Family-Friendly Performances to See in Chicagoland

We're so happy to see the return of in-person theater shows!

One of the things we’ve missed most since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic is theater. Going to a show can be an incredible experience for children at any age and Chicago’s theater scene has always offered so many kid-friendly performances.

This fall and winter, we’re glad to see the return of in-person performances. Please review the COVID-19 guidelines based on each venue before attending a show. From thrilling monster trucks to beloved holiday shows, we’ve gathered up a list of the best family-approved shows in Chicagoland.

‘Twas the Night Before… by Cirque du Soleil

Through Dec. 5, 2021

Join Isabella, a curious girl who’s become jaded by the hoopla surrounding Christmas, as she is whisked away to an upside-down, inside-out world where she meets characters inspired by the original timeless poem.

You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown

Through Dec. 23, 2021

Charlie Brown and the entire Peanuts gang explore life`s great questions as they play baseball, struggle with homework, sing songs, swoon over their crushes, and celebrate the joy of friendship.

The Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party

Through Dec. 24, 2021

Four adorable Beatrix Potter favorites come to life in this mesmerizing, interactive trunk and puppet show, complete with original music on mandolin, violin, toy piano and banjo. After the show, play with the puppets and take pictures on stage. Then head to the lobby for a festive spread of hot cocoa and cookies.

A Christmas Carol

Through Dec. 31, 2021

Goodman Theatre’s classic A Christmas Carol is the heartwarming story of Ebenezer Scrooge’s discovery of kindness, compassion and redemption—a must-see Chicago holiday tradition now in its fifth decade, enjoyed by nearly two million theatergoers.

Frozen, The Musical

Through Jan. 22, 2021

The hit musical features the songs you know and love from the original Oscar-winning film, plus an expanded score with a dozen new numbers. A mysterious secret. A family torn apart. An unforgettable theatrical experience filled with sensational special effects, stunning sets and costumes, and powerhouse performances. Recommended for ages 6 and older.

Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical

Dec. 2-19, 2021

Knuffle Bunny shares the story of a Daddy who is off to the laundromat with Trixie and her beloved Knuffle Bunny. This production is ideal for ages preschool through 5th grade.

The Joffrey Ballet’s The Nutcracker

Dec. 4-26, 2021

  • Address: Greenhouse Theatre Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago
  • Cost: $37+

Journey to Chicago’s 1893 World’s Fair with Christopher Wheeldon’s holiday masterpiece. Magic is on the horizon for young Marie and her mother, a sculptress creating the iconic Statue of the Republic. As they prepare for their annual holiday celebration, a visit from the charming but mysterious Great Impresario sets off a Christmas Eve dream of whirlwind romance and adventure.

Chicago’s Quintessential Holiday Classic, “Ruth Page’s The Nutcracker”

Dec. 11-12, 2021

  • Address: Greenhouse Theatre Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago
  • Cost: $40/adults, $25/students, seniors and children under 12, $10/NEIU faculty and staff (one ticket per ID), $5/NEIU student (one ticket per ID)

The Ruth Page Civic Ballet is proud to present its annual live production of “Ruth Page’s The Nutcracker” featuring original choreography by Ruth Page and co-directed by Victor Alexander and Dolores Lipinski Long, at Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU).

The Tricky Max Comedy Magic Show

Dec. 11, 2021

Enjoy an action-packed, upbeat and interactive family show with magic, puppetry and comedy. Tricky Max guarantees that all the children (and their parents, too!) will be rolling with laughter and bursting with applause. Special appearance by Santa.

Baby Shark Live

Dec. 18, 2021

The live show is based on Pinkfong’s viral earworm and global dance phenomenon, Baby Shark. Fans of all ages will delight as Baby Shark joins up with his friend Pinkfong to take an adventure into the sea, singing and dancing through new and classic songs, including Five Little Monkeys, Wheels on the Bus, Jungle Boogie, Monkey Banana Dance and of course, Baby Shark.

The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Musical 

Dec. 19, 2021

This holiday season The Elf on the Shelf Scout Elves return to center stage for the live musical. Inspired by the beloved box set The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition, this touring stage production is a spectacle of music and dance that transports audiences to the North Pole to glimpse the magical lives of Santa’s Scout Elves.

Harlem Globetrotters

Dec. 28, 2021

The Original Harlem Globetrotters are a worldwide icon, synonymous with one-of-a-kind family entertainment and great basketball skills. Founded in 1926, the Globetrotters represent 94 years of breaking down barriers, acts of kindness and a commitment to fans that goes well beyond the game.

Blue Man Group Chicago New Year’s Eve Performances

Dec. 31, 2021-Jan. 1, 2022

Families can kick off their New Year’s Eve celebrations early with Blue Man Group’s kid-friendly performances at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., with kids 12 and under receiving a complimentary gift. All audience members will also receive celebratory New Year’s Eve hats.

Disney on Ice: Mickey’s Search Party

Jan. 20-23; Feb. 3-6, 2022

Join Mickey Mouse and his Disney friends on adventures filled with world-class skating, high-flying acrobatics, and unexpected stunts! Expect to see characters from your favorite movies like Moana, Aladdin, Coco, Frozen and more.   

Nickelodeon’s JoJo Siwa D.R.E.A.M The Tour

Feb. 10, 2022

Nickelodeon superstar JoJo Siwa is a YouTube sensation, pop star, dancer, entrepreneur, social media influencer and The New York Times bestselling author. Siwa connects with her fans through many channels via social media.

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live

Feb. 19, 2022

This live production is based on the top-rated PBS series from Fred Rogers Productions, which uses musical strategies grounded in Fred Rogers’ landmark social-emotional curriculum. Through imagination, creativity and music, Daniel and his friends learn the key social skills necessary for success in school and in life.

Imagine U: The Ballad of Mu Lan

Feb. 24-March 6, 2022

When Mu Lan dresses up as a boy to take her father’s place in the army, she has lots to learn and lots to prove, but her biggest battle might be with her confidence. This new telling of an ancient Chinese legend mixes traditional Chinese theatrical techniques with contemporary music for a brand-new take on a classic story of girl power.

Monster Jam

Feb. 25-27, 2022

The legendary Grave Digger, Max-D, and more compete in intense competitions of speed and skill. This year’s championship lineup includes world record holders who push their trucks to the limit.

Trolls Live!

March 12-13, 2022

Get ready for another hair-raising adventure when Poppy, Branch and their friends come to life on-stage in Trolls LIVE!, their first ever live tour!

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