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.


• Anytime: The Minneapolis Pops Orchestra will be offering a FREE digital concert season! The videos will be freely accessible at the link above throughout the season.

• Anytime: The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra offers a FREE online Concert Library always (not just during this time when we are all stuck at home). This free streaming platform offers full-length HD concert video in both livestream and on-demand formats. Always free!

Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra family concert
Image courtesy of SPCO

Anytime:  The Museum of Modern Art in NY offers a collection of family friendly short films. Thank you to the City of Eagan’s “Discover Eagan at Home” for this idea. Check out their page for more ideas to entertain the family while at home.

Anytime:  Coco’s Barrio by Teatro del Pueblo. Find the latest episodes of this dramatic podcost, featuring musical guests, Latinx traditions, music, and stories- with a sprinkle of political satire.


Now-3/5/21: Hansel & Gretel  | Opera Orlando Online Production via Goldstar • Watch Opera Orlando’s production of “Hansel & Gretel” from the comfort of your own home and on any device that has access to YouTube. This is a cinematic recording filmed on three cameras, offering a different perspective from the live performance. Sung in English and reduced to a kid-friendly 75 minutes, this retelling of the Grimm fairy tale features a lush score, charming characters, and a delightfully villainous witch you won’t want to miss. 

On Demand Recording (Available February 12-March 5, 2021) | $25

Opera Orlando’s production of Hansel & Gretel
Opera Orlando’s production of Hansel & Gretel

Saturday, March 6, 2021 @ 2pm-2:30pm: VocalEssence Singers Of This Age Series – Create | VocalEssence Website • Will you be a witness? Join the VocalEssence Singers Of This Age and the VocalEssence Teaching Artists as they journey through American history to trace the power of creative expression to heal, connect people, and make change. Through solo and group performances, be inspired to find your voice and create your own art to shape a world where all dreams can become realities.  Tickets: $15/Household.

 3/8/21 – 3/21/21: Seedfolk Virtual Performance | Children’s Theatre Company, Minneapolis • The story of a neighborhood transformed by a community garden. Read our 2014 review of this uplifting story. • Ages 8+ • Part of an All Access Season Pass $50/Family.

• Saturday, March 20, 2021 @ 10am-10:20am VocalEssence Story & Song, December | VocalEssence YouTube • A FREE video series designed especially for  PreK+ to  create a positive sense of self, spark curiosity, and inspire  empathy  while celebrating the multitude of cultures in our community.  Features a book and a song, as well as a visit from an author.  FREE.

3/24/21: Organ Concert – Richard Gray, Director of Music, St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church | St. Olaf Catholic Church, Downtown Minneapolis • A great way for kids and their family to experience music performed by local professionals in short 30-minute concerts. Wednesday recitals will follow the noon Mass, and begin at approximately 12:30pm. They will also do their best to live stream on Facebook and the St. Olaf website. FREE.

3/12/21-3/28/21: Tuck Everlasting | Stages Theatre, Hopkins • A young audience version of the Broadway adaptation of Natalie Babbitt’s book of the same name. • Tickets $17.00-$24.00.

Read the book while you wait ->

Spring 2021

• Dates TBA: Audrey Saves the Universe Virtual Performance | Children’s Theatre Company, Minneapolis • A 9-year-old filmmaker uncovers her superpowers • All Ages • Part of an All Access Season Pass $50/Family


4/16/21-5/16/21: What Do You Do With An Idea? | Stages Theatre, Hopkins • A boy decides what he should do with an idea that won’t be ignored. • Tickets $17.00-$24.00.

Read the Book –>

4/21/21: Organ Concert – Dr. Dean Billmeyer, University Organist and Professor of Music, University of Minnesota | St. Olaf Catholic Church, Downtown Minneapolis • A great way for kids and their family to experience music performed by local professionals in short 30-minute concerts. Wednesday recitals will follow the noon Mass, and begin at approximately 12:30pm. They will also do their best to live stream on Facebook and the St. Olaf website. FREE.

• 4/30/21-5/23/21: All American Boys | Stages Theatre, Hopkins • “The play reflects the devastating impact of racism even as it spirals to a hopeful view on resolving racial conflict” • Ages 10+ • Tickets $17.00-$24.00.

Read the book by Jason Reynolds ->


• Saturday, May 1, 2021 @ 2pm-2:30pm: VocalEssence Singers Of This Age Series – Celebrate VocalEssence Website • Move your body and raise your voice to celebrate the beauty of Mexico. Join VocalEssence Singers of This Age and local school partners as they perform new music written by Mexican composer Julio Morales. Dancers from Los Alegres Bailadores will lead Mexican folk dances, and join Associate Conductor G. Phillip Shoultz, III in singing Mexican songs to celebrate the day.  Tickets: $15/Household.

Maestro Classics
Click here for classical music education in your living room

• 5/19/21: Organ Concert – Jessica Park, D.M.A., Assistant Director of Music, Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas, University of St. Thomas | St. Olaf Catholic Church, Downtown Minneapolis • A great way for kids and their family to experience music performed by local professionals in short 30-minute concerts. Wednesday recitals will follow the noon Mass, and begin at approximately 12:30pm. They will also do their best to live stream on Facebook and the St. Olaf website. FREE.


• 6/18/21-8/1/21: Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Jr. | Stages Theatre, Hopkins • Somewhat based on the Hans Christian Andersen story, but mostly a Disney story. Read Gianna’s review of the 2015 production here. • All Ages • Tickets $17.00-$24.00.

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.

Stages Theatre Co.
Beautiful Ariel from the 2015 Stages production.

6/22/21-8/13/21: Robin Hood, The Merry Musical | Sidekick Theatre, Bloomington • A comedic, musical version of the story of the men of Sherwood Forest  • All Ages. • Tickets $14.00-$21.00.

Read the Classic Howard Pyle version of the story  ->


7/2/21-12/29/21: The Music Man | Chanhassen Dinner Theatre • A con man becomes entangled in a small community as he starts a community band. Tickets.

7/27/21-8/29/21: Hamilton | Orpheum, Minneapolis • The story of America’s Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. Prepare with a good biography of Hamilton – like this Landmark classic. • Recommended for 10+. Tickets.

Read Jean Fritz’s biography  ->
or Take a Free Online Hamilton Education Course.


8/4/21-8/22/21: Down On The Farm: A Lift-the-Flap Adventure | Stages Theatre, Hopkins • immersive, theatrical experience based on the concept of lift-the-flap picture books • Ages 0-5 • Tickets $17.00-$24.00.


• 9/7/21 – 9/19/21: Come From Away| Orpheum Theatre, Minneapolis • A small Canadian town has 38 planes land unexpectedly September 11, 2001 • Ages 10+ • Tickets.

Based on the memoir, The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland.  ->


• 10/7/21 – 10/24/21: Disney’s Frozen| Orpheum Theatre, Minneapolis • Follows the Disney story of Frozen, but digs a little deeper into the characters • Ages 6+ • Tickets.

Read the original Fairy Tale by Hans Christian Andersen.  ->

MEA Weekend 2021: Wolf Tales | DanceCo • Stay Tuned for More Information and read our review of Wolf Tales here.

Wolf Tales at Danceco


• 11/9/21 – 11/14/21: Oklahoma!| Orpheum Theatre, Minneapolis • The story of Oklahoma farmers and ranchers • Ages 12+ • Tickets.

You probably don’t need to read ahead for this musical, but if you want to learn more about Oklahoma, we have a book for you.  ->

11/16/21-12/30/21: The Elves & The Shoemaker | Sidekick Theatre, Bloomington • A heartwarming adaptation of the classic fairytale  • All Ages. • Tickets $14.00-$21.00.

Read the Fairytale Before You Go  ->

Holiday 2021

Dates TBA: Annie | Children’s Theatre Company, Minneapolis • The little orphan girl who wins the heart of Daddy Warbucks andthe world • All Ages • Ticket Info TBA

Enjoy the original comics

• 12/7/21 – 12/19/21: Anastasia | Orpheum Theatre, Minneapolis • A fairy tale that explores what if Anastasia survived • Ages 8+ • Tickets.

Anastasia and Her Sisters is a YA Novel exploring the life of the Romanov daughters.  ->


• 1/25/22-01/30/22: Cats | Orpheum Theatre, Minneapolis • The poetry of T.S. Eliot’s children’s book, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, put to music • Ages 6+ • Tickets.

Learn the poems together  ->

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Find Discounts on Performing Arts:

  • 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 pay as you are able at the door.
  • 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.
  • Find the deals below from affiliate partner, Goldstar*. You can choose the “Family” category to find kid-friendly shows.
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