Children don’t have to be on their best behavior to see and hear a full orchestra play in Columbus this summer.
Rather, they’re encouraged to sing, dance and monkey around at Popcorn Pops, an outdoor family concert series featuring the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and free popcorn. Concerts are held on the lawn of Chemical Abstracts Service, 2540 Olentangy River Rd., located north of the Ohio State University campus.
There are two remaining shows this summer season: July 9 and 23.
The children’s concert series is an offshoot of the popular Picnic with the Pops, which continues through July 31 and features acts such as Peter Cetera and Kansas. Popcorn Pops’ performances – recommended for children ages 3-12 – last about an hour and are packed with upbeat music and humor to get kids dancing and laughing.
Kids also can try out an instrument or two such as this violin.
The idea is for families to bring blankets, food and drinks in order to enjoy a picnic on the lawn while the orchestra provides entertainment. Attendees also may purchase food from vendors selling pizza and ice cream. Alcohol is not sold onsite, but it is permitted. Table seating is available near the stage at an additional cost.
Concerts start at 8 p.m., but gates open at 6:30 p.m. for preconcert activities, including face painting, art projects and an opportunity for kids to tinker with musical instruments. This also provides incentive to show up early to find a good spot to set up your picnic dinner.
Concerts are held rain or shine, and there is no rain location. Attendees are not permitted to bring pets, video cameras or umbrellas.
Lawn seats are $12 per person, and children ages 3 and younger are admitted free.
Tickets can be purchased at the gate or in advance by calling 614-228-8600 or visiting www.picnicwiththepops.com. Tickets also can be purchased at the Ohio Theatre ticket office, 39 E. State St., and for $11 at Giant Eagle and Graeter’s ice cream stores.
Gates open at 6:30 p.m. for preconcert activities.
Beach Party! Conductor Albert-George Schram leads the orchestra on a surfing safari complete with songs from Disney’s The Little Mermaid and other feel-good songs such as “Limbo Rock” and “If You’re Happy and You Know It.”
Abracadabra: Conductor Albert-George Schram leads the orchestra through a magical evening of music including memorable melodies from “Swan Lake,” along with kid classics from Harry Potter, Aladdin and E.T.
For more info: Picnic with the Pops