Thursday, October 07, 2010

Great Seats and a Second Home

I was fortunate enough to be invited to contribute to a new blog that has been created for Calgary folks. Modeled after a blog in Ottawa, Canada called Kids in the Capital, blogger Danielle created Kids in Cowtown; a place where parents can get ideas from other parents in the Calgary area for things to do in the city with their kids. Considering how little we do with the boys out here, besides all of our scenic drives, I'm not sure I'll have a lot to contribute. But I can certainly promise that I'll be looking to my fellow blogmates for ideas in the future.

Besides promoting the new blog, I thought I would repeat my first post right here at Willowjak Boys. If you live anywhere in North America, then this might be a helpful tip:

Best Seats in the House

Have you ever taken the kids to a concert to see their favourite tv characters perform and wound up sitting three football fields away from the stage? Trying to convince your child that the purple bobbing blob who is heard faintly singing “I love you”, is Barney and not a bunch of grapes is a bit of a let-down. Especially when you realize you’ve paid $200 for a family of four to find more entertainment in people-watching around you, than trying to lip-read through your binoculars.

My family of five is comprised of three boys; a set of 7-year-old twins who are moderately to severely affected by autism, and their 9-year-old brother. To even make the decision to venture out of the house and into the community is a huge undertaking and commitment. If my husband and I are going to go through all the prep of getting the boys to an outing and gathering enough strength and patience to prepare for the chaos that might ensue, we better be getting our money’s worth.

I was always convinced that the people in the best seats must be related to the performers or the crew. My twins are absolutely and thoroughly obsessed with the likes of The Wiggles, Sesame Street and High-5 to name a few. If we went to a show and sat a hundred rows back, they wouldn’t even lift their eyes away from the fascination of their mismatched length of shoe laces. They need to see those guys up close. So how do those lucky families get the great seats?

A few years ago I heard a radio station announce that if you were a member of their fan club, you would be receiving an email with the pre-sale password that would enable you to purchase tickets with the VIP’s before the general public would have their shot. I raced home and googled the words “free pre-sale passwords” and found my new best friends.

WiseGuys Presale Passwords is a blog where its writers post updated concert and show announcements from all over North America, all pre-sale passwords and usually the dates that the pre-sales are happening. The best part is that it’s all FREE! There is a place on the blog where you can sign-up to receive daily emails and that’s what I have done. Every day I get an email in my inbox which has concert announcements for cities across the US and Canada. It only takes a quick scan and I delete them if the locations aren’t of interest to me. I must say that it has also come in handy to purchase the odd ticket for friends or family in other provinces as a gift, or simply to forward my contacts this information in case that hadn’t heard about it themselves in the city they are in.

With the password in hand, if I have managed to get online at the opening of the pre-sale, I have been fortunate enough to score fantastic seats. I can’t tell you how thrilled my twins were when we went to Sesame St. Live a couple of years ago. We were front and centre at the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium. With my boys’ chins resting in their hands, elbows on the stage and their eyes staring in wonder at the very characters that they had danced to on their tv screens at home, I learned that there is no other way to take in a show.

With next Friday’s upcoming Wiggles show at the Pengrowth Saddledome, maybe I’ll see you when I look back at the crowd. But hopefully the next time they’re in town, we’ll get seats side-by-side in the front!

*there are still tickets available at Ticket Master.*

Hope you come and check us out in my second home!

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