Recess Monkey at Wolf Trap Theater-in-the-Woods

If you’ve not been to Wolf Trap’s Theater-in-the-Woods, add it to your summer bucket list. Across a green meadow and tucked behind the large, impressive Filene Center that seats 7,000, the little Children’s Theater-in-the-Woods sits halfway hidden within a tall, thick batch of trees. The wooden benches are modest, and the stage looks simple (although I’m sure more went into its construction than I’m aware). There’s something really special about this place— I suggest you bring a little bug spray, your hiking shoes, plenty of water and a picnic to make a whole day of it.

This gorgeous setting provides the backdrop for Wolf Trap’s rich summer program for children. Nearly every morning around 10:30, there’s a performance to delight. My three kids and I have seen many shows over the past five years—youth ballet performances, Zydeco troupes, puppet shows and concerts. The performances are for all kids—from 6 months to 8 years—but the average age is probably about 3 or 4 years old.

For the second year in a row, we saw a group called “Recess Monkey.” During the school year, this trio teaches preschool and elementary school students in Seattle, WA. During the summer, they transform into rock stars! Rather than make kids sit up straight and stay quiet like they do during the academic year, during their shows they inspired and encouraged noisy craziness and loud happiness. I couldn’t help but smile and become part of the young moving and grooving crowd.

My boys insisted on sitting in the front row, so we were up close and personal with the group. The only thing between us and these three rockin’ guys was the dancing area, where more than a dozen little kids bopped up and down constantly throughout the hour-ish long show. Muddy mulch and humid temperatures didn’t stop those kids from following the lead singer’s instructions to crouch down low, pretend to put on astronaut equipment and fly to the moon, or take a short catnap.

Recess Monkey delivered what every summer morning should be full of: a whole bunch of fun…silly and loud, wiggling and giggling fun—so very worth $10 a ticket. Click HERE to see what shows are coming up next!

Wolf Trap

Link to tickets for Theater-in-the-Woods

Tickets $10 each

Recommended age: 6 months-8 years

Kept My Children’s Interest 5

Appealed to Advertised Age 5

I Would Recommend to Others Yes

I Would Return Yes

Overall Rating 5

All ratings on a scale of 1 (low) to 5 (high).

Kate Schwarz is a full-time mom and wife living in Great Falls, VA. In addition to being a reader to her three small children, Kate is a writer, distance runner, Crossfitter and blogger of raising kids with books at

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