This week the “Ones Who Rule the World” and I were invited to join some friends for some dramatic inspiration. In other words we got to go to a play called “Out of the Box” at Arts on the Horizon, the new non-profit theater in Landmark Mall near Macy’s.
When you enter the lobby it’s totally child friendly. There is stroller parking in one corner, plenty of toys and dress up clothes to explore and a wide open space with plenty of mirrors for dramatic play. The bathroom is big enough to contain a parent with several kids at one time. There is a step stool for small children to wash their hands at the sink and a changing table for those who still wear diapers.
We lucked out because the school group scheduled to attend our show was late. Instead of leaving us at loose ends they did a little musical dance improv for the kids while we waited. My 3 year old was very impressed and spent the rest of the day testing out her own forms of interpretive dance. The play itself was completely non-verbal with a cello providing narration for the character as she and her stuffed friends explores different pretend play with boxes, paper, strings and cardboard tubes. The play ends with the actors sweeping the curtains open behind the children to reveal a lobby now full of the same sorts of material for the kids to explore on their own. My 18 month old raced over to use a cardboard tube as a telescope just like the stuffed animals in the play. The 3 year old and her friends had a ball making caves, pirate ships, nests and so on until it was time to go home.
I was pretty excited to find that they also offer classes (ages 18 months to 5 years) and camps (3-5 years) at a pretty reasonable rate and the staff member I talked to was very friendly and seem fairly flexible about helping me make it work for both of my children.