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My Boys First Experience visiting the Theatre

Bi Jean Ngo as Arrietty (front), with Scott Boulware as Pod and Catharine K. Slusar as Homily in Arden Theatre Company’s production of The Borrowers. Photo by Mark Garvin.

Amazing! Can I just tell you about our first family trip to the theatre? If you’ve been following Jersey Family Fun, you know I love taking my boys on all kinds of field trips. So when the invitation came along to take my family to see The Borrowers at the Arden Theatre in Old City Philadelphia, I was not about to pass on that. Sure, I was a little nervous about taking 3 boys, ages 2, 4, and 6 to the theatre. However, the potential benefit of seeing such a production was worth the potential embarrassment I might feel should they act up.


I was so pleased when we arrived to find that the Arden Theatre is very family friendly. For opening night, my boys were treated to such kid-friendly foods as pizza, chicken nuggets, fruit, and juice boxes. In another area, there were gourmet teas for the adults as the children created popsicle stick puppets. There never was a chance for my boys to get bored or rowdy because at every turn there was something for them to do or eat. I found the lobby area to be very comfortable. Even with the large crowd that night there was ample room for my family upstairs or downstairs. I was especially pleased that the bathrooms were even designed with children in mind (some stalls had child-sized toilets.)

When it was time to find our seats, we were greeted by Fun Ushers (kids ages 7+). The seats were very comfortable and provided a great view of the stage. Looking around the auditorium I don’t think there is a bad seat in the house.  With my husband and I on the ends and our boys settled in-between us, we prepared to watch the play.

The Borrowers follows Arietty Clock, a typical tween yearning to break free from her parents and experience the ‘grownup’ world. Something my boys, even at their ages, could relate too. The difference is Arietty and her tiny family live on doll house furniture under the floorboards in Ms. Driver’s home. When Arietty’s naivety and need for independence cause her to be discovered, her family is forced to leave their home.

The rest of the play takes us on the Clock family’s adventure to find a new home. In the process, we see a young girl and her family learn a lot about themselves and each other as they become more independent of each other and try to find their way in a new world.

We all enjoyed the production. The language was simple enough for my boys to follow, yet humorous enough to keep my husband and I entertained. Although it is a ‘children’s production’ the acting and drama appealed to all of us. My boys were mesmerized by the acting, shadows, props, and special effects. (Not once, did we have to ask them to behave. They remained seated throughout the show. Thank you Arden Theatre. )  I appreciated the diversity of the actors and actresses and how well they portrayed their characters. Afterwards, the Arden Theatre hosted a post-show discussion where children could ask the cast and crew questions. Each child was also given a commemorative poster before leaving.  It was a special night and I could not have asked for a better evening for our first time out to the theatre. With another children’s production coming in May, The Flea and the Professor, I am sure we will be back.

The Borrowers is showing until January 30. Tickets can be purchased by calling (215) 922-1122 or at their online box office.

View pictures from the production.

Additionally, if you have a drama lover or actor/actress in the making, the Arden Theatre hosts a variety of classes for children of all ages. You can find out more about that by clicking here. There are also Family Fun Days, where families can experience a chance to go backstage, work with the actors, and see how the productions come to be.

Check out our other reviews of family attractions in our Field Trip Friday series.

In full disclosure, Jersey Family Fun did not receive any compensation for this review. We were invited as media to view the performance with our families on opening night. My opinions are my own and come from my experience there with my family.

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