Last Saturday my mom and I took my 2 1/2 year old to the Charlotte Symphony Lollipops concert. I had not planned to go but I was offered tickets a few days in advance and decided we would try it. I was concerned about Claire’s age, not sure if she was young. It was supposed to snow but we all know the snow did not come.
Lollipops is a concert series held for 4 Saturdays (October to April) at the Blumenthal. The concert started at 11am but there were activities beginning at 10am in the lobbies. We got there about 10:20am. They had coloring tables, a table to make a tambourine (see photo) and also the “musical petting zoo”, where they bring out all sorts of real instruments like violins and flutes and drums and let the kids see, touch and play them. For a child who has never seen a violin up close, it’s really neat. Claire watched everything going on but was too shy (or maybe scared) to touch anything.
We headed to our seats about 10:50. Since I had not bought the original tickets I did not realize what good tickets we had. We were in the 9th row on left side ($10 tickets). Blumenthal is a big place so it was nice to be so far up. Claire sat on my lap so she could see. The entire Charlotte Symphony was up there in their seats. I started to have major second thoughts about whether this was a good idea. Claire does have good focus but she’s also only 2, which means all bets are off. They started playing one song promptly at 11am but there was nothing but the symphony (nothing that seems to be for kids)… and at about 11:02 Claire asked if it was over. At this point, I was sure we would be leaving early, I doubted she would last. Well, pretty soon after that the “hostess” came out and explained to all the kids that we were going to listen to music about ANIMALS and that when we listened, we would be able to imagine the animals in our minds. They played music that sounded like elephants and lions and bumblebees… Claire was both mesmerized and engaged. When each song was over she asked for more. And even more amazing, I looked around realized I was in a massive theater filled with preschoolers and not one child was crying or whining. I was shocked. So then there was a zookeeper character that came out and interacted with the hostess and they provided some good laughs. But the music really was the focus of the show. It was obvious that the Symphony has done this before and really knows what the kids like. The show lasted 50 minutes and not only did Claire ask for more, I enjoyed it so much that I wished it was a little longer. But in reality, it was a perfect length for that age.
Looking around most kids were ages 3 to 8 I would say. More girls than boys. There were some kids Claire’s age but I think she was among the youngest (except for a few baby siblings).
I give this a big thumbs up and we will definitely do it again. The next show is Saturday, April 5th. It is a different theme:“Beethoven Lives Upstairs“, I am not sure how different it will be but hopefully it will be as good as this one. Click here for more info or to buy tickets.
Have you been to Lollipops? What did you think??