By Darren Critz, Performing Arts Director at Symphony Space.

Go Often

Too many times we think of attending live performing arts events as a “special occasion” (something to do during the holidays or when guests are in town) but NYC is packed with opportunities to see great stuff with your kids throughout the year, and not just as an occasional treat. Look around and you’ll see that splashy Broadway shows aren’t the only option, and there are loads of inexpensive and free options too. The best way to make life long art lovers of your kids is to expose them to the arts while they’re young. Our city provides the best possible opportunity, and it doesn’t have to break the bank to go regularly.

Mix it Up

You may know your kid loves music, but maybe they’ll love ballet – or theatre – or puppetry – or Butoh dance or Noh drama. The sky’s the limit for what you can find in our great city! Enjoy the variety and excitement that comes from your toddler discovering new things.


Many shows encourage participation from the audience, and since you’re with your kids, that includes you. Join in! Get up and dance; sing along; break out that head spin move from your break dancing days you thought were behind you. Let the kids see you get involved. Don’t be afraid to get silly.

Talk About It

What did they like? What didn’t they like? Would they like to see more? You’ll sometimes be surprised by the answers you’ll get, and it’s a great way to keep the experience fresh, even after the show is over. In ten years you’ll be lucky if they say “good morning” to you at breakfast, so take advantage of that open communication while you can!

As Director of Performing Arts for for Symphony Space, Darren Critz curates the Just Kidding series. As a dad, his life is curated, unflaggingly, by his eight-year-old daughter.Visit to see this season’s lineup of music, theatre, puppetry and dance performances designed for families with kids ages 2 and up.

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