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.
Illusion. Outside. Family Fun Saturday
• 9/11/21 | Lyndale Gardens, Richfield • Taiko Arts Midwest – A combination of music, dance, martial arts, athletics, and culture • All Ages • FREE. Learn More Here.
The Music Man
SEPTEMBER 2021 KID-FRIENDLY SHOWS
• 9/16/21 – 9/26/21 | Como Zoo, St. Paul • Mixed Blood Theatre performs an interactive experience, walking through to the primate house, the giraffe grotto, the big cat building, polar bears, the tropics, and culminate at the seal and sea lion habitat • All Ages (but grown up themes of ethics in choices) • FREE. Reservations Required.
OCTOBER 2021 KID-FRIENDLY THEATER
The Stinky Cheese Man and other fairly stupid tales
Disney's Frozen - The Musical
Dress for the Occasion
Dress for the Occasion
NOVEMBER 2021 KID-FRIENDLY THEATER & PERFORMANCES
Say It! Sing It! Play It! In Cherokee
• 11/7/21-1/9/22 | Children’s Theatre Company, Minneapolis • The inspiring story of the orphan who changes lives through her kindness, love & spirit. Kids love this Broadway musical. • All Ages. • Tickets $15-$73.
Save 25% through July 30th with Discount Code: HANNIGAN.
“Annie … is set in the Great Depression and the young hero of the story offers a profound voice of hope, determination, and optimism..”
– Director Peter Rothstein
The Elves & The Shoemaker
L.O.L. Suprise! Live
Elf The Musical, Jr.
Edward Tulane Choral Suite
January 2022 KID-FRIENDLY PERFORMANCES
Bina’s Six Apples
• 1/9/22-2/13/22 | Children’s Theatre Company, Minneapolis • The journey of a young Korean girl searching for her family after war forces them from their home. • Tickets on Sale in July.
“Bina’s Six Apples is rooted in family lore. It is inspired by my parents, in what they experienced as children during the Korean War, but it is equally inspired by my kids—not just in the remarkable differences in how they’re growing up, but in the similarities, too.
My greatest ambition for the play is that it speaks to both generations: their emotions, their imaginations, their sense of discovery and journey towards empathy. The play was written for young audiences, of course—but also for their parents and grandparents.”
– Playwright Lloyd Suh
The North Star
Circus Abyssinia: Tulu
• 1/18/22-2/13/22 | Children’s Theatre Company, Minneapolis • The journey of a young Korean girl searching for her family after war forces them from their home. • Tickets on Sale in July.
Read our review of Circus Abyssinia: Ethiopian Dreams from September 2019.
“With our new show, Tulu, we’ll be pulling out all the stops to celebrate the story of Ethiopian icon and Olympic legend, Derartu Tulu, the first African woman to win Olympic gold.
Creators Bibi and Bichu Tesfamariam
Something Happened in Our Town
• 2/27/22-3/27/22 | Children’s Theatre Company, Minneapolis • Two young friends—Emma, who is White and Josh, who is Black—have questions when a “something happens” in their town. Both children have conversations with their families to try and make sense of what happened and get the answers they need. • Tickets on Sale in July.
Based on the book by the same name —>
Watch CTC’s Dramatic Reading of the Book Below.
March 2022 KID-FRIENDLY THEATER & PERFORMANCES
Diary of a Wimpy Kid the Musical
• 4/22/22-6/18/22 | Children’s Theatre Company, Minneapolis • The beloved book series by Jeff Kinney hits the stage in musical fashion. • Tickets on Sale in July.
“This tale of the hunger to fit in and the understanding of the true value of friendship is something that touches all of us with its laughter, its music, and its heart.”
– Peter C. Brosius,
Read the book together —>
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
It’s hard to find the right book for all ages. To familiarize your family with this story, you may just want to pull out the original — Genesis 37–50.
SUMMER 2022 KID-FRIENDLY THEATER & PERFORMANCES
Disney's The Little Mermaid, Jr.
• 6/24/22-8/7/22 | Stages Theatre, Hopkins • 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.
Dress for the Occasion:
2023 KID-FRIENDLY THEATER
• 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.
Read Jean Fritz’s biography ->
or Take a Free Online Hamilton Education Course.
Twin Cities Children's Theaters List
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. 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.
Children’s Theatre Company, Minneapolis
Professional theater company specializing in productions for preschool through teens. The audience can expect a top-of-the-line performance and prices to match.
In the Heart of the Beast Mask & Puppet Theatre, Minneapolis
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.
Merrill Arts Center, Woodbury
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, Minneapolis
Not exclusively for kids, but they offer an annual free driveway tour and other children’s programming throughout the year.
Stages Theatre Company, Hopkins
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.
SteppingStone Theatre, St. Paul
SteppingStone is in the process of merging with Parkway Theatre to become “Theatre for Life” and will be moving most productions to the Park Square Theatre building. SteppingStone will continue to offer children’s programming and theatre education while Parkway will offer mainly adult shows.
Youth Performance Company, St. Paul/Minneapolis
YPC offers classes and camps in St. Paul but performances are in Minneapolis. All shows are family-friendly.
Find Discounts on THEATER & 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.