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Your Complete Guide to the Best Broadway Shows for Kids.

The Broadway shows of New York are known for their extravagant settings and mesmerizing theatrical performances. Often quoted as the epitome of performing arts, Broadway is a perfect confluence of dance, music, and theatre. Broadway shows can make for a great family outing, given that you choose the right show. Iconic Broadway shows like The Lion King and Alladin are prime specimens of performances that are enjoyed by kids and adults alike. Kids and teenagers appreciate the vibrant performances and intricate storytelling involved in Broadway. Many parents also wish to expose their children to the cultural and artistic diversity showcased in Broadway from a young age.

Broadway musicals from Disney are hugely popular with kids and tweens, along with comedies and teenage dramas like Wicked and Mean Girls. Broadway adaptations of books like Harry Potter and the Cursed Child or Percy Jackson- the Lightning Thief are also loved by kids and adults alike.

Broadway acts as a unique medium of fun and learning, wherein kids are imparted with values and life lessons.

To help you choose a musical evening with your little ones that they will remember for the rest of their lives, here is our guide for the best Broadway shows for kids.

Disney On Broadway

Broadway turned magical when tales as old as time made a place for themselves. Disney started its Broadway journey through the magnificent adaptation of Beauty and the Beast in 1994. The opulent storytelling garnished with beautiful costumes, catchy songs, and breathtaking stage design won the hearts of both children and adults alike. Over the years, many Disney blockbusters have been adapted on the stage making children’s favorite characters come alive. It is no surprise that Disney Shows became an instant favorite among kids.

The critics too were enamored with the grand Disney Performances on Broadway. From Beauty and the Beast to Frozen, many Disney Productions have won Tony Awards for their immaculate performances. The nuances of Disney Shows have awed the audience from its inception on Broadway. A chance of catching a live performance is definitely bucket-list material. Some of the current shows running are Disney’s Lion King, Disney’s Alladin and Disney’s Frozen.

Broadway Shows For Tweens

The space between being a kid and being a teenager is quite tricky. As the pre-pubescent mood swings kick in, it is not very easy to please this bunch. With fussy choices and expanding awareness, Broadway has invigorating content that is best suited for the Tweens. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is entertainment mixed with learning and makes for a perfect way to spend an evening with your tween. Disney Broadway Shows are timeless and much enjoyed by this audience as well. Come From Away is another popular show amongst middle-schoolers showing the kindness of strangers. For a night full of glamour and learning for your precious one check out the shows currently playing - Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Dear Evan Hanson and The Book of Mormon.

Comedy Broadway Shows For Kids

Comedy served with a side of grandeur! Take your little ones for fun comedy Broadway shows and spend an evening full of laughter and joy. In between laughter, the shows enrich your kids with culture and values. Apart from all Disney Shows, Broadway has many more choices for you to choose from for kids. Wicked will take your kids on a fantastical, fun journey. The Gazillion Bubble Show will enamor your kid and keep them in a happy bubble of fun and frolic. How the Grinch Stole the Christmas, Hello Dolly and Matilda have been popular amongst the kids for a long time now. Broadway brings your way some new and fresh shows that will leave your kids in splits - Blue Man Group, Emojiland The Musical and many more!

Off-Broadway Shows for Kids

Broadway is big, bold and sometimes, chaotic. Kids tend to be distracted all the time with all that is happening on and off stage. to solve pickles like these, there exist Off-Broadway shows for kids. They bring to the stage the same flavor of the Broadway shows, but to a more intimate audience. The seating arrangement is curated for 100-400 people and that makes the setting smaller and that is a better environment for the kids to take in the entirety of the show. The intimate setting also results in there being lesser distractions and the kids concentrating on the storytelling itself. Here are some of the innovative and engaging off-Broadway shows trending in 2020:

  • The Blue Man Group

    The quirky, bright, bold and utterly unique show, which is too much to grasp in the complete Broadway setting, is now off-Broadway. Kids tend to enjoy the frivolity of the acts more in an intimate setting.

  • The Gazillion Bubble Show

    The fantastic world of bubbles comes alive off-Broadway. Featuring fantastic next-level laser lighting displays, and a great musical score, The Gazillion Bubble Show is an hour plus of unbelievable soapy masterpieces

  • The Play That Goes Wrong

    The chaotic and raucous real-life story of rags to riches, now comes off-Broadway. It is a comedy for all ages and is off-Broadway, to give you a hilarious experience.

Kids Night On Broadway (KNOB)

Live theatre is often looked at as a thing of the past. But Kids Night on Broadway is an effort to kindle the love for the performing arts in young minds. It is an audience development event that helps introduce a new generation to the magic of live theatre. Presented by The New York Times, KNOB takes place in February. There are free tickets for kids of the age group 6-18 if they attend with a paying adult. As it is an initiative to encourage the art form, there are pre-theatre educational events and parties for kids with free entry. This helps in ensuring that the kids develop a holistic approach towards the art form.

A KNOB ticket comes with its perks - restaurant discounts, parking discounts and more. Some offers include a whopping 50% off on the tickets which you can avail from the KNOB website. Some of the most famous shows for kids include: Frozen, Beetlejuice, Wicked, Aladdin, Mean Girls and Come From Away.

Parents Guide To Broadway Show

Pick out the best for your kid with the help of this guide:

  • Always go to the show’s website to check for age restrictions and the content of the Broadway extravaganza.

  • Scour the web for recommendations from critics that lists out appropriate shows for children.

  • When in doubt, go with the Disney Classics like Frozen, Lion King and Aladdin.

  • Many shows have an age limit that restricts the entry of children below a particular age.

  • Include your kids in the show selection process. This will help you figure out what exactly they want and if they’ve chosen the show themselves, chances of them enjoying it are higher!

Attending Broadway Shows With Kids - Tips & Hacks

Kids are not used to attending live performances which go on for a couple of hours. Here are our suggestions to parents for attending Broadway shows with kids:

  • Grab an early dinner before the performance, so the little ones don’t get hungry mid-way

  • For Kids Night on Broadway, make sure your kids go to the pre-theatre educational events and parties. Tickets for these are free and they promise a wholesome experience for your child.

  • Plan a fun Broadway outing with your kid and their friends, so that they have company while enjoying their favorite musical.

  • You can explore the afternoon ‘Matinees’ while planning to see Broadway shows with kids if you think they will have a harder time staying up in the evening show.

  • Make sure that your little one has gone to the bathroom before the performance, and try to reserve corner seats in case you have to take them outside in mid-performance. A relatively short performance with intermissions is best suited for kids.

  • Keep the seating arrangement in mind when booking seats for small kids, as their view may be partially restricted. The center orchestra and mezzanine section offer the best view in general.

So here was our guide on the best Broadway shows for kids. For the New York locals who have the luxury to attend Broadway at their leisure or the tourists who come bearing high expectations, Broadway never disappoints. It is an offbeat experience which you will forever cherish with your loved ones. The values in Disney musicals or the open-hearted discussions in classics like To Kill a Mockingbird impart important lessons to people of all ages. Go through the Broadway schedule and remember to reserve your tickets in advance as they tend to sell out quickly.

FAQs - Best Broadway Show Kids

Can kids go to Broadway shows?
Generally, children under the age of 4 are not permitted at Broadway shows. Regardless of age, all members require a ticket to see a Broadway show.
What Broadway shows are appropriate for tweens?
Hamilton, Book of Mormon, Dear Evan Hansen , Blue Man Group, Mean Girls and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child are a few Broadway shows appropriate for tweens.
What Broadway shows are kid-friendly?
The Lion King, Frozen, Aladdin, Hadestown, Wicked and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child are a few kid-friendly Broadway shows.
Is Dear Evan Hansen appropriate for a 12 year old?
Dear Evan Hansen is centered around themes of suicide, depression, bullying and dysfunctional families. The story is told from the vantage point of high school kids, but the language has certain profanities and there are sexual references. Keeping this in mind, one can decide whether it is suitable for their child.
Is Hamilton appropriate for children?
Since Hamilton contains some strong language, the show is appropriate for ages 10+. Children under 4 are not permitted into the theatre.