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Cherished moments: Grandparent outings to bond over

Spending time with the grandkids can bring a lot of joy into a grandparent’s life. Attending events together can give Grandma or Grandpa a chance to enjoy the things they love to see and do, and give them a great opportunity to pass down some cherished pastimes to the next generation. It can also open kids’ eyes to a whole new world that they may not have otherwise been exposed to.

Why not share your love of arts and culture with your grandchildren? Taking kids to live theatre, ballet, opera and other artistic productions like interactive galleries encourages creativity and inspiration. Introducing a new generation to live performance engages children’s senses in a way that a screen just can’t compare with, encouraging the development of cognitive, social-emotional, and multisensory skills.

The arts are a great way to expose children to diversity, teamwork, and craftsmanship. Kids will be mesmerized by the lights, colors, and sounds of the performance, and ask to go again.

Music & Movement

Get moving with some dance culture with Alberta Ballet ( Alberta Ballet thrills and inspires audiences with unparalleled productions. As a resident company of the Jubilee Auditorium, Alberta Ballet reaches over 60,000 Albertans each year with performances in Calgary and Edmonton. 

Also check out Calgary Opera (, Calgary Bach Society (, Calgary Community String Orchestra (, and Calgary Youth Orchestra – MRU ( All these performance groups tell compelling stories through music and inspire a life-long love of dance, soundscapes and performance.

Don’t forget that Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra ( has regular Symphony Sundays – a much-loved concert series that introduces young listeners to high-quality, live performances that are made just for them. 

Children’s Theatre

Other children-oriented arts and theatre groups that always have exciting, colorful and inclusive shows on the go include Loose Moose Theatre (, StoryBook Theatre ( and Quest Theatre (

Calgary Young People’s Theatre ( was founded in 1992. Since then CYPT has prided itself on providing numerous development opportunities to young people to explore the performing arts and develop their creativity and teamwork skills through camps, classes, workshops and production opportunities. CYPT produces a theatrical season made up of four to five productions, in which youth ages eight to 18 audition for the chance to be a part of a rigorous, playful, professional-caliber process and performance. Who knows, after catching the acting bug at a CYPT show, your grandchild might be the one on stage the next time you attend. 

You can’t go wrong with dinner and a show at Stage West for Kids ( or Jubilations Junior ( Stage West displays an incredible kid friendly buffet complete with all the favorites… hot dogs, pizza, ice cream and much more. The buffet is followed by a live child-oriented performance with plenty of humor for parents as well. 

Jubilations Junior includes a two-act musical comedy and a family-friendly three-course meal with exciting shows like Beach Barbie’s Birthday Bash, Teenage Mutant Kung Fu Turtles, Beatlesjuice and Wally Wonka and the Vanilla Factory.

Other Live Performances

Many other local theatre groups also have live performances that are appropriate and fun for slightly older kids. 

Check out Arts Commons (, the steward of Western Canada’s largest arts centre, comprised of six world-class resident companies including Alberta Theatre Projects (, Theatre Calgary (, Downstage (downstage.caand One Yellow Rabbit (

Other local theatre companies include Morpheus Theatre (, Vertigo Theatre (, Pumphouse Theatre (, Green Fools Theatre (, and Lunchbox Theatre (

 If you are ever at a loss of where to go for live performances, just check out the Calgary Arts Development website at and click on the ‘what’s on in Calgary’ page. As the city’s designated arts development authority, Calgary Arts Development supports and strengthens the arts to benefit all Calgarians. They invest and allocate municipal funding for the arts provided by The City of Calgary, and leverage these funds to provide additional resources to the arts sector. Their programs support hundreds of arts organizations, individual artists, artist collectives, and ad hoc groups in Calgary.

As a grandparent, you are the perfect person to take your grandchildren out to experience the arts. Enjoying a live performance together will help to create a special bond for years to come! CCM


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