlike other Fringe venues, this one has bathrooms in the auditorium. Anyone who has experienced the bladder of a three year old will understand the importance of this.
Another FringeKids! piece of advice from me… Go in with an open mind, and go in totally willing to leave if your kid guest doesn’t like it. That way you won’t be frustrated if you have to leave, you’re just taking a gamble, trying out something new. Normally I don’t advocate leaving a show while it’s in progress, but FringeKids! is a different ballgame. If you force a kid to sit through something they don’t enjoy, or worse, are scared of because of the loud noises (write what you know, right?) then you’re setting them up to never want to go to a play again. Plus, if you have that attitude you’re far more likely to take some little people to the theatre.
Happy Fringing everyone!