Theatre For Young Children In The Chicago Area

I received complimentary tickets to shows but all thoughts are my own.

I’ve been trying to introduce my daughter to the world of theatre. Since she is only four, we have been pretty limited in our opportunities to go to the theatre but we’ve found some great shows over the past year.

Chicago Children’s Theatre

Last December we attended her first show, The Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party, at the Chicago Children’s Theatre (the self-described “no shushing” theatre). We couldn’t have asked for a better first theatre experience. Geared towards toddlers and preschoolers (recommended for ages up to 8), this show features a trio of talented actor/singer/musicians who bring four adorable Beatrix Potter animal tales to life. The show is just about an hour long and ends with a little party in the lobby where kids can meet the actors, play with the puppets, and enjoy a treat. 

Funny enough, this theatre also hosted my boys for their first theatre experience way back in 2011 when they were almost 2 and almost 3 years old. We went for a press event to see the Dot and Ziggy show and here’s what I wrote back then: “To be honest, I probably would never have attempted to bring my children to the theatre if I hadn’t received free tickets. I just didn’t think that they would sit through a performance and I didn’t want to waste my money on something that my kids wouldn’t sit through. I was wrong. My children watched attentively through THE. WHOLE. THING. My boys who have sensory issues and don’t sit still for anything remained enthralled in this show until the end. I was amazed. The show, which is specifically for babies and toddlers, even kept the adults in the crowd entertained.” So there you have it! Whether they are 2 or 4, they aren’t too young for the theatre!

The Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party runs through December 31, 2023 at Chicago Children’s Theatre, 100 S. Racine. in Chicago’s West Loop. Performances are Saturdays and Sundays at 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., with added holiday week performances and six newly added performances after Christmas: December 27-31, at 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 am. Tickets start at $45.25, including fees, and are on sale now at They have a small lot with free parking but there is also plenty of free street parking.

Marriott Theatre


This past weekend we went to the Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences in Lincolnshire, IL which is about 30-45 minutes from Chicago. The theatre’s winter production, THE SNOW QUEEN, runs through December 31, 2023. THE SNOW QUEEN is a rockin’ fairy-tale for audiences of all ages. In this whimsical and edgy adventure, Gerda commences on a dangerous quest to save her best friend Kai before he is trapped forever in the Snow Queen’s palace. In a land where animals talk and flowers sing, join Gerda on her journey to rescue her beloved friend. This show is a musical take on Hans Christian Andersen’s coming-of-age adventure that inspired the hit Disney Movie, Frozen. Knowing nothing about the original fairy tale, I wrongly assumed this was about Elsa from Frozen so I was honestly a little confused at the start. But, as the story continued, I was quickly drawn in and I thought the acting was wonderful. I also liked that there was a Q&A afterwards which would be exciting for any child or teen who dream of a career on stage.




THE SNOW QUEEN has performances most Fridays through Sundays at 10am with select 12:30pm performances and plenty of holiday week performances. An ASL interpreted performance will take place on December 16 at 10 am. Visit for the exact schedule, as show times and dates vary. Tickets are $15.75 (plus tax and handling fees). Free parking is available at all performances.


Chicago Shakespeare Theater

This summer we went to see Disney’s Beauty and the Beast at Chicago Shakespeare Theater. The 75-minute production of this “tale as old as time,” based on the Academy Award-winning Disney film and Tony Award-winning stage musical was a lot of fun. Emma dressed as Belle for the occasion, took photos with the classic rose in the glass case, and got to meet some of the show’s cast (though sadly the actress who played Belle wasn’t available). This theatre is located on Navy Pier so you can make a day of it! Chicago Shakespeare Theater has a number of shows for teens and adults right now but nothing for children. I’m hoping they will have another family-friendly musical this summer so keep an eye out for future show announcements!


I will continue to share here as we see other shows around the Chicago area. I hope this post has inspired you to introduce your young child to the theatre if you haven’t already!