Happily Stranded on Pip’s Island

Entertaining your kids isn’t easy. Ask any parent getting barraged with “I’m bored!” two days after Christmas.

Even here in New York City, where there are a hundred activities, events, outings, and experiences at every turn, kids can be hard to please. My 9-year-old likes going to movies and the occasional play, but he doesn’t really like to participate or join things. My almost 4-year-old wants to interact and engage with everyone and anything, which makes movies and plays impossible. That gap – in age, interests, and attention spans – can be hard to navigate, and finding fun things to do that everyone can enjoy is a challenge.

That’s why I can’t recommend Pip’s Island enough.

The week before Christmas, Mom and Buried and I were invited to a performance at Pip’s Island, an interactive theatrical experience for kids.

I was a little nervous that my 9-year-old would be bored and that my 3-year-old would be too young to understand and wasn’t sure I wanted to go. I almost didn’t tell my wife about the show, because I knew – as a theater professional/enthusiasts and a mom dedicated to sharing experiences with her kids – she’d be all over it.

And she was.

So we went and experienced Pip’s Island, an hour-long interactive journey where the kids are actually part of the performance, engaging with the cast members and involved in the story. They moved through multiple rooms, each one elaborately designed with different interactive elements, each one populated by different performers and puppets who engaged with the kids as they tried to save their island from a mysterious enemy.

My kids – both of them! – answered questions, hunted for special treasures, and helped solved puzzles. They were on their feet nearly the entire time, living the adventure and enjoying the quest while simultaneously listening to the story that was being told. They laughed and danced and cheered throughout the show. I was honestly amazed by how much they both enjoyed it.

Even I participated a little bit, because, while I am definitely not a joiner (I wonder where my 9yo gets it?) and the prospect of audience participation makes me break out in hives, I could see how much my kids enjoyed it and I wanted to add to their experience by playing along as well. They love when Dad acts the fool. Which doesn’t usually require an interactive theatrical experience but hey, it’s the holidays.

Pip’s Island resides in midtown Manhattan, near every major subway – and Port Authority, if you want to add “taking a bus” and “walking around NYC’s equivalent of Mos Eisley” to your kids’ winter break adventure – and I can’t recommend it enough.

It’s a fun, unique experience that’s different – and a lot shorter and cheaper – than a Broadway show.

Word of warning: It takes a winter break on January 6th, so if you need a fun family activity to fill some time, tickets are currently 50% off so buy now!

Disclaimer: Pip’s Island provided me with tickets but all opinions are my own. I didn’t even want to go and am really glad we did. My kids wanted to go back as soon as it was over!

Print page