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The Minnesota Orchestra is a Grammy winning and internationally known professional symphony orchestra located in Minneapolis. While regular season tickets may be outside the budgets of most families, watch for Young Peoples Concerts, Family Concerts and Free Summertime Concerts for all ages. Children must be six years old to attend regular season concerts.
Orchestra Hall, built in 1974, is the home venue of the Minnesota Orchestra and hosts other musical events throughout the year. Located in downtown Minneapolis, it is easy to get to by bus. If driving, we suggest leaving extra time for parking downtown or take advantage of the $12 valet parking.
Minnesota Orchestra With Kids
Children under the age of six are not allowed at most Minnesota Orchestra concerts unless they are Family Concerts or Young People's Concerts. Children are also not allowed to sit on their parent's lap during the concert unless they reach below the parent's chin when seated. So for younger kids, the Family and Young People's concerts just make the most sense. For children between 6 and 17, child prices are sometimes available. Most subscription packages offer a Young Listener add-on package for $12 per concert.
For the under-six crowd, we also recommend MacPhail Center for Music's Family Music Series, SPCO's Family Concerts, Minnesota Youth Symphonies' Music & Melody Makers, the annual Rock the Cradle event at the MIA as well as summer concerts in the parks. With all these pre-k options, by the time kids are old enough to attend grown up concerts, they'll be ready.
The Family and Young People's Concerts usually offer a downloadable curriculum to go along with the concert. These PDFs can be kind of large and full-color, so you may want to review them on the computer before printing what you want to keep. Some concerts offer complimentary pre-concert workshops for home school families.
If you are a Spotify or YouTube user, you can follow Minnesota Orchestra and start listening to the music ahead of time to acquaint your family with what will be played at the concert. This is also an option if you can't make a concert but still want to familiarize yourself with the music.
My favorite book for learning about the Orchestra is The Composer is Dead by Lemony Snicket. If you are looking for a quick introduction for the younger kids, this is a fun audio book.
Sensory-Friendly Concerts are designed to be inclusive experiences for audiences of all ages and abilities, including individuals on the autism spectrum and those with sensory sensitivities. Tickets can be purchased as part of a sensory-friendly package or individually. Concerts take place in a relaxed environment in the Target Atrium. Stand-alone chairs provide for flexible seating and open space is available for those who wish to sit on the floor or move around the room. Fidgets, noise-canceling headphones, and quiet spaces are available at these concerts. As with any family-friendly concerts, online preparatory materials are available to download a few weeks before the concert.
Find more sensory-friendly experiences on our Special Needs page.