My kids have enough stuff and they are old enough that they don’t require a bunch of toys and such for their birthdays or on holidays. Instead, I prefer to give them some kind of experience. Last year and this year I got my son tickets to different events/concerts.
Last year’s tickets were to see the Two Cellos perform in concert. It was very entertaining and we had seats where my son could wander down to the front of the stage. I bought three tickets in case my daughter wanted to come along (she didn’t) so my girlfriend at the time joined us.
This year’s tickets were to see the Blue Man Group while they make a touring stop here in Minneapolis. Tonight was the show. Again I had three tickets, but this time my daughter opted to come along. I think she was glad she did.
For those who don’t know, the Blue Man Group is a trio performance with three literally blue men. They are bald and heads are bright blue. The wear something similar to old-style black surgeons aprons. The show is a mix of silent, minimalist comedy and percussion music using unique instruments. Their main instruments are constructed of PVC pipes that give a nice resonant sound when struck.
The shows run roughly 90 minutes in length and very family friendly, making it a unique experience for younger audiences as well as adults. Indeed, they kept my teen and my tween thoroughly engaged and laughing. I tried to make the night a little more special by bringing the kids out to dinner at our local malt and burger shop for dinner before and fortunately all the timing lined up just right. I also had a parking pass with my tickets so getting settled was very easy. My kids even got to learn how to use the Minneapolis skyway system to stay out of the cold for the two block walk to the theater.
I enjoyed the show too, although I had seen the show on its home stage in Las Vegas about a decade prior with my (now) ex-wife. Due to the stage constraints at this theater the show felt a little more crowded. Also, most of the key skits were the same. That didn’t detract as it is what I expected, however, there was one “song” that they didn’t perform that left me a little sad. It’s entitled “Rods and Cones” and has a lot of effects mixing black and white and color images as the rods and cones do in our eyes.
The only other detraction from the show was the crowd. I don’t know if it was on account of being Wednesday night, or that the show has run for a long time, but the audience was rather antsy. There were a few people behind us by a couple rows who just kept talking through the show. There were numerous people walking up and down the aisles throughout. Lastly, one of the people in front of us obviously had a pre-show meal that wasn’t agreeing with them. Unfortunately, our noses paid the price for that.
I am glad I was able to give my kids a memorable experience. Bonding with them is a little trickier now that they are teens. My daughter can be tough to strike up a conversation with at times. It’s good to have things that we can all just sit and enjoy and be together for.