Your 2022 Guide to Kid-Friendly Shows on Broadway in NYC

November 30, 2021

The gentle hum of a full orchestra warming up, the quiet thrill of anticipation that passes through the crowd just before curtain call, and the excitement of being handed your very own Playbill. 

These are the special moments that are genuinely unique to Broadway. 

Nothing brings more joy and happiness to a child's face than witnessing the magic of their very first Broadway musical. With the Great White Way coming back, there's never been a better time to introduce your children to the wonder of live theater.

Exposure to the theater reaps countless benefits for kiddos, including increased empathy, interpersonal skills, creativity, communication, and higher academic and career success. 

From the sweltering plains of the Serengeti in Africa to the wacky world of Oz, there are innumerable universes of enchantment and imagination to explore on Broadway.

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Experience a 'whole new world' with Aladdin. Or, engage in all the Yuletide and nativity festivities with the world-famous Rockettes. From A-Z we have the inside scoop on everything you need to know about kid-friendly Broadway.

Wide shot of Broadway at night with lots of traffic and lights in NYC, New York, USA

photo credit: Denys Nevozhai via Unsplash

What You Need to Know

We are just overjoyed that after an 18-month hiatus, the sparkling lights of Broadway will be shining again. 

Of course, safety is everyone's primary concern, and the entire musical theater community is working hard to make Broadway's return as smooth and simple as possible.

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In order to experience the pleasure of a Broadway production, you will need to:

  • Show proof of vaccination, either on paper or on your phone. We highly recommend the use of the NYC COVID SAFE app.
  • Present a photo ID such as a driver's license or passport (children can utilize a school id, birth certificate, or passport).
  • If anyone in your party is too young to be vaccinated or cannot obtain it for medical or religious reasons, they will need to show proof of a negative COVID test within 72 hours of the performance.
  • Wear a mask/face covering for the entirety of the performance!

NYC Hotels

Musicals, dramas, Tony award winners, and more - the talent level on Broadway is simply unparalleled. 

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You could easily spend an entire New York City vacation solely soaking up the best theatrical productions in the world. However, there are countless ways to explore the art, culture, and history of the city that never sleeps.

Extend your time in the metropolis of Manhattan by booking any number of our premier options for New York City Hotels. Sleep soundly in the theater district, or enjoy luxury amenities in Tribeca, knowing you're guaranteed our lowest available rates. 

View looking up at the sign outside of the Minskoff Theatre with a large sign for The Lion King the Musical on Broadway in NYC, New York, USAThe Lion King

A love letter to the African Pride Lands, The Lion King is an exhilarating adventure of jaw-dropping visuals, vibrant costumes, jubilant songs, and intricate choreography.

From the instantly recognizable tribal calls of the opening number, the Circle of Life, to the breathtaking set design that will instantly transport you to the plains of Africa, the Lion King clutches you in its claws and doesn't let go.

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A universally beloved story based on the 1994 animated Disney movie, The Lion King, tells the tale of young Simba and his quest for love, friendship, family, and redemption.

Little ones of all ages will not believe their eyes as they witness giant multi-person elephants gallivanting across the stage, trotting gazelles, and stately zebras.

Fun Facts about The Lion King

  • The Lion King is the most successful Broadway Musical of all time.
  • The Lion King won over 70 major awards worldwide, including the Tony Award® for Best Musical and the Grammy® for Best Musical Show Album.
  • There are more than 232 puppets in the show!
  • The Lion King features an epic musical score crafted by the creative masterminds of Elton John and Tim Rice.
  • It is the 3rd longest-running Broadway show and has 25 productions around the world.

The Lion King clocks in at approximately 2.5 hours, with one intermission. Also, it is suitable for children six years and older.

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Transportation

The Minskoff Theater is located at 200 W 45th St, New York, NY. In addition, is easily accessible by NYC public transit. 

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The closest subway stops and directions are as follows:

  • The 1, 2, 3 train:  exit the subway at the Time Sq. 42nd St. stop and walk approximately three minutes to the theater.
  • The B, D, F, M train:  exit the subway at 47-50 St, Rockefeller Center stop and walk approximately 3 minutes to the theater.
  • The N, Q, R, W train:  exit the subway at the 49th Street stop and walk approximately three minutes to the theater.
  • The 7 train or S shuttle:  exit the subway at the Times Square, 42nd Street stop and walk approximately three minutes to the theater.
  • The A, C, E train:  exit the subway at 42nd St., Port Authority Bus Terminal and walk approximately four minutes to the theater.

Kid-Friendly Broadway Restaurants

Searching for a kid-friendly culinary experience for a pre-show dinner or quick bite? Check out our tried and true options below, and don't forget about dessert!

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Hit up nearby sweet spots for a celebratory post-show milkshake, cupcake, or cookie:

  • Carmines Italian Restaurant - the original NYC family-style restaurant. You can't go wrong with a hearty spread of Southern Italian favorites. Dig into amazing dishes such as fried zucchini, garlic bread, spaghetti with meatballs, and manicotti.
  • Hard Rock Cafe - an iconic standby that has been delighting Times Square tourists and locals alike for over 15 years. Rock your tastebuds with one of their award-winning legendary steakburgers, or split a platter of slow-roasted wings.
  • Shake Shack - load up on crinkle-cut fries topped with mouthwatering cheese sauce as well as favorites such as the Shack burger or Chicken Shack at the deliciously hip Shake Shack. 

Sweet Treats

  • Hershey's Chocolate World - calling all chocoholics! Indulge in a post-Lion King sugar rush with a sinfully sweet Hershey's milkshake or giant S'more stuffed with the candy bar of your choice. 
  • Magnolia's Bakery - Cozy up with a cup of their world-famous banana pudding, or indulge in one of their scrumptious cupcakes in classic flavors like red velvet or confetti.
Close up photo of Jasmine and Aladdin about to kiss with a blue moon behind them on Broadway in NYC, New York, USA

photo credit: Aladdin - The Musical via Facebook

Aladdin

Mystical Arabian nights, a magic carpet, and a fast-talking blue genie. Is there anything more exciting than spending a few hours in the glittering, bustling Arabian desert kingdom of Agrabah?

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Get swept along in the budding romance and adventure of Princess Jasmine, Aladdin, Abu, and the entire gang when you purchase tickets for Broadway's Aladdin

A timeless story of love, transformation, and classic comedy, audiences will be swept up in street urchin Aladdin's journey from common thief to Prince Ali. 

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An extravagant spectacle of electrifying choreography, lavishly vivid costumes, and an Academy Award-winning score combine to create a Broadway hit for the ages. 

Sing along as Aladdin meets a wish-granting genie and attempts to woo and win the heart of the fair Princess Jasmine.

Fun Facts about Aladdin

  • Eight-time Oscar winner Alan Menken wrote the music from Aladdin, and the Broadway production features new songs not featured in the animated film.
  • 'A Whole New World' won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1993.
  • There are six Aladdin productions around the world.
  • The show contains 84 special effects, including a gravity-defying flying magic carpet!
  • It takes almost 200 people to deliver every Broadway performance of Aladdin.

Aladdin runs for approximately 2.5 hours, with one intermission. Also, it is suitable for children six years and older.

Transportation

The New Amsterdam Theatre is conveniently located at 214 W 42nd Street, New York, NY. In addition, it is easily accessible by NYC public transit. 

The closest subway stops and directions are as follows:

  • The 1, 2, 3 & S shuttle train:  exit the subway at the Times Square, 42nd Street stop and walk approximately two minutes to the theater.
  • The B, F, M train:  exit the subway at 42nd Street Bryant Park stop and walk approximately five minutes to the theater.
  • The A, C, E train:  exit the subway at the Port Authority Bus Terminal and walk approximately three minutes to the theater.

Kid-Friendly Broadway Restaurants

Rubbing a magic lamp, hoping for your pre-show dinner recommendations to come through? Save the magic for the Genie, and check out our favorite nearby kid-friendly eats for a fuss-free dinner.

  • Juniors Restaurant and Bakery - no visit to Times Square is complete without a slice or two of the World's Most Fabulous Cheesecake! But before you, snack on the sweet stuff, fortify your hunger with one of their sensational Reuben or pastrami sandwiches.
  • Black Iron Burger - with a respectable happy hour for mom and dad, and options to build your own burger topped with everything from swiss cheese to truffle mayo, Black Iron Burger is sure to satisfy the whole family.
  • The Kati Roll Company - ideal for a quick on-the-go bite, little ones who love spice will gobble up their tasty chicken tikka rolls served in freshly griddled paratha, as well as juicy momos (or Indo-Tibetan dumplings).
Close up photo of Elphaba from WICKED The Musical on Broadway in NYC, New York, USA

photo credit: WICKED The Musical via Facebook

Wicked

Just one viewing of 'Broadway's biggest blockbuster' and you will be changed for good. Enter the wonderful world of Oz in this prequel to the classic film. Wicked digs into the untold story of the witches of Oz and the unlikely friendship that forms between them.

Astonishing visuals, special effects, and elaborate costumes are seamlessly woven together with mega-musical hits such as 'Defying Gravity' to create an awe-inspiring cultural phenomenon. 

Fall under the spell of the resplendent Glinda the Good, or find yourself rooting for everyone's favorite green anti-hero, the Wicked Witch of the West.

Fun Facts About Wicked

  • Wicked has won over 100 international awards, including 3 Tonys and a Grammy.
  • The production was such an initial smash hit it recouped its initial investment in just 14 months.
  • Twelve homes could be powered by the amount of electricity it takes to stage Wicked every night!
  • The secret to Elphaba's glowing green skin? MAC makeup!
  • Pssst, the film version of Wicked is slated to hit theaters in December 2022, so see the Broadway version ASAP.

Wicked runs for approximately 2.75 hours, with one intermission. Also, it is recommended for children eight years and older.

Transportation

The Gershwin Theatre is conveniently located at 222 West 51 St, New York, NY. In addition, it is easily accessible by NYC public transit. 

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The closest subway stops and directions are as follows:

  • The A, C, E train:  exit the subway at the 50th Street station stop and walk approximately two minutes to the theater.
  • The 1, 2 train:  exit the subway at the 50th Street station stop and walk approximately two minutes to the theater.
  • The E, B, D train:  exit the subway at the 7th Avenue stop and walk approximately four minutes to the theater.
  • The N, Q, R, W train:  exit the subway at the 49th Street stop and walk approximately four minutes to the theater.

Kid-Friendly Broadway Restaurants

Looking for the most favorite foodie highlights post your Wicked performance high? Take a gander at our comprehensive list of the best places to grab a satisfying post-show meal or snack.

  • Tacuba - mouthwateringly, creamy cool guacamole, loaded veggie or carnitas nachos, and crispy beer battered fish tacos are all menu standouts at this charming Mexican cantina.
  • Black Tap - Instagram famous for a reason, Black Tap's burgers and crazy shakes are legendary! Salivate over their ½ pound wagyu beef burger. Afterwards pepper your social media feed with shots of:
    • cotton candy
    • Brooklyn blackout
    • cookie n' cream supreme shake
  • Pick-A-Bagel - craving just a little afternoon nosh? Go classic NYC with a bagel and schmear at one of Manhattan's best. We love to keep it simple with an everything bagel, but they also serve chopped salads, delectable sandwiches, and more.
Dances in red and green sparkling outfits with their arms linked at the Radio City Christmas Spectacular in NYC, New York, USA

photo credit: Radio City Christmas Spectacular 2021 via Facebook

Radio City Christmas Spectacular

Deck the Halls and embrace the Christmas spirit with the world's most famous precision dance team! For almost a century, the Rockettes have been dazzling audiences with their high kicks, joyful singing, and undeniable glamour.

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A holiday tradition like no other, the Radio City Christmas Spectacular transports you to a world of Yuletide cheer complete with Santa, a parade of wooden soldiers, and a glowing nativity scene.

Watch in awe as Rockettes dressed like reindeer kick as high as the sky, and tap with outstanding synchronicity a jubilant countdown to Christmas eve.

Fun Facts About the Radio City Christmas Spectacular

  • The Radio City Christmas Spectacular is seen by 1 million people each year.
  • The Rockettes have played in over 60 cities in North America.
  • 36 Rockettes perform onstage at a time.
  • To be a Rockette dancer, you must be between 5'6- 5'10 ½ inches tall.

The Radio City Christmas Spectacular runs for approximately 90 minutes with no intermission. Also, it is recommended for children six years and older.

Transportation

Radio City Music Hall is conveniently located at 1260 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY. In addition, it is easily accessible by NYC public transit.

The closest subway stops and directions are as follows:

  • The B, D, F, M train:  exit the subway at the 47th-50th Street, Rockefeller Center stop, and walk approximately one minute to the theater.
  • The 1 train:  exit the subway at the 50th Street stop and walk approximately three minutes to the theater.
  • The N, Q, R, W train:  exit the subway at the 49th Street stop and walk approximately three minutes to the theater.
  • E, M train:  exit the subway at the 5th Avenue 53rd Street stop and walk approximately three minutes to the theater.

Kid-Friendly Broadway Restaurants

Keep the festive cheer flowing. Partake in a tasty meal pre or post-Radio City Christmas Spectacular at any of our nearby preferred dining establishments:

  • Del Frisco's Grille - for a classic upscale steakhouse experience that can't be beaten. Save room for the jumbo lump crab cakes and tender bone-in filet at Del Frisco's.
  • Pazza Notte - authentic Neapolitan pizza made with traditional thin crust, yes please! Kiddies can feast on a classic margarita, while adults will love sampling the truffle and mushroom-filled Tartufo.
  • Tsuru Ton Tan - warm up on a chilly winter night with a bowl of delicious chicken or katsu curry udon, and don't forget to order a side of shrimp tempura for the table!
The cast from Doubtfire on Broadway dancing with a bright blue background in NYC, New York, USA

photo credit: Doubtfire on Broadway via Facebook

Mrs. Doubtfire

Broadway is primed to welcome the hippest granny who ever did hip hop, bebop, and dance till ya drop this December. 

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Settle in for a wild ride of musical comedy when you attend Mrs. Doubtfire

This heartfelt and hilarious comedy will leave you dancing in your seat. It's a brand new play based on the beloved 1993 film starring the late, great Robin Williams. 

A moving saga that follows the crazy lengths one devoted father will go to to see his children after a messy divorce. Mrs. Doubtfire shows us that if there's one thing we must hold on to, it's each other.

Euphegenia Doubtfire dazzles and delights as the Scottish nanny who is secretly her client's father. Besides mixing a mean cup of hot cocoa, she dispels wholesome advice. Meanwhile, Mrs. Doubtfire teaches the audience a lesson or two on the importance of family.

Fun Facts About Mrs. Doubtfire

  • Directed by four-time Tony winner Terry Zaks.
  • Music and lyrics are by the dynamic duo Wayne Kirkpatrick and Karey Kirkpatrick, the Tony Award-nominated team behind Something Rotten.
  • Starring Tony winner Rob McClure as Daniel Hillard, aka Euphegenia Doubtfire.
  • Mrs. Doubtfire only got through three performances before having to shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mrs. Doubtfire runs for approximately 2 hours and 35 minutes. Also it is recommended for children eight years and older.

Transportation

The Stephen Sondheim Theatre is conveniently located at 124 West 43 Street, New York, NY. In addition, is easily accessible by NYC public transit.

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The closest subway stops and directions are as follows:

  • 1, 2, 3, train or S shuttle:  exit the subway at the Times Square 42nd Street stop and walk approximately three minutes to the theater.
  • B, F, M train:  exit the subway at 42nd Street Bryant Park stop and walk approximately two minutes to the theater.
  • 7 train:  exit the subway at the 5th Avenue stop and walk approximately four minutes to the theater.

Kid-Friendly Broadway Restaurants

The best nannies always have some sweet treats up their sleeves! So stave off low blood sugar meltdowns. Grab a convenient pre or post-show snack, dinner, or lunch at any of our favored dining establishments. 

  • Burger and Lobster - experience elevated surf and turf with Burger and Lobster's signature B & L combo (that's an Original Burger and a 1.25 lb Original Lobster), or keep it traditional with a tangy Maine style lobster roll. 
  • Taco Dumbo - bringing beachside vibes to Times Square, Taco Dumbo will whisk you away to an island paradise with their roasted fish and chicken tinga tacos. Make sure to hydrate with coconut water or splurge on a syrupy sweet Mexican Coke.
  • Juniors Restaurant and Bakery - no visit to Times Square is complete without a slice or two of the World's Most Fabulous Cheesecake! But before you snack on the sweet stuff, fortify your hunger with one of their sensational Reuben or pastrami sandwiches.

Colorful costumes, exquisite set design, and catchy musical melodies unite to make every Broadway performance a truly unforgettable experience.

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All children, from little tykes to full-grown teenagers, can appreciate the creativity, talent, and pure artistry poured into every Broadway production. 

However, you choose to return to Broadway this season, from revisiting old favorites such as Wicked and the Lion King to discovering comic gold with the Scottish nanny sent from above, know you are in for a theatrical adventure of a lifetime. 

What Kid-Friendly Broadway Shows Did We Miss?

Any kid-friendly broadway shows or restaurants you love in NYC? Share with us in the comments below!


isis with mural in background

Written By Isis Maya

A New York native, Isis-Maya spent most of her professional life working in TV production until a vacation whisked her away to Central America and her love o ...

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