If you’re planning a NYC Family Vacation and trying to find an evening activity that will keep all the kids happy, going behind the scenes for a VIP Jam Experience at Blue Man Group might be just the ticket!
Blue Man Group VIP Jam Experience
Blue Man Group is a comedy and music troupe with multiple locations worldwide. They started in the Lower East Side in Manhattan 32 years ago, so catching a performance in NYC is pretty special.
The location is just on the outskirts of Broadway, so there are plenty of great restaurants nearby (check out our favorite NYC restaurants by location here) for you to really make a night of it.
We were invited by Blue Man Group to attend one of their shows while we were in NYC AND check out their brand new VIP Jam Experience which lets you go “behind the scenes” for a jam session with a member of the band! Of course, we could not pass up this opportunity – and today, I’m sharing all of the details with you to help you decide if this experience is right for your family.
I was not paid by Blue Man Group, nor do I receive any financial incentives if you choose to book this experience.
How the VIP Jam Experience Works
First, to book the VIP Jam Experience, book via this link and select your preferred date and time.
Apparently, it doesn’t matter which seats you select at this time because the VIP Jam Experience upgrades you to front row “poncho seats.” Children under age 12 with a VIP ticket must have an accompanying adult with their own VIP ticket (which means you get to jam, too!)
You will receive instructions to arrive early – at least one hour prior to show time. Security will already be in place to let you in and you will be given keepsake VIP badges (which the Blue Man Group will “autograph” in their own special way after the show).
The VIP Jam Experience lasts about 20 minutes and finishes a good half hour before the show starts, so plan your bathroom breaks accordingly. If your kids are like Ella, they may be anxious before the experience, so arriving early and taking your time to orient yourself is probably the best bet.
When it’s time for your Jam session, a staff member will lead your family into a special blacklight-lit area where your child will meet a member of the band! We had the pleasure of jamming with Clem. (They do not meet Blue Man Group at this time, however, everyone in the audience gets to meet them after the show.)
Clem was in full costume, including glow-in-the-dark face paint – your kids might want to bring or wear something glowing, too!
He started by getting to know Ella, asking her questions about herself and welcoming her to the performance. He made her feel at ease really quickly, so they were able to get right to jamming!
A series of pipes become an interactive set of drums, with the band member showing simple combinations and having your child replicate it.
Ella comes from a long line of drummers (four generations!) and my brother has been teaching her some basics already, so she was able to pick things up pretty quickly and their jam session was actually pretty cool! Clem also showed her how to adjust the pipes to make different tones and encouraged her throughout the process to have fun!
Ella was able to actually learn drum patterns from some Blue Man Group songs, and since the VIP experience is limited to 4 people at a time, your child (and you!) will be able to really make the most of your time… though we were having so much fun that our Jam Experience flew by!
Blue Man Group VIP Perks
The best part about adding on the VIP Jam Experience is that the perks did not end just with the Jam Session!
That VIP pass gets you early seating in the theatre and you get upgraded to front row “poncho seating,” which are the coveted (and infamous) seats at any Blue Man Group performance.
Trust me on this one: Don’t be a hero.
Wear the poncho.
It’s all part of the experience.
Oh, and a word of advice from me to you? If you love banana pudding, you may want to ensure you visit Magnolia Bakery earlier in the week because you won’t want to see it again for awhile after the performance…
Blue Man Group NYC
I had no idea what to expect from Blue Man Group other than knowing they were a comedy group with some legendary drumming skills.
Go into the experience planning to have fun and embrace the silliness of it!
My daughter was giggling nonstop throughout the performance, and while the humor may not seem exactly “high brow,” there are actually some really cool metaphors, social commentaries, and technology employed during the performance that can go right over your head if you’re too quick to dismiss them as just plain silly!
I don’t want to spoil too much of the show for you, but be prepared for some audience participation, a few “gross out” moments, lots of music, and a performance that feels more like an experience.
It’s a family show – something that kids of all ages will find fun, which is great if you have multiple ages or interests that you are trying to please. I also think it would make a great first theatre experience for a child who you’re not sure would sit still or pay attention through a traditional play – these guys will definitely keep their attention!
There is no intermission during the show, so plan your snack situation and bathroom breaks accordingly! (There is a well-priced concession stand in the lobby.)
The Astor Theatre staff were really upbeat and helpful – every single staff member that I saw was smiling, which just adds to the positivity of the experience. Ella chatted up the house manager who turned out to be Deon Ridley, an amazing performer in his own right! (Currently on tour with Chicago.) This is her “I met someone who is living my dream” face.
Ella loved the entire experience and has recommended it to anyone who will listen.
If the Jam Experience or front row seats are not in your budget, I want to assure you that you will not miss out if you end up picking cheaper seats. The theatre is small, so other than not being “in the splash zone” your experience at the back of the theatre wouldn’t be any different than those sitting in the third row.
Did I answer all of your questions regarding Blue Man Group and the VIP Jam Experience? If there is anything I didn’t cover, please leave me any questions or comments below and I will get you the answers!
For more NYC Family Vacation Planning, check out our 100 Things to do with Kids in NYC.