Planning a trip to Boston’s Theater District? Boston Ballet hosts performances right downtown at the Boston Opera House, and catching a ballet is one of my favorite ways to take in Boston’s vibrant performing arts scene.
Having grown up going to dance classes and performing in small town recitals, I have a special fondness for musicals and ballets– but even if you don’t they really do add to the experience of visiting Boston. Below are my five reasons why you should grab tickets for the ballet next time you’re in Beantown.
Ballets are typically more affordable than off-Broadway productions
If you are looking for a performing arts experience to round off a day downtown but the cost of Hamilton tickets has your wallet sobbing, a ballet can be a much more affordable option. Many of Boston Ballet’s events include tickets that start at as low as $40 per person, and plenty of these lower-priced seats still offer excellent views and of course a top notch performance.
If you are already in town you can see which ballets are currently performing and check for available tickets right at the box office, or you may purchase tickets by visiting bostonballet.org. Assuming you are already planning on seeing a ballet, grab your tickets online before you arrive in the city to ensure that you get the best seats, and remember to do so early if you can especially for some of the most popular performances like The Nutcracker.
Support local arts and culture
In a time when funding for the arts and humanities is becoming increasingly difficult for organizations to secure, your attendance at productions such as the ones put on by Boston Ballet can support this important community. Not only are the arts important for the performers who thrive as a result of them, but they also offer educational enrichment opportunities.
The arts also provide experiences that both locals and tourists can appreciate equally, meaning our support helps individual towns and greater opportunities for meaningful trips for those who are just visiting. Seeing a local performance may seem like a small way to make a difference, but supporting these kinds of institutions really does go a long way in helping the arts and humanities reach and inspire as many people as possible.
Performances run in the “off season”
One of the most admittedly frustrating parts of visiting New England as a tourist is that so many attractions only operate seasonally, typically in the summer and fall months. In many cases, such attractions are not even necessarily weather-dependent as they may be located indoors but the slower seasons simply do not provide enough sustainability for them to stay open.
This is not the case for Boston Ballet or any of the other performances you may find in Boston’s Theater district. You can find theatrical performances for each season, with winter actually being one of the best times to visit as seeing The Nutcracker is such a popular holiday tradition. Depending on the time of year (and the unpredictable New England weather) you may need to bundle up during your visit to Boston, but you don’t need to visit in the summer to attend a ballet.
Experience a different kind of history first-hand
So you’ve walked the Freedom Trail and learned all about Boston’s Revolutionary history, but what’s next? You can experience an entirely different kind of history by catching a performance by Boston Ballet. The performance venue at the Boston Opera House first opened as the B.F. Keith Memorial Theatre in 1928 when the Boston Globe proclaimed that the theatre was “so magnificent that it kind of takes your breath away for a while.”
The same can easily be said about the Boston Opera House today as the theatre retains its sense of grandeur through a series of restoration projects that have only served to enhance the French and Italian architectural styles of the early 20th century. You’ll definitely want to arrive to the ballet on time so you have plenty of time to take in all of the architectural details in the theatre’s lobby (and grab a glass of champagne!) before getting to your seat. (You can read more about the history of the Boston Opera House here).
Make the ballet a Boston tradition
I’m a huge fan of Samantha Brown, and one of my favorite travel tips from her is to create your own traditions for when you travel. These traditions can be as small as purchasing your favorite magazine each time you’re waiting at the airport or staying at your favorite hotel group or seeing a certain kind of concert in different cities.
If theatrical performances are right up your alley, I would consider making a stop at the ballet a tradition during visits to Boston. With such a vibrant calendar of performances, you’re bound to see something different each time you visit and with a two-hour run time and a reasonable financial commitment adding some Jètés and Pliés to your itinerary should be a piece of cake.