Family Fun | Outings + Activities

Fabulous Fall Arts 2013: 21 Picks for Families

MomixWith the simultaneous advent of school and the rainy season, autumn can’t help but be bittersweet. One way to ease the transition is to plan ahead and book a show or two for your family to see together, and then mark it boldly on the calendar to jumpstart the fun of anticipation.

Luckily, the fall arts season is chock-full of great family entertainment, from a Seattle Children’s Theatre production about literature’s spunkiest Swedish girl to an unauthorized new take on Harry Potter. Below are some of our picks for fall music, theater and dance; find much more online at

(Two important notes: We have not highlighted holiday arts here; they will appear in a future edition of ParentMap. And if ticket prices or ages are not listed, it means that that information was not available at press date.)

Secondhand Lions
5th Avenue Theatre, Seattle
Sept. 7–Oct. 6
Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre, known as an incubator of new musicals, is debuting a musical based on the popular film starring Michael Caine and Robert Duvall. In 1962, an 11-year-old boy goes to live with two irascible, tall-tale-telling uncles on a ramshackle farm in the Texas dust bowl. His uncles’ colorful past leads the boy — played by Johnny Rabe, who starred in A Christmas Story — on the adventure of a lifetime. Directed by Scott Schwartz and choreographed by Smash’s Joshua Bergasse.
Tickets: $29 and up
Ages 4 and older

Caspar BAbypants Baby BeatlesCaspar Babypants performs ‘Baby Beatles’
Town Hall Seattle
Sept. 21–22, 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
I didn’t discover the Beatles until I was 15 — but Chris Ballew, aka Caspar Babypants, isn’t about to let that misfortune happen to your kids. Seattle’s star kindie musician will celebrate the CD release of his kid-friendly Beatles album, Baby Beatles!, with four family concerts/parties over two days as part of Town Hall Seattle’s affordable family concert series. Neat side note: Each day’s second show is a picnic; families are encouraged to bring sack lunches.
Tickets: $5 for adults with children; free for kids 12 and younger
All ages

Village Theatre, Issaquah, Everett
Sept. 25–Oct. 20, Oct. 25–Nov. 17
If you remember Xanadu, a 1980 Olivia Newton John movie about the world’s first roller disco, you might wonder why it would be revisited in musical theater form. But wait: leg warmers, a Greek muse, and chart-topping ’80s songs like “Suddenly” and “Magic.” The New York Times called it “irresistible.”
Tickets: $25 and up
Ages 7 and older

Pippi LongstockingPippi Longstocking
Seattle Children’s Theatre
Sept. 26–Nov. 3
Brash and quiet kids alike will thrill to the story of one of the feistiest heroines in kid lit. In this musical adaptation by Sebastian and Staffan Gotestam, Pippi finds herself in the very non-21st-century situation of no bedtime, no rules and no parents. With neighbor kids in tow, she channels her unusual strength and independence into adventures ranging from wrestling a circus strongman to outwitting burglars. Expect wonderful physical humor, clever dialogue and an amazing story.
Tickets: $25 and up
Ages 5 and older

Air Twyla
Pacific Northwest Ballet, Seattle
Sept. 27–Oct. 6
An exciting pick for older, dance-crazy kids: PNB starts its new season with three works by the legendary Twyla Tharp — including “Waiting at the Station,” a collaboration with another legend, New Orleans songwriter, pianist and singer Allen Toussaint. Accompanying the premiere will be Tharp’s homage to Frank Sinatra and ballroom dance, “Nine Sinatra Songs.”
Tickets: $28 and up

Hail Caesar: Forbidden Oasis
Teatro ZinZanni, Seattle
Matinees: Sept. 29, Oct. 13, Nov. 10, Dec. 8
ZinZanni’s new dinner-theater show is a Saharan-style adventure packed with its trademark physical feats, including acrobatics, aerial work, hula-hooping and juggling. The two-hour matinee performances are discounted for kids.
All ages

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Olympia Family Theatre
Oct. 4–27
The fantastical journey of Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy Pevensie to the land of Aslan gets a retelling by Olympia Family Theatre, with major plot points captured as well as chases, duels and escapes.
Tickets: $9 and up
Ages 6 and older

Wizard of OzThe Wizard of Oz
Paramount Theatre, Seattle
Oct. 9–13
Click your heels and try on this new adaptation of the beloved classic from Andrew Lloyd Webber. The 1939 screenplay has been reconceived for the stage and includes new songs by Tim Rice and Webber. Don’t worry: All your favorite classic songs and storylines are still there. Just expect some exciting new twists.

Aesop’s Fables
Thistle Theatre, locations vary
Oct. 12–27
Thistle Theatre’s bunraku puppet theater shows are reliably artistic and entertaining, and well suited for classic tales such as Aesop’s Fables. A great first theater experience for little ones.
Tickets: $8 and up
Ages 3 and older

Lemony Snicket’s ‘The Composer Is Dead’
Benaroya Hall, Seattle
Oct. 19, 11 a.m.
The opener for Seattle Symphony’s excellent Discover Music concert series uses the age-old draw of a mystery to engage kids. The composer is dead, and the audience has to help figure out who did it. The instruments are the prime suspects; interrogation and wackiness follow. Costumes are encouraged, and don’t miss the preconcert activities in the lobby.
Tickets: $15–$20
Ages 6–12

The Haunted Theatre: Backstage Tour & Eerie Dances
Tacoma City Ballet
Oct. 19–27
Who needs a haunted house when you have a haunted ballet? Tacoma City Ballet’s popular Halloween tradition includes a just-spooky-enough haunted tour and ballet performances featuring bats, ghosts, witches, mummies, monsters and skeletons. Book early.
Tickets: $5–$6
All ages

International Ballet Theatre, Bellevue
Oct. 25–27
Now a local Halloween classic, International Ballet Theatre’s annual production of the dark and mesmerizing tale of Dracula features not only classical ballet, but clogging, tap dancing, juggling and magic.
Tickets: $25 and up
All ages

Chicken Little
StoryBook Theater; locations vary
Oct. 26–Nov. 24
StoryBook Theater’s original, entertaining and interactive short musicals are an ideal first (or 10th) theater experience for kids. This fall, StoryBook rewrites the timeless story of Chicken Little.
Tickets: $10
Ages 3 and older

Family Day at Seattle Opera: Daughter of the Regiment
McCaw Hall, Seattle
Oct. 26, 2 p.m.
With this family-friendly matinee, Seattle Opera makes it easy to bring your kids to see Gaetano Donizetti’s sparkling comedy about young lovers who break down barriers between the military and polite society. $15 tickets for up to four kids for each full-priced adult ticket, plus crafts and costume try-ons.
Ages 10 and older

Potted PotterPotted Potter: An Unauthorized Harry Experience
Rialto Theater, Tacoma
Oct. 29–Nov. 3
Is your kid itching for more Potter fodder? This touring show has been playing to sold-out audiences. In 70 minutes, actors Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner reel through highlights of seven Harry Potter novels at wizard speed, including a real-life quidditch game, favorite characters, catchy songs and costumes.
Tickets: $38 and up
Ages 6 and older

Peter and the Starcatcher
Moore Theatre, Seattle
Oct. 30–Nov. 30
Time for a reimagining of Neverland! This Tony Award–winning prequel to Peter Pan was described by The New York Times as “the most exhilarating storytelling on Broadway in decades.” Its twist on Peter Pan — starring orphan boys, a luggage switch­eroo, sailors, shipwrecks and mermaids — is likely best for older kids, but it promises zany fun.
Tickets: $28.50 and up
Ages 10 and older

Momix’s ‘Botanica’
Meany Hall for the Performing Arts, Seattle
Oct. 31–Nov. 2; family matinee, Nov. 2
Eye-popping illusions, projections, life-size puppets, thrilling choreography: Directed by Moses Pendleton, Momix creates the kind of art experience that stays with you. Botanica is set to a score ranging from birdsong to Vivaldi and stars illusions as strange and wonderful as glow-in-the-dark limbs making shapes of birds and flowers to a dinosaur skeleton coming to life.
Tickets: $44 and up
Ages 7 and up

Our Town
Seattle Public Theater
Nov. 1–9
“Does anyone ever realize life while they live it . . . every, every minute?” You probably last read Thornton Wilder’s classic, unsentimental play about life and death in a small town called Grover’s Corners in high school. Now, by way of Seattle Public Theater’s youth production, revisit its power with your own kids.
Tickets: Free (donations appreciated)
Ages 11 and older

Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical
SecondStory Repertory, Redmond
Nov. 1–17
Mo Willems’ beloved baby-loses-stuffed-animal story has been turned into a hilarious musical.
Tickets: $10, $5 for Sunday matinees for ages 1–3|
All ages

Seattle SymphonyBig World Beat with Arts Corps
Benaroya Hall, Seattle
Nov. 2, 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m.
In a new series of 45-minute “Soundbridge Presents” concerts for ages 3–6, Seattle Symphony musicians join local talent to get young audiences singing and dancing, this time with Brazilian musician Eduardo Mendonça.
Tickets: $12
Ages 3–6|

James and the Giant Peach
Seattle Children’s Theatre
Nov. 21–Jan. 5
In the hands of Seattle Children’s Theatre, Roald Dahl’s story of a young boy’s highly unusual adventure shows the benefits of creative problem-solving and includes a visit to the Empire State Building.
Tickets: $28 and up
Ages 6 and up


Elisa Murray is ParentMap’s Out + About editor.



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