New York City Theater Favorites for Kids

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This is a guest post from Holly Rosen Fink, the founder and editor of The Culture Mom, a guide to the best family cultural and travel experiences in New York City and beyond. Holly lives in Larchmont, New York with her husband and two children.

If you’re headed to New York City this summer with your child-in-tow and want to take in some quality theater, we’ve got you covered.

Here are a few of my favorite New York shows for kids:

Billy Elliot

Set against the backdrop of a coal miners’ strike that took place in Northern England in the mid-1980s during Margaret Thatcher’s reign, Billy Elliot is about a motherless young boy who wants to give up boxing and learn to be a dancer. His family rebels against his wishes at first until they realize that his dancing will actually give him the chance of a better life.

The play is very true to the film it was based on, and the music and dancing skillfully narrate and tell the story of a boy who is so passionate about dancing that he feels it running through his blood stream. Read more of my review of Billy Elliot on The Culture Mom.

Billy Elliot is playing at the Imperial Theater on 249 W 45th Street 
(btwn Broadway and 8th Ave). Tickets prices range from $41.50 to $151.50 and are available at or the Imperial Theater box office.

Cirque Du Soleil’s Zarkana

Directed by the internationally acclaimed François Girard (The Red Violin, Silk), Cirque Du Soleil’s Zarkana features 71 international artists from 15 different countries and follows Zark, a magician on a quest to find his lost powers. He finds himself plunged into a world inhabited by surreal and mesmerizing creatures.

The music of Zarkana is composed by Nick Littlemore, a protégé of Sir Elton John. It is playing at Radio City Music Hall at 50th Street and 6th Avenue. Ticket prices range from $47 to $250.00 and are available at or the Radio City Music Hall box office.


ImaginOcean is a magical undersea adventure for kids of all ages. Tank, Bubbles and Dorsel and three best friends who just happen to be fish, and they’re about to set out on a remarkable journey of discovery.

And it all starts with a treasure map. As they swim off in search of clues, they’ll sing, they’ll dance, and they’ll make new friends, including everyone in the audience. Ultimately they discover the greatest treasure of all: friendship.

ImaginOcean! is playing at New World Stages at 340 West 50th Street. Ticket prices range from $55 to $75 and can be purchased from or the World Stages Box office.


If you have a daughter age 12 and under, particularly one who loves the color as much as mine does, I am sure you have heard Pinkalicious. The play is based on a book by Elizabeth Victoria Kahn.

It’s about a little girl who can’t stop eating pink cupcakes, despite warnings from her parents. She then develops an ailment called Pinkititis, an affliction that turns her pink from head to toe. At first she is thrilled, but when reality sets in, she has to figure out a way to return to normalcy.

Pinkalicious is playing at the Manhattan Movement & Arts Center. Tickets prices range from $29.50 to $44.50 and can be purchased online.


Wicked is the untold musical story of the Wizard of Oz’s Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good … before Dorothy dropped in.

Based on the imaginative Gregory Maguire novel, Wicked is a journey through the unseen side of Oz, sharing a tale of unexpected friendship and love between the two characters. It’s a magical theatrical experience that kids will embrace. Read more of my review of Wicked on The Culture Mom.

Wicked is playing at the Gershwin Theatre at 222 West 51st Street. Ticket prices range from $65 to $150. Tickets are available at or at the Gershwin Theatre box office.

For information on how to find cheap theater tickets for plays, concerts and more in NYC, visit

Relevant Links:

Ciao Bambino recommended New York family hotels

Tips for visiting New York with kids

Top kid-friendly excursions with kids in New York with kids

New York museums favorites with kids

New York family vacation best online resources vacation

Visiting the Statue of Liberty

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  • We saw Pinkalicious when it was playing in LA a few months ago and my 4-year old boy/girl twins LOVED it. The show was so popular that tickets sold out in record time! If we get to NY this Summer again I would love to check out ImaginOcean!
    Great list.

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