Orlando’s Best Kid-Friendly TheatersBy Satta Sarmah Hightower
The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley at the Orlando Shakespeare Theater (Courtesy: Orlando Shakespeare Theater)
You may not know this, but Orlando has a vibrant performing arts scene, with great performances nearly every night of the week. Some even aim to entertain the kids.
Whether your little one is enthralled by the sights and sounds of Broadway-inspired productions or enjoys seeing their favorite fairy tales come alive on the stage, Orlando offers kid-friendly performances for even the pickiest pint-sized theater buffs.
- Enzian Theater. The Enzian is best known for putting on the Florida Film Festival every year, but the theater has year-round programming that’ll entertain every member of the family. Located in the town of Maitland, about 15 minutes from downtown Orlando, Enzian shows kid and teen-friendly flicks like “All Dogs Go to Heaven” and “Hairspray” and more mature cult classics like “A Dog Day Afternoon.” An added perk is that Enzian is a dinner theater, so the entire family can indulge in a hearty meal and a great film at the same time. The details: Ticket prices: $10 for general admission and $8 for students. Purchase tickets online or at the box office.
- Dr. Phillips Center. A new addition to Orlando’s performing arts scene, the Dr. Phillips Center can accommodate up to 3,000 people in its two main theaters. The Walt Disney Theater alone can hold 2,700 people for performances just as magical as its namesake (the “Sound of Music,” “Dirty Dancing” and “Rodger’s + Hammerstein’s Cinderella” are currently on the calendar). Sitting on nearly nine acres in the heart of downtown Orlando, the Dr. Phillips Center is the perfect place for your young ones to be bitten by the theater bug. The details: Tickets vary per show, so check the event calendar for more details.
- Orlando Repertory Theatre. If your kids love princesses, ogres and 12-year-old 19th century heroes, then the Orlando Repertory Theatre has just the kind of entertainment you’re family is looking for. With performances like “Shrek the Musical,” The REP is focused on bringing kids’ favorite stories to life in a way that also enriches their imaginations. It also puts on sensory-friendly performances for children with special needs, making the theater more accessible to diverse audiences. The details: $18 for adults, $12 for kids ages 3-17. Children under 3 get free admission.
- Orlando Shakespeare Theater. Despite its name, the Orlando Shakespeare Theater offers more than Elizabethan Era entertainment. Its children series features classics like “The Frog & the Princess” and “Elephant and Piggie’s: We’re in a Play,” based on the works of acclaimed children’s author Mo Willems. But there’s always “The Tempest” and “Pericles,” two plays in the theater’s signature series that are perfect for any budding Shakespeares in your family. The details: Ticket prices for the children’s series are $12 for kids and $15 for adults. Regular performances are between $12-55, depending on the production and seating choice.