Your Guide to Children’s Theater and Live Performances in Chicagoland 2024

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There’s nothing quite like live theater, especially when it can be enjoyed with the whole family. There are so many great options of children’s theater in the Chicagoland area. Live performances are a beautiful way to experience music and stories together in and around Chicago while supporting local artists.

We’re lucky to be surrounded by countless local performances both in the city and the suburbs that are tailored just for kids. From professional children’s theater with adult performers to productions for kids with young actors, we have a fantastic line-up of shows for you to check out with your family in the year ahead. This is one of our favorite things to do with our kids!

As the season goes on, be sure to refer back to this list for updates as theaters continue to announce their plans. We keep this article updated throughout the year with the latest shows and performances.

Below you will find live theater in Chicago and the suburbs, dance performances, classical music, and shows for kids at children’s theater schools and high schools.

Live Theater for Kids in Chicago

The Diary of Anne Frank

Beverly Arts Center
2407 W 111th Street
Chicago, IL 60655

April 4-14, 2024

In this transcendently powerful new adaptation by American playwright Wendy Kesselman, Anne Frank emerges from the pages of history with words that strike at the very heart of human hope.

Kesselman’s adaptation incorporates newly discovered writings from Annes’ diary, as well as survivor accounts, interwoven to create a contemporary impassioned story that captures the claustrophobic realities of  the lives of the people persecuted under Nazi rule —their fears, their laughter, their grief, and their hope.

Recommended for ages 12+. Click here to purchase tickets.

Briar Street Theatre in Chicago

3133 N. Halsted Street
Chicago, IL 60657

Blue Man Group
Ongoing dates; check the calendar online.
Read our Blue Man Group review!

Broadway in Chicago

Cadillac Palace Theatre
151 W. Randolph Street
Chicago, IL 60601

James M. Nederlander Theatre
24 W. Randolph Street
Chicago, IL 60603

Auditorium Theatre
50 East Ida B. Wells Drive
Chicago, IL 60605

Peter Pan
James M. Nederlander Theatre
March 26 – April 7, 2024

Trinity Irish Dance Company
Auditorium Theatre
March 3, 2024 | 3:00pm – 6:00pm

Click here to read about our experience at Broadway in Chicago with kids.

Chicago Children’s Theatre

100 S. Racine Avenue
Chicago, IL 60607

A Year with Frog & Toad
April 13 – May 26, 2024

Click here to read about our past experiences at Chicago Children’s Theatre.

Chicago Kids Company

Apollo Theater
2550 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, IL

Beverly Arts Center
2407 W. 111th Street
Chicago, IL 60655

Little Red Riding Hood
Apollo Theater
January 24 – May 8, 2024

Beauty & the Beast
Beverly Arts Center
January 17 – April 27, 2024

Chicken Little
Apollo Theater
March 20 – May 24, 2024

Jack and the Beanstalk
Beverly Arts Center
May 1 – 24, 2024 & June 28 – July 26, 2024

Sleeping Beauty
Apollo Theater
June 20 – August 2, 2024

Chicago Theatre

175 N State Street
Chicago, IL 60601

Paw Patrol Live
March 16 & 17, 2024

Click here to read about a past performance for kids at Chicago Theatre.

Mercury Theater Chicago

3745 N. Southport Avenue
Chicago, IL 60613

Click here to read about our past experience at the Mercury Theater.

Studebaker Theater

Fine Arts Building
410 S. Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60605

Dog Man: The Musical
January 31 – February 25, 2024
Recommended for ages 5+

Young People’s Theatre

The Greenhouse Theater Center (Chicago)
2257 N Lincoln Ave 
Chicago, IL 60614

The Diary of Anne Frank
February 16 – March 4, 2024
* Recommended for ages 9+.

Last Stop on Market Street
May 11 – June 2, 2024

Live Theater in the Suburbs of Chicago

Allstate Arena

6920 Mannheim Road
Rosemont, IL 60018

Monster Jam
March 1-3, 2024

Alphabet Soup Productions in Chicago’s Suburbs

Shows at various times and locations throughout Chicagoland including: Cicero, Des Plaines, Downers Grove, Naperville, Palos Hills, Romeoville and Schaumburg. Check their website for the current schedule.

James & the Giant Peach
January – March 2024

Alice in Wonderland
April – July 2024

Drury Lane Theatre in Oakbrook Terrace

100 Drury Lane
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181

A Christmas Carol
January 24 – March 17, 2024

The Little Mermaid
Novemeber 6, 2024 – January 12, 2025

Guardian Angel Players in La Grange Park

St. Louise Parish Center
1125 Harrison Avenue
La Grange Park, IL 60526

Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire

10 Marriott Drive
Lincolnshire, IL 60069

James and the Giant Peach
February 16 – March 30, 2024

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus
July 12 – August 11, 2024

Click here to read about our experience at the Marriott Theatre.

McAninch Arts Center (The MAC)

College of DuPage
425 Fawell Blvd
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137

Click here to read about previous experiences at The MAC.

Metropolis Performing Arts Center in Arlington Heights

111 W Campbell Street
Arlington Heights, IL 60005

The Music Man
February 2 – 11, 2024
Recommended for ages 6+.

Morton Arboretum in Lisle

4100 IL-53
Lisle, IL 60532

Walking Plays
July 13, 14, 20, 21, 27, 28, 2024
More details will be posted soon; be sure to check their website.

North Central College Fine & Performing Arts in Naperville

Wentz Concert Hall at North Central College
171 E Chicago Avenue
Naperville, IL 60540

TheaterWorksUSA’s “Cat Kid Comic Club: The Musical”
April 6, 2024

The Let’s Go Science Show
April 20, 2024

NOW Arena in Hoffman Estates

5333 Prairie Stone Parkway
Hoffman Estates, IL 60192

Cirque Du Soleil
March 22-24, 2024

Overshadowed Theatrical Productions in Medinah

900 Foster Avenue
Medinah, IL 60157

Willy Wonka
January 19 – February 3, 2024

Paramount Theatre in Aurora

23 East Galena Blvd.
Aurora, IL 60506

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
November 8, 2023 – January 14, 2024

Billy Elliott
February 7 – March 24, 2024

Click here to read more about Paramount Theatre in Aurora.

Rialto Square Theatre in Joliet

102 N. Chicago Street
Joliet, IL 60432

Dinosaur World Live
February 6, 2024

Story Pirates
May 11, 2024

Sesame Street Live! Say Hello
May 15, 2024

Rosemont Theatre in Rosemont

5400 N. River Road
Rosemont, IL 60018

Disney Princess: The Concert
March 10, 2024

WeGo Community Theatre in West Chicago

Wheaton Academy Fine Arts Center
900 Prince Crossing Road
West Chicago, IL 60185

Tarzan
July 18-20, 2024

Frozen
November 2024

Little Mountain Community Theatre

800 Porter Street
Lemont, IL 60439

Peter Pan
July 19 – 21, 2024

Frozen Jr.
June 28, 2024

Firefly Family Theatre in Glen Ellyn

Firefly Family Theatre performs in-person and pre-recorded shows. Right now, they are offering various shows at libraries across the suburbs. Check their website for the current schedule.

Dance Performances

Athenaeum Center for Thought and Culture

2936 N. Southport Avenue
Chicago, IL 60657

Broadway Through the Years
April 28, 2024

A&A Ballet’s Cinderella
May 18, 2024 | 3:00pm

World Ballet Stars
June 16, 2024

Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater

Northeastern Illinois University Auditorium
5500 N. St. Louis Avenue
Chicago, IL 60625

Flamenco Passion
June 7 – 9, 2024

Giordano Dance Chicago

Harris Theater at Millennium Park
205 E. Randolph Street
Chicago, IL 60601

UNLIMITED | Season 61
April 5-6, 2024 | 7:30pm

The School of Ballet 5:8

Lincoln-Way West High School
21701 Gougar Road
New Lenox, IL 60451

Toy Maker
May 25 – 26, 2024

Classical Music and Music Concerts

Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra

Elmhurst Christian Reformed Church
149 W Brush Hill Rd
Elmhurst, IL 60126

Various Concerts
March 10 and May 4, 2024

Northbrook Symphony Orchestra

Sheely Center for the Performing Arts
2300 Shermer Road
Northbrook, IL 60062

Virtuoso Violins
March 24, 2024

Fiesta Mexicana
June 9, 2024

Shows for Kids at Children’s Theater Schools and High Schools

Academy of Music & Art

Mario Parente Theatre
​1S325 Ardmore Avenue
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella Youth Edition
June 7 – 9, 2024

BAM Theatre

Madden Theatre at North Central College
171 E Chicago Avenue
Naperville, IL 60540

Seussical & Sweeney Todd (Double Feature)
March 15 – 16, 2024

Children’s Theatre of Western Springs

Children’s Theatre of Western Springs
4384 Hampton Avenue
Western Springs, IL 60558

James and the Giant Peach, Jr.

James and the Giant Peach, Jr.
April 19 – 28, 2024

Based on one of Roald Dahl’s most poignantly quirky stories, Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach JR. is a brand new take on this “masterpeach” of a tale. Featuring a wickedly tuneful score and a witty and charming book, this adventurous musical about courage and self-discovery is destined to be a classic.

When James is sent by his conniving aunts to chop down their old fruit tree, he discovers a magic potion that grows a tremendous peach, rolls into the ocean and launches a journey of enormous proportions. James befriends a collection of singing insects that ride the giant piece of fruit across the ocean, facing hunger, sharks and plenty of disagreements along the way.

CYT, Chicago

Batavia Fine Arts Centre
1250 W Wilson St.
Batavia, IL 60510

You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown
February 29 – March 10, 2024

Disney’s The Little Mermaid
May 16 – May 19, 2024

The Spongebob Musical
May 23 – May 26, 2024

Footlight Players

Park Junior High School
325 N. Park Rd.
La Grange Park, IL 60526

The Spongebob Musical
May 17 – 19, 2024

Ghostlight ETC

923 Curtiss Street
Downers Grove, IL 60515

Mary Poppins, Jr.
June 15 & 16, 2024

School of Rock
June 27 – 29, 2024

Lombard Park District

Sunset Knoll Recreation Center
820 S. Finley Road
Lombard, IL 60148

Mean Girls Jr.
March 22-24, 2024

Marquee Youth Stage

619 W Main Street
St. Charles, IL 60174

Music Makers Theatre

Lyons Township Performing Arts Center
4900 S. Willow Springs Rd.
Western Springs, IL 60558

Finding Nemo Kids (Grades K-3)
May 17 – 18, 2024

Finding Nemo Jr. (Grades 4-9)
May 17 – 18, 2024

Ovation Academy for the Performing Arts

Madison Street Theatre
1010 Madison St.
Oak Park, IL 60302

James and the Giant Peach, Jr.
April 12 – 21, 2024

Stage Door Fine Arts Theatre

The Community House
415 W. Eighth Street
Hinsdale, IL 60521

SpongeBob, the Musical
January – February, 2024

Seussical, the Musical
May – June, 2024

Wheaton Park District Children’s Playhouse

Wheaton Park District Community Center
1777 S Blanchard Street
Wheaton, IL 60189

Disney Newsies Jr.
March 14 – 17, 2024

Many times after taking in the beauty of a live performance, kids are inspired to learn the craft themselves! If that’s the case in your family, we have the perfect listing of kids theater and drama classes for you. And, don’t miss our Events Calendar filled with great options for making the best, fun-filled family memories!

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1 Comment. Leave new

  • Mary Ellen Gavin
    April 2, 2017 8:00 pm

    Thanks so much. I have signed up for a few plays to take my Grand Daughter! Mary Ellen Gavin

    Reply

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