The long, sweet days of summer may be tapering off, but we do have one thing to console us as the weather grows cooler: Theaters around Puget Sound are launching a new season of fabulous entertainment for families. There’s a little bit of everything being offered, from budget-friendly classical music performances for little ones to big Broadway favorites. Whatever your kids’ interests or attention spans (and yours!), you’ll find something wonderful here that’s just about right. Cue the curtain! [Editor’s note: At press time, some venues hadn’t announced their new seasons; check our online calendar for updates.]


Sept. 19: The Fantastic Stardust Follies. Eight performers in their '60s, '70s and '80s (most of whom started out as child stars) bring more than 500 years of combined experience in show biz to the stage. They’ll dazzle you with fully choreographed performances that prove that age is just a number. Sept. 19–20. $20. Tacoma Musical Playhouse, 253-565-6867. [TACOMA]

Sept. 25: Carl Sagan’s Contact. Ellie Arroway, a scientist who has dedicated her career to the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, is hurtled to the center of the Milky Way galaxy in a machine whose plans were transmitted to Earth by extraterrestrial beings. What she experiences there is amazing — but hard to believe back on Earth. This new musical is adapted from Carl Sagan’s novel Contact. Sept. 25–Oct. 18. $10–$25. Knutzen Family Theatre, 253-661-1444, [FEDERAL WAY]


Oct. 2: Charlotte’s Web. Olympia Family Theater kicks off its new season with author E.B. White’s classic story of a girl, her beloved pig, Wilbur, and the clever spider who saves Wilbur’s life. Oct. 2–18. $8–$15. Olympia Family Theater, 253-596-5501. [OLYMPIA]

Oct. 17: Target Family Day. As part of Live Theatre Week (Oct. 12–18), families are invited to fabulous free performances and events at local theaters. Get the schedule at [VARIOUS LOCATIONS]

Oct. 25: Costume Concert. Young performers from the Tacoma Youth Symphony Association play music (dressed in costume, of course). $10–$15, family package $30. All ages. Rialto Theater, 253-591-5894, [TACOMA]

Oct. 31: Mother Goose Goes to the Symphony. Lisa and Linda of Let Your Music Shine! perform an interactive concert for very young kids with the Tacoma Philharmonic. For tickets, call 253-591-5894 or visit [TACOMA]


Nov. 6: Robinson Crusoe. Missoula Children’s Theatre works with as many as 60 local school kids for one short week (!), which culminates in this full-scale production of a classic tale of adventure on Nov. 6–7. $5–$10. Knutzen Family Theatre, 253-661-1444, [FEDERAL WAY]

Nov. 7: Junie B. Jones. She’s a little girl who says just what’s on her mind — and sometimes that gets her in trouble. Tacoma Musical Playhouse presents the sweet, funny musical adaptation of Barbara Parks’ much-loved book. Nov. 7–15. $10–$15. Tacoma Musical Playhouse, 253-565-6867. [TACOMA]

Nov. 10: The Magic of Merlin. Students in grades 1–4 from Bainbridge Performing Arts’ Theatre School show off the hard work they’ve done in class in this free performance about the life of a young Merlin. Bainbridge Performing Arts, 206-842-8569. [BAINBRIDGE ISLAND]

Nov. 12: The Adventures of Robin Hood. This time, it’s kid actors in grades 5–8! Follow the exploits of Robin Hood and his band as they attempt to rescue Maid Marian from the clutches of the evil Prince John. Free. Bainbridge Performing Arts, 206-842-8569. [BAINBRIDGE ISLAND]

Orange fall leafNov. 15: Tacoma Youth Symphony. The symphony presents its first concert of the season — and it’s a bargain. Tickets are just $5 ($6 at the door), and the symphony offers 100 free festival student tickets at the door. Rialto Theater, 253-591-5894, [TACOMA]

Nov. 20: The Taming of the Shrew. West Sound Academy puts a ‘50s twist on Shakespeare’s comedy about a strong-willed woman and the man who hopes to marry her. Nov. 20–21. Ticket price TBA. Appropriate for all ages. Bainbridge Performing Arts, 206-842-8569. [BAINBRIDGE ISLAND]

Nov. 27: Annie. Capital Playhouse stages the much-loved musical about a resourceful orphan with a talent for making friends in high places. Nov. 27–Dec. 20. $28–$39. Capital Playhouse, 360-943-2744. [OLYMPIA]

Nov. 28: The Polar Express. Catch the film adaptation of Chris Van Allsburg’s holiday fantasy for kids, then gather on the corner of Ninth and Broadway right after the show for a tree-lighting ceremony and a Santa Claus meet-and-greet. The $9 ticket price includes hot cider and candy canes. Pantages Theater, 253-591-5894, [TACOMA]

Nov. 28: Jingle Bell. Clay Martin Puppet Theater performs the first show in the Evergreen Children’s Theatre’s new season for families. $7. Bremerton Community Theatre, 360-373-2992. [BREMERTON]

Nov. 28: Jack and the Beanstalk. Don’t miss this hilarious English-style panto, chock-full of sight gags, silly humor and audience participation. All ages. Nov. 28–Dec. 20. $10–$25. Knutzen Family Theatre, 253-661-1444, [FEDERAL WAY]


It’s a Wonderful Life. Heavier Than Air Family Theatre performs an adaptation of the classic Capra film. As of press time, performance dates have not been selected. Performances at Green River Community College. $10. 253-833-9111, ext. 2400.

Dec. 4: Celtic Yuletide Concert. The Boulding Family, otherwise known as “Magical Strings,” serves up its 23rd annual holiday show, featuring harp-like instruments from around the world, Irish step dancing, storytelling, drumming and pageantry at St. John’s Episcopal Church. Find ticket information at Magical Strings. [OLYMPIA]

Dec. 4: Fiddler on the Roof. Ovation! presents the musical about life in czarist Russia at the turn of the last century. Dec. 4–20. Ovation! Musical Theatre, 206-842-0472. [BAINBRIDGE ISLAND]

red leafDec. 6: Celtic Yuletide Concert. See Dec. 4. Kent-Meridian Performing Arts Center, 253-856-5050. [KENT]

Dec. 10: A Christmas Carol. The WOLT Radio Players read the play — complete with sound effects — about Ebenezer Scrooge’s brush with the world beyond, and its life-changing consequences. All ages. Dec. 10–19. Olympia Little Theatre, 360-786-9484. [OLYMPIA]

Dec. 11: Tom Sawyer, the Musical. A comedic adaptation of Mark Twain’s story about the adventures of Tom, Huck and Becky. Dec. 11–Jan. 17, 2010. $16-$24. Lakewood Playhouse, 253-588-0042. [LAKEWOOD]

Dec. 11: Peter Pan. Bainbridge Performing Arts collaborates with Bainbridge Dance Center to stage the musical about the boy who will never grow up and his skirmishes with the loathsome Captain Hook. Dec. 11–20. $18–$24. Bainbridge Performing Arts, 206-842-8569. [BAINBRIDGE ISLAND]

Dec. 11: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. It’s Olympia Family Theater’s first youth-only production! The horrible Herdman kids are cast in the town’s Christmas pageant — much to the dismay of everyone around them. Dec. 11–20. $8–$15. Olympia Family Theater, 253-596-5501. [OLYMPIA]

Dec. 12: The Christmas Revels. Puget Sound Revels’ annual solstice celebration — a rich pageant that includes music and dance — focuses on a different era and culture every year, but it’s always a joyous acknowledgement of longer days to come. Dec. 12–16. $11–$26.50. Rialto Theater, 253-591-5894, [TACOMA]

Dec. 12: The Nutcracker. Tacoma City Ballet performs at the Pantages Theater. Dec. 12–20. For tickets, visit or call the box office at 253-591-5894. [TACOMA]

Dec. 18: Celtic Yuletide Concert. See Dec. 4. At Urban Grace Church; find ticket information at Magical Strings. [TACOMA]

Kris Collingridge is ParentMap’s Out & About editor.


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