Beef and Boards Presents: Cinderella

“MaM, guess where we’re going tomorrow?”


“We’re going to go see Cinderella on the stage.”

“Really? On the stage?”

“Yup. Does that sound like fun?”

“Yes. I will need to wear my princess dress to go see her.”

Last night, MaM broke out her Snow White dress (and Sleeping Beauty slippers, if you must know) and she and I headed out to enjoy an evening performance of Cinderella, which is playing at Beef and Boards through July 1.

I really wasn’t familiar with the Rodgers & Hammerstein’s version of Cinderella, but oh my goodness, this should be the version of Cinderella kids get to know and love. Nothing about it is scary, and the stepfamily is comical and clueless, not mean and vindictive. It’s a feel-good take on the classic fairy tale, complete with musical numbers.

MaM and I arrived at Beef and Boards as the dinner buffet was starting. After being seated at our table, our server took care of our drinks, and we were invited to the buffet. The buffet has something for everyone, including chicken fingers. There was plenty of time to enjoy dinner before the buffets were cleared from the stage and the sets went up to start the show. Our server took our dessert order before the house lights went down, and it was served during intermission (ff you like to enjoy an adult beverage during your theatre viewing, the full bar can easily accommodate).

Last night’s crowds was filled with five year old princesses just like mine, with a few prince charmings thrown in for good measure. The larger-than-life stepsisters (done with creative casting), the magic possessed by Cinderella’s godmother, the perfect in-time dancing of the ensemble cast, and a surprise entrance by the godmother (maybe she really is a fairy?) during the finale made the show delightful from start to finish. Once the show started, I heard a few little girls say, “hi Cinderella!” as the she made her entrance, but other than that, every kid in the house was mesmerized.

I admit it, I was too.

MaM’s favorite part was, predictably, Cinderella. Her jaw dropped as Cinderella’s rags were transformed into her ball gown. She watched intently as Cinderella danced with the prince. She clapped when Cinderella appeared in her wedding dress. My favorite part though, was the entrance of the Cinderella’s horse and carriage. I don’t want to spoil it, but the entire contraption was magical, right down to the softly dancing foal.

All in all, it was a magical evening, and if you’ve got a little princess of your own, I recommend taking her to go see the show! (It’s suitable for young princes as well) The show plays Wednesday-Sunday most weeks, including a 1pm Wednesday matinee that could be just right for families with children (we arrived shortly after 6pm for dinner, the show started at 8pm and I carried a sleepy MaM to the car just before 10pm).

In addition to shows  meant for patrons 3 and over (children under 3 are not able to attend this show), Beef and Boards also presents children’s theatre. These hour long productions are for all ages, and feature a snack rather than a full buffet. Pinocchio will be presented as the next children’s theatre piece, starting in October.

Disclosure: I was provided tickets to enjoy this production in exchange for my honest review. The opinions here are expressly my own.

Transformers: See Them With Your Own Eyes (and so much more: A TCMIndy Ticket Give Away!)

**Updated: 6:06pm: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to comment #26, Jennifer on winning the tickets!***

It’s not secret that my family members are huge fans of the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. I mean, really, it’s the largest children’s museum in the world and it has some seriously cool exhibits. I love bringing the kids down for even just a couple of hours, to explore and enjoy all the museum has to offer. The kids know the museum well — they start getting excited when they see the dinosaurs outside the museum. They are always on “hat watch” — because they know the dinosaurs will have on Halloween and Christmas themed head gear during those seasons. Last weekend when we were there, MaM was wondering if maybe she’d see some shamrocks or bunny ears on these giant reptiles.

I secretly can’t wait until we go again. This Friday, the museum is going to out-do itself and every boy within a million miles is going to go NUTS from now on whenever they enter the Welcome Center. Why, do you ask?

BUMBLEBEE is going to be a permanent part of the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis!

Bumblebee, as every Transformers fan knows, is one of the good guys. He’s constantly trying to impress Optimus Prime, his leader, and took a star role in the latest Transformers movie. Also? Kids LOVE Bumblebee. My own kids are constantly on the look-out for bright yellow and black cars and shout, “Bumblebee” when they see one.

Walking into the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and seeing the 17ft tall, 1 ton movie prop? That will rock their world!

Bumblebee will be unveiled at 10:30am this coming Friday (yes! March 11), in conjunction with the special Members-Only Sneak Preview of the new exhibit, Incredible Costumes.

Now for the giveaway-

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis would like to hook one reader up with a four-pack of admission tickets to see Bumblebee for themselves. If you are able to attend the unveiling Friday, you will also be on the VIP list to attend the Incredible Costumes Preview (the exhibit won’t be open to the public until Saturday, March 12). Otherwise, the admission tickets will be waiting for you at Will-Call on a date of your choosing.

To enter, all you need to do is tell me about a favorite family outing of yours — either now, as a parent, or as a kid. Be sure to fill in your email address on the comment form so that I can contact  you if you win. Because the premiere is Friday, I will pick a winner at 6pm Thursday (that’s tomorrow, March 10).

Thanks for entering, and good luck!

Disclosure: I did not receive any compensation for this giveaway– I just really like promoting this amazing institution!

Tis the Season

Suddenly, it seems, December is upon us. Yesterday, we woke up to snowflakes and MaM exclaimed, as only she can,”This is the best day ever! God made it snow!” It was really pretty, and there is nothing better than watching kids catch the first snowflakes of the season on their tongues. Junior even wore his boots, which is a big deal because he typically only wears his Cars shoes.

Last Wednesday, I wrote the post on how we were approaching Advent, and so far, it’s going really well. The kids are getting ready a whole lot faster in the morning so we can get the next ring down before we walk out the door. It’s been great doing a short project every day, and it’s inspiring me to make a little bit more of a monthly plan to enjoy knowing that we will get to fun things every month with some planning. (Check out this idea from Heather, I love it)

Today’s activity was supposed to be write a letter to Santa. MaM was kind of intrigued, but got distracted and never brought it up again. If she’s ok with that, I’m ok with that. We did have an interesting conversation about it.

“Mom, I know what I can write to Santa!”

“You do?”

“Yes. I will say, ‘Don’t worry mom and dad, I’m out helping Santa,’ ”

“Oh that would be a letter to us, do you think you’d like to ask Santa for something?”

“Well, I’ll see presents when I help him.”

“True. Is there a present you’d like to ask him for?”

“I’ve already asked him for a pogo stick.”

“Would you like to ask him for anything else, in case he can’t find a pogo stick for you? Maybe some books?”

“Books are too boring. I need something else. Maybe a Barbie bath toy.” (last year’s gift)

And with that, she busied herself with something or other.

So here’s the thing. Actually, two things.

1) She’s kind of obsessed this year with “helping Santa”. As in, Santa is going to pick her up on his sled and she’ll go riding with him Christmas night. And that’s why she’d leave us a note so we don’t worry about her. Of course, every time she brings it up, I take the opportunity to tell her it’s not ok to leave with any Santa Claus who approaches her, anywhere, anytime. And if Santa comes knocking on her window, she must come wake us up. Strange, but I wanted to make sure all of our bases were covered. (Last year, she was obsessed with him visiting her on Christmas Eve)

2) She’s also obsessed with getting a pogo stick for Christmas. Here’s the thing, it snowed yesterday. If she were to get a pogo stick, it would sit in the garage for months before she could really use it. Also, her present this year is a Fisher-Price iXL. Have you seen these? I hadn’t even heard of them, until I went to BlogHer. There I spent some time in the Fisher Price booth, and came out a winner of an iXL. I’m hopeful that she’s as excited about it as I am for her. She absolutely loves using our iPhones, but she’ll have more flexibility with this device. There are games and a drawing program, it can play MP3’s and more. There can also be more than one user profile, so theoretically, the kids can share (we’ll see about that). I need to carefully pull it out of the box and get it ready to go for Christmas morning sometime soon. (disclosure: I won the iXL at Blogher. Just like I said. I am not under obligation to mention this fact, but OMG, this thing is cool.)

So that’s what the first week of Advent in our house. How’s yours going?

P.S. Indy friends, if you’re reading this and it’s not 5pm on Friday (12/3) yet, and you need a Christmas tree, check out this Savvy Savings deal for 50% off a live tree!

P.P.S. There are three huge gift guides over at Grown in My Heart, one for donations, one for goods, and one specifically for fair-trade. There are some amazing organizations you can support this holiday season.

P.P.P.S. I’ve got a few gift guides listed over at Persephone, arranged by age. There’s Baby’s First Christmas, Toddlers, Preschoolers and School-Agers, along with some ideas for large families/copious numbers of small children.