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February Family-Friendly Theater and Shows in New Jersey

I’ve always enjoyed live theatrical performances as a child, and am so grateful my parents took the time to take me to various productions—from the circus to community theater. Now, as an adult and a mom, I’m excited to share the power of performance with my daughter—seeing family-friendly shows is a great way for loved ones to bond over the arts. Here’s a list of February 2014 live shows the family can appreciate and enjoy these next few weeks. See you in March!


The Big Apple Circus has a new show produced especially for the State Theatre stage in New Brunswick called Hub City Spectacular!  Check the show out on Monday, February 17th, which is President’s Day. The wonderfully talented cast of characters includes acrobats, clowns, puppies, and more.  The three performances are at 10:30 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.; ticket prices vary by seat location in theatre. (New Brunswick)

Additionally, President’s Day is also State Theatre's Family Day from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Under the Big Top (in front of the State Theatre on Livingston Avenue) families can enjoy food, face painting and balloon animals, characters, and more. Additionally, the State Theatre is hosting a food drive on February 17th and 18th which benefits Elijah's Promise Food Pantry in New Brunswick. Just bring non-perishable items to Family Day!

Also at the Stage Theatre in New Brunswick, you’ll find celebrity chef Alton Brown, who brings his quirky humor to the stage with his Edible Inevitable Tour on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 8:00 p.m. (Ticket prices vary by seat.) Brown’s two-hour show is family-friendly and encompasses a unique blend of stand-up comedy, food experimentation, live music and more! Audience interaction is strongly encouraged. (New Brunswick)

Follow the yellow brick road to a performance of The Wizard of Oz at the Broadway Theatre of Pitman. Performances are Thursday, February 20th at 10:00 a.m., 21st at 10:00 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. and the 22nd at 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. You know the plot of this classic novel turned musical: A twister tangles up Dorothy and her pooch Toto and drops them in the land of Oz where she must find the Wizard to help her get home and meets some beloved characters along the way as she hides from the jealous Wicked Witch of the West.  Note: General Admission tickets for both Friday and Saturday shows can be purchased at the Box Office in advance or the day of the show.  Tickets are $9.00. (Pitman)

The South Orange Performing Arts Center will also be staging a production of The Wizard of Oz, on Saturday, February 15th at 1:00 p.m.  Ticket prices range from $13 to $18. (South Orange)

Hey, it may not involve a stage per se, but it’s still a live action show! If you’ve got a youngster in your life who’s into monster trucks, take your little dude or gal to Monster Jam®, which roars into IZOD Center in East Rutherford on February 14th (Friday) and 15th (Saturday). Show times are: February 14th at 7:30 p.m., February 15th at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. (East Rutherford)

You’re never too old for bubbles! Casey Carle’s Bubblemania will be at BergenPAC  in Englewood on Saturday, February 15th and is part of the theatre’s Kidz Cabaret Series.  Showtime is 1:00 p.m. Casey is a bubble consultant to Cirque du Soleil and his show is chock-full of visual comedy, music and big beautiful bubbles, of course. Lots of fun for the whole family. Note: Kidz Cabaret performances are located in BergenPAC's Drapkin Cabaret and Lounge. The entrance is located in the lobby of the main theater. (Englewood)

Lookout! Science is coming to the Shea Center for Performing Arts in Wayne on Saturday, February 22nd at 2:00 p.m.. Join Doktor Kaboom! in a one-man interactive variety show which blends theater arts with the wonders of scientific exploration. The audience will be treated to a creative journey of experiments designed to engage, excite, educate and entertain all family members. Oh!--There is a small pre-show beforehand. (Wayne)

Netcong's The Growing Stage at The Children’s Theatre of New Jersey presents The Secret Life of Hubie Hartzel, which will be performed live through March second.  Based on the book by Susan Rowan Masters, the production focuses on the perils of life in fifth grade. Hubie faces homework hassles, an impossible older sister, pet problems, and Ralph Marrucci, class bully. Recommended for ages 8 and up.  Running time: 90 minutes. (Netcong)