Years and years ago one of my sisters went to Las Vegas and came home telling me all about Cirque Du Soleil and their show, “O”. Apparently it involves water and acrobats dive off huge platforms into the water. Just the few words she told me about it and I was hooked. Ever since then I have wanted to see a Cirque Du Soleil show. Of course being a young family with young kids, it was always out of our price range.
This week someone graciously gave my husband one adult ticket and two kids tickets to see Saturday Afternoon’s production of Kooza by Cirque Du Soleil. I was so excited when he called and we ran through a thousand different scenarios of how we could make it work for us. Should we call and see if we could pay a little more to upgrade the kid’s tickets to adults and then hire a babysitter to stay home with the kids? Should just one of us take the older two and one of us stay home with the 3 year old? Of course my fear with that scenario is that I would be the one left home, once again missing Cirque Du Soleil. Finally we decided to give them away to another friend so she could take her grandkids. Then the amazing thing happened that instead of taking her grandchildren, she bought us one more adult and one more child ticket so we could all go together as a family. (Thank you)
Of course it wasn’t even until we were sitting down waiting for the show to start that I thought, “wow, is this kid friendly?”. My excitement about going had gotten the best of me.
So, what did I think about taking my young children (7,6, and 3) to see Kooza?
In all honesty, I think that taking my children to this show helped inspire them to live a more active life. Growing up I wanted to be an ice skater more than anything in the world but I grew up in Texas where the nearest ice skating rink was 3 hours away. At that time my family also was too stretched to let us play in sports so my athleticism as a child depended on how fast I had to run to catch the ice cream truck. To this day I still struggle with not being active and I hate it. It’s not something I want for my children.
Watching Kooza and seeing how much they jump, flip, bend and move makes it easy for my to inspire my children to be more active. It’s easy for me to tell my kids that they can do everything they saw in the show if they just practice and try hard. I want to see them aiming for that skill and athleticism. I know they could do it, well almost all of it. A few things they might have to replace their bones with jello to be able to pull off.
Because of how great the show was and how much they enjoyed it, I know they will remember it. A year from now I can remind them when they are struggling with their flips in gymnastics of how the acrobats in Kooza flew through the air, flipping all over. It’s a tangible and exciting goal that I think was placed in their hearts at Cirque Du Soleil, no ice skating rink required.
Also it was just plain funny. At one point a man dressed as a dog “pees” on the audience. Yes this might be crude but we are at the age with bathroom humor is golden. (not planned but kinda worked out huh?) My kids were laughing so hard that I heard snorts. If they weren’t watching in awe, they were laughing. I think that’s one thing that every parent wants to see from their children.
There were a few questionable parts though that any parent wanting to take their child should be aware of. Sexuality and some sexual jokes are present in this show. There were three clowns that had some dirty minds and one kept checking inside his pants to make sure “it” was still there. He also liked to “hump” legs, kinda like my dog does all the time. At one point one of the clowns giving mouth to mouth CPR turned into them rolling on the floor in a mock make-out session. They were both male. In another part of the show a man was holding a little baggie in the air as if it contained drugs and then refered to it as Viagra. These are the worse parts, as bad as it gets.
Here’s my stance on those parts. My kids are extremely extremely sheltered. We homeshool and limit their outside influences heavily. They seldom watch cable TV and mainly stick to approved shows on Netflix. Their friends are all other homeschoolers or church friends. They watched this stuff and did not see the questionable motives behind it. They just laughed at what else was going on. This was by far the worst thing they have ever watched but would I take them again? Yes. Even if they do notice and have questions, that’s my job as a parent to answer their questions. Also it shows them another culture, more so the european culture that is more laid back when it comes to sexuality and drugs. It’s not the culture that we choose to live in but it’s there and they need to be aware of it.
So should you take your child? That is your choice. You are their parent and you will make the best decisions for them. You know your child. If they are sensitive to sexuality, you may want to get a babysitter. If you are prepared for any questions they may have, then take them. It’s up to you.
If you do take your young children let me share a few tips.
1. Sit in the very back. We actually moved back even further after intermission. Why? Because there were a ton of empty seats in the last two rows. You could still see perfectly but I didn’t have to worry about the three year old kicking anyone else in the back or yelling in the person’s ear in front of her. After intermission she had set still as long as she possibly could and was so active. I am very glad that we were not near anyone else that she could distract or be a bother to with her own acrobatic performance.
2. Have treats stashed in your purse. There were a few really quiet/ slower moving parts where the three year old got restless. During these parts I reached in my purse and pulled out a sucker. It kept her quiet and still until the slow parts were over. I also had a few small toys and my phone with her games and ear phones stashed in my purse, just in case but we never needed them.
3. When your child tells you they have to go to the bathroom during intermission and the line for the delux porta potties (they really are mobile bathrooms, not porta potties) are a mile long, keep walking. We found another Mobile bathroom in the back where there was a small line. Then we walked around to the back of that unit and what do you know? There was another side of totally unused bathrooms. Just one little walk into a man that was using the restroom without locking the door (oops!) and then we were able to use the restroom and get back inside in a just a few minutes.
5. Ask the usher for a booster seat. Before intermission we were sitting directly behind a canoodling couple. The three year old would not have been able to see around them if it hadn’t of been for the booster seat.
6. Buy bottled water. What? Their bottled water comes in stainless steel reusable canteens and there’s a refilling station so you can get more water when you run out. Houston! Listen up! Please adopt this method of serving water in all your major entertainment venues. We usually pay $8 for a plastic bottle of water at baseball games. There’s no refills and a ton of trash. I will gladly buy a keepable canteen of water which my kids loved and support a genius idea at the same time. Well done Cirque du Soleil.
7. Have an exit plan in place. About five minutes before the end it was just impossible for the three year old to sit still any longer. Damion took her out and let the older two and I finish watching the show. Because we were sitting in the very back, this was very simple to do without being a distraction. Five minutes later the girls and I left before the performers were finished bowing (sorry performers) and we headed back to the car early before the parking lot came to a standstill of traffic. The less time you have to spend in a car sitting in one spot with a three year old that just set still for two hours, the better you’ll be.
So after reading this, would you take your children to see Kooza by Cirque Du Soleil?