The following is a guest post by local mom Charlotte Wilson. Charlotte’s visit to the Great Arizona Puppet Theater was not sponsored in any way – she just had to share her experience with you all! Take it away, Charlotte!
I find myself somewhat torn by the impact technology has on everyday life, particularly my kids’ lives. On one hand, I embrace it to the fullest extent. I am using voice commands to Google everything from the nearest location to get my next much needed caffeine fix to finding out the hours of the ostrich festival. (By the way, the ostrich festival is a whole other blog post… the people watching there is priceless)
But what concerns me the most is my children are being brought up in the midst of this humongous wave. My son, who is barely just taking his first steps, grabs my phone, points his chubby little finger at the screen like he is trying to send a text. My 5 year old tries to flip through websites on my lap top like an iPad and gets frustrated when it doesn’t work. My parents have a.. hold onto your seat… a film camera and after every picture my daughter asks to see it to make sure it is acceptable to put on Facebook or not. Ok well I do the Facebook screening but I don’t think that my daughter doing it is very far off. On one hand, this is a blessing and on the other, a curse. The other day my daughter asked if she could go on nickjr.com/play (yes she even included the backslash) while she was actually watching Nick JR. She has officially attempted to commandeer every electronic appliance in our house.
When we were little, we were lucky to catch Sesame Street the one time in the morning it was on, and if we didn’t? Well then we missed it. No TiVo, no rewinding live TV, no Netflix. We had to make our own fun and I am doing my best to try and instill that same sense of creativity in my kids. But these days with technology taking over everywhere, including my own house, it seems like a very tall task.
This is why finding the Great Arizona Puppet Theater was such a breath of fresh air for me.
It located smack dab in the middle of a neighborhood near downtown Phoenix, right across from the Japanese Friendship Garden. And we did get a tad bit lost trying to find it, as we usually do with me trying to manage directions on my phone as well as the sweet little voice in the backseat requesting Justin Bieber and Katy Perry songs, but what a treat that was to be lost in what seemed to be a whole other world I never knew about. The houses in the area are straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting. Most have porches, rose beds, and the feeling you get from just driving around there is like nothing you would expect in Phoenix. Each one is completely different and with huge trees lining the street, it was absolutely beautiful. Especially coming from the burbs where the only difference in the houses is the number on the front of it.
The theater itself is also ridiculously charming. It is a historically restored building with huge arches and hand-painted ceilings, which added even more uniqueness to the experience.
Right when we walked in I felt a huge smile come into my face and it lasted until the puppeteer did his final bow. It was like getting back to the purest form of entertainment. We all sat on the floor, but there was seating available. The play itself was hilarious and the “older kids” were laughing just as hard as the little ones with plenty of adult humor thrown in. I was surprised to hear that they do plays 5 days a week. We saw The Three Little Pigs and their website has all the upcoming shows including Jack & the Beanstalk, Jack Rabbit and the Easter Basket and The Three Billy Goats Gruff.
Now both times we have attended a showing there was some pretty ruthless heckling going on from the little ones in the front row despite the puppeteer pleading for silence during the show. So if you are wondering if your little muffin might be able to hold off on the random shouting for Jack to grab that golden egg, then you might want to hold off. There were kids of all ages and when the wee ones would start to cry or fuss their parents would sneak out to the lobby area until the tantrum was over but again if you think that one of those hecklers might be one of your offspring then maybe wait a bit until they can appreciate the play in silence. My five year old was a perfect age but again there were all ages present and as long as they can refrain from the random outbursts, you will be fine.
Tickets are $6 for kids and $8 for adults and you can become a member for discounted ticket prices. They also host birthday parties and from the pictures on the website, it looks just as awesome as the rest of the theater. The kids get to watch a puppet show, then go to their own little private room to make their own puppets and then put on a show of their own. It sounds like so much fun; I may ask my girlfriends if they would want to go. We can call it “Girls Night out, Revisited.” But I digress….
In the age of iPads here, laptops there, smartphones everywhere, the Great Arizona Puppet Theater was such a treat. If you are looking for a great way to spend an afternoon with your kiddos that doesn’t include Spongebob and NickJr.com (backslash play) be sure to come to the theater and catch a puppet show. And then you can update your Facebook later about how awesome it was.
The Great Arizona Puppet Theater
302 West Latham Street
Phoenix AZ 85003
About Charlotte Wilson
I am a 35 year old momma of two of the most endearing kids on the planet (but of course I might be a tad biased). My oldest, Laney is a five year old with more personality than I can handle and my youngest is Levi who is 15 months old. I spend most of my free time mauling him incessantly until he finally has had enough and literally pushes my face off of his.
I have found that being a parent the most rewarding and daunting job in the world. You get paid in butterfly kisses and at the end of most days feel as though you have completed the ironman in record time.
I have been a stay at home momma for 5 years now and although I wouldn’t change a thing, I felt as though I needed an outlet for my creativity and also to connect with other moms going through this crazy adventure. Three years ago I started my own Social Media Company called Gab. We focus primarily on the food/restaurant/entertainment segment and creating a community of fiercely loyal, lifelong customers. Check out our Facebook page, I would love to get any and all feedback!
Sounds like such a cool place!
Charlotte, your hilarious review makes me want to visit the Puppet Theater and I don’t even have kids yet! I absolutely love your humor and seeing the world through your eyes. I hope for more of these pieces soon!
Great article! I’ll have to take my kids on an adventure there!
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