I spent years living in Chicago, and I still love to visit and take my kids to my favorite city. There are so many Chicago experiences I want to share with them. Blue Man Group has been on that list for a long time. It’s been running in Chicago since 1997, and after a pause, it is back! We were invited to attend the reopening performance at the Briar Street Theater and I brought my family to check it out.
Seeing Blue Man Group with Kids in Chicago: Our Review
As we entered the Briar Street building, everyone was required to wear masks regardless of vaccination status. At time of this review, all of Chicago has an indoor mask mandate. Neon pink washrooms to the left of the lobby were our first stop. With small kids (mine are nine and five), I recommend stopping by the restrooms first. There was no line before showtime. Once we were in our seats, it would have been difficult to get out through the crowded rows. I noticed the bathroom lines looked really long after the performance ended, too.
The ushers were extremely helpful and even offered booster seats and noise cancelling earmuffs to our five-year old. Our son accepted the earmuffs and he enjoyed the show without being startled by the loudest noises. I thought that was such a nice touch for children.
We felt the energy and anticipation build as ultraviolet black lights and smoke machines manipulated the space. Jokes and silly facts played on digital screens and my daughter laughed reading them. The show opened with music so loud we could feel our chairs vibrate! It has been so long since we’ve heard live music and watched performers that I felt humbled to be a part of such an iconic show restarting and people gathering to laugh together.
Having never seen Blue Man Group, I was interested to see exactly what it was. Was is mime? Was it music performance? Comedy? It was all that and more. The blue men were expressive without talking. They drummed and painted, climbed and stared, and they created an atmosphere of togetherness and play. We were drawn in by the beats and physical comedy. The performers seamlessly incorporated face shields when they interacted with the audience. One blue man literally climbed over my seated family and later we had tissues sprinkled on us during a sort of wedding ceremony. The whole room felt joyful as we laughed through the scenes.
I paid attention to the children in the audience; they clapped and cheered, and it really seemed like everyone had a great time. My husband had attended a show a few years ago. He told me that there were some minor changes, but this version was true to the spirit of what he had seen in the past. The show ran 90 minutes with no intermission.
At the end, everyone was invited to meet and take pictures with the performers in the lobby, but it was nearly 10 p.m. and our son was falling asleep in my lap, so we opted to head back to the car. My sleepy five-year old gave it seven out of ten stars. He loved “the gong and when they hit the paint on the drums.” My artistic nine-year old said she loved the loudest music and feeling the whole room shake. We all agreed it was a big fun night.
Which Ages Would Enjoy Blue Man Group?
Anyone big enough to stay up past 9:30 pm would enjoy this. I think kids five and up would be the perfect age. The theater is loud and there are some flashing lights, so factor that into your decision.
Parking in Boystown is difficult, and a little planning helps. I looked online and saw multiple lots near the theater and thought it would be simple. but I was wrong. Each of the surrounding lots was closed for the day when we arrived around 7:00 p.m. on a Wednesday. The Briar Street Theater lot directly next door was available for $17. but it’s cash only and I didn’t come prepared! Spot Hero had a few options in the $12-15 range if we were willing to walk a few blocks, but we knew we’d be carrying a sleepy kid back.
In the end, decided to park on the street and pay the meter kiosk. It worked really well but the time limit is two hours so we knew we were risking a ticket. We lucked out and only slightly overstayed the limit and paid $4.50 with no ticket for a spot one block down Halsted. Next time I would take cash for the lot and save myself the stress.
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. Most shows are from 8:00 pm to about 9:30 p.m. The main floor is wheelchair accessible.
Looking for more fun outings to do with your family? We’ve got all kinds of local events on our calendar!