Time: 2-3 hours
Recurrence: Once a year
You’re probably saying to yourself “I don’t want to go to the opera with my spouse, why would I want to go there with my daughter?” But that’s really a completely different mindset than what the Daddy-Daughter Date concept is about. It’s about spending time with her in a unique way that creates memories. What’s more unique than watching a performance on stage filled with acting, music, and a live audience?
Even though I’ve combined the two activities (Broadway show and opera), they are two very distinct experiences. Operas are often in another language other than English and it’s just singing all the time. A Broadway show mixes that up a bit so it’s not three hours of powerful voices and orchestras. Many of the operas are tragedies or tales of love (which finding out can be difficult if its in another language) and can be somewhat trying to follow (again, language barrier here). Broadway shows range in topic, but most likely will be in English. There are also so many Broadway shows that you or your daughter probably recognize the stories. There are Broadway shows about Cinderella, The Wizard of Oz, and even Spiderman (hey, if she likes him, why not?).
The opera is a good choice if your daughter is of that age where she can appreciate a performance of such caliber. This may be at the teen or even adult daughter stage. The key is that you should know whether your daughter is going to be interested in attending or whether you’re setting yourself up for wasting a ton of money on tickets. I had my daughter sit through a 3 hour opera at the age of 6, as that’s just the sort of child she is. She LOVED it. She loved the fancy costumes, the dramatic music, and the grandness of it all. An opera is going to function a lot like taking your daughter to the symphony in terms of dress and set up. If you’ve never been and she’s never been, give it a shot. You might be shocked with how much you enjoy it and then next time your spouse invites you, you’ll shock them with a whole-hearted “YES”.
If it’s a Broadway show you’re after, there are many to choose from. I would suggest looking for a real production, if possible, and avoid the high school or community productions. The date you’re taking your daughter on should demand a certain amount of quality, as you’re trying to make this thing REPEATABLE. If she’s bored or having a terrible time, she’s less likely to want to do it again. On the flip side, you’re going to pay for that quality. Regardless, if you want to make the most out of a date at a Broadway show, see a real production of that show.
You’ll want to check with the performing arts center near you on what shows are coming to town. On a side note, you’re probably going to have to plan this date a few weeks if not month ahead of time to get tickets. It’s just like the big game; tickets go fast and then climb in price. Ask around for what are good shows or what are the latest productions traveling the U.S. You might have to drive a few miles to get to where a great show is at, but that windshield time can be great conversation time with your daughter.
Before or after the show (I suggest after), there will most likely be merchandise for sale, which always seems like a scam. Buy her a soundtrack to the performance. Think of it as a little souvenir; one that she’ll listen to over and over, thinking of that Daddy-Daughter Date. You want her to remember you through more songs than just Butterfly Kisses or Dance with Cinderella. You might want to think about getting a copy for yourself. She shouldn’t be the only one with memories like that.
You might not be the artsy type or even like any sort of music that isn’t the Monday Night Football theme, but your daughter is going to love the date even more if so. She knows you, loves you, and just wants to spend time with you. If she sees you going outside your normal ways to do something special for her, she’ll always appreciate you for it and return it in spades.
Super-Dad Tip: Rent a limo to go to the performance. C’mon, how fancy would that be? Plus, you haven’t ridden in a limo since your wedding so don’t you deserve a little luxury now and then?
Thanks for being a dad….