Kids participating in interactive theater program: "Kid-Friendly Theater, Music and Performing Arts in the Twin Cities"

Kid-Friendly Theater, Music and Performing Arts in the Twin Cities

Plan ahead to take kids to the theatre! We love finding kid-friendly theater, 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 theater is that there are almost always books to go along with the performance, so we have added reading recommendations. We’ve also noticed that kids love to dress up for these special occasions. When appropriate, we’ve added links to dress-up ideas.

Please Note: Most venues currently require proof of vaccination and/or masking during the event. We recommend reviewing the venues policies prior to deciding whether to buy tickets. 

NOW SHOWING

Edward Tulane Choral Suite

• Streaming
Minnesota Opera Virtual Concert
While the full-scale opera has been delayed, the Minnesota Opera is sharing a virtual concert of highlights from the opera based on the book by Kate DiCamillo • ALL AGES • Watch FREE online.

Book Pairing

• 7/24/22 @ 2pm
Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55403
The Minnesota Orchestra and In the Heart of the Beast Puppet & Mask Theatre join up for this relaxed family concert. • Ages 6+  • Adults: $12; Kids 6-18 FREE.

Disney's The Little Mermaid, Jr.

• Now-8/7/22
Stages Theatre, 1111 Mainstreet, Hopkins, MN 55343
Somewhat based on the Hans Christian Andersen story, but mostly a Disney story, this junior version of the Broadway Musical is a fun way to introduce theater to kids of any age. Read Gianna’s review of the 2015 production here. • All Ages • Tickets $17.00-$24.00.

Book Pairing

This story has been adapted many times. It would be fun to compare several versions. If you haven’t read the original, you can start with the free Kindle version.

Robin Hood

• Now-8/13/22
Sidekick Theatre, 11411 Masonic Home Dr., Bloomington, MN 55437
A swashbuckling musical about the Merry Men of Sherwood Forest. • All Ages • Tickets $14.00-$21.00.

Book Pairing

While there have been many adaptations and retellings of the Robin Hood story, Howard Pyle’s version is widely considered the best.

 

Shrek the Musical

• Now-8/14/22
Artistry, Bloomington Center for the Arts, 1800 West Old Shakopee Road, Bloomington, MN, 55431
The story of Shrek! has has evolved from the book, to the movie and finally the musical. • Ages 5+ • Tickets $20-$52.

Seussical, The Musical

Now-8/18/22
Twin Cities Parks 
All performances are free and open to the public. • All Ages.

  • Friday, July 8th, 6:30p. House of Hope. St Paul, MN.
  • Saturday, July 9th, 10:30a. House of Hope. St Paul, MN.
  • Thursday, July 14th, 1:30p. Lake Nokomis Park. Minneapolis, MN.
  • Thursday, July 14th, 6:00p. Stevens Square Park. Minneapolis, MN.
  • Friday, July 15th, 10:00a. Audubon Park. Minneapolis, MN.
  • Friday, July 15th, 3:00p. Plymouth Congregational Church. Minneapolis, MN.
  • Monday, July 18th, 10:00a. Whitetail Woods Park. Farmington, MN.
  • Wednesday, July 20th, 10:00a. Schaar’s Bluff. Hastings, MN.
  • Thursday, July 21st, 10:00a. Thompson Park. West Saint Paul, MN.
  • Thursday, July 21st, 2:00p. Langford Park Community Center. Saint Paul, MN.
  • Saturday, July 23rd, 1:00p. 7th Place Corridor. Downtown Saint Paul, MN.
  • Monday, July 25th, 6:30pm. Augustana Church. West Saint Paul, MN.
  • Thursday, July 28th, 10:30a. Powderhorn Park. Minneapolis, MN.
  • Thursday, July 28th, 2:00p. El Rio Vista. St Paul Public Parks. Saint Paul, MN.
  • Friday, July 29th, 10:00a. Beltrami Park. Minneapolis, MN.
  • Sunday, July 31st, 2:00p. Chute Square. Northeast Minneapolis, MN.
  • Sunday, August 7th, 1:00p. Loring Park. The Woman’s Club of Minneapolis. Minneapolis, MN.
  • Sunday, August 7th. 4:00pm. 7th Place Corridor. Downtown Saint Paul, MN.
  • Tuesday, August 9th, 2:30p. Phalen Rec Center. St Paul Public Parks. Saint Paul, MN.
  • Thursday, August 11th, 10:00a. AVHS. Apple Valley, MN.
  • Saturday, August 13th. 1:00pm. 7th Place Corridor. Downtown Saint Paul, MN.
  • Wednesday, August 17th, 6:00p. East Phillips. Minneapolis, MN.
  • Thursday, August 18th, 5:00p. Farview Park. Minneapolis, MN.

• Now-8/21/22
Park Square Theatre, Historic Hamm Building, 20 West 7th Place, Saint Paul, MN, 55102
Based on the characters of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes books. • Best for Ages 12+  • Tickets $16-$27.

SUMMER 2022 KID-FRIENDLY THEATER & PERFORMANCES

Wicked

• 7/27/22-8/28/22
Orpheum Theatre, 910 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403
Considered “as kid-friendly as the Wizard of Oz,” keep in mind that the witch can be scary for younger and more sensitive kids. • Best for Ages 8+ (Children under 5 not allowed in theater) • Tickets $54+.

Seussical, The Musical

• 8/18/22-8/28/22
Open Window Theatre, 5300 S. Robert Trail, #400, Inver Grove Heights, MN 55077
Summer youth musical performed Thursday-Sunday for two weekends. • All Ages • Tickets TBA.

Book Pairing
This musical incorporates several Dr. Seuss classics, but focuses on the Horton stories. Wouldn’t it be a fun excuse to read as many Seuss books as possible this summer?
Dress for the Occasion:

FALL 2022 KID-FRIENDLY THEATER & PERFORMANCES

Circus Abyssinia: Tulu

9/11/22-10/23/22 
Children’s Theatre Company, 2400 3rd Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55404
The journey of a young Korean girl searching for her family after war forces them from their home. •  Contact CTC regarding tickets.

Read our review of Circus Abyssinia: Ethiopian Dreams from September 2019.

Circus Abyssinia Performers on ropes - Image D. Rubene
Photos by David Rubene Photography and courtesy Children's Theatre Company.

Edward Tulane

October 8-16 2022
Ordway Music Theater, 345 Washington Street, St Paul, MN 55102
FINALLY! The long awaited opera based on the children’s book Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo. •  Tickets $35+.

The Lightning Thief

October 14-30 2022
The Conn Theatre, 1900 Nicollet Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55403
Youth Performance Company performs the Broadway adaptation of the first Percy Jackson book by Rick Riordan. • Best for ages 7+ •  Tickets $15.

Miss Nelson is Missing

October 14-23, 2022
Merrill Arts Center, 380 Rivertown Dr #200, Woodbury, MN 55125
A By-Kids, For-Kids Educational Production. • All Ages •  Tickets $5-$22.

Carmela Full of Wishes

October 18-December 4, 2022
Children’s Theatre Company, 2400 3rd Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55404
On her birthday, Carmela finds a dandelion and has a very special wish to make. Can she wish hard enough to make it come true? • Best for ages 5+ •  Tickets $15+.

Book Pairing

SIX

October 25 -November 6, 2022
Ordway Center for Performing Arts, 345 Washington St, St. Paul, MN 55102
A pop music telling of the stories of the six wives of Henry VIII. • Recommended for 10+. Tickets.

Book Pairing

Like SIX, YA Novel Fatal Throne: The Wives of Henry VIII Tell All by Candace Fleming, Linda Sue Park, M. T. Anderson, Stephanie Hemphill is historical fiction. It is recommended for readers age 12+ with a grade level recommendation of grades 7-9.

• 10/30/22 @ 2pm
Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55403
A concert incorporating spooky tricks just in time for Halloween. • Ages 6+  • Adults: $12-$29; Kids to age 18 FREE.

• 11/12/22 @ 11am
Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55403
An interactive concert in the atrium. • All Ages  • All Tickets: $6.25.

HOLIDAY SHOWS

Dr. Seuss How the Grinch Stole Christmas

November 8, 2022-January 8, 2023
Children’s Theatre Company, 2400 3rd Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55404
One of our favorite CTC Holiday traditions back for 2022. Find Previous Reviews • All Ages •  Tickets $15+.

Book Pairing

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

November 30-December 31, 2022
Ordway Center for Performing Arts, 345 Washington St, St. Paul, MN 55102
The Disney Princess story Broadway style. Ages 6+.  Tickets.

Book Pairing

The Beauty and the Beast (Illustrated with Interactive Elements) by Gabrielle-Suzanna Barbot de Villenueve and illustrated by Minalima. These popular interactive pop-up style books are a fun way to introduce kids to classic stories.

The Snowy Day

December 1-23, 2022
Proscenium Stage at Park Square Theatre, 20 W 7th Pl, St Paul, MN 55102
Steppingstone Theatre for Youth presents the stories of Ezra Jack Keats. •  Tickets $16.

The Velveteen Rabbit

December 2-18, 2022
The Conn Theatre, 1900 Nicollet Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55403
Youth Performance Company’s holiday show based on the classic story of the stuffed rabbit who wanted to be real. •  Tickets $15.

Madeline's Christmas

December 3-11, 2022
Merrill Arts Center, 380 Rivertown Dr #200, Woodbury, MN 55125
A magical family musical. Madeline’s Petite Costume Patisserie Party Dec 3 & 10. • All Ages •  Tickets $5-$22.

Snow White & Rose Red

November 21-December 30, 2022
Sidekick Theatre, 11411 Masonic Home Dr., Bloomington, MN 55437
The Grimm fairy tale about two sisters who befriend a magical bear. • All Ages • Tickets $17.00-$19.00.

Book Pairing

Snow White and Rose Red Illustrated by Anastasiya Archipova. .

Looking Forward to 2023

LocoMotion

January 24-March 5, 2023
Children’s Theatre Company, 2400 3rd Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55404
Uprooted from his family, Lonnie couldn’t feel more alone. But as he discovers his poetic voice, he learns how poetry can bring him closer to others, and to himself.  • Ages 9+ •  Tickets $15+.

Book Pairing

1/29/23
Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55403
Winter-themed music from around the world. • Ages 6+  • Adults: $12-$29; Kids to age 18 FREE.

Claudette & Rosa

February 10-16, 2023
The Conn Theatre, 1900 Nicollet Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55403
Youth Performance Company shares the story of Rosa Parks and the young Claudette Colvin, who sparked a racial justice movement. •  Tickets $15.

Corduroy

February 14-April 2, 2023
Children’s Theatre Company, 2400 3rd Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55404
Join the beloved Corduroy as he begins a delightfully destructive romp through the department store in search of his missing BUTTON! Read our Past Review of Corduroy at CTC • Ages 4+ •  Tickets $15+.

Book Pairing

My Fair Lady

March 21-25, 2023
Ordway Center for Performing Arts, 345 Washington St, St. Paul, MN 55102
A favorite classic Broadway musical based on the play Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw. Ages 8+.  Tickets.

Book Pairing

You can find a FREE audio-version of Pygmalion through Libravox on YouTube.

• 4/1/23 @ 11am
Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55403
An interactive concert in the atrium. • All Ages  • All Tickets: $6.25.

Hamilton

4/4/23-5/7/23 | Orpheum, Minneapolis • For your more experienced theatergoers, the story of America’s Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. Prepare with a good biography of Hamilton – like this Landmark classic. • Recommended for 10+. Tickets.

Book Pairing

• 4/25/23 @ 11am
Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55403
An interactive concert in the atrium. • All Ages  • All Tickets: $6.25.

Twin Cities Children's Theaters List

April 30, 2022
Bryant Lake Bowl, 825 W Lake St, Minneapolis MN 55409
Bring Your Kids! A comedy variety show for kids and their grown ups. Featuring circus performers, improvisers, musicians and generalized silliness. Kids – bring a joke to tell! Grown ups – I hope you like jokes • Best for Ages 5+ • Tickets $10 adults/$5 kids.

Bring Your Kids! A Comedy Variety Show for Kids and Their Grown Ups

Free to Be, You and Me

May 5-21, 2023
The Conn Theatre, 1900 Nicollet Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55403
Youth Performance Company brings the book by Marlo Thomas and friends to the stage. •  Tickets $15.

While there are certainly tons of theaters in the Twin Cities. There are a small handful of stages where we can consistently count on kid-friendly theatre in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area. Other Twin Cities Venues offer some children’s programming mixed with their adult programming, and we try to list those shows in our calendar above. What makes these theaters stand out is that they not only allow kids of all ages, they welcome and cater to families. This is our curated list of places to take kids for an age-appropriate theatre experience in the Twin Cities.

If you know of another theater with dependable children’s programming or you have a way to make a more adult-oriented theater kid-friendly, leave us a message and we’ll add your recommendation.

Bring Your Kids!

A Comedy Variety Show for Kids and Their Grown Up. Perfect for ages 5 and up. Featuring circus performers, improvisers, musicians and generalized silliness. Kids can bring their own joke to tell.

Children’s Theatre Company

2400 3rd Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55404
Professional theater company specializing in productions for preschool through teens. The audience can expect a top-of-the-line performance and prices to match.

Image courtesy CTC: Dean Holt, Autumn Ness, Reed Sigmund by Dan Norman

In the Heart of the Beast Mask & Puppet Theatre

1500 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407
IHOB is in the midst of internal changes. In the past (and we hop future), they have offered Saturday puppet shows and other children’s programming throughout the year. They have also hosted the annual MayDay Parade and Festival, which is also undergoing changes.

Gary's Garden at the In the Heart of the Beast Puppet Theatre in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Merrill Arts Center

380 Rivertown Dr #200, Woodbury, MN 55125
Productions for kids, adults and families.  They offer at least one kids show and a Holiday show that is appropriate for the whole family.

Open Eye Figure Theatre

506 E 24th St #3732, Minneapolis, MN 55404
Not exclusively for kids, but they offer an annual free driveway tour and other children’s programming throughout the year.

Kid-Friendly Theater - Kids standing by Open Eye Theare's Puppet Wagon

Park Square Theatre

20 W 7th Pl, St Paul, MN 55102
Young adults can participate in Immersion Days and the Youth Ambassador program as well as attend educational matinees.

Marquee at Park Square Theater in Saint Paul, Minnesota (Home to Steppingstone Children's Theatre)

Stages Theatre Company

1111 Mainstreet, Hopkins, MN 55343
Stages casts both children and adults in their productions. Shows are high quality, but acting can be uneven. Look for junior versions of contemporary Broadway or plays based on books.

Stages Theatre Co.

SteppingStone Theatre

20 W 7th Pl, St Paul, MN 55102
SteppingStone has merged with Parkway Theatre to become “Theatre for Life” and moved most productions to the Park Square Theatre building. SteppingStone will continue to offer children’s programming and theatre education while Parkway will offer some teen/tween shows and education.

Proscenium Stage at Steppingstone Theatre/Parkway Theater, Saint Paul, Minnesota

Youth Performance Company, St. Paul / Minneapolis

Classes: 641 Fairview Ave N Suite 191, St Paul, MN 55104
Performances: Howard Conn Fine Arts Center, 1900 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403
YPC offers classes and camps in St. Paul but performances are in Minneapolis. All shows are family-friendly.

Find Discounts on THEATER & Performing Arts:

  • SmaRTpass: Check with your local library to see if there are any tickets available with the smARTpass program.
  • Children’s Theater Discounts: ACT Pass Scholarship Program, Rush Tickets $15.
  • Minnesota Orchestra Discounts include Rush Tickets $25; 50% off if you bike, $20 under 40. – Their kid-friendly shows are usually reasonably priced.
  • Open Eye Discounts include a limited amount of pay as you are able at the door and a limited number of $10 Economic Accessibility tickets available online.
  • Stages Theatre Discounts: Open Door Scholarship Program; Up to 3 Pay What You Can Performances per year.
  • SteppingStone Theatre Discounts: Pay As You Are Able Shows
  • SPCO – Kids tickets are free with paid adult; Look for Free Family Concerts – these kid-friendly shows are geared toward younger children.
  • Youth Performance Company Discounts: Sign up for their newsletters to get announcements for $5 nights.
  • Broadway Touring Plays through Hennepin Trust: Check your AAA benefits before ordering tickets, you could save up to 20%.
  • For more ideas read Joy’s strategies in Free and Cheap: Family Fun on a Limited Income.
  • Lisa from Twin Cities Frugal Mom keeps a running directory of discounts.
  • Goldstar: Find the deals below from affiliate partner, Goldstar*. You can choose the “Family” category to find kid-friendly shows.

This page includes affiliate links to BookShop, Amazon, Goldstar, Little Adventures Dress Up and Maestro Classics. Family Fun Twin Cities receives a commission on any sales through our site. We appreciate your consideration in making your purchases through our affiliate programs.

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