5 children’s theater shows to book now

School is back in session (or will be very soon for those of us counting down until Labor Day – solidarity, CPS brothers and sisters), and so thoughts begin to turn to fall and winter activities. And whilst it’s been a long, glorious summer of beach and pool visits, and you know every playground in a five-mile radius, it’s time to start planning some entertainment for days when the weather might not be so kind.

Theater can delight and enthrall children of all ages, and we’re lucky here in Chicago to have so many options available in the city and suburbs. Whether it’s a Broadway show or something small and interactive, here are some great options to go and see over the next few months.

Elephant & Piggie’s “We Are in a Play!”

When: Sept. 29-30, 11 a.m. & 1 p.m., Oct. 6-7, 11 a.m. & 1 p.m.

Where: Citadel Theater at Gorton Community Center, 400 E Illinois Rd, Lake Forest IL

Mo Willems’ much-loved characters, Elephant and Piggie take to the stage in Lake Forest in Elephant & Piggie’s “We Are in a Play!” This adventure is perfect for young audiences, and will have families doing the Flippy Floppy Floory dance all night long!

Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

When: Oct. 2-21

Where: Oriental Theater, 24 W. Randolph St., Chicago

Following the huge success of Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is the latest Roald Dahl classic to get the Broadway treatment. With much-loved songs from the original movie, and a new score to get your toes tapping, this one is bound to be a huge hit with the over-six crowd.  


When: Oct. 5-Dec. 30

Where: Marriott Theatre, 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire

Head to the Marriott Theater in Lincolnshire this October and you’ll get to see a special adaptation for kids of the Oscar-winning movie, Shrek. Performed ‘in the round,’ everyone gets a great view in this theater, and with the performance lasting just an hour and child-friendly performance times, even the youngest theatergoers will love this spectacle.


When: Oct. 9-Nov. 12

Where: Chicago Children’s Theatre: The Station at 100 S. Racine Ave., Chicago

The Chicago Children’s Theatre kicks off its new season with ‘Frederick’, adapted from Leo Lionni’s Caldecott’s award-winning book about Frederick the mouse. Suitable for children of any age, the story tells how Frederick daydreams the summer away while the other mice are gathering food for the winter.

The Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party

When: Dec. 8-24   

Where: Chicago Children’s Theatre: The Station at 100 S. Racine Ave., Chicago

For a pre-holiday treat, head to the Chicago Children’s Theatre for The Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party. Dress up and enjoy a cup of hot cocoa with the characters before enjoying an interactive puppet show. Children will have the opportunity to take to the stage themselves to uncover more surprises and treats.

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