This past weekend, my family visited Symphony Space for the first time. My husband and I had been a few times before, but it’s a whole new world when taking the kids for a trip in Manhattan to see a live show. We went in to see the Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia perform Treasured Stories by Eric Carle. It’s a wonderful glow-in-the-dark puppet show of three of Eric Carle’s best loved stories. We had a wonderful time, and the Symphony Space theatre is a great place to bring the kids. Here’s a tip: if you go with smaller children, try to be in line early so you get a booster seat. They are stacked up between the entrances to the seats. You can always go old school and fold up your jacket to make your child taller, but that only works during the cold weather.
The Just Kidding series of family events at Symphony Space chooses accessible and just plain fun events for children of all ages. This Saturday at 11 am, they have the wonderful Gustafer Yellowgold show which combines story-songs and live animation to delight the kids. It’s accurately described as “a cross between Yellow Submarine and Dr. Seuss” by The New York Times. And later in December they are hosting both Valentina Kozlova’s The Nutcracker and a Barista Kids’ favorite, Elizabeth Mitchell.
Getting to the Upper West Side of Manhattan was easy with Decamp leaving every hour on the half-hour from Watchung Plaza. The subway, bus, and taxi lines can all make the trip uptown easy. Symphony Space is just outside the 1,2,9 line, but the C train also stops just on 96th Street and Central Park West. A taxi ride takes about 10-15 minutes and costs around $12 plus tip from Port Authority. Coming back on Decamp is also easy to remember as it’s also every hour on the half-hour for the weekend #66. Check the website for other lines. Once NJ Transit is back on full-throttle schedules, it will be doubly easy. And then there’s always driving in, and parking – if you’re willing to walk a bit – isn’t as difficult as you might think.
If you and the kids are feeling peckish, Symphony Space has several options. There is the ubiquitous Starbuck’s Coffee right next door, but I suggest visiting the Manhattan Diner just across Broadway from the theater. It was fast, delicious, and the staff was incredibly friendly. There was a line when we left, but we had no wait at all. Find other options at Urban Spoon.
Check out the entire Just Kidding family schedule at Symphony Space, and keep up with them on Facebook. It was an easy and enjoyable trip into Manhattan, and the kid-centric attitude at the Just Kidding event made for a stress-free experience.
Full disclosure: I was given a pass through Barista Kids, courtesy of Just Kidding at Symphony Space to see the show for myself and one child. We purchased the other two tickets ourselves.