Indy Fringe | Tips on Fringing with Kids in Indianapolis

If you were downtown this past weekend, you might have noticed signs directing you to the Indy Fringe Festival. If you were really lucky, you may have seen an impromptu performance of some sort, or met a performer on the street creating buzz for her show. The Indy Fringe Festival is well under way, and while it’s not designed for kids specifically, there’s plenty of family friendly fun to go around.

Just what is IndyFringe? Indy Fringe is an experimental theatre space that gives performers a space to perform. Year round, they offer interesting and up-and-coming shows. Yearly in August, they host an extravaganza that’s worth the time to see first hand. This year’s Fringe Festival takes place over 11 days, at 7 venues ,with 57 different shows taking the stage. When it’s all said and done, more than 300 performances will have taken place.

So how do you know what’s playing, and how to take kids to Mass Ave.? I’m so glad you asked.

For starters, check out the IndyFringe Festival website. Here you can read about performances, and filter through what you’re looking to see. You can also check out IndyFringe talks, where a team of reviewers (including yours truly) reviews as many shows as possible (I went to 6 in three days!). From there, you can order tickets online, and pick them up at will call when you arrive, or you can print them out a home.

Up next: Beyond Ballet- love that local performers are such a part of @indyfringe #PlayIndy #indyfringe16

A photo posted by (@indywithkids) on

Tips on Fringing with Kids:

  1. Scope out the shows beforehand. Stick with the specifically Family Friendly unless someone you trust assures you it’s rated G. Magic shows and dance performances are usually safe bets with kids.
  2. Buy your tickets online – as the festival builds momentum, popular shows start selling out. The box office for each show opens a half hour before each performance, and when they’re gone, they’re gone.
  3. Arrive early and soak in the atmosphere! Park in the free IPS lot, and wander over to the patio area (and beer tent, where they also sell soft drinks). The house for each show opens about 10 minutes before the curtain, so you don’t have to spend much time in line or waiting for the show to start.
  4. Use the facilities before you enter! Every show is one act, and there are no intermissions. Fringe is great for kids because each show is only 45-60 minutes, but once you leave a show, there is no re-entry.
  5. See two shows back to back! Once you have the hang of it, it’s easy to see two shows. The schedule is such that you can see a show, and stroll leisurely to your next one with plenty of time to spare, and even grab a quick snack (we like to go to Yogulatte).
  6. Check out Short Fringe- not sure your fam can make it through an hour performance? Try a fifteen minute show on for size. Short Fringe has family friendly options during the daytime on the weekends, and each ticket is only $5. (Try your luck, or check social media for a day schedule)

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