Looking to come out of hibernation and check out some NYC theater with the kids? You’re in luck! This spring is bursting with family-friendly productions, for kids of all ages. From quiet, intimate shows for the tiniest theatergoers (as young as two!) to a rockin’ mythology musical based on a best-selling book for older ones (plus, magic, Jedi training, a boffo benefit, and more) New York City has a show your kids are sure to enjoy. Read on to find the show for you!

For Members of Camp Half Blood: The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical

A musical adaptation of Rick Riordan’s 2005 bestselling young adult novel The Lightning Thief, this tells the story of Percy Jackson (son of Poseidon). It returns to New York after a sold-out, and celebrated off-Broadways run in 2017. In this coming-of-age story, Percy’s got newly-discovered powers he can’t control, monsters on his trail, and is on a quest to find Zeus’ lightning bolt to prevent a war between the Greek gods. With a high-energy original rock score, The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical is an action-packed theatrical adventure best for tweens and teens.

March 28-31, evenings and matinees
Tickets: $29-$99
Beacon Theater
2124 Broadway
Upper West Side
212-465-6000
Online: msg.com

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photo: Kids n Comedy

For Kids Coming Up: Kids 'N Comedy

Got a budding comedian in the house? Take them to a show of their peers (or almost peers) at a real comedy club. Kids 'N Comedy features young people ages 12 to 18 doing standup, honed at the comedy classes and camp of the same name. Every month, star students tackle a new theme: Moody as March (March 31), Springtime in New York (April 28) and The Mother of All Comedy Shows (May 19). It's a clean show for adults and kids ages nine and up. 

March 31, April 28 & May 19, 1 p.m.
Tickets: $18
Gotham Comedy Club
208 W. 23rd St. 
Chelsea
212-877-6115
Online: kidsncomedy.com

photo: Mimi O'Connor

For a Hip-Hop Musical: Last Stop on Market Street

The award-winning children's book by Matt de la Pena is now a musical! Adapted for the stage by Cheryl L. West, the show features original music as it tells the story of CJ and his grandma exploring the neighborhood and looking at it with new eyes. Recommended for children ages four and up and running an hour long, Last Stop on Market Street has been described, "like a kid's version of In the Heights!"A special relaxed performance for neurodiverse audiences will take place Saturday, April 6. 

March 23-April 13
Tickets: $20/adults; $15/kids
Linda Gross Theater
336 W. 20th St.
Chelsea
866-811-4111
Online: atlantictheater.org

photo: PJ Masks Live!

To Foil Some Villains: PJ Masks Live!

Back with a whole new show, Catboy, Owlette, and Gekko go into the night to save the day from the Villains. (Pssst: a fresh addition to the crew is PJ Robot!) Expect both new songs and familiar favorites in this musical show based on the Disney Junior show preschoolers everywhere love.

March 30 & 31 at 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
Tickets: $39.50 and up
Kings Theatre
1027 Flatbush
Flatbush
Online: kingstheatre.com

photo: BAMKids

For Interactive Italian Theater: Colors

Italian theater ensemble Compagnia TPO blurs the lines between art and play with this show, a blend of environmental performance and immersive technology. The audience is invited to interact with three dancers—red, yellow, and blue—as they experience moments of friendship and discovery using movement to paint the “work” of their lives. Objects and environments produced by the characters' fantasies appear and disappear, creating interactive relationships and images projected on large floating surfaces. Recommended for kids ages five to eight. 

March 23 & 24, 11 a.m. & 2 p.m.
Tickets: $20
BAM Fisher 
321 Ashland Pl.
Fort Greene
718-636-4100 x1
Online: bam.org

photo: New Victory Theater

For Magic From Korea That's Also Funny: Snap

GRUEJARM Production from Busan, South Korea is an eclectic ensemble of illusionists. Mixing dexterous sleight of hand, Chaplin-esque vaudevillian comedy and ingenious visual effects, these performers will boggle everyone in the family's mind with this magical, and amusing, cabaret. Don't forget to arrive early for pre-show fun in the lobby! 

April 12-28 
Tickets: $17
New Victory Theater
209 W. 42nd St. 
646-223-3010
Online: tickets.newvictory.org

photo: Pip's Island

For an Immersive Adventure: Pip's Island

Pip's Island, the interactive and immersive show that premiered back in 2016, has returned to New York City! The fantastical production, designed for kids ages 4 -10, begins previews March 11, and opens March 21. Audience members move through imaginative environments, help characters along the way, and play a part in helping save the day. (Lots of positive messaging is throughout the show as well.) Pip's Island is in a new home on 42nd Street, and while it maintains much of the original story, sets, and characters, it’s been updated and improved. Take the kids on a special date, or book the best birthday ever for up to 50 kids! Tickets are $49 online, and $59 at the box office. Read our full review from its first NYC run here! 

Starting March 11
Tickets: $49 in advance; $59 at box office
400 W. 42nd St.
Midtown West
212-609-1372
Online: pipsisland.com

For Little Laurie Berkner Fans: Pillowland

For the youngest of theatergoers (ages 2 to 5), Pillowland, produced by New York City Children's Theater, is inspired by kindie rocker Laurie Berkner's song of the same name. Kids are encouraged to wear their pajamas to this 30-minute interactive show that takes them on a trip to the titular destination. Kids get a primo spot in the small performance area, and parents can join them or hang back and sit in chairs. Note: shoes off before entering the theater. Hang out after the show for photos with the cast! 

Through April 14
Tickets: $27
Peter Theater at the Flea Theater 
20 Thomas St. 
Tribeca
212-226-0051
Online: nycchildrenstheater.org

photo: Robert Day

For a Madcap Wacky Adventure: Around the World in 80 Days

Take a spin around the globe with Phileas Fogg and his silly sidekick, Passepartout, as they abandon the misty streets of Victorian London and travel the world in a race against time. (The prize? Big money.) The pair races across Asia on the back of an elephant, speeds by steamer ship over the stormy Pacific and rides the railroad through the American Wild West. Adapted by Laura Eason from Jules Verne's classic novel, this fast-paced, globe-trotting theatrical romp is jam-packed with slapstick hilarity and comic book-style action scenes. Best for kids ages seven and up, this production from New Vic Theatre Staffordshire, Kenny Wax Family Entertainment and Simon Friend in association with Royal Exchange Theatre runs two hours with one intermission. 

May 10-19
Tickets: $17 and up
New Victory Theater
209 W. 42nd St. 
Times Square
646-223-3010
Online: newvictory.org/single

 

photo: BAMKids

For a Jazzy Journey For Little Ones: Glimpse

The Dutch company Oorkaan explores some pretty trippy questions with its show Glimpse: What do colors sound like? Who can understand the moon? What does the sun say? How many colors does a dream have? The production creates an enchanting dreamworld where jazzy sounds and colorful images play an exciting game with each other, and the audience. The show uses music, images, and technology to explore these thought-provoking questions and more. Recommended for kids ages three to five. 

May 4 & 5; May 11 & 12, 10:30 a.m. & 3:30 p.m. 
Tickets: $10 
BAM Fisher, Hillman Studio
321 Ashland Pl.
Fort Greene 
718-636-4100 x1
Online: bam.org

photo: Paw Patrol Live

For a Dose of Pup Power: PAW Patrol Live-Race To the Rescue!

In this PAW patrol adventure, Ryder enlists Marshall, Chase, Skye, Rubble, Rocky, Zuma, and Everest to use their unique skills and teamwork when Mayor Goodway is a no-show for the Great Adventure Bay Race. The pups prove that “no job is too big, no pup is too small,” and share lessons for all ages about citizenship, social skills and problem-solving as they make several heroic rescues on their race to the finish line. 

April 13 & 1`4
Tickets: $45-$175
Hulu Theater at MSG
4 Penn Plaza
Midtown
212-465-6741
Online: pawpatrollive.com

For the Junior Set: The World Inside Me

Want to start 'em young? The World Inside Me, a co-production of Spellbound Theatre and the Chicago Children's Theatre is for kids ages two to four. (And they even have special performances for kids 0 to 2!) This gentle, interactive, musical show uses dance, play, visual effects and more to illustrate the inner life of kids' growing bodies, from first steps to boo-boos to lullabies.  Performances are in a small theater, and audience members  sit benches and floor cushions.

March 29-April 7
Tickets: $20 and up
The Duke on 42nd St.
646-223-3010
Online: tickets.newvictory.org

photo: Story Pirates

For an Anything But Boring Benefit: Story Pirates

It's not the cheapest ticket in town, but we promise—it's worth every  penny. Not only because The Story Pirates are some of the most entertaining and fun performers out there, but because this show is a big fundraiser for its Changemakers program, which brings the Pirates into underserved schools for quality arts and education programs and funds their free performances for children in the foster care and homeless communities. Audience members will enjoy a performance by The Story Pirates (they bring kids' stories to life through hilarious and inspired improv) as well as the Pirate Party after the show, featuring family activities, photo booth, a silent auction, open bar, and of course, The Pirates! 

March 31, 2 & 5 p.m.
Tickets: $75-$250
Five Angels Theater
789 Tenth Ave.
Midtown West
Online: storypirates.com

photo: Brian Slater

For Another Take on Peter Pan: Underneath a Magical Moon

This show takes a familiar tale and gives it a new spin. It's the story of Peter Pan told from the perspective of Wendy Darling. Underneath a Magical Moon follows Wendy and her brothers as they fly into the night on an charmed adventure. The show features live music and original songs and is best for kids ages four and up. 

April 14, 2 p.m.
Tickets: $13
On Stage at Kingsborough
2001 Oriental Blvd.
Manhattan Beach
718-368-5596

photo: Ludovic des Cognets

To See Noise and Dance a Bit: Shh...Bang!

Part of Lincoln Center's LC Kids series, this show from England's Peut-être Theatre is for kids ages two to five. Performers playfully explore the space between silence and noise; tip-toes, leaps, and cartwheels set off whooshes, tick tocks, boings, and bells. Eventually, audience members are invited on stage to play along. Runs 45 minutes. The May 5 11 a.m. performance will be relaxed for neuro-diverse audience members. 

Sat., May 4, 11 a.m. & 2 p.m.; Sun., May 5, 11 a.m. & 2 p.m.
Tickets: $25
Clark Studio Theater 
165 W. 65th St. 
Upper West Side
Online: lincolncenter.org

—Mimi O’Connor

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