Exposing children to theater is important for several reasons: it allows them to use their imagination, gives them a creative outlet and engages them in a way that television cannot. Some studies indicate that involvement in drama improves reading comprehension and a child’s ability to focus. Most importantly, it’s fun! There are a number of theaters for kids on Long Island that offers programs for children. Most productions are low-cost or free.
Landmark on Main Street, Port Washington
This multipurpose center offers a variety of classes and enriching opportunities for children. Their theater series runs primarily on weekends so working parents can take advantage of these wonderful opportunities as well.
Long Island Children’s Museum, Garden City
Known for its child friendly exhibits and “please touch” policies, LICM also offers theater productions. Times and shows vary.
The Long Island Puppet Theater, Hicksville
Sometimes, children’s favorite actors are Muppets or cartoons. The Long Island Puppet Theater gives children the opportunity to see their favorite characters live.
The Showplace at Bellmore Movies, Bellmore
Plaza Theatrical Company performs on-site. Disney adaptions and other family favorites are usual choices, and there are lots of options for show times.
Smithtown Center for the Performing Arts, Smithtown
This award-winning theater company is performing well-known Disney favorites and sing-along musicals. Please note that all children entering the theater will require a ticket for entry.
Staller Center for the Arts, Stony Brook
The Staller Center, part of Stony Brook University, puts on multiple productions each year for families. This spring’s offerings include a real court jester and Sid the Science Kid!
Theater Three, Port Jefferson
A Port Jefferson Village landmark, Theater Three has occupied its current site for decades. Options abound for children’s performances, with dates and times to accommodate any schedule.
Tilles Center, Old Westbury
C.W. Post’s beautiful Tilles Center presents many different kinds of performances for kids. Little ones will love shows like “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” while older children may enjoy different musical offerings.
By Rachel Minkowsky