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Barrel of Monkeys' long-running That's Weird, Grandma
Photograph: Erich Nerger

Children's theater and family-friendly plays in Chicago

Stage shows for tots, tweens and families

Written by
Kris Vire

Chicago is a theater town, and stage shows meant for kids and families are as robust as the grown-up offerings. Some companies, like Chicago Children’s Theatre and Emerald City Theatre, dedicate their whole missions to entertaining and educating little ones; others, like Chicago Shakespeare Theater and Lifeline Theatre, make chldren’s theater part of a varied programming mix. With so many options, it’s never to early to get kids invested in the arts.

Children’s shows in Chicago

  • Theater
  • Children's
  • West Loop
Pinkies up! Little ones and their families are invited to ring in the holiday season in style during The Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party, an annual trunk and puppet show at the Chicago Children's Theatre that brings Potter's beloved stories to life with whimsy and humor. The play's young viewers get to interact with characters like Tom Kitten, Simpkin the Cat and Peter Rabbit throughout the 60-minute production, which features live music alongside narration and puppetry. Afterwards, audience members can meet the cast while enjoying juice, cookies and chocolate milk for a proper tea party celebration. 
  • Theater
  • Children's
  • price 1 of 4
  • Portage Park
Part interactive theater, part guided playspace, Filament Theatre’s kid-oriented venture provides the basic building blocks of pillow forts—cardboard boxes, clotheslines, sheets and the like—and lets kids and parents get creating. And if you’re an adult who’d like to try your hand at fort building, you can grab tickets to a special BYOB experience on Friday nights designed for those 21 and up. 
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