Children's Dinner Theatre: A Child's Introduction To The World Of Live Entertainment
What is a Dinner Theatre?
A Dinner Theatre is a combination of having dinner in a restaurant and seeing a live show. That show may be a musical or a play; it can feature a one-man show by a recognized actor or recognized actors. The dinner menu is already selected and can be buffet style. For most people, particularly children, the opportunity of having dinner and seeing a show at the same time is few and far between, but a dinner theatre is a great introduction to the world of live entertainment. I like a dinner theatre better than a traditional dinner and a movie; a movie you should be quiet. There are different types of dinner theatres that kids can enjoy, and these different types introduce kids to different arenas within the visual arts such as medieval productions, comedy, mystery, musicals, drama or slapstick. I like mystery and comedy. Dinner theatre performances are not always in the evening, there are matinees for the littler ones who may not be able to stay up late.
Up Close And Personal
A dinner theatre's guests are sometimes up close and personal with the actors and the props. Before you take your child to a children's dinner theatre, you may need to explain that the actors might be close to them or even touch them or ask them questions during the performance to get them involved. Smaller children that might be frightened by all the costumes and by being approached by a performer may need to have a family table not so close to the stage. My visit to a dinner theatre called for a member of the audience to sing, which was hilarious!
What Does A Dinner Theatre Have To Offer A Child?
Besides the fun of it all with the excitement of eating out, dinner theatres can offer a child the following:
- An opportunity for a child to participate and become part of the cast as an audience participant.
- The opportunity for a child to use their imagination to solve a mystery, if that's the performance.
- A chance for a child to meet and greet the actors / performers, and also to take photos with them and get their autographs.
- A chance for a child to keep part of a costume for being a willing participant.
- Might pique a child's interest in acting classes.
- A child might have the chance to win prizes such as free tickets or discount tickets, free food, or be entered in drawings.
- A children's dinner theatre will sometimes give children's book performances such as Cinderella, Gulliver's Travel, Pinocchio, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, etc.
- Autographed photos of the performers.
- A chance to see child performers in Kids Kabaret performances.
Dining Etiquette For Children
Children's Dinner Theatre Occasions
Reasons to visit a children's dinner theatre:
- Have a child's birthday party.
- Have a child's high school graduation celebration.
- Have a child's off to college celebration.
- Have a child's welcome home party.
- Have a child's celebration of health party (survivor of a life threatening illness).
- Have a girls or boys night out.
- Have a class outing.
- Have a child's award dinner.
- Children's Education Night.
- Student Appreciation Evening.
- Teacher Appreciation Evening.
- Family Night Out.
- To see a friend perform.
- To see a fellow student perform.
- Just for the love of theatre.
What type of Dinner Theatre do you enjoy?
The Costs Of A Dinner Theatre
- Dinner theatre costs include dinner, entertainment, theatre ticket, sales tax and gratuity.
- There are discounts for students, children, staff, faculty, and senior citizens. Please remember that if you're a student or faculty to bring in your I.D. from school to obtain your discount.
- Dinner theatres also have special discounts around specific holidays, so plan ahead.
- There are also deep discounts if you make reservations way in advance.
- Dinner theatres discount costs for larger groups, so get as many people as you can to join the outing.
- Dinner just might be free for a birthday girl or boy - just ask before making reservations.
- Make reservations, and please be mindful of cancellation policies.
Visit the National Dinner Theatre Assciation Website
- NDTA - National Dinner Theatre Association
NDTA Now Showing at Member Properties