The NYC theater scene is alive and well...but that doesn't necessarily mean everyone on stage has to be an actor. In fact, for the city's younger fan base, puppets are preferred, and thanks to these puppet theaters, we can't blame the kiddos. These NYC venues make perfect outings for families in search of a show with style. From classics to the avant garde, NYC puppet shows have a little bit of everything.
RECOMMENDED: Best indoor activities for kids
Best puppet theaters for kids
If you thought Broadway actors were busy, wait until you meet the stars behind the sensational Puppetsburg. These quirky characters take on a new theme each week to entertain their young audience members with a lively performance. The 2019 lineup includes an alien invasion show and even a Beyoncé-themed show, so you know everyone in your brood will be a fan. During the 45-minute performances, tots can enjoy dancing, dress-up, sing-alongs and more interactive elements. See what's playing and book your tickets today! Ages 0–4.
This Sweedish transplant arrived in NYC in 1877 and has become a Central Park staple. Its Marionette Theater—home to fun performances and the site of exciting, unique birthday parties—attracts many visitors. However, it wasn't always about puppet shows. The Swedish Cottage once served as the park's entomological laboratory and even the headquarters for the Civil Defense during World War II.
Thanks to this couple's ingenious idea, WonderSpark Puppets come to you. From birthday parties to schools and any venue you can imagine, the husband-wife duo behind the company brings classics such as Three Little Pigs and The Little Red Hen to life. These colorful, whimsical characters even make their way to Mt. Sinai Kravis Children's Hospital to spread some cheer.
Founder Nicolas Coppola's love for puppetry began at an early age. After teaming up with his seamstress mother and tailor father, he created his first marionette. From there, he became a pro puppetier and eventually opened up Puppetworks, which Brooklynites are eternally grateful to have in the family-friendly Park Slope nabe. This spot has a bit of everything—birthday parties, group shows and fun upcoming performances such as Junglebook and Goldilocks & the Three Bears to look forward to.
This puppet theater comes with a European flair thanks to the performances of Czech and Slovak fairytales. Viewers have been treated to performances of classics such as A Christmas Carol and unique shows like Czech Winter Tales With Strings. Naturally, a performance of Hamlet is made 100 times better with puppets, wouldn't you say?
The theater scene needs a taste of puppetry, and Penny Jones & Co. has been NYC's answer since the '70s. Kiddos have gotten a kick out of performances of The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Mother Goose Tales and Cinderella. If you're looking to throw your little one an out-of-the-ordinary birthday bash, Penny Jones' puppets are the way to go.
The bilingual theater company stages productions of kid-friendly classics such as Cinderella and Puerto Rican–Cuban folktale La Cucarachita Martina, all of which are infused with Latin American flavor and empowering messages.