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.

NOW SHOWING

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

Now-12/31/21 | Chanhassen Dinner Theatre • A con man becomes entangled in a small community as he starts a community band in this family-friendly classic musical. Tickets.

Maestro Classics Bundle - Kid-Friendly Classical Music
Visit for classical music education in your living room

SEPTEMBER 2021 KID-FRIENDLY SHOWS

Cirque Italia

• 9/16/21 – 9/19/21 | Maplewood Mall • Get out your poodle skirts and leather jackets! Cirque Italia will take you back to a simpler, happy time filled with sock hops, drive-in theaters, muscle cars, and thick sideburns? • All Ages • Tickets $10.00-$50.00.

ANIMATE

• 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

10/01/21 – 10/10/21 | Merrill Arts Center, Woodbury • A by-Kids-for-Kids production that brings the award-winning book to the stage. • All Ages • Tickets $5-$22/pp

Book Pairing

10/02/21 | State Theater, Minneapolis • A touring stage production of the popular kids TV Show. • All Ages • Tickets $29/pp

Book Pairing

Disney's Frozen - The Musical

• 9/30/21 – 10/20/21 | Orpheum Theatre, Minneapolis • This Broadway musical follows the Disney story of Frozen, but digs a little deeper into the characters. A perfect way to introduce theater to Disney Princess fans. • Ages 6+ • Tickets.

Dress for the Occasion
Two little girls playing in Little Adventures Ice Coronation Dresses
Little Adventures Dresses can survive the washing machine!
Book Pairing
Wolf Tales
Wolf Tales at Danceco - Kid-Friendly Theater & Dance

MEA Weekend 2021 | DanceCo • We love DanceCo for bringing a kid-friendly dance theater option to the Twin Cities. Stay Tuned for More Information and read our review of Wolf Tales here.

Dress for the Occasion
Girl dressed as Little Red Riding Hood with Little Adventures Deluxe Red Cloak
$29.99 on Little Adventures
Book Pairing

NOVEMBER 2021 KID-FRIENDLY THEATER & PERFORMANCES

Say It! Sing It! Play It! In Cherokee

Z Puppets Rosenschnoz - Kid-Friendly Puppet Theater

November Date TBA | Z Puppets Rosenschnoz via Ordway Virtual Fieldtrip • Includes songs and storytelling of Cherokee tribal member Chris Griffith  • All Ages. • Online on YouTube.

ANNIE

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

Book Pairing

The Elves & The Shoemaker

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

Read the Fairytale Before You Go  ->

Book Pairing

L.O.L. Suprise! Live

L.O.L. Surprise! Live Calling All B.B.s

11/17/21:  | State Theatre, Minneapolis • A Live Show for your favorite L.O.L. fan  • All Ages. • Tickets $23.50-$53.50.

Fun Pairing

Get Ready for Christmas with an L.O.L Advent Calendar –>

Elf The Musical, Jr.

11/19/21-12/27/21 | Stages Theatre, Hopkins • Follow Buddy as he goes in search of his real family after being raised as an elf in Santa’s workshop in this kid-friendly Broadway musical. • All Ages • Tickets $18.00-$33.00.

Get an illustrated storybook to go with this classic story. —->

Book Pairing

DECEMBER 2021 KID-FRIENDLY SHOWS

The World According to Snoopy

12/03/21-12/19/21 | Youth Performance Company, Minneapolis • Based on the Charles Schulz comic books, see the Peanuts Gang through the eyes of Snoopy. • All Ages • Tickets $15/pp

Book Pairing

Madeline’s Christmas

12/04/21-12/12/21 | Merrill Arts Center, Woodbury • Madeleine and friends look forward to Christmas while battling the flu. • All Ages • Tickets $5-$22/pp

Book Pairing

Anastasia

• 12/7/21 – 12/19/21 | Orpheum Theatre, Minneapolis • The Broadway fairy tale that explores what if Princess Anastasia survived. A family-friendly musical. • Ages 8+ • Tickets.

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

Book Pairing

Edward Tulane Choral Suite

• Watch Beginning December 13, 2021 | Minnesota Opera • 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.

Read the book ->

Book Pairing

January 2022 KID-FRIENDLY PERFORMANCES

Bina’s Six Apples

Bina's Six Apples - Playwright Lloyd Suh

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

1/14/22-2/13/22 | Stages Theatre, Hopkins • A Dance interpretation of the the Peter Reynolds Book. • All Ages • Tickets $14.00-$16.00.

Book Pairing

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

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

February 2022 KID-FRIENDLY PERFORMANCES

Anne & Emmett

2/11/22-2/27/22 | Youth Performance Company, Minneapolis • What if Anne Frank and Emmett Till had a conversation about hatred and intolerance? • 4th Grade and Up • Tickets $15/pp

Book Pairing

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.

Book Pairing

“In a time of reckoning in our country, this work is a call to action, to facilitate the much-needed discussion about inclusion, compassion, and what it really means to be peace makers in our homes, schools, and communities. ”

Playwright Cheryl L. West

March 2022 KID-FRIENDLY THEATER & PERFORMANCES

Tuck Everlasting

3/4/22-3/20/22 | Stages Theatre, Hopkins • Based on the book of the same name, meet Winnie Foster and Tuck, an immortal. • Ages 7+ • Tickets $14.00-$16.00.

Book Pairing

Disney Princess: The Concert

• 3/17/22 | State Theatre, Minneapolis • 7 pm show featuring a quartet of Disney princesses in an evening of story, animation and song. Tickets $34.00-$69.00.

Dress for the Occasion -->
Three girls dressed as princesses in Little Adventures costumes
Dress for the occasion with our affiliate partner, Little Adventures.

APRIL-MAY 2022 KID-FRIENDLY THEATER & PERFORMANCES

What Do You Do With An Idea?

4/8/22-5/8/22 | 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 –>

Book Pairing

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,
Artistic Director

Read the book together —>

Book Pairing
Diary of a Wimpy Kid Cast 2016
Find Gianna's review of the 2016 Production Here.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

4/29/22-5/15/22 | Youth Performance Company, Minneapolis • The musical version of the Genesis tale of Jacob and his twelve sons? • All Ages • Tickets $15/pp

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.

Book Pairing

All American Boys 

• 4/29/22-5/22/22 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 ->

Book Pairing

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.

Read It: 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.

Dress for the Occasion:
Little Girl in Mermaid Dress Listening to Shell
Dress for the Show in a Little Adventures Mermaid Dress
Stages Theatre Co.
Beautiful Ariel from the 2015 Stages production.

2023 KID-FRIENDLY THEATER

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.

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

Book Pairing

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.

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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