Performing Arts – Kid-Friendly Shows & Performances

We love finding kid-friendly shows, music and all the performing arts. We also recognize they take some pre-planning. We’ll keep a running list of current and upcoming performances on this page so you can peruse ahead and pick your favorites. The lovely thing about children’s theatre is that there are almost always books to go along with the performance. We’ve added reading ideas below many of the performances in the form of Amazon affiliate links, from which we receive a commission. Of course you can get most of these books from the library or local booksellers, like the Red Balloon Bookshop.

Performing Arts - Kid-Friendly Shows & Performances



• Every Thursday-Saturday: ComedySportz Twin Cities | Calhoun Square, Uptown Minneapolis • Family-friendly improv comedy show, played as a sport. Thursday, Friday and Saturday @ 8pm. • Recommended for grade school and up • Tickets are $10 on Thursdays; $14 adults/$12 for children, students and seniors on Friday/Saturday. (Check Goldstar for discounted tickets!)

• 2/23/19: Sensory-Friendly: Soulful Voice of the Veena Schubert Club @ Hallie Q. Brown Community Center, St. Paul. • 10:30am • A sensory-friendly general admission family concert. Tickets Required $0-$5.

• Now-2/23/19: Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn | Chanhassen Dinner Theatre • Musical based on the movie. • Under 5 not admitted.  Tickets $51-$91.

• Now-2/24/19: Mr. Popper’s Penguins | Children’s Theatre Company, Minneapolis •  It is hard enough for Mr. Popper, a modest painter, to support himself and his family, and the unexpected addition of twelve penguins makes it even tougher. • 4+ • Tickets $15+.

• Now-2/24/19: Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters – An African Tale | Steppingstone Theatre, St. Paul • A musical adaptation of the Caldecott Award-Winning book. This folktale from Zimbabwe, demonstrates that beauty is not the measure of greatness, and strength is found in kindness. • Ages 5+ • Tickets $12.00-$16.00.

• Now-2/24/19: Periphery | Youth Performance Company @ Howard Conn Fine Arts Center • Based on the Film and Broadway musical of the same name • Recommended for 4th Grade+ • Tickets $12.00-$15.00. (Check for Goldstar discounted tickets).

Now-2/24/19: Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse | Merrill Community Theatre, Woodbury • This is actually three Kevin Henkes picture books weaved into one story by Kevin Kling. (Gianna reviewed this play when Stages performed it and much of this review is relevant to any production.) Ages 3+ • Tickets $8.00-$22.00 (Military FREE).

• Now-2/25/19: Three Billy Goats Gruff  | Old Gem Theater, New Richmond, WI • The tale of a hungry ogre and three billy goat brothers. Gianna reviewed an previous production of this play. • Pre-K-3rd Grade • Tickets $10-$12

• Now-3/10/19: The Biggest Little House in the Forest | Children’s Theatre Company, Minneapolis • A preschool favorite production of a group of animals who learn to share the perfect little house. • PreK • Tickets $15+.


• 3/1/19-3/24/19: My Ántonia | Illusion Theater • This adaptation of Willa Cather’s novel of the same name deals with mature-ish subjects like suicide, relationships and fulfillment in life• Recommended for 12+ • Tickets: $30+. (Check for Goldstar discounted/comp tickets).

• 3/6/19-3/10/19: Family/Young People’s: Carnival of the Animals | Minnesota Orchestra @ Orchestra Hall • Saint-Saëns’ masterpiece for two pianos and orchestra• Recommended for grades 1-3 • Tickets & Downloads.

• 3/6/19-3/17/19: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory| Orpheum, Minneapolis • Musical based on Roald Dahl’s classic book • Recommended for 6+. Tickets.

• 3/7/19-3/8/19: Seussical  | Old Gem Theater, New Richmond, WI • Musical based on favorite books by Dr. Seuss. • All Ages • Tickets $10-$12

3/8/19-3/24/19:Owl Moon | Stages Theatre Company, Hopkins • “When you go owling you don’t need words or warm or anything but hope.” • All Ages •  Tickets $14-$16.

• 3/9/19: Winter Youth Juggling Showcase | Hopkins High School, 2400 Lindberg Drive, Minnetonka • Showcase for JUGHEADS Youth Juggling Company jugglers. • FREE.

• 3/12/19-4/14/19: The Hobbit | Children’s Theatre Company, Minneapolis •  Bilbo Baggins becomes an unlikely hero in this J.R.R. Tolkien classic. • 8+ • Tickets $15+.

3/16/19 Sergei Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” | Minnesota Ballet @ Eden Prairie High School Auditorium • This delightful ballet is known worldwide for its choreography by M. Petipa and music by Leon Minkus in 1881. Tickets: $19.00-$25.00.

3/16/19 Start the Music: Spirited Strings | St. Paul Chamber Orchestra @ Ordway, St. Paul • Geared to ages 3–6 and their families. Come early for crafts, games and activities, followed by the SPCO’s string trio accompaniment to the classic children’s tale of The Three Bears in a 30-minute concert. Tickets FREE, but required and sell out fast.

• 3/19/19 PJ Masks Live! Save the Day | State Theater, Minneapolis. • See every 3-year-old’s favorite pajama-clad super heroes live. Tickets $39-$59.

3/21/19-4/7/19: Dandelion Girl | Steppingstone Theatre, St. Paul • 8-year-old Payton faces bullies in her own non-violent way in this world premier story. • Ages 6+ • Tickets $12.00-$16.00.

3/22/19-3/31/19Little Women, The Musical | Loft Stage, East Ridge High School • Based on Louisa May Alcott’s classic story of the March sisters. Ages 6+ • Tickets $8.00-$22.00 (Military FREE).

3/23/19 Xplorchestra: Spirited Strings | St. Paul Chamber Orchestra @ Humboldt High School, W St. Paul • Discover and participate in the captivating world of classical music through this 50-minute performance geared for families with children ages 5–9. Tickets FREE, but required and sell out fast.

• 3/30/19: Tales & Tunes by VocalEssence | Plymouth Congregational Church, Minneapolis • A musical story time withe a craft, sing along nursery rhymes and Nancy Carlson reading some of her most-loved books. • Tickets prices $15/adult; Under 18 FREE.

Pick your favorite Nancy Carlson book to reread before you go.


• 4/5/19-4/14/19: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged): Revised| Merrill Community Theatre, Woodbury • The full production is on YouTube if you are unsure if your kids are ready. The creators made a children’s pop-up companion book that can be found on Amazon • Ages 8+? • Tickets $8.00-$22.00 (Military FREE).

• 4/6/19: MN Youth Symphonies Music & Melody Makers | Benson Great Hall, 3900 Bethel Dr, Arden Hills • This free program provides preschool and elementary students a hands-on experience with the instruments of the orchestra. MYS students demonstrate and help children play each instrument, including strings, percussion, and winds. Participants also watch an orchestra in rehearsal and receive an activity book. Read Anne’s Experience Here. • Free, But Registration Requested.

• 4/12/19-5/12/19: The Most Magnificent Thing| Stages Theatre Company, Hopkins • The design process comes alive! A stem-inspired story! • All Ages •  Tickets $14-$16.

4/13/19 Camerata & Concert Orchestra Concert | Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphony @ Benson Great Hall at Bethel University, Arden Hills • 1:00 pm. • $6/door.

4/13/19 Start the Music: Spirited Strings | St. Paul Chamber Orchestra @ Sanctuary Covenant Church, Minneapolis • Geared to ages 3–6 and their families. Come early for crafts, games and activities, followed by the SPCO’s string trio accompaniment to the classic children’s tale of The Three Bears in a 30-minute concert. Tickets FREE, but required and sell out fast.

• 4/24/19-5/19/19: Spring Show 2019: Bon Appétit! | Circus Juventas, St. Paul • A delectable buffet of artistic delights honoring all things culinary. The Spring Show is actually 3 separate shows showcasing the talents of beginner to intermediate students • All Ages • Tickets.

• 4/26/19-5/19/19: Hidden Heroes: The Black Women of NASA| Stages Theatre Company, Hopkins • Based on the book Hidden Human Computers: The Black Women of NASA. By Sue Bradford Edwards and Duchess Harris. • All Ages •  Tickets $14-$16.

4/27/19 Symphony Concert: Tchaikovsky’s Symphony “Pathétique” and Young Soloist in the Spotlight | Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphony @ Ted Mann Concert Hall, 2128 4th St. S, Minneapolis • 7:300 pm. • Tickets $6-$15.

• 4/28/19-6/23/19: Roald Dahl’s MATILDA, The Musical | Children’s Theatre Company, Minneapolis •  The story of Matilda whose dreadful parents hate her and headmistress is a horrible, nasty, name-calling, life-sucking tyrant who puts kids in cupboards with nails and broken glass. • 6+ • Tickets $15+.


• 5/3/19-5/4/19: Braemar Ice Show | Braemar Arena • Theme-based music and synchronized skating showcase. • All Ages • $12 Adults, $7 student at Braemar Guest Services in advance or at the door. 

• 5/3/19-5/19/19: Tuck Everlasting | Youth Performance Company @ Howard Conn Fine Arts Center • Based on the Film and Broadway musical of the same name • Recommended for 3rd Grade+ • Tickets $12.00-$15.00. (Check for Goldstar discounted tickets).

• 5/7/19-6/7/19: Peter Pan| Old Gem Theater, New Richmond, WI • The classic tale of a free-spirited child who wouldn’t grow up. Join Peter Pan, Tinkerbell and the Lost Children as they lead the Darling children on the adventure of a lifetime. • All Ages • Tickets $10-$12

• 5/8/19-5/9/19: Young People’s Concert: The Tin Forest | Minnesota Orchestra @ Orchestra Hall • The beloved children’s book The Tin Forest comes to life in this magical concert.• Recommended for grades 1-3 • Tickets & Downloads.

• 510/19: The Migration of Rhythm – Family Concert | Schubert Club @ Saint Anthony Park Lutheran Church • Take a rhythmic journey from the Caribbean and South America all the way to New York City • Choose between 6pm & 7:15 • Pay What You Can $0-$5.

• 5/11/19-5/12/19: Early Baroque meets Jazz by Consortium Carissimi| The Saint Paul Conservatory of Music • What does the music of Claudio Monteverdi and Jeremy Walker have in common? Italian Poetry of G.B. Marino and a figured Bass line. •  Tickets prices $25/adult; Under 18 Free.

• 5/12/19: Family Concert: The Tin Forest | Minnesota Orchestra @ Orchestra Hall • Family version of the Young People’s Concert • Tickets & Downloads.

• 5/11/19: Okee Dokee Brothers | Hopkins Center for Arts • Joe and Justin record and perform family music with a goal to inspire children and their parents to get outside and get creative • Tickets $30.

• 5/21/19: VocalEssence ¡Cantaré! Community Concert | Ordway, St. Paul • Celebrate Mexico through new music sung by students. • FREE, Tickets Available 3/18/19.


6/1/19-6/16/19: Through the Narrows: a Watch it, Make it, Take it Event | Z-Puppets, Minneapolis • Watch the puppet show then participate in the make & take event. • Ages 12+ • Tickets $7-$25.

6/24/19-8/9/19: Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Musical | Sidekick Theatre, Bloomington • Based on the book by Roald Dahl, Mr. Fox is smart, clever and rather fantastic, but can he save his family and friends from a trio of spiteful, nasty, smelly farmers who are out to get them? • All Ages • Tickets.

6/26/19-7/18/19: Junie B. Jones, Jr., The Musical | Steppingstone Theatre, St. Paul • The exploits of the precocious Junie B. Jones come to the stage. • Ages 5+ • Tickets $12.00-$16.00.

• 6/2819-8/4/19: Willy Wonka | Stages Theatre Company, Hopkins • Based on the 1971 movie based on the Roald Dahl Book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. • All Ages •  Tickets $14-$16.


• 7/19/19-7/28/19: Freaky Friday| Merrill Community Theatre, Woodbury • Musical based on the book and Disney films • Ages 8+? • Tickets $8.00-$22.00 (Military FREE).

• 7/20/19North American Roots Music Festival | Minnesota Waldorf School, Maplewood • Exploration of many great musical styles, including folk, bluegrass, the blues; includes plenty of kid activities. • Family • Tickets are $29 for adults and $15 for kids age 1-14. Children under the age of 1 are free. On June 1, tickets will be $35 for adults and $20 for kids.

• 7/26/19-8/11/19: Summer Show 2019 | Circus Juventas, St. Paul • A fairy tale mashup told in the high-flying, acrobatic style of Circus Juventas • All Ages • Tickets on Sale June 24, 2019.


8/7/19-8/2519: Inch by Inch| Stages Theatre Company, Hopkins • Theatre for the Very Young. • Ages 0-5 •  Tickets $14-$16.


• 9/17/19-10/20/19: Circus Abyssinia: Ethiopian Dreams | Children’s Theatre Company, Minneapolis •  The circus arts meet the rhythms of Ethiopia. This may be a good time to learn a little more about Ethiopia as a family. • All Ages • Tickets $15+.

• 9/29/19-12/08/19: Snow White | Children’s Theatre Company, Minneapolis •  2 actors play 7 dwarfs, Snow White and everyone else. I can’t wait to see how they do this. • Ages 5+ • Tickets $15+.


• 10/1/19-10/13/19: Mean Girls| Orpheum, Minneapolis • Musical based on the movie of the same name, which was inspired by the parenting book, Queen Bees and Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman. You could share this book with your teen or just read it yourself. • Recommended for 10+. Tickets.

10/15/19-10/20/19: Expectation Station | DanceCo @ Avalon Theatre, Minneapolis. • Hold the date, coming back by popular demand.  Read our 2017 review here.


• 11/3/19-1/5/20: Cinderella | Children’s Theatre Company, Minneapolis •  A Holiday favorite back for the 2019-20 season. • All Ages • Tickets $15+.

• 11/20/19-12/1/19: Phantom of the Opera | Orpheum, Minneapolis • Andrew Lloyd Webber musical based on the book of the same name.• Recommended for 7+ (The unabridged book is probably best for teens and adults, but there are young readers versions). Tickets.


• 1/19/20-3/1/20: Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds | Children’s Theatre Company, Minneapolis • With the help of some feathered friends, Ziggy learns “every little thing is gonna be alright” in this musical based on the song by Bob Marley. • Ages  5+ • Tickets $15+.


• 2/16/20-4/5/20: Spamtown, USA | Children’s Theatre Company, Minneapolis • An inside look at the 1985 Hormel strike in Austin, Minnesota. This might be fun to combine with a trip to Austin, MN and the SPAM Museum • Ages  9+ • Tickets $15+.


• 3/3/20-3/8/20: My Fair Lady | Orpheum, Minneapolis • See this classic musical live.• Recommended for 8+. Tickets.

3/10/20-4/5/20: The Rainbow Fish | Children’s Theatre Company, Minneapolis • A puppet adaptation of Marcus Pfister’s book • All Ages • Tickets $15+.

• 3/21/20-3/28/20: Edward Tulane | Minnesota Opera • An opera made out of a Kate DiCamillo book! (It will be sung in English) Exciting! • 6+. Tickets.

• 3/24/20-4/5/20: Anastasia | Orpheum, Minneapolis • The story of a would-be Russian princess.• Recommended for 7+. Tickets.


• 4/19/20-6/21/20: Annie | Children’s Theatre Company, Minneapolis • The beloved musical based on the comic strip • All Ages • Tickets $15+.


• 5/13/20-5/31/20: Frozen | Orpheum, Minneapolis • Couldn’t they have brought this to Minnesota in February?? You could read the Hans Christian Anderson’s Snow Queen in preparation for this outing, but who are we kidding, the two stories have almost nothing (but ice) in common.• Recommended for 8+. Tickets.

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