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Traveling to NYC with kids is magical over the holidays. Although seeing the Rockefeller Christmas Tree and skating at Bryant Park are both not to be missed, the best event we’ve done is see The Magic Flute at The Metropolitan Opera!
The Magic Flute
Visiting Lincoln Center is a majestic experience. It’s literally the heart of arts and music in New York. Walking the grand stairs and seeing the crowds dressed in their finest holiday outfits makes you feel like you’re entering a royal palace. The opera may not be something you think of booking with children, but with older children, the special, children’s performance of The Magic Flute is the best way to experience an opera, and hopefully get children started on an appreciation of the arts. The family-friendly production of Mozart’s classic is under 2 hours, sung fully in English, and is exclusively available during the holiday season— in 2023 that’s December 8-30 for matinee or evening performances.
The Magic Flute tells the story of a brave young prince who goes on quest to rescue a princess in a strange land. The whimsy of Julie Taymor’s hit production is complete with dancing bears and giant flamingos, and enchanting kaleidoscope of color and incredible puppetry. The operatic voices are spectacular as is the live orchestral music, yet it’s the costumes and humor that win over audiences.
Dinner at The Metropolitan Opera
Did you know you could dine at The Met? Neither did we! Experiencing The Grand Tier Restaurant at The Met is another gem of an experience. Entering the sparkling, crystal atmosphere pre-show is an incredible, special family moment. My daughter practically had the whole opera house to herself to enjoy the stunning staircases and snowflake-like chandeliers.
For the holiday season, The Grand Tier Restaurant launched a special children’s menu, exclusively for performances of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. Their newly appointed chef, Florian Wehrli, crafted the menu to welcome families for a complete holiday opera experience. The food was luxurious and delicious and lifts the family, including the children, to a higher level of dining. They may not show off their manners at home, but there’s nothing like an eloquent server and white tablecloths to bring out their inner prince/princess. The finale of the kids meal was a Queen of the Night Chocolate Mousse loved by ALL of the children seated around us.
Experiencing The Met for Christmas
If you can, do it! Plan it for next year. Do it with grandparents, and with friends.
Gifts may not always be remembered, but experiences are. This holiday’s visit to The Met will be one to remember for years to come. It was uniquely special, and authentically New York.