Ballet is a wonderful introduction to the world of beauty and make-believe, and we love it when children attend The Australian Ballet’s performances.
We generally recommend a minimum age of six years old, but it depends on the production and the child.
Every child is different, and whether they’re old enough to enjoy a performance depends on a range of factors, including how long they’re able to sit happily and quietly, the time of the show, and – most importantly – the type of ballet.
Information on individual ballets – including descriptions, the duration, and any notes about adult themes – is available here.
Children at the Ballet
Please note that Children 15 years of age and under must be accompanied by an adult over 18 years of age.
Children under the age of 18 years are entitled to our Child (<18) price type. You can view a full list of Price Types and Concessions here.
We encourage you to be considerate of surrounding audience members if bringing babies or children to performances, and to consider the appropriateness of performance content.
For the safety and security of all patrons, prams and baby capsules of any description cannot be taken into the auditorium. The aisles, stairways and stairwells must be kept clear at all times.
Mainstage Performances, Storytime Ballet, Once Upon a Time and Behind the Scenes
Arts Centre Melbourne:
Children under 2 years of age are permitted entry to an event at no cost and without a ticket. In these cases, children will not be allocated a seat and must be seated on an accompanying adult's lap for the duration of the event.
Sydney Opera House:
Babies aged 0-11 months at the time of a performance may be seated on a parent's lap but must hold a valid Babes-in-Arms ticket. Babes-in-Arms tickets are free of charge and can be booked with our customer experience team over the phone or directly with the Sydney Opera House only. Children aged 12 months and older must hold a standard ticket and sit in their own seat.
The best ballets for kids tend to be those based on fairy tales, such as The Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Coppélia and The Nutcracker, which can be enjoyed by children as young as three or four.
For other ballets, we’d generally recommend children are at least six years old, but again, it depends on the production and the child.
For the 2022 season, we recommend Harlequinade
Preparing for the Ballet
Learning about the ballet before the show can greatly increase a child’s enjoyment of the performance.
Preparation might include being familiar with the 'story' of the ballet, hearing the music beforehand, watching one of our videos, learning about the role of the conductor and the orchestra, knowing about intervals, understanding theatre protocol in general.
At the Performance
If a child is too talkative, becomes restless or fidgety and is disrupting the enjoyment of the performance for others, we ask that you take your child into the foyer area to settle and re-enter the theatre at interval. There are generally one or two interval breaks of approximately 20 minutes.
Patrons are advised that some ballets have special effects such as dry ice and smoke machines, strobe lighting, and loud music and sounds.