Shows

Best Summer Theater and Shows for NYC Kids 2018

Think the dog days of summer are a cultural wasteland and that all the cool new openings won't start again until fall? That's not the case when it comes to the stage—New York City's family theater scene is hotter than a heat wave.

There are shows for all ages, interests, and budgets throughout the summer season, including a number of FREE options such as no-cost high-quality Shakespeare, and alfresco shows for tots inspired by Peter Pan and Little Red Riding Hood. Plus enjoy eye-popping indoor spectacles for the whole family like MOMIX and Mummenschanz. Best of all, many of our picks cost less than $25 per ticket, and six are 100 percent FREE!

Free Outdoor Kids Music Concerts in NYC This Summer

What's better than a spectacular, outdoor, family-friendly, FREE music performance? A whole series of free outdoor concerts for kids! We've already told you about the great concerts in June for NYC kids, and now we're rounding up all the free concerts in July and August, to keep the kids grooving all summer.

There are free concert series for kids in parks, playgrounds, piers and plazas across the five boroughs, so scroll, click, and set reminders with your favorites. With top family bands playing annual series like Madison Square Kids and SummerStage Family Workshops, you're sure to find something the whole family can shake a tail feather to. 

For even more free family fun, see our jam-packed Summer Guide and our roundup of 100 free things to do with kids in NYC this summer.

Woof! Dog Sculptures Bring Kid-Friendly Public Art to Charlestown

It's official: Charlestown has gone to the dogs! This summer, the Charlestown Navy Yard is being invaded by huge, colorfully decorated sculptures in the shape of man's best friend. Canine-loving kids and grown-ups alike can enjoy the whimsy of these massive steel pups, designed by local artist Dale Rogers, that temporarily dot the landscape of Boston's most historic waterfront area. Situated on the lovely National Park Service grounds (where real dogs, on leashes, are welcome, too!) and next to the USS Constitution Museum (one of our fave free museums), the Big Dog Show will be accessible daily throughout Summer 2018. Consider it a perfect excuse to pack a picnic and head to Charlestown for a day or evening of public art, history, and awesome harbor views.

What You're Missing If You Don't Know Bob Baker’s Marionette Theater

Seeing a puppet show is not only one of the many fun things kids can do in Downtown LA, it's an experience that a child will remember for life. Here in LA we are lucky to have our local treasure, Bob Baker Marionette Theater, the oldest children’s theater in Los Angeles. Although the founder passed on a few years ago, the puppets carry on his legacy, walking, running, and dancing in front of their audience—and even reaching out to little audience members to pat heads and shake hands. Put your kid's iPad away, because this slice of LA history offers real interactivity that is sure to delight.

Free Outdoor Movies for Long Island Kids This Summer

With the price of movie tickets for the family these days, there’s nothing better than FREE entertainment for the kids. Did you know that several Long Island municipalities host outdoor summer movie series, where you can spread a blanket on the lawn or prop up some lawn chairs and have a picnic while enjoying a family-friendly film?

At these outdoor community events you can enjoy a beloved film for a second time or catch up on a recent blockbuster without having to spend a dime on a movie ticket. Seating is first-come, first-served, so arrive early. Also, be sure to double-check the venue or organization's website or social media feeds for any potential weather-related cancellations.

Outdoor movies are just part of the summer experience on Long Island. You'll find more fun things to do with kids in our Summer Fun Guide, including FREE outdoor summer concerts. It's also a great time to hit a Long Island amusement park, water park, or one of our great family-friendly beaches

Until then, lights, camera, action! 

'American Girl Live' Brings Beloved Characters to the Theater

For American Girl fans, dressing up the perennially-popular dolls and visiting the store or cafe may be the ultimate treat. But things are about to get even more exciting as the iconic characters take to the stage for the first time in American Girl Live, an all-new musical for kids featuring original songs and wholesome, heartfelt fun.

Although the show won't start touring North America until January 2019, tickets are already on sale for certain shows, including those visiting Mommy Poppins cities and states, including theaters in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Boston, and Connecticut. (Sounds like tickets to a performance could be the perfect gift this holiday season, Mom and Dad.)

Free June Concerts for NYC Kids: Rolie Polie, Los Lobos, Astrograss

Free outdoor music is one of the hallmarks of a great NYC summer...in our opinion anyway! Pack a picnic, stake out a spot, lay down a blanket, and soak up some no-cost culture in the form of New York City's top kindie bands as they play FREE concerts at some of the city's most beloved parks and playgrounds, including the annual BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Family Concert, featuring Los Lobos in 2018.

Of course, there are so many performances that it can be hard to figure out which ones are worth the time, energy, and schlep. That's why we've done the work for you. Read on for nearly two dozen cool concerts happening this June for NYC kids.

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.

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