The CSO for kids

We love living within minutes of downtown Chicago, but I sometimes ask myself, what good is boasting about our world-class cultural institutions if I’m not taking advantage of them? Luckily, the renowned Chicago Symphony Orchestra has a great way to reach out to families. By taking advantage of its partnership with Rhapsody restaurant, a day in the city struck just the right note with my sons. The CSO’s Family Matinee Series introduces children (and many adults) to the glories of classical music. By bringing out instruments from one section at a time, introducing the musicians and sampling shorter works, they make a full orchestra seem more manageable and fun.


  • Chicago Symphony Orchestra Symphony

    220 S. Michigan Ave.
    (312) 294-3000

  • Rhapsody
    65 E. Adams St.
    (312) 786-9911

If you fear that your kids won’t sit still and listen, do not worry. The audience is encouraged to participate and the lights never completely go black. Our attention was also captured by members of DanceWorks Chicago.

This month, the audience will sing along to favorite Christmas carols, and, in February, members of the Lookingglass ensemble will participate in “Musical Mayhem.”

In conjunction with these performances, Rhapsody, a lovely bistro-style restaurant located right in Symphony Center, offers a special lunch program 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. on performance days. Families will find a special $10 kids’ menu complete with musically inspired cookie decorating.

So, after the sights and sounds of the CSO, we enjoyed the tastes of good food in a luxurious environment. The cookies, frosting and sprinkles immediately came to the table, occupying our sons while my husband and I settled in with the menu. It was the perfect finish to our morning’s worth of culture.

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