Best Broadway Musicals to See With Your Family
Whether you’re looking to find a show to take your parents to while they’re in town, or select a matinee for a family trip, there is something on Broadway for all the interests and ages in your brood.
The task of procuring an itinerary for a family visiting New York City is a tall order. There are thousands of restaurants to choose from and countless museums, but there’s one activity that will please everyone in the Big Apple — seeing a Broadway musical. The thrill of live entertainment is a universal pleasure, and experiencing theatre in the heart of Times Square is unparalleled.
Whether you’re looking to find a show to take your parents to while they’re in town, or select a matinee for a family trip, there is something on Broadway for all the interests and ages in your brood. There are musicals for fans of Disney and for history buffs, for Tina Turner enthusiasts and for pop music lovers.
Here are the best Broadway musicals to see with your family. Book Broadway theatre tickets now.
The Lion King has reigned on Broadway as one of the top-selling shows since 1997. The musical, based on the 1994 Disney animated film, is about the untimely death of the lion king of the African Pride Lands and the question of its rightful new ruler. The animal characters are brought to life through puppetry and decorative headdresses designed by director Julie Taymor. The stage adaptation features the much-loved music from the film, including Tim Rice and Elton John’s “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” and “Circle of Life.” It is a show for kids and kids at heart, and its one of the best Broadway musicals for the whole family.
Wicked is based on the novel by Gregory Maguire about the untold story of the witches of Oz. The award-winning musical serves as a prequel to Frank L. Baum’s “The Wizard of Oz” and follows the unlikely friendship between Glinda and Elphaba, later known as Glinda the Good Witch and the Wicked Witch of the West. The musical, with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Winnie Holzman, is about friendship and finding confidence in yourself. It’s a show for die-hard fans of Dorothy Gale, and a great primer for those who have yet to experience the yellow brick road. (And the flying monkeys are crowd pleasers!)
Another Disney Prince is bowing on Broadway—Prince Ali. The musical Aladdin, based on the 1992 animated film, follows the adventures of a street urchin who finds a magic lamp, wakes a genie inside, and is granted three wishes. The treasured songs from the film such as “Friend Like Me” and “A Whole New World” are brought to life with stage magic, including a flying carpet that soars over the New Amsterdam Theatre. The show is one of the best Broadway musicals for families with its more than 337 costume pieces and countless special effects that help transport the audience to Agrabah.
When Daniel Hillard loses custody of his kids, the out-of-work actor takes on his biggest role yet and disguises himself as Mrs. Doubtfire to win the job as their nanny. The eponymous character, made famous by Robin Williams in the 1993 film, is brought to the stage with prosthetics and more than 30 costume changes! The family-oriented Broadway musical features a book by Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell, and music and lyrics by Wayne Kirkpatrick and Karey Kirkpatrick. The slapstick comedy of mistaken identities and familial love is elevated with song.
Six the musical checks lots of boxes. Are you a fan of the Spice Girls? Check. Is your dad well-read on Tudor history? Check. Do your kids have the Top 40 on repeat? Check. “Six” is a concert-style musical that fashions the six ex-wives of Henry VIII as members of a girl group. The six ladies, two of whom were beheaded, compete through song for the title of who had it worst with the king. Each of the former queens is inspired by a current pop princess, including Ariana Grande, Adele, Rihanna, Beyoncé, and Avril Lavigne. The 75-minute show is part history lesson, part dance party, and all fun.
If you’re looking for a Broadway show to see with your parents, your ticket is Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, full stop. Any fans of the queen of R&B will relish in this musical about her life and career, and her hard-won rise to stardom. The musical, with a book by Katori Hall, features Tina’s signature hits such as “Proud Mary” and “What’s Love Got to Do With It?” This isn’t just for those who danced to the tunes on the radio in the 1960s—audiences of all ages will be on their feet.
Ain't Too Proud is another top contender for Broadway musicals to take your parents to. The musical, with a book by Dominique Morisseau, is about The Temptations’ journey from the streets of Detroit to the recording studio. Choreographer Sergio Trujillo and director Des McAnuff, who also directed the jukebox musical “Jersey Boys,” bring the quintet’s moving story to the stage. The show features chart-toppers including “My Girl,” “Just My Imagination,” and “Get Ready,” so get ready to dance.
Sometimes an out-of-town visitor needs to be lured to the theater with the comfort of a movie adaptation. The cult-like fans of Baz Luhrman’s 2001 film Moulin Rouge need no convincing to see Moulin Rouge! The Musical.The stage version is updated with a current song list, including music by Katy Perry, P!nk, and Britney Spears. The show, with a book written by John Logan, is about a young English poet who falls in love with Satine, an actress and courtesan at the cabaret.
Hamilton is perhaps the greatest family bonding experience you can ask for. From U.S. history buffs to hip-hop fans, this musical phenomenon appeals to multiple generations. The much-lauded show by Lin-Manuel Miranda is about the life and career of Alexander Hamilton, the Founding Father on the ten dollar bill. It sets battles of the American Revolution to hip-hop beats, and transforms cabinet meetings to rap battles. The show was nominated for a record-breaking 16 Tony Award nominations, and it is no surprise that everyone wants to be in the room where it happens.
Come From Away is another great choice for any adult relatives in town. The musical, written by husband and wife team Irene Sankoff and David Hein, is about the real life story of the 38 planes that were headed to New York City and rerouted to the Canadian town of Gander, Newfoundland on 9/11. The small town welcomed more than 6,000 displaced travellers into its schools, hospitals, and homes. It’s a story that showcases the best of humanity and the resilience of New Yorkers, and despite being set on that infamous day, there are plenty of laughs and moments of love.
Away from the bright lights of Broadway is Stomp, one of New York's longest-running shows. The high-energy musical show doesn't have a storyline as such, but it's a symphonic masterclass on non-traditional instruments. Anything goes in Stomp, with music made on garbage can lids, sticks, brooms and tins. Stomp has been at the Orpheum Theatre since 1994, and it's making New York history as one of the first shows to open at full capacity.