resize Beauty2011_KingQueenAurora_PhotoLukeIsleyLooking for the perfect night out with your little prince or princess? Attending a classical ballet can be an enchanting and kid-friendly cultural experience.

When classics like The Nutcracker, Cinderella and Swan Lake are performed by world-class companies, they come with dazzling costumes, spectacular sets, and traditional scores, often performed by live orchestras.

resize alletWest_SleepingBeauty2011_8My own princess and I felt like we had stepped into a fairy tale as we entered Chicago’s magnificent Auditorium Theatre for Ballet West’s production of Sleeping Beauty. Nights like this are when I feel so thankful to be raising my kids in a big city, with easy access to first-rate cultural events.DestinationReview

Kings and queens, fairies, a handsome prince and a ballerina princess pirouetting to Tchaikovsky’s famous score, accompanied by the live musicians of the Chicago Sinfonietta. It was a magical evening for a 5 year-old, and her mom as well. To show you just how family-friendly this production is, my little girl was offered a booster seat when we walked in. She didn’t need it, but it’s nice to know that kids are welcomed!

big BalletWest_SleepingBeauty2011_2Being one of the premier American dance companies, Ballet West dancers skillfully brought the fairy tale to life, proving to my daughter that through dance, you can, in fact, tell a story without words. Ballets taken from storybooks are a great introduction to the art form for little kids.

Ballet West is performing at Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre the weekend of October 5-6, 2013. Can’t catch them in the Windy City?  Discover them at their brand new performance home in Salt Lake City, scheduled to open in the fall of 2014.

Tickets to Sleeping Beauty at the Auditorium Theatre start at $30.