Children at the theatre

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.

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.

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.

Information on individual ballets – including descriptions, the duration, and any notes about adult themes – is available here.

You can also call our customer experience team on 1300 369 741 with any questions.  

  • Babes-in-arms policy


    All patrons, irrespective of age, are admitted to the performance provided that they hold an individual ticket, including babes-in-arms. We ask that you be considerate of the needs of the surrounding audience if you intend to bring a baby to the theatre.

    Storytime Ballet, Once Upon a Time and Behind the Scenes

    Children aged under two years are admitted free of charge and must sit on the lap of the accompanying adult.

  • Child-friendly ballets

    For the 2020 season, we recommend:

    The Happy Prince

  • 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.

    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.

Once Upon a Time: The Nutcracker

Sugar plums, waltzing flowers and a giant Christmas tree! Once Upon a Time: The Nutcracker has been created especially for girls and boys. The fully staged production is set to live music and has narration, interaction and a kid-friendly running time.

Melbourne only | Thursday 19 September 2019



Feel free to call our customer experience team on 1300 369 741 when considering a particular ballet's age suitability.