A whimsical and wonderful children’s theater just made its debut on Diamond Street in Noe Valley. At the Rabbit Hole, little thespians build sets, dress up in costume, and imagine and inhabit worlds of their own creation. We have the scoop on this new spot offering classes, camps and birthday parties. Pop in with your little performer, and we promise you will give it a standing O!
It’s hard to walk by The Rabbit Hole and not be drawn into the space. The corner studio gets gorgeous light, and one huge wall is wallpapered in pretty flowers. As you enter on performance day, you are greeted by a countertop covered in hand-made tickets, some of them with specific recipients’ names on them like, “Grampa.”
Whether the huge gold curtain is open or closed, it creates a sense of magic and wonder at what could transpire here. Little tables with bright green chairs are scattered around, and you can picture the ideas coming forth from young minds as they get to work in this space. The puppet show tucked in the corner is like a little theatre within the theatre — except its curtain is red, not gold.
Time Travel, Set Decoration, Harry Potter Camps, and More
The Rabbit Hole offers a variety of themed camps with characters kids know and love like pirates and mermaids in Peter Pan camp. When we visited Time Travel Camp, we got to hear some great dialogue during the final performance. The host/teacher asked one of the campers, “Hello, scientist! What are you famous for?” And the little one replied, “Building a time machine out of flowers.” Each group of kids had to come up with a scientist team name, and create an environment in which their scene would take place. One group created “shark land,” where they “swam” around the stage, clamping their hands together like jaws.
One of the most popular camps, “Little Imagination,” revolves around kids inventing and developing their own characters and then bringing them to life on stage. Set Decorator camps are somewhat craftier — kids identify the worlds they would like to create and then do projects to make them come to life. For kids ages 7-10, Drama Club camp goes a little deeper into the theatrical experience with scene rehearsal and improv games.
Camps are one week long, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and you can also purchase extended play Monday-Thursday until 5 p.m.
Camps in Summer, Classes Year-Round
In addition to a variety of creative summer camps, The Rabbit Hole offers 6-week classes throughout the year, which take place in 1-hour sessions. Dance, ballet, theatre, and story-telling classes are available for different age groups so little performers get activities perfect for enhancing their creative spirits.
Movement classes for babies and toddlers focus on space awareness and motor skills, while providing parents and caregivers a chance to bond with little ones through dance. Theatre Time classes were created for kids as young as 2 years old to begin exploring the world of make-believe. Ages 3-4 and 5-7 can enjoy a number of different options for dance and theatre, learning to express themselves and their individuality in a playful environment.
Puppet Show Party
The Rabbit Hole offers birthday party packages complete with entertainment! Parties for kids ages 3-10 can be accommodated, and include activities like making paper bag puppets and age-appropriate theatre games. Each party kicks off with an interactive puppet show, based on the guest of honor’s favorite fairy tale. You can add face-painting, goodie bags, or move the party to your own location, all for an additional fee.
The Rabbit Hole is open for scheduled classes and camps Monday through Saturday. Be sure to check their website and pre-book to get into the class you want. The studio location is 800 Diamond Street, on the corner of 24th, where there is plenty of residential street parking. Or, take the J Church (MUNI) to 24th Street, and walk 5 blocks (~9 min) west to Diamond Street. Philz Coffee is close by so parents can recharge while they wait for a class to finish!
The Rabbit Hole Children’s Theatre
800 Diamond Street
San Francisco, CA
Hours: Mon-Sat for registered classes; Sat-Sun for private parties
Has your little star taken a bow at The Rabbit Hole? Tell us about in the comments below.
All images by Sarah Sloboda, a modern family photographer based in the SF Bay Area.