Cheese and I love the Babies Proms held several times a year at the the Sydney Opera House. Babies Proms are aimed at children aged two to five, perfect for their first live music experience. The Sydney Opera House has been running the interactive and engaging Babies Proms for over 30 years, so they’ve had plenty of time to fine tune what is now a tradition for many Sydney families.
We have just seen our final Babies Prom of the year, Babies Proms: Jingle Bell Jazz. The show was a fabulous mix of classic Christmas songs, with a jazz and calypso twist. Let by Australian stage and screen star, Valerie Bader, kids sang and danced their way through Christmas classics such as Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, We Wish You a Merry Christmas and Jingle Bells.
If you’re considering booking a Babies Prom for 2016, their new schedule is up now (I’m booking Music for Tutus for us!).
I’ve put together a few points to help families making their way to their very first Babies Prom.
Get there early
The show is general admission. Kids sit on the floor in the middle of the room on a carpet and adults sit in the chairs around the sides. To get seats closest to the carpet (to keep an eye on rouge kids!) people start lining up often 30 mins before the show begins.
Know where you’re going
The Babies Proms are held in the Studio, which is on the side of the Opera House, not in the big theatres in the sails. You can catch the elevator to this level or walk around the concourse straight into the side doors of the Opera House to get there.
Parking at the Opera House
The cheapest parking is on weekends, where you can book a bay online beforehand and pay $10 for the entire day. If you’re seeing a show on a week day, parking costs a lot more, so consider the train!
I often catch the train and walk to the Opera House. Circular Quay has elevators, as does the Sydney Opera House, so it’s all very stroller-friendly.
You can bring a stroller of any size and leave it in the foyer outside the theatre with all the other strollers.
Bring a camera
While there is no photography allowed during the Babies Prom shows, after the performance has ended kids can go up to the musicians or actors, try their instruments and have a photo taken. Lighting is dim however, so bring a camera with a flash.
The snack bar outside the Studio used to sell wonderful kids packs for $7, but this month they haven’t had them anymore, sadly. The only food choices are currently big adult sandwiches or chips, so either bring your own food or arrive early for breakfast/lunch at Opera Kitchen (kids meals around $15 each).
Keep a close eye on kids
Some shows sell out and get very busy. When the show ends it can be a bit chaotic as kids return to their parents and line up for photos with the cast. It’s very easy for kids to get lost.
Kids can wear whatever they like, but it’s fun to get into the mood of whatever the theme of the show is. At the Jingle Bell Jazz show, for example, there were lots of kids in Christmas gear, and a few even dressed up as Chrissie elves.
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!