Review: Medieval Times with Kids

If you’ve been to the Renaissance Faire, you’ll love Medieval Times. I thought it was going to be a little bit hokey, but we had so much fun. My son can’t wait to go back.

Waiting to meet the king at Medieval Times. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

What is Medieval Times?
Medieval Times is a dinner show with tournament. It’s not just jousting, though there is jousting. It’s a show with horses, a falcon and a princess too. It takes place in a castle. Continue reading “Review: Medieval Times with Kids”

Review: Mad Libs Live with Kids

Our family is a big fan of Mad Libs. We play them a lot – on car trips, on plane trips, on line at the amusement park…But a Mad Libs Live show off-Broadway? How would that work? Well, we got to find out. Here’s our review of Mad Libs Live with kids!

Outside the theater, you can take pictures behind this oversized cut-out, and fill in the blanks. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan
Outside the theater, you can take pictures behind this oversized cut-out, and fill in the blanks. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

The story:

Mad Libs Live features four stereotypical high school students: Continue reading “Review: Mad Libs Live with Kids”

Review: Rockettes Radio City Christmas Spectacular With Kids

Every year we talk about going to see the Rockettes Radio City Christmas Spectacular, and then we don’t get plan ahead and the tickets are too expensive. Or the reasonably priced tickets are at 9 a.m. or 10 p.m. – or on a weekday while the kids are in school. (Info on discount Rockettes tickets at the bottom). This year my husband’s company got a block of tickets and we scored with reasonably priced tickets to a weekend show, so we finally got to see the iconic Rockettes.

Radio City Music Hall Rockettes Christmas Spectacular. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan
Radio City Music Hall Rockettes Christmas Spectacular. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

This review contains spoilers. It’s also the review of someone who did not research the show before seeing it and did not grow up in this area. Think of me as someone dropped into Manhattan from far away, for the Christmas show. It’s not part of our family history and the only thing I really know about them is that the dancers have a height requirement and they do precision dancing. That’s about it. Continue reading “Review: Rockettes Radio City Christmas Spectacular With Kids”

Review: Blue Man Group with Kids – Win Tickets

It’s been about 15 years since I saw the Blue Man Group, at a theater in Chicago. I remember the drums and I remember the toilet paper. And I remember changing into my skirt in the front seat of the car ride from Wisconsin to Chicago. And I recalled that the Blue Men’s faces and hands were painted blue. That may have been true. Or perhaps they had some kind of rubbery skin covering like they do now.

—Want to win tickets? Details at the bottom.—-

Well, now I have kids. And Blue Man Group has been performing for 23 years at the same Astor Place Theater in New York City, plus a year at another NYC location, and a year performing as a street act. They  have five permanent shows across the country (Chicago, Miami, Las Vegas, Orlando, Boston), plus a touring group, plus a Norwegan ship show.

blue man group

I know that not everyone who is blue looks the same, but I could not figure out how they could tell each other apart. They’re around the same size, all wearing the same thing, all covered in their blue skin. And they don’t talk. Or smile. Or laugh. Continue reading “Review: Blue Man Group with Kids – Win Tickets”

Review: Zarkana at Radio City Music Hall

I took my 11 year old daughter to see Cirque du Soleil’s Zarkana at Radio City Music Hall this past weekend. The show closes on September 2, so if you’re looking for a show to see soon, go see it. We loved it. (Zarkana heads to Las Vegas next, so you can catch it there. I saw Ka in Las Vegas and loved it. Completely different show and concept).

Zarkana is self-described as an acrobatic rock opera blending circus arts with the surreal. I think that’s a decent description. There are some spoilers in here, so don’t read the review if you want everything to be new and surprising.

They also describe the story this way: “The story follows Zark, a magician who has lost his powers – and the love of his life – in an abandoned theatre populated by a motley collection of off-the-wall characters and incomparable acrobats. He runs into the Mutants, four sirens as sinister as they are fabulous, who are determined to divert him from his quest.” Continue reading “Review: Zarkana at Radio City Music Hall”

Review: Harry Potter Exhibition in New York City Times Square

I have a confession. I’ve never seen a Harry Potter movie. But I have read all the books. My kids haven’t seen the movies either – I won’t let them until they read the books (my daughter is partway through the third, and my son is listening to the first on tape).

With that in mind, I took them to the Harry Potter exhibit in Times Square, hoping it would inspire my kids to plow through (note to readers – my son is now on the 5th book and we’ve seen the accompanying movies – he now wants to go back to the exhibition AGAIN). And even though I haven’t seen the movies, the scenes are so vivid in my mind (and the movie actors so ingrained in our culture) that I was interested in seeing the recreation.

Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images. Reproduced with permission

The exhibit officially opens on April 5th at the Discovery Times Square exhibition center (that’s where Pompeii is currently showing). Continue reading “Review: Harry Potter Exhibition in New York City Times Square”

Review – ImaginOcean

When my 9 year old daughter and I planned a girls’ day in New York City, we wanted to see a show. We’ve already seen Mary Poppins (we loved it), and do want to see Lion King and Wicked (still too expensive). I looked off-Broadway and found ImaginOcean, which just celebrated its 100th show.

ImaginOcean is created by John Tartaglia, best known as the creator (and Tony nominee) of Rod and Princeton in Avenue Q. I love, love, love that show (and the music), but it is NOT appropriate for kids. Like Avenue Q, ImaginOcean also uses puppets and is a musical (though you can’t actually see the puppeteers during the show). ImaginOcean started as a cruise ship show, and was expanded to the current off-Broadway production.

The show revolves around three fish friends, Tank, Dorsal and Bubbles (with an octopus, seahorse, and jellyfish thrown in as well). With the help of a treasure map, they’re trying to work together to find a treasure (spoiler: they’re rubber bracelets that you can buy in the gift shop after the show) and realize the value of friendship. Dorsal is a neurotic, fearful and annoying fish who is probably channeling children’s fear of failure and the unknown. The plot was a bit boring for adults, but the kids loved the whole thing.

Continue reading “Review – ImaginOcean”