Photo Credit: Ravinia
Kraft Great Kids Concerts series welcomes Ravinia favorites and new acts
Second annual teen attendance contest includes free pre-concert tent party on July 29
Ravinia is not just for the wine and cheese crowd... This lovely, outdoor performance space in Highland Park, north of Chicago near the lakefront, is easily accessible by train and hosts a wide variety of musical genres every summer. Check out some of their family friendly kindie acts featured below, or bring the kids to classical concerts free on the lawn. BYOB, wine and picnics. The kindie lineup is very family friendly. One word of warning: just beware of the shuuuuushers, at some of the Ravinia pop & rock concerts where you wouldn't expect 'em and at the classical shows for sure.
The Brie eaters aren't all kid friendly!! My kids were pretty mellow tots and after a number of bad experiences we quit going to Ravinia in favor of the waaaay more laid back classical series in Millennium Park, because of the intolerant clientele. They expected ultimate silence and immobility from our toddlers and ruined the concert experience for all the families there with their glares and angry comments directed at every kid that moved a muscle. It's one thing if kids truly are shrieking or running amok, but really..... We found the childless adult yelling and shushing and evil eyes much more disruptive than any of the slightly fidgety kids there.
That said....if you're aiming for Laurie Berkner on July 28 or Justin Roberts & The Not Ready for Naptime Players I think the snooty factor will be at a minimum.
*Ravinia is making a concerted effort to entice back the young, despite the shush brigade. Kids 15 and younger enjoy free lawn admission for classical concerts; high school and college students with valid student I.D. admitted free to the lawn for classical concerts.
Kid-friendly, in-park activities include Customer Appreciation Day, free family space and kids program book
Ravinia Festival President and CEO Welz Kauffman has included events tailor-made for families, kids and teens as part of the 2012 season, including the annual Kraft Great Kids Concerts series, free kids admissions for classical concerts and activities, and the second annual teen attendance contest featuring a “Cannon Ball” pre-concert event.
“Ravinia is perfectly suited for families,” Kauffman said, “and we’re excited that our mission of reaching young audiences continues to grow this year with even more variety, low prices, and free admission to classical concerts. Creating unique and accessible opportunities for the younger generation to experience music of all kinds is one of Ravinia’s priorities, whether it’s attracting the world’s top young professionals to study and perform through the Steans Music Institute, in the schools through our own *REACH*TEACH*PLAY education programs, or creating a fun environment for teens to connect and enjoy classical music together.”
KRAFT GREAT KIDS CONCERTS SERIES
The 2012 Kraft Great Kids Concert series, which comprises family-friendly shows, emulates the festival’s main-stage programming, including the mix of genres and artists, in a kid-friendly environment. This family series has been supported by Kraft Foods since its inception 21 years ago and connects to the festival’s mission of REACH*TEACH*PLAY.
KRAFT GREAT KIDS CONCERTS
Acts include and Laurie Berkner on July 28; Justin Roberts & The Not Ready for Naptime Players on August 18; River North Dance Chicago on Aug. 21; Ruth Page Civic Ballet on Sept. 8.; and Tom Chapin & Friends on September 9.
Kraft Great Kids Concerts begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday mornings, with the exception of the 1 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 21 performance.
We particularly recommend checking out:
Laurie Berkner, known for her appearances on the Nick, Jr. TV Channel, has produced multiple CDs, DVDs, and two picture book-with-CDs to great acclaim, and returns to Ravinia Festival for a special solo performance as part of The You & Me Tour, on July 28.
**Hailed by USA Today as the “Paul McCartney of kids,” Justin Roberts & The Not Ready for Naptime Players were nominated for Best Musical Album for Children at the 2010 Grammy awards. An acclaimed folk-pop singer and songwriter, his 2004 family release, Way Out, was selected as one of Child magazine and Amazon.com’s top-10 family recordings of the year. He appears at Ravinia on Aug. 18.
Named “one of the greatest personalities in contemporary folk music” by The New York Times and “the best family artist around” by Billboard magazine, Tom Chapin has the ability to engage and entertain children and adults alike. Five of his family recordings have received Grammy award nominations for Best Musical Album for Children, including the 2006 release Some Assembly Required. He returns to the festival on Sept. 9.
FREE TEEN CONTEST AND PARTY
In an effort to bring awareness and opportunity of classical music performances to young people, Ravinia teamed with teens last year to create the Ravinia Student Advisory Board, which collaborated on ideas to promote classical music to young listeners. The program consists of three parts: free lawn attendance for high school students with a valid school I.D. at all classical concerts; a summer-long CSO attendance contest in which students can earn points for their school to win a grant; and a special high school night including a pre-concert event and the chance to gain double points for the attendance contest.
The attendance contest spans the duration of the CSO summer residency at Ravinia, from July 4 to August 20. High school students simply show their valid student I.D at the Ravinia Box Office for free lawn admission at any CSO show (excluding the July 21 Gala), and the box office will keep track of the primary high school they attend. The school that has the most student visits at the end of the CSO residency will be awarded a grant from Ravinia Festival.
The festival, along with the Ravinia Student Advisory Board, will also host a special teen night pre-concert event for high school students on Sunday, July 29, before the CSO’s all- Tchaikovsky program including the “1812” Overture featuring live cannons. “Cannon Ball 2012” will include a free tent event complete with food, refreshments, games, prizes and the chance to earn even more points for the attendance contest. Students who attend the event and performance will also receive double points for their high school.
FREE TICKET OPPORTUNITIES/SPECIAL DISCOUNTS
Ravinia announces a continuation of last year’s policy to allow kids free admission to the lawn. Those 15 years old and under will be admitted free to the lawn for all classical concerts, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s summer residency (excluding the July 21 Gala). High school and college students will be admitted free to the lawn for classical events when they present a current student I.D. at the box office. Reserved-seat upgrades may become available at a reduced price for students.
Ravinia will host a special free family space on the north lawn prior to selected CSO concerts. Families can participate in activities including music-related crafts, storytelling and the “instrument petting zoo,” The family space will be open from 3 to 4:30 p.m. prior to the CSO concerts on July 29 and Aug. 5. The instrument petting zoo will be located in front of the Martin Theatre following the Kraft Great Kids Concert on July 7 featuring the Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra, beginning at noon.
Ravinia’s Family Fun Guide is a free, special program book designed just for kids, available throughout the entire summer season in kiosks around the park. The program book includes coloring pages, exciting information on music, games, kid-friendly program notes, activities to do in the park or at home and more. Parents can also preserve their child’s concert memories by saving the book and filled-out activities.
KIDS BIRTHDAY PARTIES
Be the star that you are—host a birthday party at Ravinia. Kid’s birthday parties can be arranged for groups of 20 or more in conjunction with the Kraft Great Kids Concert series. Each party package includes tent or lawn set-up, pavilion tickets to the show, table and chair rental, a gift for the birthday boy or girl from Ravinia Gifts, and lunch for partygoers featuring a kid-friendly menu including an entrée, cookie and a beverage. Additional perks such as goodie bags, entertainment, face-painting, sweet treats and more are also available, and packages start as low as $23 per person, all-inclusive. Reservations for these birthday party packages can be made by contacting email@example.com or calling 847-266-5087.
Make the northern suburbs a destination for yourself and family by planning a trip to four cultural destinations, Ravinia Festival, Kohl Children’s Museum, Writers’ Theatre and Chicago Botanic Garden. This umbrella organization called Do North offers special discounts to each cultural attraction and is looking into opportunities to create pre-planned day trips and weekend getaways for the whole family. For more information, visit www.donorth.org.
Tickets to all Ravinia Festival events are available now at www.ravinia.org or by phone at 847-266-5100. A $7 service fee is added to all ticket orders.
Ravinia Festival is located at Lake Cook and Green Bay roads in Highland Park. Ravinia welcomes all festival fans to follow, connect and interact online at backstage.ravinia.org, facebook.com (search Ravinia Festival) and twitter.com/raviniafestival. Ravinia Festival is a not- for-profit organization.