The Best Theatrical Productions For Kids Happening In NYC This Year

“Pinkalicious: The Musical,” Photo Courtesy of Richard Termine

The lights are big and bright on Broadway for a reason. Home to many theaters and one-of-a-kind live events, there is no other place to experience a live show like the Big Apple. What makes it even better is that there are special shows all over the city just for the little people in your life. Fairytales, live music, decadent props, and fabulous costumes are all yours to experience with this year’s ultimate guide to theater and live performance events. Read on for exciting details on upcoming shows.

14th Street Y

Mission: “The Theater at the 14th Street Y honors the edgy, diverse, and rich history of innovative culture making in the East Village with unique and incredible productions all year long.”

Special highlights: Cirque-tacular is bringing “Spring-A-Ding-Ding,” the sequel to “Snowkus Pokus,” to the 14th Street Y this year. Brianna, the star of “Snowkus Pokus,” is back and this time she’s exploring the beauty of spring from May 19-June 3 (Friday-Sunday only). Filled with circus fun, engaging storylines, and dazzling colors, this performance is sure to put a twinkle in everyone’s eye.

Carnegie Hall

Mission: “The Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall strives to develop creativity, imagination, and musical curiosity in people of all ages by presenting free and affordable programs for children and families. These highly engaging experiences involve the entire family, strengthening connections and promoting the value of play in early childhood development.”

Special highlights: Now in its 41st year, check out Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute’s absolutely free neighborhood concert series happening through June! Staten Island, Queens, Manhattan, and Brooklyn will each be home to a different blend of music, so be sure to find out where your favorites will be live! The series brings both notable and blossoming stars to the boroughs and encourages community development. In December, family concerts are more fun than ever as they discover music from different parts of the world that are actually alive in our very own neighborhoods. These interactive concerts engage children’s minds and are a fun way to get out and have fun with the family.

Galli Theater

Mission: “The Galli Theater communicates important social issues through modern adaptations of fairy tales from around the world. The plays help to illuminate wisdom that is highly relevant in today’s society. They awaken a sense of liveliness in audiences and actors alike that can help reveal the genuine person and his inner vision and power, thus celebrating childhood. Galli achieves this mission through its mainstage productions, educational programs, and its Dr. Fairytale Program.”

Special highlights: This summer the Galli Theater presents adaptations of your favorite fairytales. The U.S. premiere of “Rumpelstiltskin” is in town beginning June 3, and is open to children ages 5 and up. Ride along with Aladdin on his magic carpet in “Aladdin” throughout July and head under the sea with Ariel and friends in “The Little Mermaid” starting June 17.

Jazz at Lincoln Center

Mission: “The mission of Jazz at Lincoln Center is to entertain, enrich, and expand a global community for jazz through performance, education, and advocacy. We believe jazz is a metaphor for Democracy. Because jazz is improvisational, it celebrates personal freedom and encourages individual expression. Because jazz is swinging, it dedicates that freedom to finding and maintaining common ground with others. Because jazz is rooted in the blues, it inspires us to face adversity with persistent optimism.”

Special highlights: Who is Benny Goodman? An hour-long Jazz for Young People Concert will explore his life and music with Victor Goines and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra from November 17-18. Family members will learn in detail about his upbringing, amazing story, and uplifting music. For the holiday season, take a moment to revel in favorites during “Big Band Holidays” December 13-17. Led by the great Wynton Marsalis, this concert brings together magical classics, fun storytelling with a lot of jazz, and vocalists Kenny Washington and Catherine Russell.

Kidz Theater

Mission: “Kidz Theater is a professional development company for young performers who are seeking a career in the musical theater. They offer classes and productions for performers ages 8-18 and strive to teach professionalism, discipline, and strong technique within a supportive, family environment.”

Special highlights: The upcoming events for Kidz Theater are a mixture of fun celebration, musicals, and concerts. From May 19-28, enjoy the Olivier award-winning “Once On This Island,” brought to you by Tony-winners Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, a Caribbean adaption of the colorful story “The Little Mermaid.” In June, help the theater celebrate their 10th anniversary at Feinsteins/54 Below, and later in the year “Annie Jr.” will be running from December 27-30.

LC Kids at Lincoln Center

Mission: “Lincoln Center Kids (LC Kids) is an exciting program at Lincoln Center that makes the performing arts accessible to children and their families. Through curated family programming, special events, and behind-the-scenes opportunities, LC Kids promotes and encourages lifelong enjoyment of and participation in the arts.”

Special highlights: LC Kids presents “In a Pickle” on May 14. This performance is specifically designed for autistic children ages 2-5. Designed with Shakespeare’s “A Winter’s Tale” in mind, this sensory performance introduces children to the legendary playwright. For Memorial Day, enjoy a free concert by the New York Philharmonic at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine.

Literally Alive Children’s Theater

Mission: “Literally Alive Children’s Theater’s mission is to ignite children’s imagination while instilling a love of reading by bringing literature to life. Our approach combines art forms including theatre, dance, music, art, and puppetry to explore a work of literature. Literally Alive encourages children to become expressive, open-minded, creative, and to see the arts as a central part of life.”

Special highlights: Literally Alive has an exciting roundup of performances happening this year. The infamous “Frankenstein” will run from September-November, experience “Treasure Island” from October-November, “A Christmas Carol” in December and in February 2018, “Cinderella” will grace the stage.

New York City Children’s Theater

Mission: “Our mission is to promote children’s literacy and social development through professional theater productions and arts-in-education programs. We reach children and their communities with a wide range of programming, including full-scale productions, small touring shows, interactive workshops, and in-school residencies, and engage with them in traditional theater spaces, school auditoriums, classrooms, and cultural venues in their neighborhoods. We demonstrate that engaging young people in the arts has a positive impact on their cognitive, emotional, and social development, and furthers a lifelong appreciation of the arts.”

Special highlights: “Interstellar Cinderella” brings the classic fairytale to the future; 3017 to be exact! This musical brought to you by the famous and very entertaining Laurie Berkner and Barbara Zinn Kriger, founder of New York City Children’s Theater, is designed for ages 4-8, but open to all. Opening November 18, audience members will learn about dark matter, the particle theory, and revisit the well-known tale in a futuristic, sci-fi, feminist way! Earlier in the year on May 21, head out to Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater to have a one-of-a-kind experience. Children’s book author, musician and composer Zenen Zeferino, in association with New York Children’s Theater, is performing a family-friendly concert with Radio Jarocho. The two will play authentic compositions, and songs which inspired Zenen’s book of children stories, “Zoongoro Bailongo;” a collection of stories about animals that morph into musical instruments!

New Victory Theater

Mission: “At the heart of the New Victory philosophy is the commitment to break down barriers—be they cultural or economic—and provide access for students, teachers, kids, families, and communities of New York City and beyond to experience and engage with the work on our stages.”

Special highlights: In July, New Victory Theater’s Victory Dance summer performance series returns. NYC is home to a wide variety of dance styles and during the season grades 2-12 can experience the vibrant and artistic world of dance! You never know what type of dances will be performed, so prepare to be surprised. After each performance, audience members have the opportunity to talk with choreographers in a 15-minute Talk-Back session. For a list of scheduled dance companies, check their website.

Vital Theater

Mission: “Vital Theatre Company is a community of artists who believe that a shared theatrical experience profoundly affects people’s lives. We create stories that challenge our audience to ask questions, make discoveries, and engage in dialogue.”

Special highlights: Now in its 10th year, enjoy the musical that everyone adores: “Pinkalicious,” based on the bestselling children’s book by Elizabeth Kann and Victoria Kann. On select Saturdays and Sundays until May 28, families can enjoy this entertaining story, directed by Teresa K. Pond. Also running until May 28 is “Flight School The Musical,” based on the book by Lita Judge. Watch Penguin, who has big hopes but no wings, achieve his dream of flying!

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Where to Catch a Show in NYC


Atlantic for Kids,

13th Street Repertory Theater,

14th Street Y,

Children’s Theatre Company,

Galli Theater,

Kidz Theater,

Literally Alive Children’s Theatre,

New York City Children’s Theater,

The New Victory Theater,

The Paper Bag Players,

Piper Theatre Productions,


Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater,

TADA! Youth Theater,

Tribeca Performing Arts Center,

Vital Theatre Company,

Music, Dance, & Live Performance

Barclays Center,

Big Apple Circus,

Carnegie Hall,

Jazz at Lincoln Center WEBop,

LC Kids at Lincoln Center,

Manhattan Movement & Arts Center,

The Metropolitan Opera,

New York Theater Ballet,

Symphony Space,

The Theater at Madison Square Garden,