Tag Archives: Washington DC Live Entertainment for Kids

Warm Up With Some Winter Entertainment

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe brings winter magic to Adventure Theatre

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe brings winter magic to Adventure Theatre



As the mercury drops, stay warm and entertained at a show! Children’s plays, puppet shows, family symphonies, acrobatic hoops, monster trucks, date night options… there’s live entertainment to indulge every interest. Here are details on what you can see on local stages and arenas, listed in order of start date.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Where: Adventure Theatre
When: Through December 31
Tickets: $19.50

This snowy, holiday classic features just a two-person cast! Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy are sent to live in the countryside home of professor Digory Kirke. As Lucy explores the house, she discovers a secret portal to a magical world called Narnia. With an evil White Witch ruling the kingdom, can Lucy, her new friend Mr. Tumnus, and her family band together to save Narnia? Recommended for all ages. Read the KFDC review!

The Secret Garden
Where: Sidney Harman Hall
When: Through January 8
Tickets: $44-102 (look for a discount)

When 10-year-old Mary Lennox loses her parents to a cholera epidemic in the British Raj of India, she travels to England to stay with Archibald Craven, her remote and morose uncle, still grieving the death of his wife ten years ago. Terrified of every nook and cranny of the haunted Craven Manor on the Yorkshire Moors, Mary seeks refuge in her late aunt’s mysterious walled garden, where she discovers amazing secrets. KFDC Insight: This is a beautiful, superbly acted production — Sasha and I both enjoyed it!

Carousel
Where: Arena Stage
When: Through December 24
Tickets: $64-109

When Billy Bigelow and Julie Jordan fall in love, little do they realize that his rebellious ways will lead to tragedy. Given a chance to make good, will a lucky star save Billy and those he loves? This Rodgers and Hammerstein classic got a well-deserved standing ovation at the performance Owen and I saw. Brilliant performances by the talented cast, a simple yet beautiful theatre-in-the-round-setting, and a story that is emotional and hopeful make for a superb theatre experience. I recommend it for ages 10 and up, or make it a date night.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
Where: Imagination Stage
When: Through January 15
Tickets: $15-30

Once upon a time, in a French provincial town, Belle is the bookish daughter of a hapless inventor. She narrowly avoids the amorous advances of the bully Gaston only to find herself imprisoned in the castle of a terrible Beast. While the servants Cogsworth, Lumiere, Mrs. Potts and Chip conspire to make Belle fall in love with their bewitched master, she gradually wins over his heart by virtue of her kindness and patience. Excitement builds as Gaston gathers a mob to rid the community of the ugly Beast and to claim Belle for himself alone. Needless to say, after much high drama, silly laughter, exuberant singing and dancing, love wins the day! Recommended for ages 4 and up.

Into the Woods
Where: Kennedy Center
When: Through January 8
Tickets: $49-175 (look for a discount)

Venture into the woods with the acclaimed Fiasco Theater’s production that became NYC’s surprise hit of the season. This witty and wildly theatrical re-invention of Sondheim’s Tony Award-winning musical classic is staged like you’ve never seen it before! Recommended for ages 8 an up.

Mary Poppins
Where: Olney Theatre
When: Through January 8
Tickets: $43-90 (look for a discount)

One of the most beloved tales of all time! It’s 1910 and Mr. Banks is looking for a stern nanny for his two wayward children… but fortunately for the family, Mary Poppins comes along, and teaches them all – especially Mr. Banks – some valuable lessons in what family really means. From the magical “Chim Chim Cher-ee” to the iconic “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” you’ll delight to the story of a wizardly, wise nanny, two precious children, and the family she teaches how to love each other.

Wicked
Where: Kennedy Center
When: Through January 8
Tickets: $99-359

Wicked, the Broadway sensation, looks at what happened in the Land of Oz… but from a different angle. Long before Dorothy arrives, there is another young woman, born with emerald-green skin–smart, fiery, misunderstood, and possessing an extraordinary talent. When she meets a bubbly blonde who is exceptionally popular, their initial rivalry turns into the unlikeliest of friendships… until the world decides to call one “good,” and the other one “wicked.” Recommended for ages 8 and up.

Titanic
Where: Signature Theatre
When: Through January 29
Tickets: $40-94

Come aboard the ship of dreams in this Tony Award®-winning Best Musical—a heart-stopping and riveting ride through the final moments of Titanic’s fateful journey. In this stunning, 360-degree production, Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer plunges you into the middle of the glamour, chaos, heroism and, ultimately, in the spirit of the most infamous ship of all time. With a lush, unforgettable score and a cast, orchestra and crew of more than 50 artists, Titanic will be the theatrical event of the season!

Adventures with Mr. Bear
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center
When: December 18-30
Tickets: $9

The wonder and magic of a child’s imagination are brought to life in this charming world premiere. One cozy winter afternoon, a young girl and her favorite stuffed animal, Mr. Bear, play a game of hide and seek which evolves into a series of exciting adventures. Together, they embark on a journey of endless possibilities – all from the comfort of her playroom! Cuddle up with your favorite stuffed animal friend and join us for a delightful holiday production. Recommended for ages 2-5.

Blue
Where: Imagination Stage
When: January 3 – February 8
Tickets: $14

Imagine a world where the only color is blue. Blue flowers, blue grass, even blue cereal! Inky and Pale live in such a world until they discover something RED!

Tot Rock
Where: Jammin’ Java
When: Ongoing
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 acts perform every Thursday and 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.

Boogie Babes
Where: Angelika Pop-Up, Eastern Market, & The Atlas
When: Wednesdays & Thursdays, 10:30am
Tickets: $5/child, free for sibling 6 months and under

Little ones can boogie along with their favorite local musicians at the Angelika Pop-Up (behind Union Market) on Wednesdays and in Eastern Market’s North Hall every Thursday over the summer. Go for the show, then grab lunch in the Markets.

Tiny Tots
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: Most Wednesdays, Saturdays, & Sundays at 10am
Tickets: $5

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.

Millennium Stage
Where: Kennedy Center
When: Ongoing daily, 6pm
Tickets: Free

The Kennedy Center presents these free, no-tickets-required performances every day at 6pm, and the public is welcome to enjoy them. The acts span the genres — you can see everything from contemporary dance to folk music to puppetry to comedy shows to opera scenes. Millennium Stage showcases everyone from local youth choirs to internationally known bands (They Might Be Giants performed there a few years ago). This is a great series to keep in mind for whenever you’re looking for some free, easy entertainment.

Saturday Morning at the National
Where: National Theatre
When: Most Saturdays
Tickets: FREE!

The free theatre program runs on select Saturdays with performances at 9:30am and 11:30am. 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 a first-come, first-served basis. Everyone must be in line to receive a ticket.

The Little Princess
Where: Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre
When: January 6-11
Tickets: $15/adults, $10/children

It’s Encore Stage & Studio’s theatre by kids for kids! Sara Crewe, a young heiress to a diamond mine fortune, leaves her home and father in India to go to school at Miss Michin’s Select Seminary for Young Ladies in London. When adversity strikes, Sara’s imaginative powers come to the rescue, transforming a drab institution into a place of magic and mystery. Using the grace and virtue of ‘a little princess,’ Sara proves that kindness always wins. Recommended for ages 4 and up.

Jazzy Ash & the Leaping Lizards
Where: AMP
When: January 7, 10:30am
Tickets: $12

join the kids pajama jam party! Ashli Christoval, AKA Jazzy Ash, explores her New Orleans heritage with a vibrant, five-piece band of musician-educators! Each song is lovingly crafted to inspire movement and wonder in audiences of all ages. Your family will be charmed by Ash’s sassy style as she leads you on a musical adventure through gypsy jazz, zydeco, swing, blues, Dixieland, and more.

Professor Wingnut Wants to Fly
Where: Discovery Theater
When: January 11-12
Tickets: $3-8

Join wacky citizen-scientist Professor Wingnut and his friend Seymour Seagull as they explore the amazing science of flight! From birds to airplanes, this pair loves all things airborne, and are in pursuit of the secret to just what makes them fly. Songs, science, and a flight-tastic dance party take off right under the planes in the Air and Space Museum. Tour the museum after the show! Recommended for ages 3-7.

ROE (KidFree Recommendation!)
Where: Arena Stage
When: January 12 – February 19
Tickets: $55-90

The lawyer: a young, brilliant, courageous woman arguing Roe v. Wade before the Supreme Court. The plaintiff: a complex, single woman seeking to end an unwanted pregnancy. The landmark 1973 case legalized abortion, but also began their separate journeys that would come to mirror the polarization in American culture. With shocking turns and surprising humor, Roe illuminates the difficult choices women make and the passion each side has for its cause.

Bud, Not Buddy
Where: Kennedy Center
When: January 12-15
Tickets: $20-50

It’s 1936 in Flint, Michigan, and 10-year-old Bud is sure about two things: he wants to find his father, and he is not called Buddy. Unfortunately, while his mother made his name crystal clear, the whereabouts of his dad are a little unsure. The only clue she left behind is a flyer advertising Herman E. Calloway and his band, the Dusky Devastators of the Depression. With this and his trusty suitcase in tow, Bud sets off on an epic journey of discovery, set to the soulful sounds of jazz. Recommended for ages 9 and up.

The Ugly Duckling
Where: Alden Theatre
When: January 14, 1pm
Tickets: $15, $10/MCC tax district residents

It’s hard being different. When a strange egg shows up in Mama Duck’s nest and hatches, a very ugly duckling is born. After many failed attempts to “fit in,” the ugly duckling sets out on a journey to find his true place in the world. He soon realizes that he must learn to love himself before he can discover who he really is. Recommended for ages 4 and up.

The Giver
Where: Alden Theatre
When: January 14, 4pm
Tickets: $15, $10/MCC tax district residents

Jonas’ world is under control and safe. There is no war or fear or pain. There are also no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the community. But when Jonas turns 12, he is chosen for special training from The Giver—to receive and keep the memories of the community. Now Jonas will learn the truth about life—and the hypocrisy of his safe world. Through this astonishing and moving adaptation, discover what it means to grow up, to grow wise, and to take control of your own destiny.

Goldilocks
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: January 20 – February 19
Tickets: $12

Goldilocks is on trial, and the audience to decides if it was breaking-and-entering or an innocent mistake. This musical romp illustrates that there are two sides to every story, with the same circumstances seen from very different points of view. Told with rod puppets and giant hand puppets, this production keeps the audience guessing while including all the favorite elements of the classic children’s fairytale. Recommended for ages 3.5-9

4×4: Ephemeral Architectures
Where: Strathmore
When: January 22
Tickets: $28-68

What in the world do ballet and juggling have in common? Both are mathematical, architectural, and athletic endeavors based on people tracing pathways in space. Be there as four jugglers and four ballet dancers share a stage in this cross-art-form experience, leaving unseen patterns everywhere, defying the limitations of gravity and inspiring awe in the audience.

As You Like It
Where: Folger Theatre
When: January 24 – March 5
Tickets: $35-75 (look for a discount)

Rosalind is banished frrom court and flees to the Forest of Arden, where she discovers Orlando and a world of passion and possibility in one of Shakespeare’s most cherished romantic comedies. When she disguises herself as a man, enchantment abounds and blossoms into an exploration of the beauty and complexities of young love. Children under the age of four are not permitted in the theater. Every person entering the theatre must have a ticket.

Night of the Living Dead
Where: West Potomac High School
When: January 26 – February 4
Tickets: $10-12

From the Beyond the Page Theatre Company… Based on George A. Romero’s 1968 original classic masterpiece horror genre film of the same title, Night of the Living Dead pits the dead against the living in a struggle for survival. There is panic throughout the nation as the dead suddenly come back to life. The story follows a group of people who barricade themselves into an old farmhouse in an attempt to remain safe from these flesh eating monsters. This gripping terror-filled play brings all the fright of the cult classic film to life. Its blend of thrilling horror laced with touches of black humor envelops the audience in the action and unfolds into a shocking theatrical ending.

Monster Jam
Where: Verizon Center
When: January 28
Tickets: $15-95 (look for a discount)

The world’s largest and most famous monster truck tour featuring the biggest names in monster trucks will thunder its way into DC. Grave Digger, El Toro Loco, Pirate’s Curse, Shark, Alien Invasion, Zombie, Monster Mutt Rottweiler, and Blue Thunder are among the vehicular beasts you’ll see tearing up the indoor terrain this year.

Hamlette
Where: The Keegan Theatre
When: January 28
Tickets: $15 (look for a discount)

Hamlette takes the classic Shakespeare play, throws it in a blender, and shakes it up into a side-splitting comedy told in under an hour with only five actors. Recommended for young people age 11 and older.

NSO Music for Young Audiences: Catch the Vibe
Where: Kennedy Center
When: January 28-29
Tickets: $20

NSO tuba player Stephen Dumaine and NSO percussionist Eric Shin team up to show you how lively the tuba can be! Along the way, you’ll meet some relatives of the tuba from around the world, and you might even get to see Stephen play while riding his bicycle! Recommended for ages 3 and up.

Ella Enchanted
Where: Adventure Theatre
When: February 3 – March 19
Tickets: $19.50

Based on the Newberry Honor book by Gail Carson Levine. Baby Ella of Frell is given the “gift” of obedience by Lucinda, a misguided fairy, and thus cannot disobey any direct order. Then when tragedy strikes, Ella is reduced to an obedient servant in her new home with Dame Olga. Can Ella find a way to rid herself of the troublesome curse? Recommended for all ages.

Watch on the Rhine (KidFree Recommendation!)
Where: Arena Stage
When: February 3 – March 5
Tickets: $55-100

With America on the brink of entering World War II, Fanny’s daughter escapes to the D.C. suburbs with her German husband, a man deeply involved in anti-fascist movements. But with an Eastern European guest with ulterior motives also living in their midst, tensions rise as it becomes clear that no one’s safety can be guaranteed — at home or abroad.

The Amazing Max
Where: Alden Theatre
When: February 4
Tickets: $15, $10 MCC tax district residents

Don’t miss this wonderfully delightful magic show. Max Darwin combines magic and comedy, making objects appear and disappear and generally defying the laws of physics inches from theatergoer’s faces. This high-energy, interactive and all-around silly show is appropriate for audiences of all ages.

Pokémon: Symphonic Evolutions
Where: Strathmore
When: February 4
Tickets: $49-89 (look for a discount)

Pokémon: Symphonic Evolutions is the must-see video game concert of the year. All-new orchestral arrangements and carefully timed visuals draw from recent and classic Pokémon video games. Gamers of all ages will enjoy the rare opportunity to hear live renditions of the tunes that have soundtracked their favorite Pokémon hunting expeditions and battles through every generation of the beloved Nintendo series—starting with “Red” and “Green” from the original GameBoy and building up to “X” and “Y” for the 3DS. Cartoon fans are also in for a treat, as the performance includes an orchestral arrangement of the Pokémon television show theme song. Gotta hear ‘em all!

King Charles III
Where: Sidney Harman Hall
When: February 7 – March 12
Tickets: $44-102

The Queen is dead. After a lifetime of waiting, Prince Charles ascends the throne with Camilla by his side. As William, Kate, and Harry look on, Charles prepares for the future of power that lies before him…but how to rule? Written primarily in Shakespearean blank verse, this modern history play explores the people underneath the crowns, the unwritten rules of Britain’s democracy, and the conscience of its most famous family. Recommended for tweens and up.

Kofi’s Drums: The Beat of Life
Where: Discovery Theater
When: February 8-10
Tickets: $3-8

Drummer Kofi Dennis brings the vibrant rhythms of a West African village to life though music, storytelling, and dance. Using authentic instruments, the Ghanaian native leads lively call-and-response songs, games, and movement that gets audiences on their feet in a high-energy exploration of African cultural traditions. Recommended for ages 4-8.

The Freshest Snow Whyte
Where: Imagination Stage
When: February 11 – March 18
Tickets: $12-30

A radical, hip hop update to a fairytale classic. Set in the year 3000, we meet Snow Whyte—a graffiti-artist locked in competition with her arch rival, Kanye East, over which of them makes the “freshest” images in the universe. Both depend on a Simon Cowell-type celebrity called Mira to decide which of them is the best. After her exile to a distant planet, Snow Whyte is sheltered by two rapping alien twins (reminiscent of the Seven Dwarves), and survives two visits from the vengeful Kanye, dressed in crazy disguises. She then uncovers the true secret to talent: that it is shared equally among all people, and not the exclusive property of anyone. Witty raps, cool moves, and a beat that just won’t quit, this show will have you bouncin’ in your seat and shouting “Oh, yeah!” Recommended for ages 5 and up.

NSO Family Concert: Joshua Bell in The Man with the Violin
Where: Kennedy Center
When: February 12
Tickets: $29-49

When the world-renowned violinist played anonymously in DC’s subway, his experience inspired an acclaimed children’s book. Now this world premiere concert brings together sensational music, an engaging narrator, and colorful imagery from the story! Recommended for ages 5 and up.

Step Afrika! Step Xplosion
Where: Strathmore
When: February 12
Tickets: $35-75

Step Afrika!’s third annual showcase at Strathmore is a celebration of Black History Month, and it’s going to be big! Percussive dance styles historically practiced by African American fraternities and sororities plus African traditional dance and art forms from around the world come together as Step Afrika! integrates songs, storytelling, and humor into a highly entertaining, interactive show. Watch as the top step teams from across the country showcase the kind of technique and agility that inspires audiences everywhere, and see how Step Afrika! promotes stepping as an educational tool for young people, promoting teamwork, academic achievement, and cross-cultural understanding.

Signal Songs of the Underground Railroad
Where: Discovery Theater
When: February 14-15
Tickets: $3-8

With the aid of her powerful voice, Phyllis Wade combines acapella spirituals, slave narratives, and stories passed down through generations to pay tribute to one of the move controversial periods of our nation’s history. The music we have come to know as “signal songs” was used by slaves to communicate with one another and to share directions to the Promised Land via the Underground Railroad. These powerful songs and stories will move you to stand up, clap, sing and rejoice for freedom. Recommended for ages 7-14.

Saturday Family Jazz Sessions
Where: Strathmore
When: Saturdays, February 18/March 4/March 18, 11am
Tickets: $10/advance, $12/at door

Junior jazz aficionados can spend Saturday mornings singing, playing, and preparing for a lifetime of music appreciation. Strathmore’s fun, creative, kid-friendly series features music by a different performer each session.

NSO Music for Young Audiences: Follow That Fiddle
Where: Kennedy Center
When: February 18
Tickets: $20

In this home-run performance, NSO musician Glenn Donnellan will introduce you to the Electric Slugger™, an electric violin that he custom made from a baseball bat. You’ll have a ball as he plays a wide range of musical styles on this and a variety of violins from around the world. Recommended for ages 3 and up.

How Old Is a Hero?
Where: Discovery Theater
When: February 21-24
Tickets: $3-8

Everyone can make a difference! In this uplifting play, audiences meet young people who helped change the nation by their heroic actions during the Civil Rights era: Ernest Green of the Little Rock Nine; Claudette Colvin, who stayed seated on a bus before Rosa Parks; and brave 6-year-old Ruby Bridges. Their inspiring stories demonstrate that courage begins with our young.

Jack and the Beanstalk
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: February 23 – March 26
Tickets: $12

Fe-fi-fo-fum. A timely version of the classic children’s tale about the young lad that doesn’t know beans about trading, but still manages to climb his way to the top. Jack finds that happiness lies in helping others rather than mere personal gain. Told with rod puppets and some surprising twists, Jack has long been a favorite of our audiences. Recommended for ages 5-9.

Duke Ellington’s Neighborhood
Where: Atlas Performaing Arts Center
When: March 4
Tickets: $15

Join this interactive journey through Duke Ellington’s DC, from U Street and the Howard Theatre to Anacostia, and groove along with Duke’s jazz piano with a live jazz trio. Join amazing performers, as they discover how a local hero influenced the Harlem Renaissance, helped shape the cultural history of Washington D.C., and became an international star. Featuring DC artists Krislynn Perry, Brian Thorne, and Wes Felton. Presented by the In Series Opera & More, Duke Ellington’s Neighborhood is part of Atlas PAC’s Intersections Festival for 2017.

Nutt & Bolt
Where: The Lab at Convergence
When: March 8-23
Tickets:

Nutt and Bolt are robot rivals. They spend their days using the random junkyard objects around them (and on them!) in games of skill and sound, rallying their wee friends, the audience, for support. As the competition builds to a frenzied pinnacle, Nutt and Bolt realize that by working together, they can make something even more wonderful than they could on their own! Together, sounds become stories, notes become music, and the world becomes full of possibility. Recommended for ages 2-6.

From the Mouths of Monsters
Where: Kennedy Center
When: March 10-12
Tickets: $20

Loosely inspired by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, this contemporary, highly theatrical world premiere commission features two actors who riff on the classic monster tale in unexpected ways, with surprising relevance to today’s audiences. Recommended for ages 12 and up.

All Ireland! with Shannon Dunne and Alex Boatright
Where: Discovery Theater
When: March 17
Tickets: $3-8

Erin go bragh! Celebrate Paddy’s Day with dancer-musician Shannon Dunne and musician Alex Boatright in their joyful show includes old-style sean nós dancing, singing, and the sounds of traditional instruments. Experience a little taste of Ireland as you join the floor-stomping fun!

Harlem Globetrotters
Where: Verizon Center & Eagle Bank Arena
When: March 17-19
Tickets: $25 and up

The iconic Harlem Globetrotters are coming to the Verizon Center in Washington, DC with their unrivaled family show, featuring some of the greatest athletes on the planet. With incredible ball handling wizardry, amazing rim-rattling dunks and trick shots, side-splitting comedy and unequaled on-court fan interaction, this must-see event is guaranteed to entertain the whole family creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Grug and the Rainbow
Where: Kennedy Center
When: March 18-19
Tickets: $20

Based on the much-loved picture book character created by Ted Prior, this brand-new show from Australia’s Windmill Theatre features exquisite puppetry and more. Recommended for ages 2 and up.


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Showtime Around DC this Summer

"Jumanji" will play on the Adventure Theatre stage all summer long

“Jumanji” will play on the Adventure Theatre stage all summer long



Summer brings a whole new lineup of shows to local stages. And the timing couldn’t be better — it’s a perfect way to keep cool during long hot days and, at some venues, enjoy the outdoors on nice ones. Here’s where you catch all the live entertainment coming to the area over the next few months.

Outdoor Summer Concert Series
Where: Throughout the area
When: Various day and times
Tickets: Almost always FREE

Free music in the fresh air has become a staple of the season, and there are opportunities to enjoy just about every genre regularly at outdoor venues all around the DC-Metro. From Jazz on the National Mall to riverside entertainment to music amid the nature of local parks to shows in local shopping centers, the 2016 Summer Guide has a round-up of where and when you can enjoy the sounds of summer.

Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods
Where: Wolf Trap
When: June 21 – August 6
Tickets: $8-10

From late June through early August, Wolf Trap presents Children’s Theater-in-the-Woods, over 70 family-friendly performances at 10:30am Tuesdays through Saturdays. Amidst 117 rolling wooded acres and nestled in a shady grove, the stage is set for lively adventures in music, dance, storytelling, puppetry, and theater. The productions welcome all ages, though most are geared toward younger children. The full schedule of shows is available on the Wolf Trap website. And you can read a KFDC review of the series from a previous summer here.

Little Red Riding Hood & the 3 Little Pigs
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: Through July 17
Tickets: $10

What’s so bad about the Big Bad Wolf? At last B.B. (Big Bad) Wolfe tells his side of the story, in rap, no less. Has the notorious pork poacher and grandma impersonator gotten a bum rap, or is he truly deserving of his moniker? You be the judge! This is one of our funniest productions and includes lots of audience participation. Recommended for ages 3 and up.

Jumanji
Where: Adventure Theatre
When: Through August 28
Admission: $19.50 (look for a discount)

When Judy and Peter find a mysterious old board game, they play it, hoping to alleviate their boredom. One live lion, an erupting volcano, and a dozen destructive monkeys later, the children are no longer bored. Will they ever finish this mysterious magic game and claim Jumanji?! Recommended for ages 4 and up.

The Little Mermaid
Where: Imagination Stage
When: June 22 – August 15
Tickets: $17-35

In this faithful re-telling of the Hans Christian Andersen original, the Little Mermaid falls in love with a human Prince, and longs to join him in his world above the waves. Despite the warnings of her Mer-family, the Little Mermaid seeks out the Enchantress who trades her pair of legs for the mermaid’s beautiful singing voice. A follow-up to the highly acclaimed The Lion, The Witch & the Wardrobe(2012), this collaboration between Imagination Stage and The Washington Ballet features dance, puppets, music, and singing in a highly theatrical and epic style of performance. Recommended for ages 5 and up.

Gravedigger’s Tale
Where: Folger Theatre
When: Through June 26
Tickets: Free

Based on Shakespeare’s Hamlet, this one man interactive play is a family friendly production featuring the comedic actor Louis Butelli. Devised by director Robert Richmond (Richard III and Henry V), the Gravedigger, who appears to have much more knowledge about court life in Elsinore than originally thought, arrives with a trunk and a book and responds to questions from the audience using the text from Hamlet.

Riverdance
Where: Wolf Trap
When: June 23-26
Tickets: $20-75 (look for a discount)

The international Irish dance phenomenon is back in Riverdance—The 20th Anniversary World Tour featuring a new number, costumes, and lighting! Drawing on Irish traditions, the combined talents of the performers propel Irish dancing and music into the present day, capturing the imagination of audiences across all ages and cultures in an innovative and exciting blend of dance, music, and song. Of all the performances to emerge from Ireland—in rock, music, theatre, and film—nothing has carried the energy, the sensuality and the spectacle of Riverdance.

Saturday Morning at the National
Where: National Theatre
When: Most Saturdays
Tickets: FREE!

The free theatre program runs on select Saturdays with performances at 9:30am and 11:30am. 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 a first-come, first-served basis. Everyone must be in line to receive a ticket.

Tot Rock
Where: Jammin’ Java
When: Ongoing
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 acts perform every Thursday and 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.

Boogie Babes
Where: Angelika Pop-Up, Eastern Market, & The Atlas
When: Wednesdays & Thursdays, 10:30am
Tickets: $5/child, free for sibling 6 months and under

Little ones can boogie along with their favorite local musicians at the Angelika Pop-Up (behind Union Market) on Wednesdays and in Eastern Market’s North Hall every Thursday over the summer. Go for the show, then grab lunch in the Markets.

Tiny Tots
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: Most Wednesdays, Saturdays, & Sundays at 10am
Tickets: $5

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.

Millennium Stage
Where: Kennedy Center
When: Ongoing daily, 6pm
Tickets: Free

The Kennedy Center presents these free, no-tickets-required performances every day at 6pm, and the public is welcome to enjoy them. The acts span the genres — you can see everything from contemporary dance to folk music to puppetry to comedy shows to opera scenes. Millennium Stage showcases everyone from local youth choirs to internationally known bands (They Might Be Giants performed there a few years ago). This is a great series to keep in mind for whenever you’re looking for some free, easy entertainment.

The Three Musketeers
Where: PFI Historic Park in Ellicott City, MD
When: June 24 – July 24
Tickets: $38-42/adult, free for kids (2 with paid adult)

All for one, one for all! Swashbuckling heroes seek fortune, love, and danger in Alexandre Dumas’ adventure tale, The Three Musketeers. With its themes of loyalty and honor and its exciting stage combat, this high-energy play is perfect for our summer stage at the PFI Historic Park in Ellicott City. Bring a picnic, your friends, and your whole family. Gates will open 90 minutes before the performance for picnicking.

Inside Out
Where: Imagination Stage
When: June 25 – July 31
Tickets: $14

It’s bedtime! But instead of getting ready, two children use their imaginations to turn their room into a wonderland of mess! While playing dress-up, a glove becomes a dancing fish, a shirt becomes a fantastic creature, and a sock dance rocks the closet. In this interactive show, discover the joy of turning things inside out! Recommended for ages 1-5.

Robert Post Comedy Theatre for Kids
Where: Kennedy Center
When: June 25
Tickets: $20

Robert Post’s one-man variety show serves up a delightful entertainment feast. Hilarious, poignant, and physically dazzling, his meticulously crafted sketches fill the stage with bumblers, dreamers, and cartoonish heroes of every stripe.

American Acoustic: Family Show with Chris Thile
Where: Kennedy Center
When: June 25
Tickets: $20

n a matinee show in the Family Theater geared toward young people, Chris Thile plays a solo set full of traditional and original music while also answering questions from the audience. This is your chance to get up-close-and-personal with the virtuoso musician.

Best of Serenade!
Where: Strathmore
When: June 26
Tickets: $5-10

The largest international choral gathering in Washington, DC, Best of Serenade! is the grand finale of Serenade!, a 5-day summer festival and the largest international choral gathering. Choirs from across the world perform a repertoire that spans the ages and genres in this annual concert.

The Bridges of Madison County
Where: Kennedy Center
When: June 28- July 17
Tickets: $49-129 (look for a discount)

One of the most romantic stories ever written is now an irresistible, two-time Tony Award–winning Broadway musical. Based on the best-selling novel by Robert James Waller, The Bridges of Madison County tells the story of Iowa housewife Francesca Johnson and her life-changing, four-day whirlwind romance with traveling photographer Robert Kincaid. It’s an unforgettable story of two people caught between decision and desire, as a chance encounter becomes a second chance at so much more. Recommended for ages 12 and up.

Rainforest Alive!
Where: Discovery Theater
When: June 29 – July 1
Tickets: $3-8

Discover the dynamic world of tropical rainforests while you meet beautiful jungle animals. Live animals from each layer of the forest will be featured along with stories of survival in this fascinating and endangered environment. Featured animals may include an iguana, boa constrictor, turtle and other rainforest creatures. Recommended for ages 4-12

UniverSoul Circus
Where: National Harbor at the Plateau
When: June 29 – July 31
Tickets: $16

A big top spectacle of global proportions, the 2016 production of UniverSoul Circus takes fans of all ages on an unforgettable journey of light, sound and soul. Get ready for electrifying, edge-of-your-seat performances, including extreme motorsports, back-flipping canines, twirling bicycles, disco-dancing pachyderms, free-flying aerial acts and much much more.

DreamWorks Animation in Concert
Where: Wolf Trap
When: June 30
Tickets: $25-45

Experience the thrilling music from Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon, and more, as DreamWorks Animation’s great stories and beloved characters inspire and delight audiences of all ages in this world premiere performance! We celebrate 20+ years of visually stunning footage projected in HD onto the big screen while iconic music scores by Hans Zimmer, John Powell, Alexandre Desplat, Alan Silvestri, Danny Elfman, and others are performed live by symphony orchestra.

Born for This: The Bebe Winans Story
Where: Arena Stage
When: July 1 – August 28
Tickets: $50-99

Detroit natives BeBe and CeCe Winans, youngest siblings of the Winans family dynasty, experience the ultimate in culture shocks when invited to join Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker’s Praise the Lord television show. The Winans teenagers have the opportunity to become more than just television celebrities, but to integrate TV evangelism. As BeBe and CeCe encounter fame, fortune and even a young Whitney Houston, BeBe must learn to balance his desire for success with his true calling. Combining classic Winans hits with brand new songs, this inspirational musical features Juan and Deborah Joy Winans in their Arena Stage debuts as BeBe and CeCe Winans.

Justin Roberts & the Not Ready for Naptime Players
Where: BlackRock Center for the Arts
When: July 2, 6pm
Tickets: Free

Toss the blankies, kiddos! Justin Roberts and the Not Ready for Naptime Players return to BlackRock this summer for the Center’s first, free outdoor summer concert designed specifically with little ones and their families in mind. These GRAMMY-nominated all-stars of the indie family music scene will take the stage on BlackRock’s lawn for an hour-long performance that’ll get kids and their parents alike springing to their feet; jumping, dancing and bouncing off each other like bumper cars.

Taratibu Youth Association
Where: Discovery Theater
When: July 6-8
Tickets: $3-8

This sensational ensemble of young artists represents the performing arts of the African diaspora. With eclectic and diverse musical influences, TYA performs percussive dance styles from stepping to traditional South African Gumboot to modern dance and hip hop. Singing in Zulu and Sotho from South Africa, Kiswahili from Tanzania, Creole from Haiti, and Yoruba from Cuba, their performances are educational and inspirational; telling stories of empowerment and cultural history from several different countries. You may learn a song in Zulu, steps from Taratibu; a Pan African drill or learn the history of ‘Ti Zwezo,’ the traditional song of Haiti. Recommended for ages 5-16.

Backyard Theater for Children
Where: Strathmore
When: July 7-28
Tickets: $18, free for under 2

Strathmore’s summer theater series brings live music and fun to kids — all outdoors under a big tent. Weekly performances take place every Thursday at 9:30am and 11:30 from July 7-28.

Capital Fringe Festival
Where: Various DC theatres
When: July 7-31
Tickets: Varies by show

Filling the city with non-stop theater, dance, music, visual art, and everything in-between, the annual Fringe Festival presents an eclectic mix of performances — from all genres, for all ages. Family-friendly shows are always among the lineup; other acts would make for a great date night or adult evening out. Check out the calendar to plan your Fringe experience.

Cirque Italia
Where: Montgomery County Fairgrounds
When: July 8-10
Tickets: $10-50

Dive into the magical world of acrobats, aerialists, contortionists and more exciting acts and experience Cirque Italia! A show like no other, the first traveling water circus in the US features an extraordinary stage that holds 35,000 gallons of water with a dynamic lid that lifts 35 feet into the air, allowing water to fall like rain from above as fountains dazzle below! This incredible show takes place under a majestic white and blue big top tent which came all the way from Italy. Inside is such a theatrical and intimate setup, you just might forget you are under a circus tent!

The Magic of Science
Where: Discovery Theater
When: July 12-15
Tickets: $3-8

Educating entertainer Robert Pirtle is ready to show you the ‘magic of science!’ He’ll use chemistry, mathematics, optical illusions and more to reveal the magical essence behind the science you’ve learned in the classroom. Everyone, both in the audience and on stage, will become a magician! Everything done will look and act like a real magic trick — the real trick being that it’s actually science at work. Come with us on a journey of exploration into the science behind the magic! Recommended for ages 5-12.

Phantom of the Opera
Where: Kennedy Center
When: July 13 – August 20
Tickets: $25-149

This spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera comes to DC as part of a brand-new North American tour. Critics are raving that this breathtaking production is “bigger and better than ever before.” The production boasts many exciting special effects including the show’s legendary chandelier. The beloved story and thrilling score, with songs like “Music of the Night,” “All I Ask of You,” and “Masquerade,” is performed by a cast and orchestra of 52, making this Phantom one of the largest productions now on tour. Recommended for ages 6 and up.

Twelfth Night (KidFree Recommendation!)
Where: Synetic Theatre
When: July 13- August 7
Tickets: $20-60

After garnering 11 Helen Hayes Award nominations, Synetic’s 2014 hit is back by popular demand! Set in the Roaring ’20s and inspired by the silent comedy of Keaton and Chaplin, Twelfth Night tells the tale of fraternal twins, Viola and Sebastian, separated in a strange new land. Having survived a shipwreck and believing her brother Sebastian has been lost, Viola falls hopelessly in love with Duke Orsino and disguises herself as a man to enter his services. This production will not have dialogue.

Mary Poppins
Where: Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre
When: July 15-24
Tickets: $15/adult, $12/child (look for a discount)

Encore Stage & Studio presents this classic in their signature by kids, for kids style: Mary Poppins is a practically perfect, spoonful of sugar nanny that unexpectedly arrives in the Banks household one blustery day. Using lessons disguised as games, she helps to teach the Banks children how to be their best selves. But, is Mary Poppins’ magic enough to save this family from drifting apart? Enjoy your favorite Disney melodies and watch Mary Poppins soar across the TJ stage in this Broadway adaptation that won seven TONY awards, including Best Musical. Recommended for ages 6 and older.

Beatboxing with Mr. Max
Where: Discovery Theater
When: July 19-22
Tickets: $3-8

Mr. Max takes us with him as he takes the mike to make some crazy- good mouth music. This astounding human beatbox introduces kids to the most powerful musical instrument ever: their own bodies. With lots of audience participation and exciting on-the-spot improvisations, Max covers themes in hip-hop culture, language, math, and music. Get ready to make some truly hip beats! Recommended for ages 5-12.

Peter and the Wolf
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: July 21 – August 28
Tickets: $10

Staged with half life-size marionettes, Peter and the Wolf is one of the Puppet Co.’s best-loved stories. Over a million children and adults have seen this one-man show, based on Prokofiev’s popular tale of good versus evil, performed by Puppet Master Christopher Piper. An introduction to the instruments in the orchestra precedes this story of Peter and his animal friends, and their attempts to capture wily “Old Lupus.” Recommended for ages 4 and up.

Urban Artistry
Where: Discovery Theater
When: July 26-29
Tickets: $3-8

They are guided by the origins of the drum, the energy of the underground dance movement and the art that documents all of our histories. Urban Artistry illuminates the counterculture styles of urban dance (often referred to as hip-hop), and their calling to create a diverse community of people with whom to share the experience. This award-winning dance troupe will inspire you to get up on your feet! Recommended for ages 5-16.

BSO: Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone
Where: Strathmore
When: August 5
Tickets: $35-65

The Harry Potter™ film series is one of those once-in-a-lifetime cultural phenomena that continues to delight millions of fans around the world. This concert will feature the Baltimore Symphony performing every note from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone™. Audiences will be able to relive the magic of the film in high-definition on a giant screen while hearing the orchestra perform John Williams’ unforgettable score.

Uke Summit Evening Concerts
Where: Strathmore
When: August 13-14
Tickets: $15

Enjoy an evening performance of both professional and amateur ukulele players, starting with an open mic for our Uke & Guitar Summit attendees at 6:30pm and followed by an amazing lineup at 7pm.

The Tempest
Where: Sidney Harman Hall
When: August 16-28
Tickets: Free

The Sheakepeare Theatre Company’s beloved annual Free For All program returns, presenting two weeks of FREE performances of a Shakespearean classic, this year The Tempest. In this glittering production, Prospero’s magical island explodes with life, hosting sprites, goddesses, and fools that hold court and delight all ages. To get tickets: For each performance, a select number of seats are given away to lucky lottery winners. Or, every day STC will make at least 200 tickets available to the public in a ticket line at Sidney Harman Hall beginning two hours prior to curtain – limit is two tickets per person. Get there early, as the line usually starts forming about four hours before curtain up.


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The Kennedy Center’s OLIVÉRio is a Clever Twist on the Dickens Classic

OLIVÉRio is running at the Kennedy Center through February 21

OLIVÉRio is running at the Kennedy Center through February 21



It’s always fun to see a fresh spin on a classic story, and OLIVÉRio: A Bazilian Twist at the Kennedy Center makes it fun, indeed. This re-imagined version is a play within a play set in Rio de Janiero, a location that couldn’t be more different than the original’s England. And while the musical follows the same general storyline, there are many “twists” that make it vibrant and light. A colorful set, Brazilian sounds of samba and bassa nova, buoyant dance numbers, comedic moments, and some clever surprises are an interesting and entertaining contrast to Dickens’ darker tale.

Owen and I caught a performance this past weekend, and we both enjoyed it, especially after seeing a more traditional Oliver production in the fall. It was neat to compare the two — and be transported to the tropics on a winter afternoon. On stage in the Family Theatre, young guests also receive a guide to the show that explains this twist and offers ideas to make the most of the theatre experience. And it seemed that much of the audience did just that, as the applause was quite enthusiastic as the cast took their bows.

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OLIVÉRio: A Bazilian Twist will be at the Kennedy Center through February 21. It’s recommended for ages 8 and up, but I think even some children a bit younger could appreciate it, too. Run time is just over an hour, and shows take place on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Tickets are $20.


Disclosure: KidFriendly DC received complimentary tickets from the Kennedy Center to see OLIVÉRio: A Bazilian Twist, but all opinions expressed here are entirely my own.


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Giveaway: Enter to Win a Family Fun Pack of Tickets to ‘Fiddler on the Roof’

"Fiddler on the Roof" is at Arena Stage through January 11

“Fiddler on the Roof” is at Arena Stage through January 11



A few weeks ago, I received a last minute invitation to join a friend and her in-laws to see “Fiddler on the Roof” at Arena Stage when her husband couldn’t make it. While I’d seen the film, and have known the story and songs since I was a kid, I’d never experienced the show live on stage. Well, the wait was worth it, because this particular production is fantastic, easily sustaining Fiddler’s reputation as a Broadway classic.

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Fiddler on the Roof presents the story of Tevye, “a humble Jewish father who finds his devotion to God severely tested by his headstrong daughters, who want to be their own matchmakers, and the increasingly ruthless government forcing him from his land.” It’s a wonderful production, with emotional and playful performances from the actors, jubilant musical numbers, and superb stage direction. The venue itself — the Fichandler Stage, a small theatre with the audience surrounding the stage — heightens the experience with a cozy, intimate feel. Every seat offers a good view, and you’re so close in (we were practically sitting on the stage), you almost feel like you’re part of the family.

The show runs over two and a half hours, including intermission, but it’s so entertaining it seems to go by much more quickly. And while I saw it with a group of grown-ups, I think this is one children could also enjoy. Arena Stage agrees and are currently offering a Family Fun Pack: Four seats for only $125 — a great deal. (Orders must include a minimum of two patrons between ages 5 and 17 per Family Fun Pack; cannot be combined with any other offer or applied to previously purchased tickets; limit two Family Fun Packs per household. All standard fees apply. Must be purchased by phone or in person. Other restrictions may apply. Contact the Sales Office to check on appropriate family shows.)

Fiddler on the Roof is running at Arena Stage through January 11. Individual tickets are $50-99 and can be purchased online, by phone, or at the box office. You can also try to win a Family Fun Pack in the giveaway.

Giveaway: Arena Stage has given me a Family Fun Pack (4 tickets) to see Fiddler on the Roof to give to one lucky reader. For a chance to win it, simply leave a comment below telling me an activity or event you’re looking forward to in 2015. To be eligible, you must like KFDC on Facebook and subscribe to the blog (see sign-up in top left corner). This giveaway will run through Sunday, December 14, and a winner will be drawn at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck!


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Giveaway! Big Apple Circus Presents “Metamorphosis” Under the Big Top

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Step right up! The Big Apple Circus is kicking off its 37th season with the World Premiere of METAMORPHOSIS right here in the DC area. The extravaganza begins on Thursday, September 18, with 23 shows running through Sunday, October 5, under the Big Top at Dulles Town Center. Even better, you have a chance to win a pair of tickets to be there for the premiere performance.

The Big Apple Circus is packed with spectacular entertainment that will thrill all ages — I know this from first-hand experience seeing a show a couple of years ago. And there is so much going on in this new production, I’ll just let the official description reel you in…

Fly away to the magical ring, to the circus — to the Big Apple Circus! — where an All-New Show — METAMORPHOSIS — with astonishing acts and startling transformations will transport you to a realm of enchantment under the Big Top! For its 37th Season, Big Apple Circus soars on wings of artifice and illusion, to a dreamscape domain where no one sits more than 50 feet from the ring, and nothing is impossible! Big Apple Circus presents the World Premiere of METAMORPHOSIS at Dulles Town Center in Sterling, VA, on Thursday, September 18th, 2014.

Appearing before your very eyes: The thrilling flyers of the trapeze, swooping and swirling through circus skies! The razzle-dazzle of the rolla-bolla, an act that teeters right on the edge of equilibrium! The dynamo of the diabolo, the whirling double–tops of the Big Top! An aerial space-age acrobatic adventure — an ascent to amazement! The risky rhythms of the Risley team, twisting and turning, topsy-turvy! The cadenzas of camels and horses, and the exuberance of playful pooches, out to dazzle with delight! The cunning conjurors of the quick-change act, defying belief and inspiring awe! The incredible flexible limbs of the contortionist in an act that will literally bend your imagination! And Francesco the Clown, captivating the crowd with his musical merriment and gentle humor. Under the direction of maestro Rob Slowik, the renowned Big Apple Circus Band provides as always the live and glorious tunes of the sawdust spectacular. And finally, our irrepressible, magnificent Ringmaster, the illustrious and incomparable John Kennedy Kane will summon the spirits of the circus universe to immerse you in the wonder, the joy and the astounding magic of METAMORPHOSIS!

Tickets for METAMORPHOSIS start at $20. Buy tickets online at www.BigAppleCircus.org or by calling 888.541.3750. Use the promo code BIGAPPLE to save $10 off tickets* — and that’s $10 per ticket, not just off the total purchase! (*Limited availability. Offer good on select seats and shows. Other conditions apply. Children under 3 are free when on the lap of a paid adult, one child per lap.) You can also look for a deal on select seats or, of course, try to win them through the giveaway below.

GIVEAWAY: For a chance to win a pair of tickets to the Big Apple Circus on September 18, simply answer this: Big Apple Circus is a non-profit organization, name one of its community programs. You can find answers on the Big Apple Circus website, then leave yours in the comments below. To be eligible, you must like KidFriendly DC on Facebook. The giveaway will run through Friday, and a winner will be drawn at random and announced this weekend. Good luck!


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