Family-Friendly Broadway Shows in 2023: Top Picks for a Night Out with the Kids.

Broadway shows offer an enriching experience for families, making them ideal for a night out with the kids. Apart from the quality of entertainment, another key reason why Broadway shows are great for family occasions is the educational value they provide for children. Live performances expose children to various art forms, including music, dance, and theater, which can positively impact their creativity and imagination. Did you know that live music and performances can help children develop their language and communication skills, and also soothe anxiety? Broadway shows often incorporate historical themes and social messages that can spark meaningful discussions and learning opportunities for the whole family.

Productions on the current 2023 playbill feature impressive choreography, stunning costumes, and unforgettable numbers that can capture one’s mind and attention at any stage of life. The engaging storytelling and top-notch productions ensure that everyone in the family is entertained and immersed in the wonderful world of Broadway.

Top Family-Friendly Broadway Shows in 2023

Elementary-Middle school

Aladdin is a beloved Disney musical that brings the magic of the Arabian Nights to life on the Broadway stage. The story follows an adventurous young man as he discovers a magical lamp and befriends a hilarious genie who grants him three wishes. The show is filled with catchy tunes, grand dance numbers, breathtaking sets, and special effects. Aladdin‘s themes of friendship, self-discovery, and the power of being true to oneself make it a perfect choice for a family viewing. The show’s vibrant and energetic performances, including the iconic “A Whole New World” duet or “Friend Like Me”, will have both kids and adults humming along for days.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is based on J.K. Rowling’s beloved Harry Potter series, this play is a two-part non-musical performance that continues the magical story of the Boy Who Lived. Set 19 years after the events of the final book, the play follows Harry’s son, Albus, as he navigates the challenges of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and his parents’ legacy. The show’s spellbinding special effects and compelling storytelling make it an unforgettable theatrical experience for even the youngest people in the audience.

The Harry Potter series has a massive following worldwide, making it a popular choice for fans of all ages. The play’s themes of bravery and the power of love resonate with audiences year after year. Getting to see beloved characters come to life on stage is a truly magical experience. Whether you’re a die-hard Harry Potter fan or new to the wizarding world, this show is sure to cast a spell on your family and create memories that will last a lifetime.

The Lion King is a timeless classic that continues to captivate audiences of all ages. Set in the heart of the African savannah, this spectacular musical follows the journey of Simba, a young lion prince, as he navigates his way through life and learns to embrace his responsibilities.

This Broadway classic is a perfect choice for a family night out because of its enchanting storytelling, award-winning costumes and puppetry, and world-renowned score. The show’s innovative staging brought the animals of the Pride Lands to life, creating a truly immersive experience for every spectator. From the breathtaking opening number of “Circle of Life” to the uplifting anthem of “Hakuna Matata,” the show is filled with catchy tunes that will have the whole family drawn into the events.

The show’s messages of courage, resilience, and overcoming loss at a young age are important lessons that children can learn and appreciate. The Lion King is a must-see for families looking to be transported into a world of wonder and imagination.

Wicked is a spellbinding musical that serves as a prequel to the beloved story of The Wizard of Oz. Set in the Land of Oz, the show delves into the untold story of the witches, specifically focusing on the unlikely friendship between Glinda the Good and Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West.

This show is a fantastic choice for families because it combines elements of fantasy, adventure, and comedy, making it a captivating and entertaining experience for children. Keeping adult audiences just as engaged in the action. The show’s witty dialogue, distinctive costumes, and ambitious production values boasting a 125-person cast ensure a visually stunning spectacle that will leave audiences in awe.

Aside from its pure entertainment, Wicked explores themes of acceptance and standing up against discrimination. The themes and soulful anthems of this musical are relevant and relatable to children of all ages, providing valuable, accessible, and engaging life lessons. With its recognizable songs, powerful performances, and thought-provoking storyline, Wicked is a Broadway gem that will leave a lasting impression on young and young at heart alike.

Middle School-High School

Created by the Emmy®-winning writer of Schitt’s Creek, & Juliet is a hilarious new musical that puts a fresh spin on the greatest love story ever told. This captivating show imagines what would happen if Juliet didn’t end her life over her first love and instead embarked on a new beginning filled with life and love. With a playlist of pop anthems including hits like “Since U Been Gone,” “Roar,” and “Baby One More Time,” & Juliet offers a colorful jukebox musical experience. The show’s award-winning creative team, including writer David West Read and music producer Max Martin, brings this romantic comedy to life with infectious energy and unforgettable performances.

& Juliet is fun and empowering. It will resonate with older kids. It explores themes of independence, identity, and the power of choice, especially valuable for young girls. The show’s modernized take on the famous heroine portrays her as a strong and determined young adult who stands up for what she believes in. Through its pop-hit-spangled score, with songs by Britney Spears, Katy Perry, P!NK, etc., and humorous storytelling, this musical celebrates love and the teenage rebellion that many adolescents experience.

Whether you’re a Shakespeare enthusiast or are new to his works, & Juliet offers a delightful and accessible introduction to the iconic play. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience this lively Broadway musical with your family for an unforgettable night out.

Back to the Future: The Musical has arrived on Broadway, ready to change the history of musical theatre. Based on the classic 1985 movie, this thrilling production takes the audience back in time to Hill Valley, where Marty McFly finds himself transported to 1955 in a time machine built by the eccentric scientist Doc Brown. However, his actions accidentally alter the course of history, and now he must race against time to fix the present and find his way back to the future.

This Olivier Award-winning musical, which has also received numerous other accolades, has captivated audiences with its exciting storyline and energetic new score. From a book by Bob Gale and with new music and lyrics by Emmy and Grammy Award-winning Alan Silvestri and Glen Ballard, including beloved songs from the film like “The Power of Love” and “Johnny B. Goode,” Back to the Future: The Musical offers an action-packed and nostalgia-filled experience. The show’s direction by John Rando ensures a captivating journey through time and space, as Marty and Doc face unexpected challenges and twists along the way.

This musical brings a fresh take on the well-known plot, paying tribute to the beloved movie while infusing it with new meanings and storytelling techniques. Don’t miss the opportunity to join Marty and Doc on their thrilling adventure, buckle up for an unforgettable night of time-traveling shenanigans.

The popular musical SIX keeps making its mark on Broadway in 2023. This electrifying show takes a fresh and empowering look at the lives of the six wives of Henry VIII. Through captivating music and dynamic storytelling, this show gives each of these historical figures a voice and tells their stories from their own perspectives.
The plot revolves around a pop concert-like setting, where the six queens take turns sharing their experiences and competing to see who had the hardest time as Henry’s wife. With its powerhouse voice performances and quirky audience engagement style, SIX is a perfect choice for a family night out.

This groundbreaking musical celebrates female empowerment, highlighting the strength and resilience of these women, highlighting historical facts that were often brushed over by most (male) historians. The universal message and celebration of women’s stories will resonate with audiences of all ages from all walks of life. SIX is sure to be a hit with middle to high schoolers and their families. Don’t miss the chance to see this one-of-a-kind musical phenomenon on Broadway this season.

Prepare to be captivated by the darkly humourous and delightfully twisted tale of Little Shop of Horrors. This Broadway musical tells the story of Seymour Krelborn, a meek and down-on-his-luck floral shop assistant, who discovers a strange and exotic plant that he names Audrey II, after his coworker and love interest. As Audrey II grows, Seymour realizes that the plant has a taste for human blood, leading to a series of unexpected and hilarious events.

Little Shop of Horrors is a family-friendly show that combines elements of comedy, romance, and science fiction. With its catchy music, memorable characters, and clever dialogue, it has become a beloved classic. This comedic and lightheated musical is suitable for families an enjoyable experience for audiences of all ages. Get ready to be spooked, entertained by the quirky characters, and enthralled by the toe-tapping songs of this off-Broadway gem.

Prepare to be blown away by the revolutionary musical phenomenon that is Hamilton. This TonyⓇ and Grammy Award-winning show tells the story of Alexander Hamilton, one of America’s founding fathers, through a blend of hip-hop, rap, and traditional musical theater. From his humble beginnings as an orphan to his rise as a key figure in the American Revolution and the creation of the United States, Hamilton’s story is brought to life in a dynamic and captivating way.

The show is suitable for families because of its educational value and its ability to engage audiences of all ages. It presents refreshing and creative history making it an excellent learning experience for middle to high school-aged kids. The show’s diverse cast and innovative use of R’n’B, rap, and soul music also make it a standout piece. The themes of immigration, ambition, and the pursuit of the American Dream resonate with audiences worldwide, as applied to common human experiences. Some of these themes open up new sides of the US to domestic and international viewers. Hamilton is a must-see for families looking for a Broadway show that groundbreakingly combines entertainment and education.

Planning a family night out to see a Broadway show requires some careful considerations. When it comes to ticket purchasing, it’s always a good idea to explore the availability of discounted tickets or promotions. Many Broadway shows offer special deals for families, such as discounted prices or package deals that include meals or merchandise. These promotions can help make the experience more affordable and enjoyable for everyone.
Additionally, when selecting seats, it’s important to consider the needs of families with children. Opting for seats closer to the stage can provide better views to enhance the overall experience for younger audience members. Balcony or mezzanine seats can also be great options because they often offer a broader view of the stage.

It’s also important to consider not only the show itself but also the pre and after-show activities. To make the most of your evening, consider incorporating some fun and exciting activities before and/or after the show.

Prior to the show, you can explore the surrounding area and make a day of it. Many Broadway theaters are located in vibrant neighborhoods with plenty of attractions for families. You could visit a nearby museum or art gallery, take a stroll through a park, or even go shopping at local boutiques. This experience allows you to maximize your time together as a family and create more lasting memories.

To enhance the anticipation and excitement, consider having a pre-show meal at one of the many family-friendly restaurants near the theater. Some establishments even offer special pre-theater menus or deals for theatergoers. Enjoy a delicious meal together before heading to the show. Some beloved suggestions from the local theatre enthusiasts are Utsav Restaurant, perfect for a pre-show bite. They are quick and anxious for you to make the curtain call. Kashkaval Garden is great for a quiet meal, date night, or a family gathering away from the noise life of Times Square; Carmine’s is your New York must-try. It offers delicious Southern Italian cuisine and family-friendly atmosphere, just what you need for such trip.

Additionally, you may want to check if the theater offers any post-show events or meet-and-greets with the cast. These events give you the opportunity to meet the actors, take pictures, and/or get autographs, creating a truly memorable experience for everyone.

When planning these activities, it’s important to consider the timing and duration of the show. Make sure to allocate enough time for pre and after-show activities without feeling rushed. It’s also a good idea to book reservations in advance, especially for popular restaurants or attractions, to ensure availability and avoid disappointments.
One more crucial aspect to consider is transportation. Figuring out transportation prior to travel can help alleviate stress or confusion on the day of the event. Whether you choose to drive, take public transportation, or use a ride-sharing service, it’s essential to plan ahead to ensure that you have a reliable way to get to and from the theater.

Moreover, it’s important to prepare your children for the experience to ensure a smooth and enjoyable outing. Discuss the importance of setting expectations. Talk to your children about what they can expect from the show, such as the length, the type of performance, and the etiquette expected in a theater. Setting these expectations beforehand can help them understand what to anticipate and how to behave during the show.

Another suggestion is to introduce children to the show beforehand by watching clips or trailers online, listening to the soundtrack, or even reading the synopsis together. This approach not only builds excitement but familiarizes them with the characters, story, and music, enhancing their engagement and enjoyment during the performance.