Our family is nuts about Chicago theatre, and the holidays are our perfect excuse to catch a memorable show. Whenever we can sneak a chance, we catch dinner and a show. Here are our family's picks for the top kid-friendly shows in Chicago this holiday season.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Cadillac Palace Theater)
Follow along with the grouchy Grinch as his heart grows two sizes bigger in the true spirit of the holidays. Narrated by Max the Dog, this fun show is colorful, merry and bright, and onstage now at the beautiful Cadillac Palace Theater. My daughter, age 3, loved the show, and based on the roars of laughter, I'd say the rest of the children in the audience did too. Filled with fun surprises, it made for a perfect Mommy-Daughter holiday date.
Cinderella (Emerald City Theatre)
Emerald City Theatre presents the classic fairy tale with a Cinderella that's just a little more swashbuckling than your average soon-to-be princess. Presented at the Broadway Playhouse Theater (steps away from the American Girl Store!), this Cinderella is best suited for ages 3-10.
The Nutcracker (The House Theatre)
Our favorite Christmas show this year is by far this reinvention of the holiday classic. The House Theatre's The Nutcracker focuses on Clara's journey to save her family, reeling from the wartime death of her brother, from the Rat King. Be prepared for plenty of surprises as you step right into Christmas with Clara and her family. My daughter, age 3, was absolutely entranced, and I too found this version both hilarious and heartwarming. The show is now playing at the Chopin Theatre and for a great parent guide to the show, click here.
Radio City Christmas Spectacular (Rosemont Theatre)
The Radio City Christmas Spectacular - starring The Rockettes - features the Parade of the Wooden Soldiers, the Living Nativity, and of course, sky-high and long-legged kicks.
Welcome Yule (Chicago Symphony Orchestra)
Listen to the celebrated songs of the season as performed by simply the best musicians in the city: the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. Arrangements both new and cherished will have you humming and singing along.
Potted Potter (Broadway Playhouse)
All seven Harry Potter books are condensed into the brilliant 70 minute show. My son, age 11, who loves the book series, was doubled over in laughter for most of this show. Be prepared to play some Quiddich!
A Christmas Carol (The Goodman Theatre)
Our family goes to see the classic A Chrismas Carol every year at the Goodman Theatre. There is something about this timeless story, combined with the world-class actors of the Goodman, that banishes the "bah-humbugs." And no matter how many times I've seen it - the heartwarming ending gets me every time!