It’s exciting and memorable to see a show on Broadway, watch a sporting event at MSG, or attend a pop concert at MetLife Stadium. However, these tickets aren’t always affordable or optimal for young kids. We are so fortunate that Westchester offers tons of local, family-friendly entertainment options on a budget.
Broadway in Your Backyard
Check out your local high school’s drama program. There are often a few shows during the school year featuring student talent. For example, we watched a performance of The Little Mermaid at our local high school. Tickets are often inexpensive and benefit the school.
Westchester Broadway Theatre closed its doors after 46 years in business due to COVID. However, they’ve found a new temporary (perhaps permanent?) home at Chappaqua Performing Arts Center, with various family-friendly shows planned for November and December. White Plains Performing Arts Center also offers a wide array of theater and entertainment for the entire family. Tickets to local Westchester theater performances are not inexpensive. However, they are a fraction of the cost of Broadway.
Lastly, there are several children’s theater programs in Westchester, like Random Farms and Lighthouse Youth Theatre (my daughter is currently participating in their program and will be part of the Aladdin Jr. cast). These programs culminate with shows featuring young talent from all corners of the county. What’s more fun for kids than seeing their peers on stage?
Skip the Stadium
With young children, heading to a large sports arena or stadium could be intimidating and expensive. Not to mention, kids may or may not have the attention span required to sit through a major league sporting event.
Start small by attending some FREE sporting events at your local high school. It’s also an excellent way for kids to get a different perspective on the sports they’re playing themselves. For example, when I took my children to local varsity lacrosse games last spring, they learned more about the game by watching talented teens and seeing the whole field in action.
Westchester is home to a minor league NBA team, the Westchester Knicks. In our very own county, you can give your kids a taste of professional sports at the Westchester County Center for less money (and hassle) than a ticket to Madison Square Garden.
Music to My Ears
I loved listening to live music before I had kids, and I look forward to taking them to see chart-topping artists one day. But, in the meantime, an easy, inexpensive alternative is music to my ears.
Westchester has many music venues that bring family-friendly, affordable shows to our community. For example, at Tarrytown Music Hall, we went to see Laurie Berkner perform. Pre-COVID, The Capitol Theater regularly offered morning and afternoon concerts specifically for kids and families.
Many town recreation departments host free summer concerts in local parks across the county.
School of Rock is a multi-location music school for children with several Westchester locations (Mamaroneck, White Plains, Bedford, and Briarcliff). We’ve seen kids from our local community perform covers of classic hits, and their shows are a lot of fun and free.