Blue Man Group, an icon in Chicago theater, is celebrating their 25th anniversary this year. (They’re also offering special Halloween performances this weekend, too!) I went as a child when it first opened, and I loved going back now with my own children. There were a few acts I was excited to see return, while all the new ones made us laugh even more. Visiting the city from the suburbs may feel a bit intimidating, but I’ve included details below that will have you heading to Blue Man Group with kids for a must-see show.
Seeing Blue Man Group with Kids in Chicago: Our Review
The excitement of Blue Man Group is felt when you first walk into the theater. The theater is dark, with black lights to help you see. The show begins with jokes and silly facts played on digital screens. Shortly after, the music begins, which was so loud we could feel our chairs vibrate!
When trying to figure out how to explain the show to my girls ahead of time, I couldn’t find the right words. It’s music, art, comedy, all wrapped into one, and all without saying anything. They paint, they play drums, and they gesture to each other, as they pull the audience in to their fun. At times, the show becomes interactive, whether you’re one of the lucky audience members pulled on stage, or being sprayed while wearing ponchoes in the front-row seats. It’s a one-of-a-kind performance that can never bee truly understood until you experience it for yourself.
My girls, who are seven and nine, adored this show. They were laughing and clapping along with all of the audience members. We danced, we caught balloons, and had a wonderful time. The show, which runs 90 minutes with no intermission, is a great length of time for younger audience members. My seven-year old loved the drumming with paint, while my nine-year old loved watching them catch marshmallows in their mouths, or playing the pipe drums. They could list more, but we don’t want to ruin the show for everyone. The creativity feels endless in Blue Man Group performances.
Which Ages Would Enjoy Blue Man Group?
The size of Briar Street Theater is great for visiting with children ages six and up. Guests can’t miss the bright pink washroom doors on the left just past the entrance. With a longer drive back and forth to the suburbs, we visited when we arrived, and when we were leaving. A visit to the washrooms before the show is highly recommended, as you won’t want to leave the show once it starts. The theater is not nearly as large as some of the others in downtown Chicago, so there really isn’t a bad seat. Your littlest guests won’t have a problem seeing, but don’t hesitate to ask an usher for a booster seat if you think your child would benefit from one.
Child-sized noise-canceling headphones are available for any guests that would like them. The show is very loud at times, so I’d highly recommend them if you think your child will be sensitive to the noise. We brought sets that we purchased off Amazon for $16 a few years ago, that have come in handy at fireworks and other louder experiences.
Special Needs Accommodations
The theater is very loud and there are flashing lights, so keep this in mind when you’re planning your visit. The main level of the theater is wheelchair accessible.
Parking near Briar Street Theater can be difficult, but a little planning helps. Since we were there for a late night show, we lucked out and found street parking right across from the theater that had a two hour limit at a meter kiosk. The fee was $5, and with the show being around 90 minutes, we knew we’d be safe. The Briar Street Theater lot directly next door was also available for $17, but it’s cash only, so keep that in mind if you’re hoping for a spot there. When we head to the city, we usually look at parking options in SpotHero too. There are some good choices, too, but all are at least a few blocks away from the theater.
Tickets for Blue Man Group start at $49.00 per person available at blueman.com and are available for night performances most days as well as weekend matinees. Full schedules and pricing are posted on the website. There are quite a few ways to save on ticket prices by visiting the offers section of their website. Family four-packs of tickets, Illinois resident offers, and Sunday Funday options are all available to make it a more economical way to see their show.
Looking for more fun outings to do with your family? We’ve got all kinds of local events on our calendar!