The Best Broadway Shows for Kids

Find out which Broadway musicals and shows are great for pint-sized audience members. From The Lion King to Mean Girls, there are shows for kids of all ages. 

Wicked on Broadway

There is nothing more exciting than settling into the velvet seat of a Broadway theater and watching a whole world unfurl as the curtain rises. Even in the age of screens and social media, a live show reigns supreme — no matter how old you are. 

The larger-than-life billboards and twinkling lights of Times Square in New York City are just a hype for the wonder of a Broadway show, especially for kids. What better way to introduce a child to the theater than with a cherished Disney character or a show based on a beloved book?

From Pride Rock to Hogwarts, from magic genies to mathletes, the Great White Way offers fun for the whole family. There are many New York Broadway shows for kids (and for the kids at heart), so plan your next family outing.

Here are some of the the best shows for kids on Broadway.

The Lion King

The Lion King has held rank as one of the top Broadway shows for kids since it opened in 1997. The musical is based on the Disney animated classic about a young lion cub set to succeed his father as king after his untimely death. The African animals of The Lion King are brought to life with creative headdresses, masks, and puppets designed by director Julie Taymor. 

The Minskoff Theatre transforms into Pride Rock as Zazu flits above the stage and elephants parade through the aisles. The stage adaptation features all the music from the film, including Tim Rice and Elton John’s “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” and “Circle of Life,” so it is no wonder it is among the best Broadway shows for kids.

Wicked

The musical Wicked explores The Wizard of Oz from a new vantage point, and tells the story of the unlikely friendship between Elphaba and Galinda — who later are known as the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch of the South respectively. 

Based on the novel by  Gregory Maguire, the untold story of the witches is brought to the stage with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Winnie Holzman. The musical was nominated for ten Tony Awards and won three, including Best Actress for Idina Menzel. It is a story of friendship, courage, and finding yourself — with some wizardry and stage magic to boot. 

Aladdin

Another Disney classic has taken up residence in Times Square. Aladdin is based on the 1992 animated film and follows a street urchin who discovers a magic lamp and is granted three wishes. He wishes to win the heart of Princess Jasmine, but an evil vizier has other plans for the lamp. 

This musical boasts 337 costume pieces and nearly 100 special effects and stage illusions. Spoiler alert: the magic carpet really does fly! With a splash of color and all the treasured tunes from the film, including “A Whole New World” and “Friend Like Me,” this musical is sure to fulfill some Broadway wishes.

Mrs. Doubtfire

Hello, dear! Mrs. Doubtfire is here. The musical comedy is adapted from the much-loved 1993 film of the same name starring Robin Williams in the titular role. The story follows an out-of-work actor who loses custody of his three children in a messy divorce, and will do anything to reconnect with his kids — including disguising himself as a woman to win the job of their new nanny. 

With a fastened wig and a buttoned cardigan, the prim Mrs. Doubtfire gets another chance to be a father. With a book by Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell, and music and lyrics by Wayne Kirkpatrick and Karey Kirkpatrick, audiences of all ages will find the funny in this Broadway show for the whole family.

SIX

If you want to squeeze some learning into your theatre outing, SIX is a 75-minute romp through Tudor History with the flair of a Spice Girls concert. The concert-style show is fashioned as a sing-off between the six ex-wives of Henry VIII. Each queen has a modern musical muse, from Ariana Grande to Rihanna, and the bops by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss will have you on your feet. 

The show was first presented at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2017 and went on to have an unprecedented journey to the West End, Broadway, and around the world. It is a good Broadway show for kids, especially if they’re into history class.

Dear Evan Hansen

Dear Evan Hansen is a musical that shows high school can still be isolating, even in a world of constant social media scrolling. The story follows Evan Hansen and his attempt to connect to his peers at the start of a new school year but finds himself caught in a lie after a tragedy. Note that this production is recommended for ages 12 and older. 

This Tony Award-winning Best Musical, with music and lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, has resonated with young audiences since it hit the scene in 2017. The musical made a star of Ben Platt, and is sure to make a musical lover of your teen.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

If there are dog-eared copies of the Harry Potter series in your house, and you’ve watched the films ten times over, it is time to visit the Lyric Theatre. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a two-part epic play with music that is the eighth installment of the much-loved franchise. 

Taking place 19 years after the final J.K. Rowling novel, this play with music is a show of illusions and unparalleled stage magic. With choreography and sleight of hand, audiences are transported to the Hogwarts Express and to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Any Potterhead will be spellbound.

Mean Girls

The movie Mean Girls quickly found its spot in the canon of quotable teen flicks when it was released in 2004. Tina Fey has adapted the comedy into a stage musical, and fans will rejoice to find those memorable quotes and Easter eggs from the film onstage at the August Wilson Theatre. 

It isn’t a carbon copy though: the show is brought into the current world of teenagers with cell phones and timely pop culture references, plus there are added dance numbers. The musical follows new student Cady Heron’s initiation into the school’s ruling clique. This musical is recommended for audiences currently in the throes of high school, and for those who’ve survived.