By Amy E. Pittman, DVI Intern

Annie 10.21.14Yesterday evening in Downtown Jacksonville following the opening night of ANNIE: The Musical, smiling kids from 2 to 92 flooded the sidewalks in front of the Times-Union Center holding plush red-headed dolls and singing their favorite tunes like “Tomorrow” and “Easy Street.” The FSCJ Artist Series hosted an hour of face painting, games, crafts, and other kids activities before the show, and then the extraordinarily talented and lovable cast, directed by original lyricist and director Martin Charnin, delivered an exciting performance to hundreds of Jacksonville families.

Milton A. Russos, Executive Director for FSCJ Artist Series said, “Our strategy at the FSCJ Artist Series is to present a wide variety of programs for a wide variety of tastes, and we always include shows that are appropriate for families with kids in our programming mix. While we are cultural arts and entertainment presenters, we are also educators and believe strongly that the performing arts are a major key to the development of critical thinking and cognitive skill development in children.”

One dad from the Northside said his daughter has watched ANNIE the movie 80 times in the past year, “She loves it so much so I surprised her with tickets and a new red dress to wear tonight. The folks around us can probably attest that she knows all the lyrics.” Another mom and grandpa that brought their family said they wanted their kids to have an appreciation for the arts like they do, “Both my grandsons and my granddaughter were completely blown away. Mission accomplished.”

To find family friendly events Downtown for your gang, search the ‘family’ option on our events calendar, or sign up for our weekly newsletter. This weekend, the Florida Theatre will host Jim Henson’s Sid the Science Kid, MOSH is throwing a pirate-themed camp-in party, and the Jacksonville Jaguars Kids Club will have their Tour and Treat on Tuesday. 

***DVI EXTRA: Get a head start on Halloween next Friday by dressing up and coming Downtown from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for Trick or Treat on the Street! There will be candy, coupons, and other promotional goodies from participating businesses!***

Whether picnicking at Friendship Fountain on the Southbank, getting artsy at MOCA, or catching one of the six performances left from the ANNIE cast this week, don’t miss out on all that Downtown Jacksonville has to offer for #DTJaxkids!