I grew up in a family where art was loved and encouraged. My husband is a Cincinnati native, a graduate of SCPA, and a well-known actor across the greater Cincinnati area. We actually met at Falcon Theatre in Newport, KY! One of our favorite things to do in Cincinnati is to visit the art museum. We began taking our daughter to the Cincinnati Art Museum when she was only three years old. Cincinnati has one of the most beautiful art museums in the entire country. The collection is varied and impressive. It is a great place to teach small children about the times that call for inside voices and for keeping our hands to ourselves! We exposed our daughter to artistic styles from all over the world that can influence her own artistic expression. They also now have the Rosenthal Education Center (REC) which is specifically designed for kids!
Frisch’s “The Nutcracker” at the Aronoff Center is another great opportunity for kids to experience the arts in Cincinnati. It is a little more of a grown up environment, but our daughter did well when we took her for the first time at five years old. Our daughter is in love with ballet, so allowing her the opportunity to see professional dancers at their finest is a great inspiration for her.
The first is the Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati which performs downtown at the Taft Theatre. I had never heard of them before, but I received a flyer in the mail this summer showcasing their upcoming season and their Kid’s Club membership. I pre-ordered season tickets for all four shows for my daughter and myself – and for only $25, I bought the Kid’s Club Membership as well. They didn’t advertise it, but they usually are able to get a sponsor to provide free parking for season ticket holders each year as an added bonus. I was excited when we received ours for the garage right around the corner from the Taft! The Kid’s Club Membership gets the kids a bag, a hat, and special treats at every show. They also get a lanyard that gives them entry to special events and autographs/pictures with the cast. Base on the first show alone, (The Little Mermaid, Jr.), I believe the $25 was well worth the money! They encourage the kids to dress up for the show. I got my daughter an Ariel costume, and she met LOTS of other adorable mermaids while we were there as well (two of which were CMB co-owner Sarah’s little girls!) I am looking forward to the other three shows, and we will definitely be season ticket holders each year!
The other great kid-geared opportunity to get exposed to the arts is Music Hall’s Lollipops Family Concerts. I was not aware that the concerts were specifically for kids or that they were so affordable until a friend who is on their Diversity Committee told me about how great they are for kids. We went to see Spooktacular this year, and it was amazing! The kids were all dressed up, some of the Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati cast were there in full costume, they had treat bags and lollipops for the kids, and they got to color a huge picture of Music Hall. I had never been in Music Hall before, so it was such a fun and affordable way to get to experience one of my favorite Cincinnati landmarks! The ceiling in there is beautiful. The orchestra and conductor were dressed in Halloween costumes as well, and the stage was decorated wonderfully! Most of the kids did really well, and the length of the performance was perfect. It was nice to see the ushers have such patience with antsy kids and potty breaks. There is so much art to experience in Cincinnati, and it just makes me fall more in love with our beautiful, creative city every day!