Tag Archives: Washington DC Live Entertainment for Kids

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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Filed under All ages, Annual, Date Night, DC, Discount, Festival, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Summer, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

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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Filed under DC, Live Entertainment, Music, Theatre, Weekend, Winter

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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Filed under DC, Giveaway, Gradeschoolers, Live Entertainment, Music, Preteens, Teens, Theatre, Weekdays, Weekend, Winter

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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Filed under All ages, Animals, Annual, Fall, Giveaway, Live Entertainment, Music

Get Your Fill of Live Entertainment this Fall

Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy, a nature-inspired spectacle of acrobatics and athleticism for all ages

Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy, a nature-inspired spectacle of acrobatics and athleticism for all ages



Don’t let the temps outside fool you! Autumn is on its way, and it’s bringing a whole new season of live entertainment, too. Here’s the round-up of what you can catch on stages around the area, listed in order of opening date. And if there’s anything I’ve missed — from elaborate productions to simple shows — feel free to add them in the comments.

Dirty Dancing: The Classic Story on Stage
Where: National Theatre
When: Through September 14
Tickets: $48-93 (find discounted seats here)

Dirty Dancing: The Classic Story on Stage is an unprecedented live experience, exploding with heart-pounding music, passionate romance, and sensational dancing. Seen by millions across the globe, this worldwide smash hit tells the classic story of Baby and Johnny, two fiercely independent young spirits from different worlds who come together in what will be the most challenging and triumphant summer of their lives. Featuring the hit songs, “Hungry Eyes,” “Hey Baby,” “Do You Love Me?” and the heart stopping “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life.” Don’t miss your chance to see this live theatre sensation. You’ll have the time of your life!

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

Little ones can boogie along with their favorite local musicians at Union Market on Wednesdays, in Eastern Market’s North Hall every Thursday, AND at The Atlas Performing Arts Center on Fridays. Go for the show, then grab lunch in the Markets or hit one of the many eateries on the H Street Corridor. Check the schedule to find out who’s playing when.

Marvel Universe LIVE!
Where: Verizon Center & Patriot Center
When: September 4-7, 12-14, 19-21
Tickets: $20-130 (find discounted seats here)

Marvel Universe LIVE! promises to captivate audiences with an authentic and original story that brings more than 25 Marvel characters together on one epic quest. The story is framed around the battle over the Cosmic Cube, the source of ultimate power and one of the most feared and coveted treasures in the Marvel Universe, that has been shattered into pieces by the Mighty Thor in order to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. With the pieces scattered across the globe, Thor’s villainous brother Loki devises a scheme to clone its powers, inciting a threat that could not only decimate Earth but also obliterate the Universe. To defeat Loki, Marvel’s biggest Super Heroes must band together and trek across the globe to retrieve the Cosmic Cube fragments and unite them. As the Super Heroes track the Cube, they will encounter some of their biggest adversaries on a quest for the very same fragments. These foes have no problem teaming up if it gets them closer to their ultimate goal of world domination.

Cirque Dream – Jungle Fantasy
Where: Wolf Trap
When: September 5-6
Tickets: $25-100 (find discounted seats here)

This wild encounter is inspired by nature’s unpredictable creations that are brought to life by an international cast of soaring aerialists, spine-bending contortionists, acrobats, jugglers and musicians. The astounding feats performed in this action packed Cirque Dream are enhanced with spectacular costumes that come to life in a fantastical jungle setting ignited by striking visual effects. From the breathtaking soaring aerial butterflies to the balancing giraffes, gigantic flowers, trees and kings of the jungle, this world-class explosion of athleticism, theatre and imagination will exhilarate and entertain audiences of all ages anywhere in the world.

Millennium Stage
Where: Kennedy Center
When: Ongoing daily, 6pm
Admission: 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.

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.

Alice in Wonderland
Where: Workhouse Arts Theatre
When: September 6-28
Tickets: $13/adult, $10/ages 10 and under

An original musical adaptation inspired by the classic Lewis Carroll stories. Poor Alice has found herself lost in strange land filled with wondrous inhabitants! Featuring songs based on the poetry from the original text, the Cheshire Cat, the Red Queen, the White Rabbit and the rest of the zany cast will be on hand as Alice adventures through Wonderland. Will she ever find her way home again, or was it all just a dream..?! Recommended for all ages.

Big Apple Circus: Metamorphosis
Where: Big Top, Dulles Town Center
When: September 18 – October 5
Tickets: $25-80 (find discounted seats here)

Fly away to the magical ring of the Big Apple Circus, where an their all-new show, METAMORPHOSIS, thrills with astonishing acts and startling transformations that will transport you to a realm of enchantment under the Big Top! See flyers of the trapeze, an aerial space-age acrobatic adventure, cadenzas of camels and horses, the exuberance of playful pooches, the incredible flexible limbs of the contortionist, the merriment and gentle humor of Francesco the Clown, the glorious Big Apple Circus, the magnificent Ringmaster, and so much more. Read about our past Big Apple Circus experience here.

Stuart Little
Where: Adventure Theatre
When: September 19 – October 26
Tickets: $19

Stuart Little is no ordinary mouse. Born to a family of humans, he lives in New York City with his parents, his older brother George, and Snowbell the cat. Shy and thoughtful, Stuart’s greatest adventure comes when his best friend, a beautiful little bird named Margalo, disappears from her nest. Determined to track her down, Stuart ventures away from home for the very first time in his life. He finds adventure aplenty. But will he find his friend? Recommended for all ages.

Rapunzel
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: September 19 – October 12
Tickets: $10

A “bewitching” tale by Duane T. Bowers, of the Grimm’s fairytale, featuring the music of Jacques Ibert. Witch Wartsmith wants a baby, and after bargaining for little Rapunzel, must go to great lengths to keep her out of the hands of a handsome prince. The Puppet Co. uses “coloring-book” charm and the simplicity of hand puppets in a production designed to delight its younger audiences. Recommended for preK – grade 4.

The Night Fairy
Where: Imagination Stage
When: September 24 – October 26
Tickets: $12-25

Flory is a Night Fairy who is attacked by a bat. When her wings are damaged in the struggle, she is forced to learn how to survive in the daylight among the other birds and animals in a typical backyard. During her adventures, Flory makes new friends, and eventually reconciles with her foe. By the time her wings begin to sprout back, Flory has discovered a renewed sense of creativity, diplomacy, and resilience that she never knew she had. Recommended for Ages 4–10.

Under the Canopy
Where: The Antheum
When: September 25 – October 5
Tickets: $5

Imagine a theatrical world designed especially for babies and young toddlers to explore – a world inspired by the wonders of the rainforest! That’s what’s in store when the innovative style of Arts on the Horizon targets our very youngest fans and their caregivers. Using colorful objects and playful sounds, our performers will discover and build a rainforest setting around, within and above the audience. Whistling flowers, a clacking caterpillar, and brightly-colored umbrella birds await! After each performance, children are invited to explore the different props and objects used to create the playscape. Geared toward children ages 0-2.

Driving Miss Daisy
Where: Ford’s Theatre
When: September 26 – October 26
Tickets: $20-54

Acclaimed Washington stage actors Nancy Robinette and Craig Wallace return to Ford’s to perform in this beloved classic. When Daisy Werthan causes a car wreck, her son hires hard-working chauffeur Hoke Colburn to look after her. What begins as a hostile clashing of wills between a stubborn Jewish matriarch and a proud black man evolves into a decades-long friendship as the two navigate Civil Rights-era Atlanta. With humor and heartfelt emotion, Alfred Uhry’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play poignantly explores the transformative power of true friendship. Recommended for ages 10 and up.

Saturday Morning at the National
Where: National Theatre
When: September 27 – December 13
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.

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.

Uno, dos, tres…con ANDRES!
Where: Discovery Theater
When: October 1-3
Tickets: $3-8

Counting has never been more fun in English and Spanish. Local kids’ music star Andrés Salguero offers sing-alongs to songs familiar and new, including great music from his debut CD, ¡Uno, Dos, Tres con Andrés!, creating plenty of bilingual fun. Get set to bailar y aprender (dance and learn) with Andrés!

Doktor Kaboom: LIVE WIRE! The Electricity Tour
Where: Kennedy Center
When: October 4
Tickets: $20

Grab your lab coats and safety goggles, because this one-man show can be explosive! Doktor Kaboom is bringing an all-new interactive science comedy show focused on the amazing power of electricity. The stand-up scientist with the thick German accent will keep crowds transfixed and rolling on the floor with his increasingly spectacular (and usually successful) experiments. With his hilarious improvisational style, no two shows will be exactly the same–you may even be called on stage to help with one of his zany demonstrations! If you’re ready to get psyched about science, just say “ja!” to Doktor Kaboom. Recommended for ages 7 and up.

The Spencers’ Theatre of Illusion
Where: BlackRock Center for the Arts
When: October 5
Tickets: $15-22

The Spencers’ Theatre of Illusion – Not your run-of-the-mill magic show, Spencers’ Theatre of Illusion is a unique fusion of magic and illusion, humor and mystery, and persona and personality that’s presented with theatrical elements of a Broadway-style production and the high energy of a rock concert. The performers have been described as “Modern Day Houdinis” by the critics, have the skills of master showmen, and create a world for audiences of all ages where nothing is impossible and anything can happen. You won’t believe your eyes!

Fabulas Fairytales
Where: Discovery Theater
When: October 15-16
Tickets: $3-8

Start with three bears, three pigs, and three billy goats gruff. Add two languages, and what do you get? The perfect combination for a fresh and fun introduction to Spanish words—and a fabulas new take on a trio of familiar stories in this interactive Discovery Theater original. Kids will find the “found” costumes and set pieces crafted from recycled materials pretty fabulous, too.

The Three Billy Goats Gruff
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: October 16 – November 20
Tickets: $10

In this marionette romp, three brothers get the goat of a hen-pecked troll in their attempts to trip-trap-tromp to where the grass is greener. Three variety numbers precede the performance, demonstrating the making of a simple hand puppet, and manipulation of rod puppets and marionettes, as an introduction to the Art of Puppetry.

Disney on Ice: Frozen
Where: Patriot Center
When: October 22 – 27
Tickets: $15-105

Enter a fantastical winter wonderland beyond all imagination at Disney On Ice presents Frozen! The heartwarming, Academy Award-winning tale you love is now LIVE and skating into your town. You’ll be magically whisked away into the wintery world of Arendelle, where you will be dazzled by amazing special effects and astonishing skating. Sing and dance along to inspiring songs, including “Let It Go.” Join royal sisters Elsa and Anna, the hilarious snowman Olaf, Kristoff, his loyal reindeer Sven and the mystical trolls as they journey to discover that true love is ultimately the most magical power of all!

Starry, Starry Night
Where: Air & Space Museum
When: October 23-24
Tickets: Free with reservation

Blast into space with wacky Professor Van Gogo for an incredible celestial voyage! This imaginative introduction to stargazing includes star stories brought to life by StoneLion Puppet Theatre’s hand and rod puppets. After the show, we invite you to visit the Explore the Universe Gallery. You can reserve tickets online, and do so soon because shows are filling up fast! Recommended for ages 3-8

NSO Family Concert: Halloween Whodunit
Where: Kennedy Center
When: October 26
Tickets: $15-18

There’s a mystery in the Concert Hall on All Hallows’ Eve! For this frightfully fun third chapter in the NSO’s popular Spooktacular concert series, don your freaky-deakiest costumes and join all the ghoulishly attired musicians for a wickedly wacky, music-filled whodunit. When the NSO’s Stephen Dumaine alerts the orchestra that his tuba has been stolen, NSO Assistant Conductor Ankush Kumar Bahl asks the audience to help them rewind time, follow the clues, lure out the “thief,” and crack the case! Get there early for trick-or-treating and a special Haunted Hall Musical Instrument “Petting Zoo.” Then take your seats for spine-tingling classics–including Adam Glaser’s March of the Little Goblins, the “Infernal Dance” from Igor Stravinsky’s The Firebird, and Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique–plus new favorites like “Let It Go” from the smash animated movie Frozen, and plenty of Halloween surprises!

Fiddler on the Roof
Where: Arena Stage
When: October 31 – January 4
Tickets: $50-99 (find discounted seats here)

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of an American classic! More than just a poor milkman, Tevye is 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. With a jubilant and masterful score including “If I Were a Rich Man;” “Sunrise, Sunset;” “Matchmaker, Matchmaker” and “Tradition,” Tony nominee Jonathan Hadary makes his Arena debut as Tevye in this celebration of family, community and life’s unexpected miracles, large and small.

Fancy Nancy The Musical
Where: BlackRock Center for the Arts
When: November 1-2
Tickets: $15

Fancy Nancy and her friends Bree, Rhonda, Wanda, and Lionel are going to be performing in their very first show, “Deep Sea Dances.” Nancy is positive (that’s fancy for 100 percent sure) that she and Bree will be picked to be mermaids. When another girl wins the coveted role of the mermaid, Nancy is stuck playing a dreary, dull tree. Can Nancy bring fancy flair to her role, even though it isn’t the one she wanted? This 50-minute show manages to entertain both adults and children in a masterful way. A special Fancy Nancy Tea Party will take place the hour before the November 1 show – tickets are available here.

NSO Kinderclassics: Musical Opposites
Where: Kennedy Center
When: November 1
Tickets: $20

Sometimes you’re left with two puzzle pieces that just don’t seem to fit. But then with a little squinting and a lot of imagination, you find that they go together perfectly! The Kennedy String Quartet demonstrates many types of musical contrasts that work together, from the technical to the emotional. The four NSO musicians engage the audience as they explore such simple musical building blocks as high and low, loud and soft, fast and slow, arco and pizzicato. Then, playing excerpts by string quartet masters Haydn, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, and Shostakovich, the quartet shows how composers use opposites to express a stunning variety of musical moods and emotions. Get there early for the Musical Instrument “Petting Zoo.” Starting one hour before each Kinderkonzert, this hands-on activity in the Kennedy Center Hall of States gives children a chance to get up close with the instruments they’ll see played on stage. Recommended for ages 4 and up.

Coyote Mischief Tales
Where: Discovery Theater
When: November 5-6 & 13-20
Tickets: $3-8

Trickster Coyote is a crafty, funny, and fearless fellow and a little too smart for his own good. In this play by Philip Blue Owl Hooser, audiences laugh along with his adventures with his wife Mole, and his spirit guide Hashtali as they learn about making choices, sharing, and giving gifts from the heart. Recommended for ages 5-10.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Where: Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre
When: November 7-16
Tickets: $12/adult, $10/child

Encore Stage & Studio, theatre by kids for kids, presents their version of a classic. Sleepy Hollow is a little town with more than its fair share of spooky ghost stories. The citizens of Sleepy Hollow know the legend of the Headless Horseman is just make-believe…until the new schoolteacher, Ichabod Crane, arrives. Suddenly, strange things begin to happen and he comes face to face with the famous ghost. Will Ichabod triumph over the mysterious Horseman? Join Encore as the legend unfolds, and see for yourself. Some sequences may be frightening for young children. Recommended for ages 8 and up.

Wake Up, Brother Bear
Where: Imagination Stage
When: November 11-30
Tickets: $12

This audience-favorite show is back from hibernation! Watch as Brother and Sister Bear experience a full year of glorious seasons. Together we see a waterfall melt, meet a butterfly, chase an elusive fish, and skate on an icy pond. Children are invited to join the action with a small bag of props that help create magical moments. Recommended for ages 1-5

Parallel Exit
Where: BlackRock Center for the Arts
When: November 15
Tickets: $15-22

Physical comedy: the newest oldest art form! Physical comedy troupe and two-time Drama Desk nominee Parallel Exit offers a very special presentation of Exit Stage Left – a rollicking speed-of-light comedy. Harkening back to the days of vaudeville, Exit Stage Left packs more entertainment in a single show than a three-ring circus. An ensemble of five presents a wide range of old-fashioned family entertainment, from tap dance to live music to slapstick comedy.

Jammin’ at the Smithsonian: Alastair Moock
Where: Discovery Theater
When: November 21
Tickets: $3-8

Meet one of Boston’s premier folk artists, a 2014 Grammy nominee for best children’s album and a Parents’ Choice Gold Medal winner. Time Out New York calls Alastair Moock ”a musical descendant of Woody Guthrie with a zany sense of humor.” His shows, described as “half Appalachian hootenanny, half honky-tonk jam session” are rowdy, rootsy, singin’ and dancin’ fun! Recommended for ages 2-6.

The Gift of Nothing
Where: Kennedy Center
When: November 22
Tickets: $20

Today is a very, very merry special day! Mooch, a charming and curious cat, wants to get the purr-fect holiday gift for his best friend Earl, a loveable pup. But Earl already seems to have all he needs: a bowl, a bed, and a squeaky chew toy. So what do you get someone who has everything? Well, nothing, of course! Based on characters in the beloved internationally syndicated comic strip MUTTS, this world premiere musical adaptation of Patrick McDonnell’s The Gift of Nothing follows Mooch’s frantic and hilarious search to find Earl absolutely nothing–which always turns out to be something! Join the delightful duo, along with their owners Millie and Ozzie, cantankerous Frank, adorable Doozy, and an onstage pianist for this festive and heartwarming adventure. Recommended for ages 4 and up.

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