We really enjoy local band concerts with Matias...he's been attending concerts for a long time, and has come to love them. We will be looking for a high school holiday concert to attend this year. We think local high school concerts are a great venue for kids because:
1) They are a great way to experience a concert in a kid-friendly, forgiving environment.
2) They are free or cheap, so if you have to leave early, nothing lost.
3) They are attended by parents who understand young children, and a band director, who is thrilled to see young kids being exposed to music. No snooty patrons who paid good money for the tickets!
4) The holiday music seems to be especially well suited for young kids.
5) It is neat for children to see other kids (even high schoolers) playing music...not just adults.
Tips that have worked for us:
1) We like evening concerts when Matias is a little sleepy...we bring his blankie and he snuggles in with us for the concert.
2) Counter-intuitive I know, but we do NOT bring snacks or books or toys. When we do, Matias goes through them quickly and then wants more entertainment...when we don't, he seems to realize that the entertainment is the concert and is a better listener.
3) We find that concerts mostly attended by adults are better than concerts for children, because there are not a ton of kids squirming around...instead, there are lots of adults who are demonstrating how to sit and enjoy the music quietly.
4) We resist the urge to sit near the exit and try to get a good seat up front where he can really see the action.
5) We talk about the instruments we will see before the concert, and the look for them during the concert.
6) We take take a deep breath and remember that the worst that can happen is an outburst followed by a quick exit.