We live in the Second City, but it definitely ranks first when it comes to hilarious improv comedy. And as a result, there are lots of spots where your mini Melissa McCarthys can watch the masters at work—and even contribute some of their innate improv skills. After all, is there anyone who’s better at coming up with an elaborate scenario than a kid who’s been caught misbehaving?
Those “yes ands” can start early, thanks to Pigpen storytime, geared at kids 6 months-3 years. The interactive, musical experience takes place every Thursday at 10 a.m. Best of all, it’s free (and there’s free coffee!). For older kids 3-12, there’s the original Hogwash: An Improvised Tall Tale at 10:30 a.m. on Saturdays, which lets kids direct the story. They do everything from creating the backdrops to choosing the costumes, so if you have a more behind-the-scenes type of kid, it will still be good fun.
Athletics isn’t the only area where things can get a little competitive; getting big laughs is a little cutthroat at ComedySportz, the longest running short-form improv show in Chicago. The interactive show lets the audience drive the action with the Applause-o-meter, but the creative games are sure to lead to immeasurable laughter. ComedySportz alumni include actors, writers and even the woman behind “Pitch Perfect,” so you know it will be a high-quality show.
For kids whose imaginations have been known to get the best of them, Storytown is a great fit. The weekly shows invite the audience of kids 3-10 to choose the setting and then help create it. Miniature musicians will enjoy the live, improvised soundtrack and original songs popping up throughout the action. And parents will love watching their kids see a brand-new story come to life (and enjoy a few laughs).