I love exposing my 4 year old to the rich culture NYC offers, but sometimes making that happen during her ‘happy hours’ gets complicated, especially when it comes to Broadway shows.
After getting frustrated by having NYC at my fingertips but no place to see a musical during a weekday afternoon, we decided to head to Ellen’s Stardust Diner in Times Square. Bingo! We had a wonderful afternoon and my daughter hasn’t stopped talking about it. This is a fantastic Broadway show alternative for kids.
Ellen’s Stardust Diner is a retro 1950s theme restaurant with a singing waitstaff, most of which are Broadway performers or hopefuls. Every table in the restaurant offers a good view to the entertainment. The singers do a combination of walking around the diner, table to table, to climbing atop a row of booths and catwalking along the backs of them while singing. They all perform popular Broadway songs, classics and an occasional current pop song.
When we arrived my daughter and her friend each received little paper menu/coloring books and a box of crayons. They happily colored, ate, watched the singers and chatted with us throughout the meal. They were great. This diner has a magical balance of entertainment which helps keep little ones seated and not once did I have to bribe my active 4 year old from under the table…this is perhaps a first.
The food we ordered was average and slightly overpriced. But you’re paying for the experience so when looking at it that way it’s worth it. The desserts were great.
We were so pleased with our visit here. We were able to expose our kids to serious talent without worrying about them being quiet or still. Plus it’s a short walk from central park, where we ran off the sugar high from the huge dessert.
My daughter has yet to realize I have quite a horrible singing voice, but after hearing these stardusters perform it isn’t going to take long for her to figure it out.
- It can get very crowded and very loud. The best days to visit with little ones are Monday and Tuesdays during breakfast thru lunch. We happened to visit on a Friday at 12:15 and were a seat right away. But by the time we left, it was full.
- Don’t bring a stroller if you can avoid it.
- They have a nice selection on the children’s menu.
Ellen’s Stardust Diner is on the corner of 51st and Broadway.