Strathmore is a vibrant center for the arts and luckily for us they offer programs to make the arts accessible to children of all ages. Every summer Strathmore turns its spacious “backyard” into a children’s theatre each Thursday. Acts vary from music to dance to plays and often future national acts, such as Recess Monkey. A recent performance by Story Pirates we attended was brilliant improv just for little ones (this is not a review of Story Pirates but I highly recommend seeing them if you have the chance).
Backyard Theater is extremely casual. Seating is general admission on the grass. Many families bring blankets and picnic while watching the show. Many others just grab a patch of grass. Age-appropriateness will vary based upon the performer, but it’s not unusual to see kids ranging in age from toddlers through tweens. I delayed our first visit to a Backyard Theatre performance because I didn’t think it would be much fun sitting outdoors for a show. However, when we finally made it I was pleased to see that Strathmore prepares for the heat by setting up a very large tent and providing a free sno cone to everyone in attendance, so don’t let the heat keep you away!
After the show you are free to visit Strathmore mansion or wander the grounds. Some families prefer to wait until after the performance to picnic elsewhere on Strathmore’s beautiful grounds.
So head out to Strathmore and catch one of the two remaining shows for the 2014 season. Thursday, July 24th features Tim & The Space Cadets and Thursday, July 31st features Asanga Domask/Serendib Dance in Rhythm of Lanka.
- There are two performances of each show at 9:30am and 11:30am.
- Tickets are $8.00 for everyone over two. Tickets can be purchased in advance or at the door. Performances do not usually sell out in advance.
- There is a small café at Strathmore that offers a discount on food if you mention you are attending Backyard Theater.
- There are bathrooms and water fountains just outside of the performance area.
- It is easy to get to the performance area with strollers and there is stroller parking.
- There is limited parking very close to the Backyard Theatre performance area. Parking is in the Mansion lot on a space-available basis. There is a parking garage at Metro and the cost is $5. Note: you have to use a Metro SmarTrip or major credit card to exit the Metro parking garage.
- In case of inclement weather, the concert would be moved indoors. Strathmore posts updates on their website and social media.
Enjoy the show!
Photos by Jamie Davis Smith.