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.



THIS WEEK SAINT PAUL PARKS 6/21/19-6/30/19: Music in the Parks  | Ordway • an outdoor music series taking place in Saint Paul’s beautiful parks during the summer months. • All Ages  • All events are free unless otherwise noted.

Day Date GroupMusic TypeLocationTime
Fri6/21Beer Choir Sing Along Como Lakeside Pavilion7:00 PM
Sat 6/22Tonic Sol Fa $ (Buy Tickets)Acapella QuartetComo Lakeside Pavilion7:00 PM
Sun6/23St. Anthony Civic OrchestraConcert BandComo Lakeside Pavilion3:00 PM
Sun6/23St. Louis Park Community BandConcert BandComo Lakeside Pavilion7:00 PM
Mon6/24The CollectiveNeo Soul JazzRice Park12:00PM
Mon6/24North Suburban ChorusConcert ChorusComo Lakeside Pavilion7:00 PM
Tue6/25Teapot TempestBlues/Soul/RockMears Park12:00PM
Tue6/25Medalist Concert BandConcert BandComo Lakeside Pavilion7:00 PM
Wed6/261st Things 1st 40s SwingMears Park12:00PM
Wed6/26Billy Mclaughlin/Jeff ArundelGuitar & 70s Acoustifunk Como Lakeside Pavilion7:00 PM
Thu6/27Tommy Robinson GroupJazz, Latin, BluesComo Lakeside Pavilion7:00 PM
Fri6/28Jayden James & The Hunger $ (Buy tickets)Soul/FunkComo Lakeside Pavilion7:00 PM
Sun6/30Como PopsConcert BandComo Lakeside Pavilion3:00 PM
Sun6/30Minnesota BoychoirChoral Concert Como Lakeside Pavilion7:00 PM

FINAL WEEK: Now-6/30/19: The Tempest | Comulent Shakespeare in Twin Cities Parks • Set up your blanket or lawn chair, bring a picnic and enjoy “a little bit of” outdoor Shakespeare. Performances run about 90 minutes • All Ages • FREE.

• 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!)


Now-7/21/19: The Merry Wives of Windsor | Classical Actors Ensemble in Twin Cities Parks • These year’s park production is one of Shakespeare’s sillier comedies • All Ages • FREE, but registration encouraged to receive updates.

Now-7/28/19: Open Eye Driveway Tour | Three magical shows, including the launch of a brand new acrobatic show. • All Ages • FREE.← More Information.


Open Eye Theatre’s 2019 Driveway Tour

OPENING WEEKNow-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(Check for Goldstar discounted tickets).

This was a cute and quick read.

Now-8/16/19: The True Story of the Three Little Pigs | Old Log Theatre, Excelsior • There are two sides to every story, and when the Big, Bad Wolf takes the stand in Piggsylvania’s Trial of the Century, he finally gets his say. • 2+ • Tickets: $14-$16. Lap Passes $5.00.

Opening Week6/26/19-7/18/19: 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.

Junie B. Jones Books are always guaranteed to make me laugh out loud. (She’s sort of the Stephanie Plum for grade schoolers.)

Opening Week • 6/28/19-8/4/19: 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.

THIS WEEKEND ONLY • 6/30/19: Common Sound Music Festival | Benilde St. Margaret, St. Louis Park • Acts include Doomtree, Jeremy Messersmith, The New Gray, and Stereo Kitchen. Food and beverages available to purchase. Family Entertainment by Koo Koo Kangaroo. • Tickets Ages 16+: $25-$150 (First child FREE with paid adult; additional children $5/ticket; Under 3 FREE).



• 7/6/19-7/7/19: Disney Pixar’s Coco in Concert | Minnesota Orchestra, Minneapolis • 7pm Saturday, 2pm Sunday. • A live music-and-movie event that features the catchy score and heartwarming animated adventure of the movie Coco. Read our review of the movie here. • 6+ (Note my younger & more sensitive kids found this movie very scary in parts and the addition of a live orchestra may intensify that reaction). • Tickets: $35-$85

• 7/12/19: Family Concert: Joyful Rhythms, Joyful Sounds | Minnesota Orchestra, Minneapolis • 2pm • From Latin grooves to swingin’ sounds and floating waltzes, this inclusive program for audiences of all ages and abilities is sure to make you feel the rhythm! • All Ages. • Tickets: $12

Joined by the James Sewell Ballet, the orchestra will play Simple Gifts from Appalachian Spring, among other selections.

• 7/12/19-7/13/19: Pinocchio | Prairie Fire Children’s Theatre, Plymouth • 7pm Friday, 2pm Saturday. • Part of Plymouth’s Free Entertainment in the Parks Series • All Ages • FREE

The book is so VERY different from the movies. Which will this play resemble more?


FREE DAY 7/20/19

• 7/15/19 & 7/20/19: Harmonious Migrations | IBEX Puppetry @ National Puppetry Festival • 7pm Monday; 10:45 & 2pm Saturday • This performance illustrates how Native people of North America participate in the same planetary dance as the crane and all creations. Following the performance, make paper crane puppets • Ages 4+ • $15/pp or $20/parent-child pair

More folklore, poems, and stories featuring the crane,

• 7/17/19: Cellula | Z Puppets Rosenschnoz @ National Puppetry Festival • 2pm & 7pm • Dazzling flow in the dark puppetry illuminates the true marvels of cell science inside us all • Ages 4+ • $15/pp or $20/parent-child pair

You could tie this performance to a deeper study of cells

• 7/17/19: Kaytek the Wizard | BriAnimations Living Entertainment @ National Puppetry Festival • 4pm & 9pm • Kaytek, a mischievous schoolboy who wants to become a wizard, is surprised to discover that he is able to perform magic spells and change reality. • Ages 8+ • $15/pp or $20/parent-child pair

Based on the book by Janusz Korczak

• 7/18/19: The Macanuda  | Maskhunt Motions @ National Puppetry Festival • 4pm & 9pm. • The Red Macanuda is the caretaker of journeys. She operates a suitcase on legs connected to a large antenna, communicating with other creatures in her world. • Ages 4+ • $15/pp or $20/parent-child pair

Learn how the creators of this show make masks

• 7/18/19: Penguin In My Pocket  | Kurt Hunter Marionettes @ National Puppetry Festival • 2pm & 7pm. • A penguin scientist crash lands in the jungle when her experimental jetpack fails and must an artistic monkey to find her way home • Ages 4+ • $15/pp or $20/parent-child pair

Inspired? Why not make your own?

• 7/18/19: The Chicken & the Egg  | Red Herring Puppets @ National Puppetry Festival • 2pm & 7pm. • Explores the cycles of life within various plant and animal groups with shadow puppets, original songs, and cameo appearances of hand and rod puppets • Ages 4+ • $15/pp or $20/parent-child pair

• 7/18/19: The Doubtful Sprout  | Liz Joyce @ National Puppetry Festival • 4pm • Tunnel down with Worm and Sprout as they discover the mysterious life found inside soil. • Ages 8+ • $15/pp or $20/parent-child pair

• 7/19/19: The Magic Tree  | US Karagoz Theatre Company @ National Puppetry Festival • 4pm. • Adapted from a play named Kanlı Kavak of Turkish shadow theatre performer Muhittin Sevilen, The Magic Tree is a story about nature and protecting the environment. • Ages 4+ • $15/pp or $20/parent-child pair

• 7/19/19: Caws & Effect  | The Mind of a Snail @ National Puppetry Festival • 4pm & 9pm. • Crows are re-dreaming the world. Is the future all it’s cracked up to be? Large scale shadow theatre from a bird’s eye view. Funny, beautiful and unique, with handmade layered projections, puppetry, masks, & an original musical score. • Ages 8+ • $15/pp or $20/parent-child pair

• 7/20/19-7/21/19: Mario the Maker Magician @ National Puppetry Festival • 7pm Saturday; 10:30am Sunday. • Mario the Maker Magician’s menagerie of handmade props include several autonomous, robotic sidekicks that straddle the words of magic, robotics, and puppetry. • Ages 4+ • $15/pp or $20/parent-child pair

• 7/20/19: Sea Song  | Rod Puppets @ National Puppetry Festival • 10:45am & 4pm. • The story of a boy’s discovery of the natural world at the seaside. This production follows the life cycle of the sea turtle and the fragile interwoven environment of animals living at the edge of land and sea. • Ages 4+ • $15/pp or $20/parent-child pair

• 7/20/19: The Pied Picker  | All Hands Productions @ National Puppetry Festival • 10:45am & 7pm • Picker Pete sets off on a journey to become a rich and famous banjo picker in the town of Hamlin and meets a host of familiar fairy tale characters along the way.  • Ages 4+ • $15/pp or $20/parent-child pair

How do these two stories compare?

• 7/20/19: Resist the Gloom | Society of Realistic Optimists @ National Puppetry Festival • 7pm • Cornelius the Collector, Eschatologist R.O. asks the audience to embark on a journey of discovery in a celebration of all that it means to be messy humans.  • Ages 4+ • $15/pp or $20/parent-child pair

Do you have a worrier?

• 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). (Check for Goldstar discounted tickets).

• 7/19/19-7/28/19: Sisters of Swing: The Story of the Andrews Sisters | Bruentrup Heritage Farm, Maplewood • Musical based on the book and Disney films • Ages 8+ • Tickets are $30 for VIP up-front seating; $20 general admission for adults age 25 and up & children age 8-12; $10 general admission for young adults age 13-24.

• 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: Shrek, The Musical | Bunce Backyard Productions, Dayton • The story of Shrek the Ogre and Princess Fiona • All Ages • FREE. Read a parental review of Shrek, from book to movie to musical here.

The original Shrek! A very different story.

• 7/26/19-8/03/19:  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+.

9/20/19-10/19/19: James and the Giant Peach | Stages Theatre, Hopkins  • Join James and his insect friends as they journey in a giant peach. • Tickets $14.00-$16.00.

9/27/19-10/13/19: Nate the Great the Musical | Steppingstone Theatre, St. Paul • Junior detective Nate the Great has a new case. • Ages 4+. The books are best for Ages 6-9. • Tickets $12.00-$16.00.

9/27/19-10/27/19: Spookley, The Square Pumpkin | Stages Theatre, Hopkins  • A Stages favorite returns for another Halloween season. • Tickets $14.00-$16.00.

9/28/19: VocalEssence: Tales & Tunes | American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis • sing, do crafts, and hear a local author read a favorite story. • All Ages (particularly 6 and under) • Tickets.

• 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.

• 10/2/19-10/6/19: Star Wars Live in Concert: The Empire Strikes Back | Minnesota Orchestra, Minneapolis • Experience the thrills of the second film in the original Star Wars trilogy as it is shown in full on the big screen, accompanied live by the Minnesota Orchestra led by Sarah Hicks. • Tickets. These popular movie events sell out fast.

This 1980 edition is a family favorite. We have 3 copies: a keeper, a reader, and a falling-apart, use-for-crafts copy.

• 10/4/19-10/13/19: Junie B. Jones is Not A Crook | Merrill Community Theatre, Woodbury • Junie B. Jones learns that “finders keepers” isn’t always the best way. • All Ages • Tickets $8.00-$22.00 (Military FREE). (Check for Goldstar discounted tickets).

One of my favorite early chapter series

• 10/4/19-10/20/19: Disney’s Frozen Jr. | Youth Performance Company @ Howard Conn Fine Arts Center • A story of how Princesses Anna and Elsa discover their hidden potential and the powerful bond of sisterhood. • Tickets $15.00. (Check for Goldstar discounted 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.

• 10/25/19-10/27/19Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in Concert | Minnesota Orchestra, Minneapolis • The Minnesota Orchestra performs Patrick Doyle’s inspiring full score while Harry, his friends soar across the big screen in a truly magical immersive experience. • Tickets. These popular movie events sell out fast.

The movies are pretty good, but the books are still better!


• 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.

11/22/19-12/22/19: Annie JR | Steppingstone Theatre, St. Paul • The junior version of an all-time family Broadway favorite. • Ages 3+ • Tickets $12.00-$16.00.

11/22/19-12/22/19: ELF, the Musical, Jr. | Stages Theatre, Hopkins  • Meet Buddy, the really tall elf. • Tickets $14.00-$16.00.

• 11/29/19-12/1/19: Disney Pixar’s Up in Concert | Minnesota Orchestra, Minneapolis • Fly away with the Minnesota Orchestra and the Disney Pixar hit Up for balloon-powered fun — a live movie and music performance. • Tickets. These popular movie events sell out fast.


• 12/6/19-12/15/19: Madeline’s Christmas | Merrill Community Theatre, Woodbury • A musical adaptation of the Ludwig Bemelman Classic. • All Ages • Tickets $8.00-$22.00 (Military FREE). (Check for Goldstar discounted tickets).

• 12/6/19-12/22/19: Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells | Youth Performance Company @ Howard Conn Fine Arts Center • A hilarious and endearing tale based on the best-selling book series by Barbara Park. • Tickets $15.00. (Check for Goldstar discounted tickets).


01/17/20-02/17/20: The Dot | Stages Theatre, Hopkins  • “Just make a dot and see where it takes you.”  • Tickets $14.00-$16.00.

• 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+.

• 1/24/20-1/26/20: Nick Jr. Live – Move to the Music | State Theater, Minneapolis • Sing, dance, clap, cheer and move to the music with your favorite Nick Jr. Characters. • Pre-K • Tickets $23-$69.


2/6/20-2/23/19: The Real Life Adventures of Jimmy de las Rosas | Steppingstone Theatre, St. Paul • Unlike most of the plays we see come through, this was not based on a book but was created by a Chicago children’s theatre to give kids a hero like themselves while touching on real life modern social issues. Learn more from the original trailer below. • Ages 8+. • Tickets $12.00-$16.00.

Trailer for The Real-Life Adventures of Jimmy de las Rosas from Ricardo Gamboa on Vimeo.

• 2/7/20-2/16/20: Young Frankenstein | Merrill Community Theatre, Woodbury • A musical adaptation of the Mel Brooks film. • 13+ • Tickets $8.00-$22.00 (Military FREE). (Check for Goldstar discounted tickets).

This is a good time to read the book this musical spoofs.

• 2/9/20: Family Concert: Pictures at an Exhibition | Minnesota Orchestra, Minneapolis • In addition to hearing the Orchestra perform as the music sparks the creation of new work by an artist during this inclusive concert experience for audiences of all ages and abilities. • Tickets $12.

The story behind the music.

• 2/14/20-3/1/20: Ruby: The Story of Ruby Bridges | Youth Performance Company @ Howard Conn Fine Arts Center • Ruby became one of six black children to integrate all-white schools in the city.. • Tickets $15.00. (Check for Goldstar discounted tickets).

This book made me cry.

• 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.

03/06/20-03/22/20: Iron Hearted Violet | Stages Theatre, Hopkins • Based on the book by Newberry winning author, Kelly Barnhill • Tickets $14.00-$16.00.

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.

• 3/22/20: Family Concert: Star Wars and Beyond | Minnesota Orchestra, Minneapolis • John Williams’ thrilling Star Wars film music communicates drama on a grand scale—as do other great works, including Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries and Holst’s The Planets. • Tickets $12.

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


• 4/17/20-4/26/20: Cyrano De Bergerac | Merrill Community Theatre, Woodbury • An adaptation of the classic play. • 8+ • Tickets $8.00-$22.00 (Military FREE). (Check for Goldstar discounted tickets).

04/17/20-05/17/20: The Day You Begin | Stages Theatre, Hopkins • Celebrate the courage to begin with this play based on the Book by Jacqueline Woodson Tickets $14.00-$16.00.

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

This book is HUGE (and only the first volume)!

04/24/20-05/23/20: A Different Pond | Stages Theatre, Hopkins • A  pre-dawn fishing trip for a boy and his dad  reveals an important tale about family and immigration Tickets $14.00-$16.00.


•5/1/20-5/17/20: Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat | Youth Performance Company @ Howard Conn Fine Arts Center • After being sold into slavery by his brothers, Joseph ingratiates himself with an Egyptian noble, but ends up in jail. • Tickets $15.00. (Check for Goldstar discounted tickets).

• 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.


06/19/20-08/02/20: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang | Stages Theatre, Hopkins • Fly through the air and sail the seas this summer in this fantastical musical adventure based on the beloved film and children’s book Tickets $14.00-$16.00.

6/27/20-7/14/20: Disney’s The Little Mermaid JR | Steppingstone Theatre, St. Paul • The junior version of the Disney Broadway play. This could be a good reason to share Hans Christian Anderson’s original fairy tale. • Ages 3+. • Tickets $12.00-$16.00.


• 7/10/20-7/19/20: Matilda | Merrill Community Theatre, Woodbury • Much of our review of the CTC version of this play covered the story and the music and can apply to this performance. • 8+ • Tickets $8.00-$22.00 (Military FREE). (Check for Goldstar discounted tickets).

I loved that this book featured a girl, but isn’t a girl book.


08/05/20-08/23/20: All The World | Stages Theatre, Hopkins • Theatre for the Very Young (ages 1-5). Based on the Caldecott Honor book. Tickets $14.00-$16.00.

*FFTC receives financial compensation if you access Goldstar tickets through us.

© 2018 Family Fun Twin Cities LLC. All Rights Reserved. PO Box 120034 New Brighton, MN 55112, USA