Best Broadway Shows for Kids, Teens and Tweens

Tuesday, March 26, 2024
One of the top questions I hear as a travel blogger and mom is, 'What are the best Broadway shows for kids?'  People particularly want to know which ones are best for first time Broadway visitors. So here's a lowdown on some of the best Broadway Shows for kids, teens and tweens (*I will update this post as often as I can so that Broadway choices are current!).

*This post is freshly updated for 2024!

Disclosure: this is not a sponsored post and all opinions are my own.

Don't forget to Pin this post for future use! I try to update it as shows open and close, so there might be new info the next time you check. ;)

Full disclosure, I haven't seen every show on this list. But I tried to ask fellow parents and friends for their opinions on what they've seen, so rest assured I put a lot of thought into my choices. Also good to note:

-Shows with an * indicate that it's ending soon, so check the date listed for final performance

-official recommended age is listed for each show, as well as any thoughts I have for age appropriateness. Most shows are recommended for ages 8 and up unless otherwise stated. But you know your child best and should be able to determine if they can sit for a lengthy performance or if they need a shorter show!

-also note that most/many theaters do not permit children under the age of 4 to be in their audience. This varies by show and venue, so always check before purchasing tickets. Some theaters are geared specifically towards young children (such as TADA! Youth Theater) so please keep them in mind if you want to introduce your preschoolers to theater. 

-some of the shows I mentioned are Off-Broadway productions, but that doesn't make them any less special. What's the difference between the two? Years ago the label came from the location of the theater but that's no longer the case. Now it's simply based on the number of seats in the theater. Theaters with more than 499 seats are considered Broadway. Theaters containing between 99 and 499 seats are Off-Broadway.
Best Broadway Shows for Kids

Back to the Future: (recommended for 6 and up): I don't think I need to explain this one to you or why it's great for kids. The music, set decoration, costumes - everything is top notch and entertaining for young kids, even if they've never seen the original movie.

Aladdin (recommended for ages 8 and up): Aladdin is a true Disney classic, features favorite characters from the film and an amazing, familiar score that can't be beat. Between the costumes, new songs added, and incredible scenery, you can't go wrong.

The Lion King (recommended for ages 6 and up): Based on the hit Disney movie, The Lion King is a beautiful show, complete with kids' favorite characters from the film and an incredible musical score. The puppets and life-like scenery are something kids will never forget.

Wicked (recommended for 8 and up): Wicked is a prequel to The Wizard of Oz. The show is recommended for ages 8 and up because there are complex themes here of beauty standards, morality and even fascism. The flying monkeys can be a little scary, too. But the music is amazing and many kids will love seeing well known characters from Wizard of Oz.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (recommended for 8 and up): this one is a must-see for Harry Potter fans and has been reimagined for Broadway (it used to be shown in two parts but that is no longer the case- you just need one ticket, one show!). The theater is absolutely stunning and quite an immersive experience for Potter fans. This theater does not permit ages 5 and under. Anyone under 15 must be accompanied by an adult. There's also a VIP "Ambassador Lounge" option for your ticket, which most people online say is worth the extra $70. I have never experienced it myself, but I suppose it's worth looking into! 

Gazillion Bubble Show (recommended for all ages): 'you have to see it to bubblieve it,' says their slogan, promising a show filled with bubble artistry and wonder. It's been playing in New York City for 12 years now, so it's truly a fan favorite. You can even have a birthday party here!

Blue Man Group (recommended for ages 5 and up): Blue Man Group is considered an off-Broadway show, but it's been entertaining audiences for decades now and is a New York favorite. Quirky and colorful, loud and messy, be prepared for non-stop fun!

photo from The Lion King Musical Facebook page

Better for Teens or Tweens (12 and up)

& Juliet: (recommended for 6 and up) This musical is a take on Romeo & Juliet, this time from Juliet's perspective when she ditches Romeo- it's a modern twist with great, upbeat music and it's a fun, girl-power production that teenagers will love. It's recommended for 6 and up but I say it's more for 8 and up, based on the theme and some strong language. 

Hadestown: (recommended for 8 and up) Mythology lovers will appreciate this one. It's recommended for 8 and up but I think it's geared more towards teens because it’s a bit of a deeper story involving Persephone and Hades and a journey to the Underworld (but a modern take on it).

Dear Evan Hansen (recommended for 12 and up): Dear Evan Hansen is one of the first plays that people recommend for teenagers, due to its incredible acting and outstanding storyline. But note that it revolves around serious subject matters like suicide, grief, anxiety, depression, and loneliness. If you're looking for an upbeat, lighter show, this one might not be for you.

Hamilton (recommended for ages 10 and up): Hamilton isn't geared towards kids but many teens and tweens enjoy it thanks to its contemporary score (rap, R&B, pop) and engaging performances.

Mean Girls (recommended for 10 and up): Tiny Fey, who wrote the original cult classic of the same name, also penned the Broadway rendition of Mean Girls. Funny scenes and a strong musical score, this one touches on all the same themes as the movie- bullying, fitting in, and, well, dealing with those mean girls that we all know so well.

The Outsiders (recommended for ages 10 and up): The beloved novel by S.E. Hinton isn't just a classic movie, it has now been reimagined as a musical and has already received 12 Tony Award nominations. I have not seen this one yet but I hear the music is stunning and my friends highly recommend it for teenagers. The music is supposed to be outstanding, as well as the cast. 

Do you have a favorite Broadway or Off-Broadway suggestion for teens, tweens or kids? Let me know in the comments! 

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