The DMV area has an abundance of live productions whether it be theater or music, there’s always something going on. Expose your Bambinos early and help develop their appreciation for dramatic arts and rhythm. This summer you can also see performances involving live music and outdoor movies. We’ve added a list of well-known musicians and venues at the bottom.
(Photo: Marmalade at Atlas Performing Arts Center)
Discovery Theater is part of the Smithsonian for Young Audiences. Shows are generally on a weekday at 10:15 and 11:30 however there are some shows that will have weekend performances. August and September they do not have shows.
In addition to on going shows at The Puppet Co Main Stage, they also feature a series called Tiny Tot shows. These are geared towards the younger audience (0-4 years old) with a shorter show for $5. Show titles vary each week. (7300 MacArthur Blvd. Glen Echo, MD. 20812)
Millennium Stage at The Kennedy Center presents free performances everyday, no tickets required! Shows typically begin at 6:00pm.
Blueberries for Sal at Adventure Theatre: September 21-October 21, 2018
Kuplink, kuplank, kuplunk! Sal and her mother are picking delicious blueberries to can for the long winter months ahead to make delicious desserts. On the other side of Maine’s Blueberry Hill, a mama bear and baby bear are filling up for the long hibernation. But somehow Sal and a baby bear have a mixed up adventure and lose their mothers!
Fancy Nancy’s Splendiferous Christmas at Adventure Theatre: November 16, 2018 – January 6, 2019
What could be fancier than Christmas? Presents with elegant wrapping paper, festive decorations, Christmas cookies with sprinkles-and who could forget the tree? After all, there is no such thing as too much tinsel. Oohlala! This year, Nancy is especially excited. After selling some of her old gowns and accessories, Nancy has enough money to buy a brand-new sparkly tree topper. She can’t wait to decorate the Christmas tree. But when things don’t turn out the way Nancy planned, will Christmas still be splendiferous? Recommended for all ages.
Huckleberry Finn’s Big River at Adventure Theatre: February 8 – March 10, 2019
Twain’s timeless classic sweeps us down the mighty Mississippi as the irrepressible Huck Finn helps his friend Jim, a slave, escape to freedom at the mouth of the Ohio River. Touching and timeless, this tale of friendship against all odds is recreated for young audiences as two best friends demonstrate the power of changing the world. Recommended for all ages.
Winnie the Pooh at Adventure Theatre: March 29 – May 26, 2019
Winnie the Pooh would spend every day of life humming tunes and stopping frequently to eat “a little something.” But today, Pooh and Piglet have to find the Heffalump, watch Rabbit scheme to rid the forest of Kanga’s dreaded bathtub, and help Eeyore search for his tail. Pooh’s intentions are always the best, but his passion for honey and condensed milk keeps getting him into trouble. Recommended for all ages.
The Cat in the Hat at Adventure Theatre: June 21 – August 18, 2019
From the moment his tall, red-and-white-striped hat appears around the door, Sally and her brother know that the cat in the hat is the funniest, most mischievous cat they have ever met. With the trickiest of tricks and craziest of ideas, he is certainly fun to play with. And he turns a rainy afternoon into an amazing adventure. But what will mom find when she gets home…? Recommended for all ages.
Cinderella at Imagination Stage: November 3, 2018-January 6, 2019
This wacky retelling of the beloved fairy tale takes Cinderella on a royal adventure complete with a wisecracking rat, evil stepsisters, and a smitten prince. When Cinderella’s stepmother forbids her from attending the ball, her fairy godmother convinces here that if the shoe fits- wear it! True love may await her if only she can put down her sword. Just the right fit for the holiday season! Recommended for all ages 4+.
Anatole: Mouse Magnifique at Imagination Stage: February 9-March 24, 2019
Meet Anatole- mouse magnifique- the best cheese-taster in all of France! In this whimsical musical adventure, Anatole and his best friend Gaston set out to save the Duval cheese factory, only to discover something much scarier than moldy Brie lurking in the tasting room. Can Anatole outsmart the hungry predator and save the factory? Join Anatole, Gaston, and a chorus of dancing cheeses to find out! Recommended for all ages 4+.
Dicken’s Davy Copperfield at Imagination Stage: February 16-March 31, 2019
Experience the genius of Charles Dickens through the eyes of a young boy! Follow Davy Copperfield on his childhood adventures in 19th C. England. Whether at home with his mother, at boarding school, working in a London bottling factory, or making his epic escape across the English countryside, Davy shows his resilience and determination to find a loving home. Recommended for all ages 6+.
Escape from Peligro Island at Imagination Stage: April 27- June 2, 2019
You create your own adventure! Callaway Brown – an unlikely young hero – has been stranded on a desert island, and it’s up to YOU to decide what happens next! In this interactive production, audience members vote on Callaway’s actions in an energetic romp through time and space. Will Callaway time travel to the Wild West and meet a talking horse? Develop superpowers and fight crime in the future? Or have a crush on a vampire? The choice is yours! Recommended for all ages 5+.
The Ballad of Mu Lan: June 26- August 18, 2019
Courage, honor, and country! When China is forced to war with the invading Xi Xia, each family must send one man into battle. In her quest to protect her baba, our young heroine proves girls can do anything – including saving a nation. Inspired by Peking Opera, this partnership production with the Honolulu Theatre for Youth is full of music, pageantry, and humor. Students from the prestigious O-mei Wushu Center- under the direction of Martial Arts Master Sifu Xiaolin Lu – round out the cast in this girl-powered adventure! Recommended for all ages 6+.
My First Imagination Stage: The My First Imagination Stage theatre series offers intimate, interactive theatre performances designed for the very young in our Reeve Studio Theatre. Learn more below about our early childhood classes and weekend workshops for ages 1-5.
Blue: October 6- October 28, 2018
Join Pale Blue and Inky Blue in their blue-tiful garden, where blue flowers sprout in blue pots with the help of some water, a song, and some theatre magic! All is well until one day… a stubborn RED flower blooms in their harmonious blue world! Can Pale and Inky agree how to approach this colorful intruder?
Wake Up, Brother Bear: January 11- February 13, 2019
Sister Bear and Brother Bear are back from hibernation to take your little ones on an interactive journey through the seasons. Meet a curious butterfly, play in a rushing waterfall, and catch lightning bugs as the bears frolic through the forest in this unforgettable live theatre experience. Reimagined for this 10th anniversary performance, this audience favorite is sure to delight and inspire.
Aquarium: March 30–April 14, 2019
Enter a fantastical island world where fish soar through the air, lemons light up the sky, and sheep go parading by. With gentle music, puppets, and props, guides Jack and Calypso lead children and caregivers in an interactive journey to a magical place of play.
Balloonacy: July 6–August 4, 2019
Nothing can go right for the character of the old man, whose days are gray and dreary until he is visited by a friendly red balloon. Reminiscent of the silent films of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, the playwright has imagined the man as an older version of the boy in the movie The Red Balloon, now grown up and grown old, having forgotten his youthful adventure. That is until the red balloon returns to the rescue!
Encore Stage & Studio: Encore Stage & Studio’s mission is to build life-long appreciation for live theater by involving young people in all aspects of theater arts — onstage, backstage, in the classroom, and in the audience.
Ghostchasers: Oct.5-8, 2018
Things are at their worst at the Asylum for the Extremely Tense, run by the famous Dr. Horace Roy. An earthquake jolt has freed a poltergeist, and it’s creating mischief! The patients have locked up the staff and nobody can tell who’s who! Luckily, Dr. Roy’s cousin Harriet knows just who to call… the Ghostchasers! Honcho and his staff of student ghostchasers are equipped with an array of strange and incredible gadgets, but are they ready for the call? We recommend this production for ages 6 and older.
A Sidewalk Stroll: October 20-November 9, 2018
In its newest play series, Theatre for the Very Young, Encore Stage & Studio presents “A Sidewalk Stroll”–starring professional artists who bring park adventures and friendly animals to life, all the while teaching your little one about navigating through life’s surprises. Recommended for ages 1 and older.
Jingle Arrgh the Way: Nov. 16-18, 2018
A mysterious message left in the crow’s nest of their ship brings Captain Braid Beard and his pirate mates back to North Beach to seek out young Jeremy Jacob to help solve a riddle and find the Christmas treasure. Favorite characters, a rollicking story, great songs, and a trip to the North Pole to find “you know who” – makes Jingle ARRGH the Way! a wonderful holiday show for the whole family. Based on a story by Melinda Long, author of How I Became a Pirate. We recommend this musical for ages 4 and older.
The Enchanted Bookshop: January 11-20, 2019
During the day, A Likely Story looks like any other bookshop, but at night the characters inside the books come alive. Classic characters — including Dorothy Gale, Pollyanna, Heidi, Tom Sawyer and more — long to help Margie, the scatterbrained owner, save her struggling store. When a pair of smugglers come looking for a stolen necklace hidden inside one of the books, the characters must find a way to rescue the bookshop without being seen. Join us on this magical mission to celebrate the enchantment and joy of reading. We recommend this production for ages 4 and older.
RobinHood: February 22-March 3, 2019
Prince John and the Sheriff of Nottingham are cruel and unfair to their citizens. Robin Hood and his merry men are on a mission to help by taking from the rich and giving back to the poor. To arms! When the Sheriff and Lady Merle hatch a plan to stop him, Robin Hood must save Maid Marian, defeat the awful sheriff, and secure Nottingham for the true king’s return. We recommend this production for ages 6 and older.
The Talented Clementine: May 31-June 9, 2019
Clementine gets nervous when her third grade teacher announces that her class will be putting on a talent show to raise money for the spring trip. She can’t sing or dance or play an instrument like her super talented friend Margaret, and what talents she does have would not work on a stage. Clementine must find an act, any act, to perform before the night of the big show. But with only a few days to do so, can she put it together in time? We recommend this musical for ages 6 and older.
Disney’s Newsies: July 19-28, 2019
Set in turn-of-the century New York City, Newsies is the rousing tale of Jack Kelly, a charismatic newsboy and leader of a band of teenaged “newsies.” When titans of publishing raise distribution prices at the newsboys’ expense, Jack rallies newsies from across the city to strike against the unfair conditions and fight for what’s right!
Arts on the Horizon strives to present high-quality theatre for young audiences and their families at an affordable rate. They believe that the arts play an important role in the life of a child. They provide 30-minute, interactive, nonverbal shows performed by professional, adult actors. Post-show activities, such as a take-home craft projects related to themes in the show and meet-and-greet opportunities with the performers, extend the theater-going experience beyond the actual production.
Sailing on String: Sneak Peek: October 6 and 8, 2018 & The Lab at Convergence: May 2-18, 2019
A simple piece of yarn can become so many things! Follow a curious explorer on a voyage into a world made entirely of string! Yarn birds fly through the air passing crocheted clouds. This gentle, engaging performance features object transformation, dance, live string music, and captivating design. Follow the twists, turns, and eventual tangles of this special immersive performance for our youngest audience members! Best for children ages 0-2 and their families
Adventures with Mr. Bear: The Lab at Convergence: November 30-December 15, 2018 & Atlas Performing Arts Center: December 18-22, 2018
The wonder and magic of a child’s imagination are brought to life in this charming production. One cozy winter afternoon, a young girl and her favorite stuffed animal, Mr. Bear, play a game of hide and seek which evolves into a series of exciting adventures. Together, they embark on a journey of endless possibilities – all from the comfort of her playroom! Cuddle up with your favorite stuffed animal friend and join us for a delightful holiday production. Best for children ages 2 – 5 and their families.
Beep Beep!: The Lab at Convergence: March 7-23, 2019 & Atlas Performing Arts Center: March 27-31, 2019
Monkeying around can be so much fun! But when an actual monkey starts tinkering in a car, so many things go wrong that the owner can’t seem to fix! With their car falling apart, will our friend solve this mystery in time? This highly physical comedy, features live percussion music and plenty of zany shenanigans. Come help us figure out how to fix up this car where nothing goes right! Best for children ages 2 – 5 and their families.
Venues to keep in mind:
Synetic Theater (for 13+)
Jammin Java (Tot Rock)
Favorite DC musicians and performers (in no particular order) we recommend checking out their schedules as well as considering them for birthday parties:
Backyard Theater for Children at Strathmore (10701 Rockville Pike North Bethesda, MD 20852-3224)
Bringing families together for concerts that are entertaining, educational and perfect for all ages! Thursdays in July. Bring a blanket and relax under the tent. $8 tickets for kids over 2.
Wolf Trap Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods offers summer-long entertainment to children. Shows are geared towards children in Kindergarten-Grade 6.
Summerfest Family Theatre in Frederick
From clowns and magicians, to Emmy-awarding winning musicians and puppeteers, the Summerfest Family Theatre has brought high-quality entertainment to Frederick youngsters for over seventeen years! All summer long.