Live Performances: Experiencing the Performing Arts With Our Kids


It was such a surreal experience.  The lights went down, the curtain went up, and Rafiki came out and began singing the iconic Nants Ingonyama.  My now 6-year old son had talked about going to see The Lion King for weeks and here we were.  It was a thrill that is hard to describe.  Seeing The Lion King on the stage had been on my bucket list for years.  In fact, I’m still in awe of that spectacular show and super excited to experience more live performances with my kids.  

Lion King Poster Live Performances: Experiencing the Performing Arts With Our Kids Lynda Lantz Contributor Miami Moms Blog

Truth be told, I was a little nervous.  Was my son going to be able to sit quietly that long?  What if things went south and we had to leave?  Would he be able to follow the story and would the timing keep his attention?  Would I be shhhh-ing him the whole time?  Like most things in parenting, there was no way to know ahead of time.  I was just going to have to put my big girl pants on and do it.  

And I am SO glad I did!

There’s just something about experiencing the performing arts live and in-person.  There are the dynamics between the performers and the audience, three-dimensional sights and sounds, and shared emotional responses that simply cannot be experienced through a screen.  Live performances also include many natural learning opportunities for our kids, like etiquette, patience, and listening.  Additionally, taking kids to live performances also allows us grown-ups to experience the wonder and magic of storytelling through fresh eyes.

Arsht Center Live Performances: Experiencing the Performing Arts With Our Kids Lynda Lantz Contributor Miami Moms Blog
Waiting for The Lion King at the Adrienne Arsht Center


Here’s a list of local venues that offer ongoing opportunities for families to enjoy the performing arts:

Fantasy Theatre Factory
Sandrell Rivers Theater
Haitian Cultural Complex
North Beach Bandshell
Momentum Dance Company
South Florida Center for Percussive Arts
Adrienne Arsht Center
South Dade Cultural Arts Center
Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre
Miami-Dade County Auditorium
African Heritage Cultural Arts Center
Pinecrest Gardens

How to find free and inexpensive tickets:

Free Events at the Adrienne Arsht Center
Culture Shock Miami
Miami Theater

Know Before You Go

Depending on the age(s) of your child(ren) there are a few things you may want to keep in mind to make your family outing a positive experience for everyone involved:

  • Matinees and outdoor venues are great for kids.  There’s a lot less pressure on them (and you!) as they figure out how to behave appropriately in an audience.
  • Some kids do better up front, others might do better in sitting in the back.  Our seats were literally in the last row of the balcony, which was perfect for my 6-year old who is still developing his ability to sit still for longer periods of time.  When he got antsy I allowed him to take short standing breaks, knowing he wasn’t going to bother anyone sitting behind us.
  • Intermission is a perfect time for a bathroom break and a snack, but you have to be stealthy because time is short.  Skip the long line for the men’s and women’s rooms and use the family bathroom (if available).  Knowing where the nearest concessions stand/counter is will also save you lots of time.  
  • Make an adventure of it!  Check out some of the tips Mariela included in her holiday activities post about how to make your trip to the theater an all-day excursion.
Trolley Live Performances: Experiencing the Performing Arts With Our Kids Lynda Lantz Contributor Miami Moms Blog
We made an adventure of our outing and took the trolley!

Miami is a wonderful place to experience and discover the arts!  Get out there and bring your kids along with you.  You’ll teach your kids to become lifelong patrons of the arts and make lasting family memories.


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Lynda Lantz is originally from Côte d'Ivoire, where she lived until the age of 7 when her family moved to Northern VA. She graduated with a degree in music from George Mason University and went on to work with Cru at four universities in Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Florida. She was living in PA when she met her husband, Steve, on eHarmony and moved to Miami in 2011 just a few days after their wedding. Shortly before becoming SAHM, she was employed as an adoption caseworker and worked part-time with Cru at UM, and later Johnson & Wales University. Since then, she's been heavily involved in BSF which allows her to build relationships, pursue personal growth and develop leadership skills. She loves working with Miami Mom Collective and introducing people to this city she's come to call home, where she lives with her husband and two children. Connect with Lynda @mybalantzedlife on Instagram.