The point of the seder is not to ENTERTAIN children, and I wasn't suggesting that. It is to engage, intrigue, and interest them. Which, frankly, reading aloud from a haggadah in a language they don't understand, long past their bedtime, simply cannot accomplish.
My favorite seders, by the way, are still the ones we had with other friends our own age and their parents and parents' friends, post-college, full of intellectual and historical discussion, that went on late into the night.
But, when you're a parent, you learn that it's not all about you and your interests anymore. Many is the mama who has slogged through "Guess How Much I Love You" or "Bible Heroes I Can Be" (Baby Chalal's personal favorite) for the tenth time, when she'd much rather be reading the new gardening book she just got from the library...
I had to laugh when I reached Woodrow's line that "the Seder, and indeed Judaism generally, is primarily for grownups and older children who can appreciate Pesach. The 5 year olds can learn about it when they are older."
Woodrow - have you heard of Piaget? Do you know that the most formative emotional aspects of religion happen under the age of six? Yes, you can wait to teach them about Pesach when they're older. But you're going to end up with a lot of wicked sons.
But here's my favorite part:
"By contrast, when people start a seder at 9 PM, they tend to heed the time and to not add a lot of extraneous rubbish, thus ensuring that the seder is over within a few years."
LOL. Sounds like your seder was a little too long. :)