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Best Broadway Shows for Kids

Recommendations
Published on: Oct 1, 2022
Last Updated on: Mar 16, 2024
By: Kathryn Willingham
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Best-Broadway-Shows-for-Kids

Best Broadway Shows for Kids

Getting tickets to a Broadway show is an essential part of any trip into New York City, and if you're visiting with kids, seeing their faces light up when they see their first Broadway musical is a memory you will treasure forever. And you're in luck: there are many family-friendly shows that are ready to enchant people of all ages. We'll also give you tips to help make sure your trip to the Broadway theater is the best experience ever. But first, onto the shows! Here are some of the best family shows currently or soon to be running on Broadway that are great for both kids and kids at heart. We've structured these by age recommendation, starting with shows for a younger audience and ending with shows more suited to older kids and teenagers. No matter if you’re looking for shows for little kids, middle schoolers, pre-teens, teens or young adults, we’ll help you find the perfect show:

Aladdin

ALADDIN

Aladdin has been running on Broadway at the New Amsterdam Theatre since 2014 and is based on the beloved film. Buy tickets to discover a whole new world in a whole new way! Spectacular sets, beautiful costumes, and filled to the brim with magic, it includes all the songs from the Academy Award-winning score as well as songs written exclusively for the stage. And you won’t believe what they’re able to do with that magic carpet. In what the New York Times calls "fabulous and extravagant!", this musical will captivate Broadway audiences of all ages.

ALADDIN is recommended for kids 6 and up, and children under 4 won’t be admitted into the theater.

You Have Questions? We Have Answers!

How long is Aladdin? The running time of Aladdin is two hours and thirty minutes, including one fifteen-minute intermission.

Where is the theater? The New Amsterdam Theatre is located at 214 W. 42nd Street between 7th and 8th Avenues. 

Who created the musical Aladdin? Aladdin has a book by Chad Beguelin, music by Alan Menken, and lyrics by Howard Ashman, Tim Rice, and Chad Beguelin. Casey Nicholaw directed and choreographed the musical.

Did Aladdin win any Tony Awards? Aladdin was nominated for five Tony Awards, and James Monroe Iglehart won the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical for his performance as the Genie. 

Can I see a clip of the musical? Sure! Here’s a video of the Broadway cast performing “Friend Like Me” on Good Morning America

Is Aladdin on tour? It sure is – Aladdin is touring in North America right now and playing in cities like Detroit, Chicago, Kansas City, Denver, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Tulsa, St. Louis, Fayetteville, Seattle, and more. Check out the official Aladdin musical website to find a list of all cities and dates. 

Is there a hotel nearby? The Hilton New York Times Square is located on the same block as the theater at 234 W. 42nd Street.   

We’re hungry! Is there a nearby restaurant? If you’re looking for New York pizza, try Carnegie Pizza one block south of the theater at 200 W. 41st Street. Or head to Junior’s at 1626 Broadway to end the night with a slice of famous New York cheesecake (they also have very good mac and cheese, soups, and sandwiches). Or if you’re looking for something familiar, Dave & Buster’s, Hard Rock Café, and Shake Shack are all within a five-minute walk of the theater. 

Why kids will love Aladdin: Kids will love the songs they already know and love from the movie, and they'll be wowed by the incredible sets, costumes, and stage magic. One song has over 70 costume quick changes over the span of just a few minutes, there are over 8,500 Swarovski crystals in a single costume, and we’re not kidding about that magic carpet…it’s really cool.

Lion-King-Broadway

THE LION KING

Disney’s The Lion King has been running on Broadway since 1997, and there’s a reason this mega-hit has such staying power. Based on the beloved animated film of the same name with music by Elton John, The Lion King won 6 Tony Awards including the Tony Award for Best Musical and has since become the single highest grossing piece of entertainment of all time. Come see the story of Simba for yourself as the Serengeti Plains are made real before your eyes. Director Julie Taymor has created spectacular production that earned her a Tony Award for Best Director of a Musical. Variety called it “a marvel, a theatrical achievement unrivaled in its beauty, brains and ingenuity…’The Lion King’ will enchant children and adults in equal measure.”

THE LION KING is recommended for kids 6 and up, and children under 3 won’t be admitted into the theater.

You have questions? We have answers!

How long is The Lion King? The running time of The Lion King is two hours and thirty minutes, including one fifteen-minute intermission.

Where is the theater? The Minskoff Theatre is located at 200 West 45th Street, between Broadway and 8th Avenue. There are entrances on both 44th and 45th Streets. 

Who created the musical The Lion King? The Lion King has a book by Roger Allers and Irene Mecchi, music by Elton John, and lyrics by Tim Rice. Julie Taymor directed and Garth Fagan choreographed the production, and Lebo M., Mark Mancina, Hans Zimmer, and Jay Rifkin provided additional music and lyrics.

Did The Lion King win any Tony Awards? The Lion King won 6 Tony Awards including the Tony Award for Best Musical.

Can I see a clip of the musical? Yes! Disney recorded the opening song “Circle of Life” in 360°, so you can immerse yourself in the full experience and check out the song from multiple angles. 

Is The Lion King on tour? It is! The Lion King is currently on tour in North America and will stop in over 80 cities. Check out the official Lion King musical website to find a list of all cities and dates.

Is there a hotel nearby? The closest hotel to the Minskoff Theatre is just across the street – the New York Marriott Marquis is located at 1535 Broadway and has entrances on 45th and 46th Streets.

We’re hungry! Is there a nearby restaurant? The Minskoff Theatre is next door to Junior’s, which has soups, sandwiches, and famous New York cheesecake. Or if you want to dine with a view, the Marriott Marquis hotel has a revolving restaurant on its top floor called, appropriately, The View, which has floor to ceiling windows showing off the New York City skyline.

Why kids will love The Lion King: Any Disney fan will enjoy seeing the songs they love brought the life, but the first ten minutes alone make this musical worth seeing. A full menagerie of animals takes over the theater, processing through the aisles and onto the stage in an awe-inspiring scene.

harry-potter-cursed-child-at-lyric

HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is set 19 years after Harry, Ron, and Hermione saved the wizarding world. Now a new generation has arrived at Hogwarts, including Harry Potter’s son Albus, and Draco Malfoy’s son Scorpius, who soon become fast friends. Get ready for magic, the dark arts, and a heart-pounding trip through time. The New York Times called it “diamond-sharp in its staging and dazzling in its visual imagination, as magical as any spell or potion.”

HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD is recommended for ages 8 and up, and children under 4 won’t be admitted into the theater.

You have questions? We have answers!

How long is Harry Potter and the Cursed Child? The running time of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is three hours and thirty minutes, including one intermission.

Where is the theater? The Lyric Theatre is located at 214 W. 43rd Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues.

Who created Harry Potter and the Cursed Child? Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is written by Jack Thorne and directed by John Tiffany and based on an original story by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne. Steven Hoggett is the movement director.

Did Harry Potter and the Cursed Child win any Tony Awards? Harry Potter and the Cursed Child won 6 Tony Awards including the Tony Award for Best Play.

Can I see a clip of the play? Yes! The production created a trailer showing scenes from the Broadway show.

Is Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on tour? Not yet – but it does have productions in London (where it premiered), Hamburg, Toronto, Tokyo, and Melbourne.

Is there a hotel nearby? Yes, many – but one of the closest is The Westin New York at Times Square, located on the same block at 270 W. 43rd Street at 8th Avenue.

We’re hungry! Where should we eat? Carmine’s Italian Restaurant is a crowd favorite, one block north of the theater at 200 W. 44th Street.

Why kids will love Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Two words: stage magic. It’s impossible to overhype the illusions you’ll witness on stage. The story will hook you, and the magic will leave you wondering how on earth they pulled it all off.

Gershwin-Wicked-Broadway-Musical

WICKED

See the wicked witch of the west in a whole new light! A prequel to The Wizard of Oz, the musical is based on the novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire and follows green-skinned Elphaba as she goes to school and meets popular blonde-haired Glinda. Their rivalry and friendship takes center stage as one of them is deemed “good” and the other “wicked.” The New York Times called it “the most significant musical of the decade” and there is a movie adaptation currently in production starring Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande.

WICKED is recommended for ages 8 and up, and children under the age of 5 won’t be admitted into the theater.

You have questions? We have answers!

How long is Wicked? The running time of Wicked is two hours and forty-five minutes, including a fifteen-minute intermission.

Where is the theater? The Gershwin Theatre is located at 222 W. 51st Street, between Broadway and 8th Avenue.

Who created Wicked? Wicked has a book by Winnie Holzman and music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz. The musical is directed by Joe Mantello.

Did Wicked win any Tony Awards? Wicked was nominated for ten Tony Awards and won three, including the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for Idina Menzel, who originated the role of Elphaba.

Can I see a clip of the musical? Of course! Check out the official Wicked YouTube Channel for tons of exclusive content.

Is Wicked on tour? Yes! Wicked is currently touring in North America, stopping in Houston, Louisville, Nashville, New Orleans, San Antonio, Denver, and many more. Find out more about specific cities and dates on the Wicked website

Is there a hotel near the theater? Yes, many! One of the closest is the citizenM New York Times Square hotel located across the street from the theater on 218 W. 50th Street between Broadway and 8th Avenue.

We’re hungry! Where should we eat? For great Mexican food, try Toloache at 251 W. 50th, or to keep in the musical spirit, head to Ellen’s Stardust Diner at the corner of Broadway and 51st Street, where you’ll be served by singing waiters.

Why kids will love Wicked: Wicked is one of the biggest musicals in the world and has become part of the cultural zeitgeist. Kids will see themselves onstage in the school scenes set in Shiz University (who hasn't worried about fitting in?), and when Elphaba literally flies, it's a sight to behold.

Hamilton-Broadway-Musical

HAMILTON

Winner of 11 Tony Awards including Best Musical, the mega-hit HAMILTON is the story of America's Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the West Indies, who became George Washington's right-hand man during the Revolutionary War and was the new nation's first Treasury Secretary. Hamilton's score blends hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap, R&B, and Broadway - the story of America then, as told by America now. Also available to stream on Disney+, don't miss seeing Hamilton live on stage at the Richard Rodgers Theatre!

HAMILTON is recommended for ages 10 and up, and children under the age of 4 are not permitted in the theater.

You have questions? We have answers!

How long is Hamilton? The running time of Hamilton is two hours and forty-five minutes, including one intermission.

Where is the theater? The Richard Rodgers Theatre is located on 226 W. 46th Street, between Broadway and 8th Avenue.

Who created Hamilton? Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote the book, music, and lyrics to Hamilton, which is based on the book Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow. Thomas Kail directed the musical, and Andy Blankenbuehler choreographed. Co-Arranger Alex Lacamoire also did orchestrations.

Did Hamilton win any Tony Awards? Yes, a lot of them! Hamilton won eleven Tony Awards including the Tony Award for Best Musical.

Can I see a clip of the musical? Yes! The Ham channel offers exclusive videos and other fun media content.

Is Hamilton on tour? Yes, Hamilton is on tour in North America and internationally. Check out the Hamilton website for specifics on cities and dates.

Is there a hotel near the theater? Paramount Hotel Times Square is located on the same block at 235 W. 46th Street.

We’re hungry! Where should we eat? Grab a slice at Patzeria Perfect Pizza across the street from the theater or head west on 46th Street to restaurant row, where you’ll find many great restaurants for every budget and taste.

Why kids will love Hamilton: Hamilton is one of Broadway’s biggest hits and continues to sell out every performance. See it by hook or by crook. It really is that good. Kids may have learned about Alexander Hamilton in class, but they've never seen him like this.

Six-musical-broadway

SIX

From Tudor Queens to Pop Princesses, the SIX wives of Henry VIII take the mic at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre to remix five hundred years of historical heartbreak into an exuberant celebration of 21st century girl power! This new original musical is the global sensation that everyone is losing their head over. The New York Times says SIX "TOTALLY RULES!" (Critic's Pick) and The Washington Post hails SIX as, "Exactly the kind of energizing, inspirational illumination this town aches for! The Broadway season got supercharged!"

SIX is recommended for ages 10 and up, and children under 4 won't be admitted into the theater.

You have questions? We have answers!

How long is Six? The running time of Six is one hour and twenty minutes with no intermission.

Where is the theater? The Lena Horne Theatre is located at 256 W. 47th Street, between Broadway and 8th Avenue.

Who created Six? Six has book, music, and lyrics by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss. It is directed by Lucy Moss and Jamie Armitage and choreographed by Carrie-Anne Ingrouille.

Did Six win any Tony Awards? Six was nominated for eight Tony Awards and won two, including the Tony Award for Best Original Score.

Can I see a clip of the musical? Yes! Watch the song they performed at the Tony Awards on the Six YouTube Channel.

Is Six on tour? Yes, Six is currently touring North America. Check the Six website for more information about cities and dates. Six is also touring in the UK, Ireland, and Australia.

Is there a hotel near the theater? The Hotel Edison next door to the theater at 228 W. 47th Street, between Broadway and 8th Avenue.

We’re hungry! Where should we eat? Glass House Tavern is next door to the theater at 252 W. 47th Street; it’s a popular bistro often frequented by theatergoers and theater-makers that offers pre-fix meals before the show.

Why kids will love Six: Because it’s a blast – its funny script, lean running time, and killer vocals make it a great night out with friends, and kids will be singing the soundtrack for months after.

Moulin-Rouge-Broadway

MOULIN ROUGE! THE MUSICAL! 

Moulin Rouge! opened in 2019 at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre and won 10 Tony Awards including Best Musical. Based on the 2001 film, Moulin Rouge! follows a young poet, Christian, who falls in love with the courtesan Satine at the famous Moulin Rouge cabaret. You’ll see why The New York Times calls the show “spectacular” when you see the amazing set, great dancing, and awe-inducing arrangements of more top 40 songs than you can shake a stick at. Moulin Rouge! is a pop culture sensation that includes songs like “Chandelier,” “Your Song,” “Bad Romance,” and “Roxanne.”

MOULIN ROUGE! is recommended for ages 12 and up, and children under 4 are not permitted in the theater.

You have questions? We have answers!

How long is Moulin Rouge? The running time of Moulin Rouge is two hours and thirty-five minutes, including one intermission.

Where is the theater? The Al Hirschfeld Theatre is located at 302 W. 45th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.

Who created Moulin Rouge? Moulin Rouge has a book by John Logan, direction by Alex Timbers and choreography by Sonya Tayeh. It is based on the film by Baz Luhrmann.

Did Moulin Rouge win any Tony Awards? Moulin Rouge won ten Tony Awards including the Tony Award for Best Musical.

Can I see a clip of the musical? Yes! Here’s a clip of “Roxanne” from the show’s TikTok page.

Is Moulin Rouge on tour? Yes, Moulin Rouge is currently touring in North America. Check out their tour page for more information on cities and dates.

Is there a hotel near the theater? The InterContinental New York Times Square hotel is located one block south of the theater at 300 W. 44th Street.

We’re hungry! Where should we eat? Head to restaurant row on 46th Street, to choose from many great restaurants, or for a scoop of ice cream, head to the nearby Amorino Gelato and Café on 721 8th Avenue between 45th and 46th Streets.

Why kids will love Moulin Rouge: Spectacle, spectacle, spectacle. This musical has amazing sets by Derek McLane, great choreography, and just the right number of confetti canons (you can never have too many). Add in more renditions of pop songs than you can count, and you have a recipe for success.

Best Off-Broadway Shows for Kids

gazillion-bubble-show-offbroadway

GAZILLION BUBBLE SHOW

This classic has been playing off-Broadway for fifteen years and for good reason. With a quick runtime of only 60 minutes, $20 lap seats available for children under 2, and a coat check that can accommodate strollers, this is a great choice for young kids and the young at heart. They even have special birthday experiences and rates. Featuring magic, laser and light effects, and – of course – a gazillion bubbles, Time Out New York said, “kids and parents alike will love how these soapy spectacles create a can’t-miss experience.”

GAZILLION BUBBLE SHOW is appropriate for all ages.  

THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG

The Play That Goes Wrong follows The Cornley Drama Society on the opening night of their play, The Murder at Haversham Manor. But missed cues, set mishaps, and cast injuries cause a night of hilarious, slapstick mayhem. Variety called it “broad, silly and deliciously demented…comic gold.”

THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG is recommended for ages 8 and up, and children under 4 are not permitted in the theater.

And here are some tips to make your kids' night at the theatre the best, and most stress free, experience ever:

  • Ask for a booster seat! We've all been there, trying to stack an entire family's pile of coats on a seat so your shortest kid can try to see over the tall adult in front of them. Ask your nearest usher if there are booster seats available, and they'll direct you.

  • If your kid can't quite make it to intermission, consider getting an aisle seat if you're worried about getting up and down for extra bathroom breaks.

  • If you're with a young child and they get overwhelmed - hey, it happens! Some theaters have tv screens in the lobby or lounge where you can watch the show if you need to leave the theatre. This can be a great option if you're with a larger family, and only one child needs to leave.

  • You know your child best. An evening show can be a special and exciting experience. The bright lights of Times Square! The extra late bedtime! But if you're worried about your kid getting tired or hungry, an afternoon matinee may be the perfect show for you. Check each theater's individual website, but most shows have a matinee on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.

  • Does your kid sing Broadway songs on the way to school? Ask for a Broadway ticket for every birthday? Are they involved in performing arts? If your kid is a huge musical theatre fan, they'll love waiting at the stage door after the show. It's easy to find, just look for a barricade and a line of people to the left or right of the theatre entrance: they're waiting at the stage door to congratulate the actors, take photos, and ask for autographs. Do check each theater's website for the most up to date information on covid protocols - many shows have temporarily shut down the stage door for safety reasons.

​​Looking for cheap tickets? Check out our article on discount Broadway tickets, and also look into Kids Night on Broadway, run by the Broadway League. Usually in February, this Broadway program offers free tickets to kids from age 6 to 18 who attend a Broadway show with a paying adult. The event also offers restaurant and parking discounts. For more information, go to the Kids’ Night on Broadway website.

Kathryn Willingham

Head of Creative Development at Jean Doumanian Productions

Kathryn Willingham has worked in entertainment for over ten years, and recent credits include: Co-producer of SHRINK currently streaming on Peacock, Associate Producer of the independent film UNA, and Creative Executive on multiple theatrical productions including HANGMEN by Martin McDonagh on Broadway, NASSIM by Nassim Soleimanpour Off-broadway and Associate on productions EVERY BRILLIANT THING by Duncan Macmillan with Jonny Donahoe and THE EFFECT by Lucy Prebble. She was Producer of Todd Almond’s musical travelogue “Wyoming and Parts of Kansas” and Production Coordinator for Karen O and KK Barrett's “Stop the Virgens.”

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Education: B.A. in English, Literature & Creative Writing from Rhodes College
Knowledge: Theatrical Production

Published

Oct 1, 2022

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