Everyone loves puppet shows, whether they’re 3, 33, or 103. Happily, the traditional art of puppetry is alive and well in the San Francisco Bay Area, so don’t miss out and mark your calendars! We’ve rounded up some of the best troops, their websites, and their upcoming dates.

San Jose-based puppeteer Nick Barone has been delighting audiences with his puppet shows for almost 20 years.

Wednesday, March 16, 7:00 pm at Redwood City Public Library: ‘Puss in Boots’
Saturday, April 2, 10:00 am to 3:30 pm, Filoli House and Gardens in Woodside: Nick will be putting on his shows throughout their ‘Annual Spring Fling.’
Tuesday, July 26, 11:00 am, SF North Beach Public Library branch: Nick will be performing ‘T-Rex Thunderlizard’s Wild West Revue.

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The Puppet Art Theater Company from Sacramento  tours all over California and always draws a big crowd. Here’s their 2011 schedule.

Saturday, March 5, 2:00 pm: the San Mateo Library: ‘Riley and the Wiley Rabbit’.
Tuesday, March 8, 7:00 pm: the Pacifica Library (Sanchez branch).
Wednesday, March 30, 11:00 am: the SF North Beach Library branch, ‘Three Billy Goats Gruff’,
Wednesday, March 30, 4:00 pm: SF Glen Park Library branch.
Saturday, April 9, 12:00 pm at the Brisbane Public Library: ‘Riley and the Wiley Rabbit’.
Tuesday, April 12, 6:30 pm at the Kensington Public Library: ‘Bunny Boot Camp.’Tuesday at Daly City Public Library (Serramonte branch) at 7pm: ‘Riley and the Wiley Rabbit’.
Wednesday, April 27,  7:00 pm at San Leandro Public Library: ‘Little Red Riding Hood’
Sunday, May 15, 12:00 pm at Half Moon Bay Public Library: ‘Riley and the Wiley Rabbit.’
Monday, May 23, 7:00 pm at San Bruno Public Library: ‘Riley and the Wiley Rabbit.’
Saturday, June 4, 2:00 pm at Belmont Public Library: ‘Riley and the Wiley Rabbit.’
Tuesday, June 7,  7:00 pm at Burlingame Public Library: ‘Riley and the Wiley Rabbit.’

Tony Borders, also from Sacramento, specializes in puppet shows that are not only hilarious but also teach kids good values.

Friday, June 10, 4:00 pm, at Larkspur Public Library.
Saturday, June 11, 11:00 am at Alameda Free County Library.
Tuesday, June 14 , 7:00 pm at Burlingame Public Library.
Wednesday, June 15, 4:00 pm at Daly City Public Library.
Tuesday, June 28, 7:00 pm at San Carlos Public Library.
Wednesday, July 20, 7:00 pm at Belmont Public Library.
Wednesday, August 3,  3:00 pm at San Lorenzo Public Library.
Wednesday, August 10, 3:00 pm at Sharp Public Library in Pacifica.

Get ready to be enchanted by the East Bay’s Fratello Marionettes puppet duo, some of whose artistic creations are three feet tall. Check out  for more about their shows.

Saturday, March 26, 1:15 pm at Albany Public Library: ‘Carnival of the Animals’
Tuesday, April 5, 3:00 pm at Foster City Public Library: ‘Carnival of the Animals’
Tuesday, April 12, 7:00 pm at San Carlos Public Library:.‘Carnival of the Animals’
Saturday, April 16, 11:00 am at SF West Portal branch: ‘The Frog Prince’
Tuesday, April 19, 3:30 pm at El Sobrante Public Library: ‘Carnival of the Animals’
Wednesday, June 29, 3:00 pm at Benicia Public Library: ‘Carnival of the Animals’
Tuesday, July 5, 7:00 pm at Burlingame Public Library: show TBD.
Monday , July 18, 4:00 pm at Atherton Public Library: ‘The Vaudeville Follies’
Tuesday, August 2,  2:30 pm at Daly City Public Library (Serramonte branch): ‘The Vaudeville Follies’
Wednesday, August 3, 3:30 pm at Mill Valley Public Library: ‘Carnival of the Animals’
Saturday, September 24, 12:30 pm at Mill Valley’s Fall Art Festival in Old Mill Park: ‘The Vaudeville Follies’. The show will be repeated on Sunday 25th at the same time.
Saturday, December 17,  11:00 am and 1:00 pm at Burlingame Public Library: ‘The North Pole Review’

Children’s Fairyland in Oakland’s Storybook Puppet Theater will be showing ‘The Tale of Peter Rabbit through March, ‘Anansi the Spider’ through April, ‘The Reluctant Dragon’ from May 18th through June, ‘Young King Arthur’ through July and August, ‘Beauty and the Beast’ through September and October, and ‘The Velveteen Rabbit’ through November and December.

Take a look at their website for specific times and dates. Admission to Fairyland is only $8, and babies aged 1 and under are free.

—Annie Sheldon