Catch These Family-Friendly Shows on Broadway in 2024! 

Do you recall the excitement of witnessing your inaugural Broadway or Broadway-style national tour performance? That rush when you received your first Playbill, the dimming of the lights, and the live performers taking the stage rather than a screen? Whether you experienced it at age six or sixteen, few things rival the enchantment of attending a live performance. For adults who grew up cherishing live theater, sharing that love with the next generation is a cherished goal.

However, even for those with ample funds, a trip to Broadway can strain the wallet. Even if your toddler doesn’t occupy their own seat and sits on your lap from start to finish, they still require a ticket. Ensuring you get the most out of your investment is essential. Moreover, ensuring the children accompanying you have a memorable experience is paramount.

The initial step in ensuring a successful Broadway excursion with kids is selecting the appropriate show, tailored to their age, attention span, maturity, and interests. While Sweeney Todd might captivate a teenager, it might not be suitable for a six-year-old. Similarly, while some kids might revel in dance-heavy performances, others might crave more dialogue. Understanding your children’s preferences before purchasing tickets is crucial.

To aid in selecting the right show for your kids, we’ve compiled a list of family-friendly productions currently gracing Broadway and Off-Broadway stages. The list is categorized into three sections: introductory theater for the very young, shows suitable for children aged six and above, and intellectually engaging productions for tweens and older audiences.

  • Anticipation and Engagement: Discuss the show beforehand to build excitement and encourage dialogue.
  • Interactive Reflection: Prompt children to share their thoughts and ask questions after the performance.
  • Educational Integration: Explore related topics or visit museums to deepen the learning experience.
  • Cultural Exposure: Choose shows that reflect diverse perspectives and cultures.
  • Empathy and Understanding: Use theater to promote acceptance and empathy for others’ experiences and identities.

Enhancing Theater Experiences:

  • Anticipation Building: Engage in pre-show discussions to heighten excitement and anticipation.
  • Reflective Dialogue: Foster post-performance conversations to encourage critical thinking and expression.
  • Educational Extensions: Seamlessly integrate theater experiences into broader educational pursuits for enriched learning.

Theater for the very young

These shows serve as excellent introductions not only to live theater but also to the entire theatrical experience, away from screens.

  • The Gazillion Bubble Show: Prepare to be amazed by bubble magic, dazzling laser effects, and fleeting soapy wonders.

Shows for children aged six and up

While some believe they can bring toddlers to Disney productions on Broadway, it’s advisable to wait until children have developed better attention spans to fully appreciate these shows, which may contain potentially frightening scenes.

  • The Lion King: Witness life-sized elephant puppets parading down the aisles during the opening, capturing both the stage performance and your child’s reactions.
  • Aladdin: Vibrant sets, catchy tunes from the beloved animated film, the mystical genie, and a flying carpet will transport your young theatergoer to a whole new world.
  • The Play That Goes Wrong: With an unconscious leading lady, a corpse that can’t seem to play dead, and actors stumbling over everything, including their lines, this show promises a night of laughter and wanting more.
  • Blue Man Group: Children fascinated by the unconventional will delight in watching three bald blue men drumming in paint, creating music from PVC pipes, and redefining entertainment.

Intellectually stimulating shows for tweens and older

Once younger children develop a taste for live theater, they may seek more complex experiences. While these shows remain family-friendly, they are lengthier and feature deeper narratives.

  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Immerse yourself in the wizarding world with a captivating continuation of the beloved novels. Fans of the series will be enthralled, though the three-hour runtime might test one’s endurance.
  • Wicked: Delve into the backstory of the beloved Wizard of Oz film, exploring whether all bad reputations are truly deserved.
  • Little Shop of Horrors: Imagine facing a giant man-eating, singing plant as the only obstacle between you and your desires.
  • Back to the Future: The Musical: The hit 1980s movie comes to life with time travel, lightning, and a flying car, guaranteeing a memorable experience for both kids and Gen Xers.

Maximizing Theater Engagement:

  • Anticipation Building: Initiate pre-show discussions to heighten excitement and anticipation.
  • Reflective Dialogue: Facilitate post-performance conversations for critical reflection.
  • Educational Extensions: Integrate theater experiences into broader educational contexts.
  • Cultural Appreciation: Choose shows that celebrate diverse perspectives and cultures.

Creating Lasting Memories

Attending a Broadway show with children isn’t just about the performance itself; it’s about creating lasting memories and instilling a love for the arts. Take the time to discuss the show beforehand, building anticipation and excitement. Encourage your children to ask questions and share their thoughts afterward. Consider incorporating the experience into their education by exploring related topics or visiting relevant museums or landmarks. By fostering a deeper engagement with theater, you’re nurturing a lifelong appreciation for creativity and storytelling.

Amazing Beach Scenery & Relaxing Ocean Sounds

Embracing Diversity and Inclusion

Broadway offers a rich tapestry of stories and perspectives, reflecting the diversity of our world. Use theater outings as opportunities to expose children to different cultures, experiences, and voices. Seek out productions that celebrate diversity and inclusion, showcasing characters and themes that resonate with your children’s identities or expand their understanding of the world. By embracing diversity on stage, you’re not only enriching your children’s theatrical experiences but also fostering empathy, understanding, and acceptance in their lives beyond the theater walls.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *