Let’s face it, you’re not paying big city home prices for the incredible playgrounds and great public schools. Kids coming of age in San Francisco are surrounded by the best cultural experiences around, from world-class museums to theaters hosting all the Broadway hits. This year, SHN is featuring a line-up full of family friendly classics, so it’s the perfect time to introduce your little Disney movie lover to the world of grown-up musical theater.


Like a Movie with More Magic
The first thing that is sure to wow them is the theater itself. Both the Orpheum and the Golden Gate are historic gems with chandeliers and carved ceilings and walls fit for a real-life palace. Typically the curtain is raised during seating, so theatergoers can admire the elaborate sets before the show starts. The acting, the dancing and songs are reminiscent of classic Disney films, and the costumes are better than any animation. Cinderella, which was at SHN for one week in May 2016, featured some serious magic in the form of dress transformations. Cinderella would spin, and her rags would magically turn into the biggest of ball gowns, leaving the audience gasping and cheering.

The Lion King

Upcoming Shows Great for Kids
While theater fans erupted into a standing O when they heard Hamilton was coming to SHN in March of 2017, the line-up for the remainder of the 2015/2016 season and the upcoming season is peppered with beloved stories, from Simba’s path to King of the Jungle to Peter Pan’s quest for never-ending youth. Here are the best shows for kids through early 2017.

Beauty and the Beast
June 29–July 10
SHN Orpheum Theatre

The Lion King
Nov. 2–Dec 31
SHN Orpheum Theatre

Finding Neverland
Jan 18–Feb 12
SHN Orpheum Theatre


Is Your Little Ready for the Big Theater?
Some kids will be captivated into wide-eyed silence once the curtain goes up, but with pricey tickets and other theatergoers expecting a grown-up night out, it’s important that parents gauge whether their kiddos are theater-ready. Most shows come with an minimum age suggestion: Beauty and the Beast is an all-ages show (no babes in arms), the Lion King is recommended for 6 and up, and Finding Neverland suggests no one under 5. Chances are, if your child can dependably sit through a full length movie in the theater without much of a peep, they should do well. Make sure to grab a seat cushion (or two) for littles to sit on—they are stacked in almost every lobby.

SHN Orpheum Theatre
1192 Market St.
SF, Ca
Online: shnsf.com

Have you taken your kid to the theater? Tell us your tips in the comments below! 

–Erin Feher