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Keeping the citizens of Pharaoh‘s cities occupied in their off time is a critical part of city planning and housing evolution. To evolve beyond the most basic cottage, a house must have access to at least some entertainment. Higher and more elegant homes requiring a full array of entertainment options to keep the occupants happy.

There are three main types of entertainment: Jugglers, Musicians, and Dancers. Each must be trained at a special school, known respectively as a Juggler School, Conservatory, and Dance School. Graduates of the school will either wander the streets of the cities, providing entertainment to houses as they pass, or perform shows on set stages positioned to serve multiple homes. The stages are divided into three class, those being Juggler Booths which have Juggler shows only, Bandstands which display jugglers and musicians, and the largest stage is the pavilion which features both jugglers and musicians as well as dancers.

For the most selective of citizens, a Senet House must be constructed. While not an actual entertainment show, Senet masters walk the streets of a city, inviting citizens to come to the Senet House. Unlike the other forms of entertainment, the Senet House does not require a separate training facility, it instead needs a steady supply of beer. Senet House access is the one of the highest possible forms of entertainment available in the game.

The ultimate form of entertainment is for a city to have a zoo, which is an addition only available in the Cleopatra expansion. Zoos require straw and meat to keep the animals comfortable and feed within, with zoos vastly raising a city's culture rating. Zoos send out zookeepers who invite citizens to visit the zoo, thus providing homes with zoo access.

As for the decision of which stage to build, as a rule of thumb, in the earliest missions Booths are enough (say, the Predynastic missions and the first couple of the Archaic ones), later, Booths are no longer sufficient and Bandstands should take their place. You can go with Bandstands in missions where the required Culture rating is about 40 or less, and the Prosperity requirement is not greater than 50. In other cases, you will need to build Pavilions. While being the best stage available, there are several drawbacks to Pavilions. One, a high cost, two, they need a lot of workers (keep in mind that you have to have all the necessary artist training facilities too), three, they are rather large and take up considerable space. On the other hand, Pavilions raise area desirability somewhat, unlike the lesser venues (bandstands have an effect comparable to what the single square of gardens they contain would have if placed alone, while booths have no effect at all; pavillions have roughly the effect of their 3 squares of gardens).

In general, one performer training facility of any kind can maintain shows at about four venues simultaneously, provided those are not on the other side of the city from the training facility. Shows are needed for housing improvement, but not for Culture rating improvement - a stage counts toward the total city culture rating as long as it has workers, regardless of perfomers being present.

As for Senet Houses, watch out for their desirability impact - being full of drunk people, they are mildly undesirable. Also they are expensive and need beer deliveries, but on the other hand one is enough to raise the Culture rating in all but the largest cities. Zoos are somewhat undesirable as well, and also large (the size of a City Palace) and expensive (nearly the price of a temple comples, minus the oracle and altar). Zoo access is not a requirement for any level of housing, while Senet House access is required only to reach Estate level (Common Estate).