We all remember our first concert. For some of us, it’s probably as memorable as high school prom night or getting our driver’s license. If you’re a child of the late 70s or 1980s, you likely have fond memories of seeing Duran Duran, New Kids on the Block, Michael Jackson, or Madonna in person (or Metallica and Guns N Roses, for you metal fans out there). Going to your first concert is a rite of passage that marks the start of something fresh, new, and exciting. So it only makes sense that you would want to introduce your children to the concert-going experience. It may seem daunting, but fear not! Here are some tips that can help you stay safe and have fun:
Listen To The Music Ahead Of Time
If your child isn’t entirely familiar with the artist yet, play the music and listen to it ahead of time. Concerts are always a lot more fun when you can sing along to the words. You can even download a concert app like Setlist.fm, a helpful user-generated database of setlists; which are lists of each song in an artist or band’s set on a particular night. That way, you can know exactly what songs to be prepared for!
Choose a Meet-up Location
When you were attending concerts as a teen, you likely chose a meet-up spot prior to the show in the event you and your friends became separated. In this day and age of smartphones and text messages, this may seem unnecessary, but it never hurts to have a little insurance policy on the off-chance you and your kids become separated. Pick a location and agree that if you should lose track of each other, you’ll reconvene there at a set time. Now you don’t have to wonder whether or not your son or daughter will check their phone.
Children, particularly small children, have sensitive hearing. Concerts are really, really loud. Though the noise coming out of the speakers may be music to your ears, it’s important to consider your children’s feelings as well. Ear protection for your child is important. Remember to bring a set of earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones to drastically reduce the decibel level while still allowing them to enjoy the show. Manufacturers like Sony carry an array of styles, so you should be able to find something that suits your budget.
If your seats are far from the stage, consider bringing a small pair binoculars. If you’ve ever brought your children to a baseball game, then you know that complaints about not being able to see the players come fast and often! There are binoculars out there that are built specifically for children—fun colors, and shock-proof, so they won’t slip out of little hands. Pack a pair of binoculars in your purse or bag so that your children can take turns looking at the musicians up-close. It could save you a lot of complaints!
Bring Water and Snacks (if venue permits)
As you know, concerts can last several hours. Your children will inevitably be hungry, thirsty, or both at some point during the day. You could rely on the local food and beverage vendors to keep them fed, but be prepared to spend an arm and a leg (and don’t expect much in the way of healthy options, either). To keep your children hydrated and satisfied until dinner time comes around, pack some trail mix or other light snacks in your bag, along with a couple of bottles of water. Ditch the sugary sodas!
Wear Comfy Clothing
This tip also relates to comfort. No matter how good the music is or how well the musicians play, your day is doomed if your children become uncomfortable during the concert. Even as an adult, you likely let your discomfort known to those around you when you’re cold, hot, or tired, so why would you expect your son or daughter to behave any differently? Dress for the weather, bring layers, and wear comfortable shoes. You may be tempted to dress for the occasion – that leather jacket of yours is just beckoning your name – but make comfort your first priority and enjoy the show!
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