Your bambino doesn’t have to be an actor-in-training to appreciate the theater. Test the theory out this fall when more than half a dozen stages offer show line-ups fit  for the littles. From kids-only venues like Glen Echo’s Adventure Theater and Arts on the Horizon in Alexandria, to the venerable Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, this season’s family-friendly fare is kicking it up a notch.

 

blossoms-rainbowPhoto: Arts on the Horizon via Facebook

Arts on the Horizon
As the first theatre company in the country to focus exclusively on the zero to six age range, Arts on the Horizon emphasizes arts education and shrinks it right down to size with active performances and less dialogue for its young audiences. Last year’s “Blossom’s Rainbow” was a sensation, and returns again to close out the 2015-16 season.

703-967-0437
Online: artsonthehorizon.org

Adventure Theater
Get ready for some classics this season at this long-established theater in the round. Known for bringing books to life, this year features a musical based on the children’s story “Caps for Sale,” a Lemony Snicket inspired holiday show about a lump of coal that wants to be an artist, and in store for next summer–“Jumanji”.

7300 MacArthur Blvd. (Glen Echo, Md)
301-634-2270
Online: adventuretheatre-mtc.org

The Alden Theater at McClean Community Center
Independent kids’ musician and performer, Elska, plays the Alden this November, and is amongst a range of performers both musical and theatrical in this unique and intimate space.

1234 Ingleside Ave. (McLean, Va)
703-790-0123
Online: mcleancenter.org

 

hylton performing artsPhoto: Hylton Performing Arts Center

Hylton Center in Manassas 
Catch pet owner Emily Elizabeth in a musical about her Big Red Dog, Clifford next Spring, and Ladybug Girl and Bumble Bee Boy, all based on best-selling children’s book series. See also a dozen other performances designated by the Hylton Center as “Family Friendly” throughout the season.

10960 George Mason Cir. (Manassas, Va)
703-993-7759
Online: hyltoncenter.org

Black Rock Center for Performing Arts
Don’t miss all-time favorite children’s story Goodnight Moon come to life in May 2016 at this Germantown venue. The calendar is full of variety of other awesome performances, from an Alvin Ailey family show in November followed by an Australian acrobatic ensemble and a holiday musical starring “Fancy Nancy.”

12901 Town Commons Dr. (Germantown, Md)
301-528-2260
Online: blackrockcenter.org

11949269_10153467292442626_4214628739626260852_nPhoto: Imagination Stage via facebook.

Imagination Stage
Now in it’s 12th year in downtown Bethesda location, the exclusively-for-kids shows at this venue never fail to impress. The upcoming professional season is no exception with popular books coming to life in front of your nose. Don’t miss: “A Year with Frog and Toad”.

4908 Auburn Ave. (Bethesda, Md)
301-961-6060
Online: imaginationstage.org

Kennedy Center Performances for Young Audiences
Performances for Young Audiences features the National Symphony Orchestra Teddy Bear Concerts designed to warm kiddo to a classical tune like butter on toast. Theatrical options include a collaboration with the U.S. Botanic Garden, a three person musical spin on Moby Dick, and a show called Superman 2050 where a cast of seven take on all props, scenes, sound effects and characters using only their bodies and voices. Yes. Please.

2700 F St., NW
202-467-4600
Online: kennedy-center.org

Montgomery College
Yay! The Children’s Series at the Parilla Center, Montgomery College in Rockville returns in the new year. Look for performances by participants in this year’s Kids Eurofest taking place at the College’s Silver Spring Cultural Center October 31 and November 7.

900 Hungerford Dr. (Rockville, Md)
301-279-5000
Online: montgomerycollege.edu

Are there any fall shows you can’t wait to see with your kids? Do tell in the comments section below. 

—Carolyn Ross