The Love, Simon star and Justice League actor took their children — Violet, 12, Seraphina, 9, and Samuel, 6 — to see musical Hello, Dolly! on Thursday night in New York City, a source confirms to PEOPLE. (Page Six first reported the outing.)
“Jen and Ben both appeared to be really happy,” says an onlooker in the audience. “They were laughing and smiling throughout the show and at intermission, and engaging with the kids. Some fans said hello and they were both really kind.”
“Jen and the kids were cheering extra hard for Victor all night long,” says the onlooker. “They gave him a huge round of applause when he first appeared on the stage, and a standing ovation during the curtain call. It was nice to see them all so enthusiastic. There was definitely an extra energy in the room because they were there.”
Showing even more love for the production, the family headed backstage after the show.
Garner, 46, and Affleck, 45, filed to end their 10-year marriage in April 2016. In an interview that aired on Sunday, Garner opened up about how the intense tabloid scrutiny the couple faced during their marriage took a big toll on her.
Explaining how for a decade there would be up to five or six cars trying to get the scoop on what was going on between them, Garner said on CBS Sunday Morning, “Looking back on that, I really feel the stress of it.”
“I really — I could cry talking about it,” she continued, adding that her split from Affleck, with whom she continues to happily co-parent, continues to play a huge role in her life.
“What I think I’ve learned is that the scrutiny in your private life puts a pressure to make something happen,” she explained. “You feel a pressure to hurry up and get married, ‘cause you think that’ll end the — ‘Are they engaged? Are they not?’ And that’s true in the reverse, as well. If you are — if you know, if there is any inkling of trouble, or if the tabloids decide there’s trouble, it can create trouble.”
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A source recently told PEOPLE that Affleck, who has been spending a lot of time with his girlfriend, Saturday Night Live producer Lindsay Shookus, is “doing great” and “seems very happy that Lindsay is in L.A. now.”
Over the summer, Shookus and Affleck have been “spending more time together while they both have downtime from work,” an Affleck pal said. “They’re enjoying doing normal couple things and exploring L.A. together.”
The insider added that Affleck is also committed to making the most of family time with his kids with his estranged wife, who have not yet been introduced to Shookus.
“Ben loves spending time with the kids,” the Affleck pal continued. “They each have activities they like doing together.”