Although I had been to Wolf Trap for various performances before having kids, I have not been since. So, I was excited to learn about Wolf Trap’s summer Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods performances.
Wolf Trap has a fanatic and eclectic line-up of shows including the National Symphony Orchestra, ballet, musical performances, puppets, native dancers, improv, and a bilingual dance party. My children (ages 4 and 7) and I recently went to see tot rock all-stars Recess Monkey and had a fantastic time. Performances are very informal with unassigned seating along rows of benches. Some kids wandered directly in front of the stage to dance while others danced in the seats. Even very young children are welcome as there is no expectation that audience members will sit quietly in their seats. That said, there were plenty of older kids in the audience as well and my seven year old had a great time.
At Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods many families choose to make a day of the experience. This children’s theatre is quite literally “in the woods” as Wolf Trap is a National Park. The National Park Service runs Jr. Ranger programs at no cost after most shows so that kids can extend their experience. Whether or not you choose to participate in the Jr. Ranger program, there is plenty of open park space adjacent to the performance area to enjoy after the show. It seemed like most families had brought a picnic lunch to eat at a picnic table or on a blanket and left plenty of time for kids to jump stones in the creek, roll down an enormous hill, or just run around. The park opens about an hour before performances as well so you can choose to take advantage of the park space earlier.
Although we don’t live near Wolf Trap, my kids and I had such a good time and there is such a good line-up over the summer that we plan on returning soon. As a personal recommendation, I suggest checking out Story Pirates on July 10th, who come to the DC area only a few times a year and have an extremely funny, highly interactive creative show.
Good to Know
- There is free parking.
- Plan for about a 5-10 minute walk from the parking lot to the performance area. And note — it is a hilly walk, be sure to plan ahead.
- Bathrooms are located near the parking lot.
- Only water is allowed in the performance area.
- Strollers can be brought up to the entrance of the performance area but must be parked outside.
- All performances start at 10:30 a.m. and last about 45 minutes.
- Tickets range from $8.00 to $10.00.
- Seating is not assigned but the theater is arranged in such a way that there is a good view from every seat.
- In the event of rain performances are canceled. If rain is predicted the call to move forward or cancel is made around 9:30 a.m. Follow Wolf Trap on Twitter, it is the best way to find out the current status.
Photos by Jamie Davis Smith.