Great Shows for Kids in Los Angeles This Fall: From Bob Baker To My Fair Lady
As a huge theater lover, finally being able to share live theater with my three-year-old is so exciting. Theater can bring stories to life like no other medium can. Kids’ theater can make a huge impact on our children and their imaginations; at the very least, it’s a really fun-filled family day. While shows have been dark for well over a year, the lights are coming back up and performers are eagerly waiting to tell their stories, make your kids’ day, and even make a theater lover out of them. These are some great shows happening in Los Angeles this fall that will delight kids as young as 3 years old.
A note about COVID-19 protocols: Each theater has its own protocols and restrictions. Many have been highlighted below, but make sure to check out the respective theatre’s website before attending or buying tickets.
Best Fall Shows for All Ages
1. Bob Baker’s Hallowe’en Spooktacular — Highland Park
Runs through October 31
Seeing shows at Bob Baker Marionette Theater for many LA families is a tradition spanning decades and generations. This year’s spooktacular is sure to excite families new to the show and those returning, since it has undergone a full refurbishment. There are whirling witches, soulful laments from Dracula and Vampira, and a bone-rattling soirée of glow-in-the-dark skeletons in a hidden cabaret. The theater requires proof of vaccination for all eligible guests and masks are required for all guests 2 years and up.
2. Sunday Funday at the Annenberg Center — Beverly Hills
Sunday, November 7
This is the first of what will become a monthly free outdoor event that includes a variety of engaging programs for children. November's performance includes Parker Bent, Story Pirates, and Dance Sunday with Debbie Allen & Friends. Have your kids bring their dance moves, because dance instruction will be offered by Emmy Award-winner Debbie Allen and instructors from the Debbie Allen Dance Academy. This is perfect for all levels, abilities, and ages.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream is in the dreamy Topanga forest. Photo by Ian Flanders
3. A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Theatricum Botanicum — Topanga
Running through November 7
Sure it’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, but with the theatre nestled into the Topanga wilderness, you might be able to catch some of that fall foliage we all crave this time of year. Though much of Shakespeare might go over the head of the youngest thespians, the humor and the fairies singing, dancing, and swinging from the trees will not. If your kid could sit through the Paw Patrol movie, they can sit through this 80-minute production with no intermission. Proof of vaccination is required for all guests 12 years and up. Masks are required for all guests 2 years and up.
4. Medieval Times — Buena Park
Shows are year-round
If you celebrate Halloween by getting dressed up and pretending to be someone else, why not pretend with your kids to be a medieval noble and enjoy a chicken leg and some jousting to celebrate the season. An unforgettable battle awaits, with audience participation all but required. Plus, the show includes Spanish horses! This is one of the most enduring and kid-pleasing dinner shows in town. For Covid-19 safety, social distancing is being observed and all guests are required to wear a mask.
This production of Goldilocks and the Three Bears is just right. Photo courtesy of Storybook Theater
Best Fall Shows for Kids 3-8 Years Old
5. Goldilocks and the Three Bears at Theatre West — Universal City
Opens November 20
Goldilocks and the Three Bears is the classic tale of what happens when a young girl finds her “just right” bowl of porridge in the empty home of the three bears. And since it’s fall, they haven’t settled in for their long winter’s nap quite yet. One of our favorite children’s theaters in Los Angeles, Storybook Theater of Los Angeles at Theatre West presents non-threatening, interactive musicals with a message for children 3 – 9 years old.
6. Disney’s Beauty and the Beast at the Encore Theatre Group — Redondo Beach
Runs October 1, 2, 3, 9, and 10
There is never a wrong time to enjoy a classic “tale as old as time” with the kids. You all know the story, and this show comes complete with a live orchestra and should definitely be a night to remember. Watching a Disney favorite come to life is a great way to introduce the youngest theatergoers to a live production. Proof of full vaccination is required or proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of show-time for all guests 12 years and up. Masks are required for all guests.
7. A Faery Hunt Show and Fairy Halloween Party —Tarzana Community and Cultural Center
Saturday, October 23
A Faery Hunt Show takes place outdoors in nature. Promising to inspire the imagination of all involved, the show weaves together original story, dance, songs, and of course, fairies. With the help of the faery folk, kids and their families go to Fairyland and embark on magical interactive adventures that draw kids into being part of the story. Children and adults in attendance are encouraged to dress as a favorite fairy, princess, or superhero. Though only this particular performance will include a fairy fun Halloween party, check the website for additional Saturday performances in October and November. Also, virtual performances are available. Masks are required for all guests 2 years and up.
Absolutely Halloween! plays in Santa Monica this fall. Photo by Cydne Moore
8. Absolutely Halloween! at the Santa Monica Playhouse — Santa Monica
Runs October 1-29, 2021
For this LA mom, ocean breezes, palm trees, and a show at the Santa Monica Playhouse are as fall as orange leaves and pumpkin pie. Absolutely Halloween! has become an annual tradition at the playhouse. It's the heartwarming story of Candy, a sweet girl who learns some surprising lessons about life, love, laughter, and sugar from some colorful, costumed, come-to-life characters who take her on a magical, musical adventure to save Halloween. Masks are required indoors for all guests 2 years and up.
9. The Rootbeer Bandits at the Garry Marshall Theater — Toluca Lake
Runs Friday - Sunday through October 31
The story of Polly Peppercorn, a woman of the Wild West who had big dreams, is back. When bandits hit Sarsaparilla City, intent on stealing the city's root beer, Polly has to save the day. This musical is loads of fun for the whole family, even kids who usually can't attend the theater because it's so bright and loud. On October 22, the play has a sensory-sensitive performance, which means that there is a reduction in sounds and lights, guests are free to leave their seats or talk as needed, and it's a judgment-free, no-shush zone. All audience members are required to wear a mask at all times.
Kids love to watch other kids perform. Photo courtesy of LA Connection Comedy Theater
Best Fall Shows for Kids 8 Years and Up
10. LA Connection Comedy — Burbank
Teens perform every Saturday at 10:30am, 2pm, and 5pm; Kids perform every Sunday at 1pm
Fall over with laughter while taking in an improv comedy show with your kids. Plus, when it’s improv, there is a chance you or your kids might get involved in the show. The LA Connection Comedy theater has been named one of the LA Times Best Bets, and we sure won't disagree.
11. My Fair Lady at the Dolby Theater — Hollywood
Runs October 7-31
This Lerner and Lowe classic is a perfect show for your slightly older theatre-lovers, and with Halloween on the horizon, Eliza Doolittle won't be the only one dreaming of “lots of chocolates for me to ate.” Okay, it’s a corny stretch, but this Lincoln Center Theatre production could be a sweet fall treat for you and your kids. Poor Professor Higgins tries to turn Eliza into a "real lady," but by the end of the show, you might wonder who has really been transformed. Proof of full vaccination is required, or proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of show-time for all guests 12 years and up. Masks are required for all guests.