Our first stop on our recent Colorado road trip was to see Phish play at Dick's, an event we haven't missed in 7 years. This marked Babs' first Phish show, a momentous occasion to be celebrated with sequins, glow sticks, staying up too late and puking in the van (I'll let you guess who that culprit was). Hooray Go Family!
Many phans take their wee ones to shows, and though I am personally not a proponent of 2-week old infants in headphones, Babs was probably ready for it at 3 years. I do recommend noise cancelling headphones, such as these, to protect those developing eardrums.
I can't speak to other venues, though friends took their tots to a show in Raleigh, but Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado is a very kid-friendly venue.
At the back of the floor at Dick's is the unofficial "Kid's Section," where parents set up blankets or strollers as a base camp and the children run rampant. There's enough space that they can move and not be lost, and parents (mostly) stay vigilant to keep any wobbly wooks from knocking the kiddos down.
I thought the Phish crowd was welcoming and accepting before, but bringing Babs to a show has deepened my oceanic love for them. Everyone, even those without kiddos, love to see kids at shows. A new generation of Phish fans! Phamilies having fun together! Awesome!
Vendors gave her pretty rocks, stickers, jewelry and high fives. It was magical. Babs watched the freak show in the lot before the actual show with wide-eyed wonder: girls with butterfly wings, humans of all genders wearing brightly colored dresses and headgear and even a man with a lizard on his shoulder.
She was so enamored I told her she could go talk to the people who struck her fancy, and for the rest of the evening she scampered up to girls, tapped them on the hip and shyly complimented them for their fabulosity. She was loved by all and watching her experience it may have been the most fun I've ever had at a Phish show, and that's saying something.
Since Babs had so much fun, we decided to shuffle some tickets around (Mr. Go faithfully uses CashorTrade.com) and take her again the second night with even greater success.
If we worried toting her around Shakedown would cramp our style, we needn't have. She improved the experience (as she usually does) and I am struck anew with love and gratitude in the knowledge that we are a cohesive family unit and she an active, vital member of it.