Shows

Lights, Camera, Action! 8 Family-Friendly Shows Coming to Philly This Summer

Philadelphia is a city with lots of activities for kids with all kinds of interests. When it comes to entertainment, New York City is widely known for Broadway and its live entertainment scene, but you don't have to go to the Big Apple to catch a great show.

Whether your children are interested in getting on the big stage or in front of it, the city has a wonderful creative arts scene with something for just about every age group. In fact, Philadelphia has a summer full of must-see shows and performances that make for wonderful family outings. Check out these 8 live shows hitting Philly stages this summer that you and the family won’t want to miss.

Medieval Times: Knightly Dinner Theater with a Dose of Girl Power in Orange County

While nearby Disneyland has sucked me in repeatedly over the years, the truth is that watching jousting and eating chicken with my hands at Medieval Times has always inspired a hard pass. That said, when the opportunity to play pretend princess in a "real" castle came up recently, my daughters were over the moon—and I was on the hook. As the saying goes, let the games begin. 

Best Broadway Shows for Kids and Families

Whether you're visiting NYC or live here year-round, seeing a Broadway show is a special family experience. Kids are sure to remember it vividly, and chances are parents won't soon forget the credit card bill. That's why it's so important to pick a production wisely, especially when bringing young children to their first Broadway performance.

While Disney juggernauts The Lion King and Aladdin are popular options, there are other kid-friendly choices that aren't as obvious as well as attractive newcomers such as Harry Potter, SpongeBob, and Frozen. We've rounded up our 15 best Broadway musicals for families and organized them by age appropriateness. As a bonus, we've also got the scoop on how to save big bucks on tickets to some of our picks.

Peruse our event calendar for additional family theater options in NYC, or read reviews of current productions to find one that best suits your children.

A Peek Down the Rabbit Hole at Tilly’s Tea with Alice

For five weekends starting May 4, a new walk-through production will allow children to enter the pages of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. Experience classic children’s literature in a new way at Tilly's Tea with Alice: A Curious Adventure Through Wonderland. Read on for our sneak peek so you can snag your tickets before they sell out.

Want more inside scoops? Subscribe to our newsletters to stay abreast of other fun experiences coming to Westchester and the Hudson Valley! More events like this can be found on our Event Calendar.

Cirque Du Soleil's Volta Is an Artful Adrenaline Rush

Cirque du Soleil's Volta show, which just landed in the greater NYC area, is a feast for the senses. From a stirring score to exhilarating acrobatics and heart-stopping thrills, the newest Cirque spectacle captivated audience members of all ages at the performance my 10-year-old son and I saw Sunday afternoon under the Big Top at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey, where it will run through May 6.

Volta also plays at the Nassau Colesium on Long Island, beginning May 17, and at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, starting in July.

Snow White at the Arden Children’s Theatre: A Review

Walk into the Arden Theatre, and step right into a unique version of the Enchanted Forest. The stage is set simply: A house, trees, a table, a stool, and a trunk of clothes, but what unfolds over the course of an hour is a bit of interesting, although at times chaotic, magic as this entire adaptation of the classic tale of Snow White is brought to life by just two actors.

The Little Red Fish Review: A Low-Key, Whimsical Puppet Show

Amid a dimly lit stage, stacks of books float through the air as the imagination of a little boy in search of his missing pet runs wild in The Little Red Fish, a new production from the New York City Children's Theater playing in NYC this April. The theater teamed up with Puppet Kitchen, the same group behind the oversize, colorful puppets in the popular Very Hungry Caterpillar Show, for Little Red Fish. Darting about the stage throughout the 30-minute show, his elusive finned friend elicits gasps from the audience whenever it punctuates the sober set with its burst of vermilion light.

Read on to see why The Little Red Fish is one of our top theater picks for NYC kids this spring.

The Best Spring Theater for NYC Kids: 17 Fabulous Shows

The spring is always a great time for family theater, but this season looks particularly exciting. There are page-to-stage adaptations of cool kid lit (The Little Red Fish for toddlers and Seedfolks for tweens); wordless spectacles to captivate all ages (clown show Air Play and underwater spectacle Symphonie Fantastique); and Lincoln Center's Big Umbrella Festival, the first-ever monthlong performance fest for children on the autism spectrum.

While on Broadway it's all Frozen, Harry Potter, and Mean Girls mania, there's no need to shell out big bucks to give your kids a memorable live entertainment experience in NYC. Most of the 17 shows we're spotlighting are just $25—or less—per ticket.

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