As cooler weather sets in, local stages are heating up with all kinds of shows for kids. Here’s the lineup to help you can stay warm and entertained through fall and into winter, with most descriptions coming straight from from their sources. (And if you’re looking for holiday shows, there are a few here, but a big guide to holiday fun is coming very soon!)
Kids Euro Festival
Where: Various venues
When:Through November 13
The annual festival will present more than 150 FREE children’s performances all around the metro area. Mimes, storytellers, dancers, and puppeteers are just a few of the exciting acts on the schedule that take place at a variety of venues, from public libraries to embassies to performing arts centers. Visit the website for details and the complete schedule.
Beauty and the Beast
Where: The Puppet Co. Playhouse
When: Through November 16
Out of the misty veil of Russian folklore comes the classic tale of palaces and promises. A beastly prince learns to live outside himself and discover courage, companionship, trust, and love in the heart of a merchant’s daughter. The grandeur of Czarist Russia provides the design style for both the scenery and the elegant half life-size marionettes.
Where: Jammin’ Java
Tickets: $5/weekdays, $10/weekends
Tot Rock is Jammin’ Java’s super-popular kids music concert series, providing wholesome family entertainment at one of the DC Metro area’s finest music clubs. Local groups perform in the monring every Monday through Friday, and touring performers drop by on many weekends. Check the calendar often to see when your favorite act is performing, and for other calendar updates.
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: Most Wednesdays, Saturdays, & Sundays at 10am
The series presents puppet shows designed for the youngest theater patrons (ages 0-4). They are shorter, the lights stay on, and the doors stay open. They have an arsenal of shows that they switch up every performance, so be sure to check the schedule to see what’s playing when you go.
Saturday Morning at the National
Where: National Theatre
When: Saturday mornings through December 15
Tickets: Free, but required
The free theatre program began runs on select Saturdays through the spring. Musicals, plays, storytelling, and comedy shows are all part of the live entertainment line-up. See the complete schedule of performances here. Tickets are distributed day of performances on first-come, first-served basis. Everyone must be in line to receive a ticket.
Where: Creative Cauldron
When: November 2-18
Tickets: $15/adults, $12/students & seniors
Creative Cauldron celebrates the bicentennial year of Charles Dickens birth with an original adaptation of one of his most vivid and compelling stories. Told through the lens of a contemporary graphic novel, this production will shed new light on the tale that has captured the imaginations and pierced the hearts of audiences for over two centuries. It is presented as part of our Learning Theater Workshop, a program that provides opportunities for student actors to perform with professionals.
Out of the Box
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center
When: November 12-18
The Atlas’ Theatre for the Very Young Series brings back this adorable production from Arts on the Horizon. Follow an energetic young girl named PJ, as she discovers the possibilities one box can hold. With the everyday items she finds in the box, PJ transports the audience into her imaginary world filled with new places and sounds to explore. Out of the Box is infused with magic and imagination for little theatre-goers.
The Amazing Night Time Adventure of Little Häwelmann
Where: Imagination Stage
When: November 13-21
German company Theater der Nacht is crossing the Atlantic to present The Amazing Night Time Adventure of Little Häwelmann at Imagination Stage as part of the My First Imagination Stage season. This production is presented in part with the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany. Based on the fairy tale by Theodor Storm, the show tells the story of a naughty boy named Häwelmann who won’t fall asleep. His mother, exhausted from rocking him, falls asleep herself. Bored and restless, Häwelmann makes a sail for his bed with his nightshirt and soars into the night upon the invitation of the moon, and then must try to find his way home after traversing the globe. Best for ages 3-6.
Seussical the Musical
Where: Imagination Stage
When: November 14 – January 6
Our story begins in the land of Nool,
where we find Horton the Elephant, alone by the pool.
All of a sudden, a small speck floats on by.
Horton can’t see a thing but hears a small cry.
Upon that small speck is the home of the Whos
and one boy named JoJo who breaks all the rules.
“This speck is a World!” Horton proclaims.
But no one believes him, they all call him names.
Gertrude McFuzz follows behind without fail,
in hopes he’ll notice her and her one feathered tail.
Back on our planet, the size of a bubble,
JoJo’s “thoughts” get him in trouble.
The peak of our tale is when the Whos must be heard!
Their fate lies with JoJo and one brand new word.
This enchanting musical adventure will transport you to a world
where ‘a person’s a person, no matter how small’
and most importantly, anything’s possible.
Jammin’ at the Smithsonian with Rocknocerous
Where: Discovery Theater
When: November 15 & 16
Coach Cotton, Williebob, and Boogie Woogie Bennie get the youngest rockers dancin’ in the aisles when they unleash their groovy folk-rock sound. The cosmic tunes will launch you into space—the Air and Space Museum, that is, where we’ll rock out under the rockets! This show is presented in partnership with Jammin Java Music Club & Café and the National Air & Space Museum. This show is funded by the Hilton Early Childhood Initiative.
A Christmas Carol
Where: Ford’s Theatre
When: November 16 – December 30
Join the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future as they lead the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge on a journey of transformation and redemption. Originally conceived by Michael Baron, this music-infused production captures the magic and joy of Dickens’s Yuletide classic. Acclaimed Washington stage actor Edward Gero returns to play Scrooge.
A Little House Christmas
Where: Adventure Theatre
When: November 17 – December 31
Tickets: $19 (Look for a discount here.)
The Ingalls are hosting some of their friends and relatives for a pre-Christmas dinner when a sudden storm threatens to cut off access to the town from which most of the guests have come. Come home for the holidays with this heartwarming adventure that shows that the simple things make living worthwhile as Mary and Laura learn the true meaning of Christmas. Recommended for ages 4 and up.
John Tartaglia’s ImaginOcean
Where: Warner Theatre
When: November 17, 1pm & 4pm
Tickets: $35-75 (look for a deal here)
A one-of-a-kind live black-light puppet show, John Tartaglia’s ImaginOcean is a magical undersea adventure for kids of all ages. Tank, Bubbles and Dorsel and three best friends who just happen to be fish, and they’re about to set out on a remarkable journey of discovery. And it all starts with a treasure map. As they swim off in search of clues, they’ll sing, they’ll dance, and they’ll make new friends, including everyone in the audience. Ultimately they discover the greatest treasure of all: friendship. Jam-packed with music ranging from swing to R&B to Big Band, John Tartaglia’s ImaginOcean is a blast from the first big splash to the last wave goodbye.
Where: BlackRock Center for the Arts
When: November 17
Tickets: $14 (Look for a discount here)
Lock up your lettuce! Protect your parsley! This spine-tingling, funny and tuneful musical is based on the hugely popular book by James & Deborah Howe. There is mystery and hilarity in the Monroe household, as seen through the eyes of Chester the cat and Harold the dog. When a new pet rabbit arrives, all the vegetables in the house are slowly drained of their color. Could the newcomer be “a vampire bunny?!” This Theatreworks USA musical is enjoyed by ages 5+.
The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg
Where: Kennedy Center
When: November 17 – December 9
During the Civil War, a small 12-year-old boy who never even owned a pair of shoes steps up to become a hero by saving his older brother at the Battle of Gettysburg. Then he helps lead the Union to victory! Sound too heroic to believe? It’s true. At least mostly true. You see, Homer P. Figg doesn’t always tell the whole truth about, well, anything. But from Maine to Pennsylvania, facing Union soldiers and Confederates, Underground Railroad conductors and circus ring leaders, Homer will tell any tale it takes to save his brother. Rodman Philbrick’s Newbery Honor–winning novella becomes the humorously staged story of Homer’s journey through thieves, spies, and scallywags as he makes his way through history. Recommended for ages 8 and up.
The Laurie Berkner Band
Where: Lisner Auditorium
When: November 18
Children’s music superstars and Nick Jr. channel favorites The Laurie Berkner Band comes to DC for a very special Holiday Concert. Dubbed “the queen of children’s music” by People Magazine, Laurie Berkner has won over legions of little fans with smart songwriting and infectious melodies. A limited number of VIP Packages will be available for sale. Price includes seating in the first 3 rows of the center section along with an after show meet & greet and photo opportunity with Laurie.
Capital City Symphony Annual Family Concert
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center
When: November 18, 2:30pm & 4:30pm
Admission: $20-25/adults, kids 16 and under are free
Join this fun, interactive concert with a special program book just for the younger set. The experience also includes an instrument petting zoo, where kids can see for themselves how the music is made.
Little Red & the Gingerbread Man
Where: Discovery Theater
When: November 19, 20, & 23
What do you get when you combine two classic storybook characters, music, a crazy chase through the woods, and an extra-large dash of comedy? The tasty adventures of a saucy redhead and a runaway cookie cook up the perfect pre-Thanksgiving treat. On Friday, November 23, families can decorate their own gingerbread cookies after the show.
Young Robin Hood
Where: Roundhouse Theater
When: November 28 – December 30
Travel to Sherwood Forest for some swashbuckling fun in this rousing new version of the classic adventure story. King Richard is off on the Crusades and Nottingham is at the mercy of the evil and corrupt Sheriff, who twists the law and persecutes the poor. When his father is falsely accused of a crime and imprisoned, impetuous teenager Robin, already a skilled archer and swordsman, has to grow up fast and devise a rescue. Friendship is tested and new alliances are formed as Robin fights against tyranny and injustice, with the unexpected help of the Sheriff’s feisty daughter Marian. Recommended for ages 8 and up