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The Lion King
Photograph: Courtesy Joan MarcusThe Lion King

The best Broadway shows for kids right now

Snag tickets to the best Broadway shows for kids this season including Six, Harry Potter and (as always!) The Lion King

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Theater is a big part of what makes New York shine. This city is bursting with talent that even the youngest among us can appreciate, and at the best Broadway shows for kids, everyone in your crew will be captivated. The Lion King, with its dancing wildlife and catchy songs, is a perennial favorite, but Disney aficionados will also get a kick out of the magical tale of Aladdin. At Wicked, you can visit the land of Oz and its conflicted green-skinned protagonist; at Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, you can enter an entirely different world of witches and strange creatures. While it may not seem like a great choice for younger viewers, Come From Away is a heartfelt show that older kids will be glad they saw, as is the teen musical drama Dear Evan Hansen. In 2021, these long-running hits are joined by newbies Six and Mrs. Doubtfire

RECOMMENDED: More theater for kids in NYC

If you've already caught these shows or are looking for something a little different, you won't have to go far: Be sure to explore our favorite Off Broadway shows for kids, too, where the stories are just as memorable as their Broadway counterparts and the talent equally impressive. Make the day more memorable by hitting up one of our favorite fun restaurants for kids or the best family friendly restaurants before or after the show.

Just remember that all theaters, on Broadway and off, currently require proof of full COVID vaccination for audience members 12 and older. If your kids are under 12, they will need to show a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of the performance or a negative antigen test taken within six hours of the performance. Also, masks must be worn inside Broadway theaters at all times, unless you are eating or drinking.

Best Broadway shows for kids

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Theatre
  • price 4 of 4

There's a reason Simba's story continues to draw in crowds year after year: It's an amazing production with gorgeous sets, unique puppetry and a moving score from Elton John and Tim Rice. Most importantly, the cast is fresh and the musical numbers are sharp. This isn't some faded, tired musical for out-of-towners—it's for lovers of the theater, and seeing The Lion King live is something like a rite of passage for New York kids. Unconvinced? Ask the 100 million+ audience members worldwide who've seen the performance. Ages 8 and up.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Theatre
  • Musicals
  • price 4 of 4

Based on novelist Gregory Maguire's 1995 adult variation on L. Frank Baum's Oz mythology, Wicked provides a prequel to the children's book and movie. The musical addresses complex themes, such as standards of beauty, morality and–believe it or not–opposition to fascism. Thanks to a witty book by Winnie Holzman (creator of ’90s angstfest My So-Called Life) and Stephen Schwartz's robust score, Wicked soars. While children five and up are permitted in the theater, little ones might be afraid of the flying monkeys—we recommend this show for kids that are a tiny bit older. Ages 8 and up.

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Theatre
  • Musicals

On a mock concert stage, backed by an all-female band, the six wives of Tudor monarch Henry VIII air their grievances in the form of modern pop, and most of them have plenty to complain about. The queens sing their heads off, and the audience loses its mind. Some of the stories are pretty dark—the 16th century wasn't always pretty—but the girl-power spin and killer bops will be catnip for older kids. Ages 10 and up.

 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Theatre
  • Drama
  • price 4 of 4

The world of Harry Potter is now on Broadway, Hogwarts and all, and it's a triumph of theatrical magic. Set two decades after the final chapters of J.K. Rowling’s world-shaking kid-lit heptalogy, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child combines grand storytelling with astonishing stagecraft. Richly elaborated by director John Tiffany, the show looks like a million bucks (or, in this case, a reported $68 million); the Lyric Theatre has been transfigured from top to bottom into an immersive experience. It works: The experience is transporting. Ages 10 and up.

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Theatre
  • Musicals
  • price 3 of 4

One of the more unlikely musicals on Broadway is an excellent choice for the family: Come from Away is the tense but humane story of an airport in Gander, Newfoundland, where 38 planes and more than 6,000 passengers were forced to land on September 11, 2001. It raises big topics, but in such a way that invites thoughtful discussion. Ages 10 and up.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Theatre
  • Musicals
  • price 3 of 4

In this captivating original musical, a high school student is thrust into social relevance after a classmate's suicide. Benj Pasek and Justin Paul's score combines well-crafted lyrics with an exciting pop sound, and Steven Levenson’s book gives all the characters shaded motives. Since the subject matter can be heavy, we suggest saving this one for the older kids in your brood. Ages 12 and up.

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  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Theatre
  • Musicals
  • price 3 of 4

This adaptation of the Disney classic features kiddie-crowd-pleasing laughs and upbeat music, which includes songs such as "A Whole New World" and "Friend Like Me," plus several new tunes. Kids will be dazzled by the color-drenched production and awe-inspiring special effects: confetti cannon, anyone? Ages 8 and up.

  • Theatre
  • Musicals

The jury's still out on this new musical adaptation of the 1993 movie about a divorced dad turned cross-dressed Scottish housekeeper: It hasn't oficially opened yer. But the show is directed by musical-comedy ace Jerry Zaks (Hello, Dolly!), and Rob McClure, most recently seen in Beetlejuice, fills Robin Williams's sensible shoes in the title role, so there's reason to hope for the best. Ages 10 and up. 

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