The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra offers a few ways to share classical music with your children. While children under age 6 are not allowed in the performance hall for regular concerts, SPCO offers family concerts at different levels. If your child grew up on the free family concerts and is ready to graduate to the real thing, you can now do that affordably as well.
Attending Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra Concerts with Children Ages 6 to 17
In an effort to make SPCO performances as accessible as possible to everyone in the Twin Cities community, especially young people, the SPCO announced in 2016 that children ages 6-17 can attend unlimited regular SPCO concerts free of charge with up to 4 free child tickets per paid adult ticket.
“We are expanding our accessibility even further in the 2016-17 season by inviting children to attend unlimited SPCO concerts for free. Now it will be easier than ever to bring the whole family to experience transformational performances with the SPCO.”
--Managing Director and President Jon Limbacher.
How do these free kids tickets break down when calculating the cost of a family outing? For our family of six, a 3- or 4-Concert Series is cheaper than a season using the Children's Theatre Company ACT Pass (which is already an amazing deal), but unlike the ACT Pass, this deal does not require income qualification. For a family of four, two 4-concert series packages plus two free kids, is still just over $6/person per concert - making it a very affordable family outing.
Attending Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra Concerts with Younger Children
Featuring the musicians of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Start the Music!, xplorchestra! and Family Concerts are FREE programs specifically geared toward children ranging in age from preschool to middle grades, but the whole family is welcome. SPCO uses narrators, stories and themes to help children connect with classical music at their own level. These Free Family Concerts require a reservation and often sell out quickly; get your tickets fast by joining the Backstage-Pass Email Club to receive timely email reminders.
Read more about Gianna's experience with these free family concerts: Family Fun: Target Free Family Music with St Paul Chamber Orchestra.
Free Resources from SPCO
St. Paul Chamber Orchestra offers several free resources that families can take advantage of to introduce children to classical music in a budget-friendly manner:
- Watch and/or Listen at Home for Free. Listeners can access to a library of past performances. Sort by categories such as genre, composer, conductor, performer or even country of origin. Or you can just search for your favorites.
- Free Children's Tickets. Children (Ages 6-17) can attend unlimited regular SPCO concerts FREE. Reserve up to 4 free child tickets per each paid adult ticket. Your adult high school and college students can also attend for free with a valid student ID.
- Free Family Music Concerts as described above are created for a variety of ages.
- Additional Engagement Resources for Children and Families include
- Themed playlists with activity packs to download.
- Digital concert videos with activity packets to download.
Other Options for Exposing Twin Cities Kids to Classical Orchestra
- Minnesota Orchestra and Orchestra Hall
- Minnesota Sinfonia Chamber Orchestra
- Free Music & Melody Makers Program with Minnesota Youth Symphonies
- MacPhail Center for Music
- Check out Maestro Classics CDs from the Library or purchase your own Maestro CDs through our affiliate link*. Each of the CDS in this collection explores a different kid-friendly classical piece through narrated stories and guided listening.
*Family Fun Twin Cities receives a small commission for sales of Maestro products through our affiliate link. We encourage you to check these CDs out from the library and if you love them as much as we do, consider purchasing through our link to add copies to your own listening library.