When you’re drumming up things to do with your kids, the last thing on your list is likely taking the kiddos to the theatre. The theatre and the arts in general, seem reserved for patrons who can sit in their seat and stay quiet aka not little kids.  While that may be the case at the opera house, it couldn’t be farther from the truth at the Seattle Children’s Theatre where kids of all ages are welcome, even the squirmy ones.

Nestled under the shadow of the Space Needle, the Seattle Children’s Theatre is the perfect place to introduce children of all ages to the rich culture and excitement that a live theatre performance has to offer.  Each year the Children’s Theatre delivers a season packed with fantastic musicals and productions that will capture the imagination of every last patron, big and small.

Where It’s At:  The Theatre is located on the grounds of the Seattle Center, north of the Pacific Science Center and west of the Space Needle, at 201 Thomas Street.

As with any major city, finding parking can be difficult and expensive.  Two options exist for theatre visitors, locate street parking or use a pay lot/garage.  Availability and pricing in pay lots will depend on the day and time of your visit.  Expect to pay around $10.00 to park within reasonable distance of the theatre for a 1-4 hours block of time.  If other Seattle Center events are running concurrently with your visit, finding a parking spot, even in a pay lot or garage, may become more of a challenge.

Insider Tip:  The entrance to the Children’s Theatre is on the west side of the Seattle Center.  The Center complex is large, with a number of popular tourist venues and parking areas surrounding the grounds.  Make sure to park on the west side of Seattle Center to avoid a long walk to the Theatre, the 1st Avenue North Garage is located between John and Thomas Streets and within close proximity to your destination, which will make traveling with kiddos much easier.

Admission:  Single Show Tickets can be purchased easily online and run $36 for adults and $29 for children, under age 1 is free.  They also offer season subscriptions and flex passes, which include ticket exchange options and other perks.  If you decide to make the magic of the theatre a regular event, season subscriptions provide the most savings, especially for larger families.

Insider Tip:  Each performance at the Children’s Theater will run approximately 1-2 months, with a number of weekday and weekend show times to choose from.  In order to ensure your kiddos get the most out of their visit, choose a day and time that works well with their regular schedules.  The theatre offers morning, afternoon and evening performances, so you can be confident to find one that fits well with your families nap, preschool and dining schedule.  Also, before purchasing tickets, make sure to review the description of the production you plan to attend, specifically its recommended age range.  This useful information will help you determine which show has themes and storylines that are most appropriate for your little ones.

During the Show:
This is when the fun really starts!  The main stage theatre is small, with stadium seating and a cozy feeling that should help make your kids more comfortable.  Seating is first come first serve so if you have a large party (more than 4) it would be best to arrive early to ensure that you find seating all together.  Most performances run about 1 ½ to 2 hours, with an intermission in the middle.  Intermission is a wonderful time to stretch your legs, grab a snack for the kids or a coffee for the parents, get questions out of the way and prepare for the last half of the show!  Restrooms are conveniently located right outside the theatre doors, which is always helpful with little ones.

Insider Tip:  If you are visiting the theatre with babies or toddlers you may want to choose a seat that enables easy access to aisle ways.  The Seattle Children’s Theatre knows just as well as any of us that sometimes kids have a difficult time sitting still or staying quiet, which is why they have a “quiet room” located at the back of the theatre, where parents can take restless children for a break during the show.  If you need to visit this room, you will still be able to see the show, but any noise you make won’t be disruptive to the other patrons! An aisle seat will enable you to leave the show and take a break in the lobby or the “quiet room” without interrupting anyone else’s theatre experience.

Online: www.sct.org

— Sarah Bartz