The Wonderful Winter of Oz

We kicked off our holiday break by attending the premiere of the Wonderful Winter of Oz! The story is just like the fairy tale except with a holiday twist – Dorothy gets swept by a blizzard on Christmas Eve. It was my sons’ first formal musical production and they loved it. They actually want to go back and watch it again – this time with dad too. It is the most toddler-friendly musical I have attended; but then again, it is a panto production. I just learned that this means a lot of singing, dancing, jokes, and audience participation. So not only were they excited to see Kermit the Frog, but the special effects and extras throughout the show are amazing. It is very interactive so at the beginning the cast encourages you to sing and dance with them, boo the witch, cheer for Glinda, and participate in a friendly competition. One lucky audience member is chosen to oil the tin man upon request. I wish I was Clementine! That was the little girl that had this role at the media premiere. At the end be prepared to sing a modified version of Jingle Bells! Now my toddlers want to sing that rendition but we love it. And for my parents there are plenty of pop-culture references and the songs are a mix of classics and top hits. Not only did I love the audience participation, but the cast was amazing and diverse! I loved that there was a diversity in the cast so all children feel like they look like someone on stage. Some of the phrases are in Spanish, so I loved that too! I don’t want to reveal too much but my favorite scene was when the witch plays her violin to one of my favorite songs – I got chills! And as a parent whose toddler is learning to play an instrument, I loved that he can see the violin being used in a production. Of course, my kids loved waiting for Kermit the Frog to make his appearance. It has been close to four days since we attended the event and now we want to go back again. And I didn’t post this on my stories, but we were stuck in LA traffic for 2 hours!! And I told my sister, I would sit through the traffic again just to see this panto production because it was that magical. It made me forget about the stress I was dealing with that day. I’m happy that this is how we kicked off our winter break!

There are only eight more shows left to watch the Wonderful Winter of Oz on the following dates:

Thursday, December 20 at 7:30 PM
Friday, December 21 at 2:30 PM and 7:30 PM
Saturday, December 22 at 1:00 PM and 6:00 PM
Sunday, December 23 at 1:00 PM and 6:00 PM
Thursday, December 27 at 7:30 PM
Friday, December 28 at 2:30 PM and 7:30 PM
Saturday, December 29 at 1:00 PM and 6:00 PM
Sunday, December 30 at 12:00 PM and 4:00 PM

Tickets: Our tickets were located in the far right of the orchestra, closer to the aisle. We had the first four seats from the aisle. My 2 year old didn’t have anyone blocking him so if you plan to go with toddlers I would recommend getting an aisle seat so they don’t feel like standing up during the show. Tickets start at $40 and Family Four Packs for just $99 can be purchased at the Pasadena Civic Center. Venue: Pasadena Civic Auditorium, 300 East Green Street, Pasadena, CA 91101; or calling  626-449-7362.

Pre-party: One hour prior to showtime audience members can enjoy a free celebration in their Winter Winterland located in the main lobby. There is a meet and greet with Santa (on select dates), arts and crafts, and photo opps. This is the perfect way to get the kids ready for the show.

Parking: There is a parking lot nearby, a short walking distance. I managed to walk with my 2 and 4 year olds but I was tempted to bring my stroller.

Stroller parking: Yes, there is a section where you can park your strollers during the show. Feel free to bring them, I did see several strollers on site.

Hangry toddlers: A limited number of snacks are sold, and the lines can be long. You can bring a couple of snacks with you, I loved that they were flexible especially with my toddlers. Beverages are sold for both children and adults.

Restrooms: There are restrooms available at the Pasadena Civic Center and restrooms on each floor in the parking garage. We used the ones in the parking garage. They were very clean and accessible since they are next to the elevators. My sister also took my son to the ones at the Pasadena Civic Center during showtime and it was all good, they were allowed back in. I was worried about not being able to return if we needed to leave during the show, but it was totally fine.

Tip: Make sure to give yourself enough travel time – I underestimated my travel time. There is plenty to do in the area so leave early to avoid traffic!! I also suggest making sure everyone is fed prior, and allow for a couple of snacks. And make sure to have an awesome time!

photo credit: F. Scott Schafer


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