First we took a pedicab from the theater parking lot to dinner. Jack was thrilled! There was a blanket for us to wear and a friendly driver who took us through the wintery streets of LoDo. Jack marveled at the lights everywhere and grinned ear to ear the whole ride despite the cold.
We had dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. Jack has no appreciation for restaurant service, but managed to have an okay time there. They had pizza that he picked at while I enjoyed their avocado eggrolls. We made it a quick trip. Jack has had a sore throat and sniffles for a couple days and it was starting to wear him out.
I took him around across the street to the Rocket Fizz candy shop and he REALLY perked up. We picked up an assortment of candies to suck on during the show to help with is cough. No pedicabs passed our way so we had to walk the few blocks back to the theater. Twinkly lights, soft snow falling, and smiling people everywhere - we didn't mind one bit.
The show was wonderful! I like this newer version they've put together. The sets and costumes were impressive. I liked how they made Clara seem to shrink. They had good humor and magic tricks in the first act. The Dewdrop and Sugar Plum Fairy were really really really good.
Jack liked it as well as I could realistically have hoped for! He was totally focused on the show. Laughing and clapping along. The magic astounded him - the tree growing, the sword going through the Rat King (via the armpit), the empty boxes suddenly having doll dancers inside, and the firecracker boom and flash when the Nutcracker doll transforms to human. He said he favorite part was the Chinese dancer who jumped on a pole and danced with a three-person Chinese dragon that blinked and wagged its butt. He also liked learning about the orchestra before the show and went to see them some more at intermission.
I continuously fed him lifesavers candies to help keep his cough down. He sat on my lap the whole show. We tried the booster seats but the foam collapsed so much it didn't help. On my lap we could whisper to each other when he had questions.
He started to lose it during the snow scene, right before intermission, and again at the grand pas de deux. Very wiggling and sighing. I don't blame him, that's a lot for a five year old to endure ;-)
(Above is the same picture with varying light levels. Very hard to use a camera phone in a crowded lobby with pretty light projection and a tired kid)
He had a really good time. I got all kinds of Christmas jolly feels and I think he did too.