Dot & Ziggy

Dot & Ziggy website

About Dot and Ziggy: Dot and Ziggy is theater for babies and toddlers, ideally 6 months to 4 years. Children sit with their parents on the floor and watch while Dot and Ziggy discover their differences (one likes up, one likes down; one flies, one ones; one likes things in, one likes things out), but learn, with the help of a spider puppet, to share. Kids get involved through music and communal play, which has been shown to promote vocalization and motor skills, increase awareness of and responsiveness to movement and sound, encourage vocabulary growth, develop socialization skills, gain recognition of new aspects in the environment and stimulate the innate sense of discovery. Also, many studies have proven exposure to and participation in the arts at a young age is the strongest predictor of arts involvement as an adult. (NEA Research Report-“Effects of Arts Education on Participation in the Arts” Louis Bergonzi and Julia Smith, 1996).

Location: Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 North Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL 60614.

Phone: 773-871-3000

Hours: Runs May 8 – June 26
Tuesday – Thursday     10:00 am
Friday – Sunday           10:00 am, 12:00 pm

Admission: $16/person on weekdays, $18/person on weekends.
Use discount code MOMDZ for $2 off.
Tickets can be purchased online.

Parking: Metered street parking is available for $1.50/hr with a three hour maximum.
To travel by train, use the Red, Brown, or Purple line; the closest El stop is Fullerton. To travel by bus, take the Lincoln Avenue (#11), Fullerton (#74), or Sedgwick/Ogden (#37).

Bathrooms: There are public bathrooms (the women’s is to the left when you enter the building, with a private handicapped bathroom next to it, and the men’s is straight ahead past the bar. There are no changing tables in the bathrooms, but there is a bench in the women’s room.

Nursing: There is no designated nursing area.

Handicapped/stroller accessibility: The theater is very accessible. There is a ramp next to the stairs inside the entrance, and an elevator to the second floor. There is a separate private handicapped bathroom near the women’s bathroom. The theater offers a stroller parking area. Seating for the show was on the floor, but chairs were available for those who needed them.

Other amenities: There is a stroller parking area. Dot (ladybug) and Ziggy (skunk) hats are also available for sale in the lobby. 

Food/eating area: Beverages and snacks are available in the lobby. Food and drinks are not allowed in the performance space, but bottles are permitted.
The Biograph Theater has an online list of nearby restaurants that offer discounts to ticket holders.

Special events: Discounted tickets are available for groups of 10 or more (for birthday parties, playgroups, private performances, or pre-school fundraisers) from GroupTix or by calling 773-327-3778.

We paid: $4.50 for 3 hours of metered parking (plus $120 for the ticket I got for not putting my city sticker on my windshield and instead forgetting it in my glove compartment. Grr). I received four complementary tickets to the show.

Our experience:
I’ve been really excited about this show since I first heard about it and it did not disappoint.
We arrived approximately 20 minutes before the show so I was a little concerned about my boys getting impatient, but there were children’s tables set up with crayons and coloring sheets – problem solved! When it was time for the show to begin, the characters, Dot and Ziggy appeared to lead us in a parade up to the performance space.
The theater space was a large open room with four large, brightly colored triangular rugs, and the “stage” was the floor between the rugs. Dot and Ziggy were very enthusiastic and drew the audience in immediately. Dexter, who is 18-months-old and hasn’t been still since his birth, stood wide-eyed for nearly 30 minutes (I’ve never seen him like this, even for Elmo, so I timed it!) before making a dash for the ladybug prop. (Special thanks to my husband, who managed to catch him before he grabbed it and made off with it.) Both my boys loved watching the actors scurry around the room, and particularly liked the music. The audience was encouraged to participate throughout the show, including taking scarves and putting them in a box, standing up to do the Hokey-Pokey, and singing The Itsy-Bitsy Spider.
Another perk of the show is that because it’s designed for babies and toddlers, there’s no need to feel uncomfortable or embarrassed when your child whines or asks a loud question.  After the show was over, the audience was invited to meet Dot and Ziggy and the musician; see the skunk, ladybug, and spider props; and try out the musical instruments used during the show. After that, Dot and Ziggy were also available in the lobby of the theater.

Overall, I felt like this was an incredible experience. It was very educational and entertaining and really encouraged the children and parents to engage with the performance and each other. I highly recommend this show to anyone with babies and/or toddlers.

I received four complementary tickets to Dot & Ziggy. All opinions are my own. 

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