If “all the world’s a stage,” nothing says “drama” quite like the words toddler, tween, and teen. Lucky for us, NYC has some great productions set to entertain all family members – even you. So gather up your aspiring thespians and check out one of these family-friendly shows while supporting the local community theatre scene at the same time.
1. Hip to Hip Theatre’s Free Shakespeare in the Park
The great bard’s work is seldom interesting to kids, but Hip to Hip Theatre works its magic and makes it entertaining, family friendly and accessible with their free Shakespeare in the Park series. In its 7th season, this summer they’re bringing Love’s Labor’s Lost and The Tempest to 10 Queens parks, plus New Jersey and Southampton. Each show starts with a special 30-minute “Kids and the classics” workshop. Bring a picnic and a blanket to make a night of it.
When: July 24 – August 18, 2013. For specific dates and show times, visit their performance schedule.
2. Manhattan Movement and Arts Center
Do you remember the surreal moment when you started reading a book from your childhood to your own kids? Well the classic Berenstain Bears are now live on stage at the Manhattan Movement and Arts Center. As if that’s not cool enough, there’s also face painting and photo opps with the bears too.
248 West 60th Street between Amsterdam and West End Avenues
Cost: $34.95 – $59.95
When: Saturdays at 11:00 am and Sundays at 1:00 pm
3. Vital Theatre Company
In its 13th season, this local theatre is continuing its successful family programming with performances of Pinkalicious, the musical, which is running through the end of August. Next up: Fancy Nancy the Musical will delight families starting in September. All shows are an hour long – just the right amount of time to hold the attention of kids from 2 to 10 years old.
Go: Pinkalicious, the Musical
45 Bleeker Street at Lafayette Street
Fancy Nancy the Musical
2162 Broadway at 76th Street, 4th Floor
Cost: Pinkalicious – $29.50 – $89 per ticket
Fancy Nancy – $39.50 – $59.50 per ticket
When: Pinkalicious – Saturdays at 1:30 pm through August 31st.
Fancy Nancy – Saturdays and Sundays at 11:00 am and 1:00 pm starting September 28th.
4. Literally Alive at the Players Theatre
Classic stories come to life with Literally Alive. Currently, Stevenson’s famous novel Treasure Island takes the stage in a musical adaptation fit for families. Coming soon are The Selfish Giant and everyone’s holiday favorite A Christmas Carol.
Go: Literally Alive
The Player’s Theatre
115 MacDougal Street
Cost: $25 – $45
When: Thursdays and Fridays at 11:00 am, Saturdays at 2:00 pm & 5:30 pm, and Sundays at 11:00 am, through July 28, 2013
5. The Vineyard’s Dimson Theatre
Everyone’s favorite children’s songstress Laurie Berkner has written the music and lyrics to a wildly popular family musical called Wanda’s Monster, running for a limited time at the Vineyard’s Dimson Theatre. If you opt to buy the premium tickets, you’ll also get Laurie’s Rocketship Run CD, a show poster, and you’ll be first in line for a meet and greet. Check out our writer’s review of the show here.
Go: The Vineyard’s Dimson Theatre
108 East 15th Street at Union Square
Cost: $39 per ticket, $65 for premium ticket, $144 for family 4 pack
When: Thursdays and Fridays at 10:30 am, Saturdays at 10:30 am and 2:00 pm, Sundays at 12:30 pm and 3:00 pm, July 13, 2013 – September 8, 2013.
6. The Secret Children’s Theatre in LIC
Psst! Want to know a secret? The Secret Theatre in Long Island City currently has three different shows for kids running on their stage. You can choose to be delighted by Dotty Dot, the musical, Princess Particular, the musical, and Pirate Pete’s Parrot. Good to know: There aren’t any concessions on site, but there are several places within walking distance to get a bite to eat. Also, if the show you’re seeing happens to be in the Little Theatre and you have a stroller, you’ll have to navigate it down some steps. Tickets are general admission, so the earlier you get there, the better your seat choices are.
Go: The Secret Theatre
4402 23rd Street
Long Island City, Queens
Cost: $15 for adults, $10 for kids, $40 for family 4 pack. You can buy tickets here.
7. 13th Street Repertory Company
The Children’s Theatre here offers two different shows for kids as young as three years old. Choose from Wiseacre Farm, an interactive farm animal adventure, and Rumple Who?, an adaptation of Rumplestiltskin better suited for kids ages 5 and up. Both of the shows have a running time of an hour or less.
Go: 13th Street Repertory
50 West 13th Street between 5th & 6th avenues
When: Wiseacre Farms – Saturdays at 12:00 pm
Rumple Who? – Sundays at 12:00 pm
8. Stage 72 at the Triad Theatre
Stage 72 is home to two shows the kiddos will love: A Mermaid’s Tale and starting soon, Eeek! A Mousical, both of which will continue a long history of musical theatre at the Triad. Get ready for catchy songs and lots of audience participation.
Go: Stage 72 at the Triad Theatre
158 West 72nd Street
Cost: $30 for adults, $25 for kids
When: A Mermaid’s Tale plays alternate Saturdays at 3:00 pm; Eeek! A Mousical runs every other Saturday at 3:00 pm starting September 7th.
9. Tada! Youth Theater
This theater takes kids programming a step further- the shows are not only original, the actors are kids themselves. Their latest production, Sleep Over, is better suited to older kids, and is just over an hour long. Tada! performances usually sell out quickly, and this one is no different, as many of the dates are already gone. Get your tickets while you can!
Go: Tada! Youth Theater
15 West 28th Street between Broadway and 5th Avenue
Cost: $20 for adults, $25 for premium adult tickets, $8 for kids, $10 for premium kids tickets
When: Tuesdays – Fridays at 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm, Saturdays at 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm, through August 3, 2013
10. Snapple Theater Center
Get ready for Piggy Nation, taking the stage by storm right in the heart of Times Square at the Snapple Theater Center and teaching audiences about what’s appropriate behavior and what’s piggy behavior. Great for kids ages 3-10. The show is just over an hour long, and there are snacks available for purchase at the theater.
Go: Snapple Theater Center
210 West 50th Street at Broadway
Cost: $30 – $60
When: Sundays at 12:00 pm and Tuesdays at 11:00 am, through July 30, 2013
What shows do you like to see with the kids?
— Jesseca Stenson
Photo Credits: Nina Jones, Vital Theater Company, Chasi Annexy, Kaila Mackenzie