Must-See Family Plays and Musicals in February

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If you’re in need of a family date in February, a day at the theater is a memory in the making! Some may caution live theater isn’t meant for small tots with wiggly tushies, but fear not, these shows are designed with their wants, needs and attention spans in mind. Read on to find a performance for all ages and interests — from shows that touch on diversity to an evening with Disney’s royal couple, Mickey and Minnie.

photo: Tortoise and the Hare by CKC

Chicago Kids Company Presents: The Tortoise and the Hare
The Hare is ready to win all the blue ribbons at this year’s Stringbean Valley County Fair, but then an unlikely challenger comes to town. Soon the race is on! Who will win first place — the slow and steady Tortoise? Or the fast and furious Hare?

Dates: Jan. 24-Feb. 19, see schedule for showtimes
Cost: $12
Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St., Beverly

Disney on Ice Presents: Dare to Dream
Five daring Disney heroines are coming to town to show what’s possible when you Dare to Dream! Moana, Rapunzel and Flynn Rider, Belle and Cinderella bring the romance, humor and adventure of our favorite Disney tales to life in this fab skating spectacular. Hosted by Mickey and Minnie, discover why no dream is too big when we find the strength to shape our own destiny.

Dates: Jan. 24-Jan. 28; Feb. 7-Feb. 11
Cost: Ticket prices start at $20
Allstate Arena, 6920 N. Mannheim Rd., Rosemont

Dates: Jan. 31-Feb. 4
Cost: Ticket prices start at $20
United Center, 1901 W. Madison St., Near West Side

The Van Gogh Café at Fannies
The Van Gogh Café is an immersive culinary theatrical experience featuring an all new menu developed by Fannie’s owner and chef Stephanie Rybandt.

Dates: Jan. 20-Feb. 4; Sat. & Sun., 5 p.m.-8 p.m.
Cost: $30/kids, $45/adults; (price includes a prix fixe menu inspired by the story, gratuity is additional)
The Filament Theatre, 4041 N. Milwaukee Ave., Portage Park

photo: The Greatest Story Never Told via Suyong Pak

The Greatest Story Never Told
A narrator walks on stage to discover a storybook with no text and learns the actors are stuck in traffic! The solution? Have kids in the audience volunteer to become characters. Professional improvisers and your kids collaborate to make up a story on the spot. After the show, the improvised story is transformed into a purchasable digital and physical storybook.

Dates: All month long; Sun., 3 p.m.-4 p.m.
Cost: $12-$28
Under The Gun Theater, 956 W. Newport Ave., 2nd Fl., Lakeview

photo: Dragons Love Tacos and Other Stories

Dragons Loves Tacos and Other Stories
No doubt a total surprise, dragons love all sorts of tacos . . . but not the spicy ones! When a young boy throws his new dragon friends a spicy salsa taco party, red-hot trouble ensues.

Dates: Feb. 2, 7 p.m.
Cost: $20/adults; $12/kids
The McAninch Arts Center at College of Dupage; 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn

Junie B. Jones is Not a Crook
Remember Junie B. Jones? She’s back, and she’s on stage! Junie B.’s everyday life is packed with amazing discoveries, cool new kids and life-long lessons about being a good person and a good friend!

Dates: Jan. 11-Feb. 17; Tues., Thurs. & Fri., 10 a.m.; Sat. & Sun., 2 p.m.
Cost: $10
Merle Reskin Theatre, 60 E. Balbo Dr., South Loop

photo: Navy Pier Carnivale Celebration

Global Connections: International Carnivale Celebration
As part of their celebration of Global Connections, Navy Pier invites you for an all-ages celebration of music, food and arts of countries around the world that celebrate Carnivale, including Italy, Trinidad and Tobago, Brazil and New Orleans.

Date: Feb. 10, 1 p.m.-5 p.m.
Cost: Free
Aon Ballroom at Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave., Navy Pier

My Wonderful Birthday Suit
Highly entertaining, with an important message, My Wonderful Birthday Suit will captivate children with its festive birthday party atmosphere. This engaging world premiere promises to help children, parents and teachers speak honestly about diversity and encourage a movement from simply tolerating differences, to understanding, accepting and celebrating uniqueness.

Dates: Jan. 16-Feb. 18; Sat., 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. & 3 p.m.,;  Sun., 9:30 a.m.. & 11:30 a.m. School matinees are Tues.-Fri., 10 a.m.
Cost: $35
Chicago Children’s Theatre, The Station, 100 S. Racine Ave., West Loop

photo: Chicken Little by CKC

Chicago Kids Company Presents: Chicken Little
Oh no! The sky is falling! The sky is falling? Won’t anyone just believe Chicken Little’s warning? You’ll find yourself singing along with Chicken LIttle and her friends as they travel to tell the King the terrifying news.

Dates: Jan. 17-Feb. 28
Cost: $12
Stahl Family Theater, 5900 W. Belmont, Belmont Central

Emerald City Theatre Presents: Mother Goose’s Garden
One, two, buckle your shoe, and take a gander at Mother Goose’s magical community garden! Join Jack and Jill as they search for Mother Goose and help out a gaggle of your favorite characters along the way. Sing along to live music as you experience the fun in teamwork through hand-puppetry and interactive play.

Dates: All month long; check calendar for showtimes
Cost: $14
Emerald City’s Little Theatre, 2933 N. Southport, Lakeview

photo: Cinderella by Chicago Kids Company

Chicago Kids Company Presents: Cinderella
The Chicago Kids Theatre brings Cinderella, the most popular fairy tale ever told, alive at the Beverly Arts Center. See your favorite characters — Cinderella, the Prince, Jaq, Gus —  and sing, dance and clap along with them as Cinderella’s dreams come true!

Dates: Feb. 22-May 5
Cost: $12
Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St., Beverly

Red Kite Treasure Adventure by Chicago Children’s Theatre
Created specifically for kids on the autism spectrum and their families, Red Kite Treasure Adventure is an interactive experience with live music. Join the chivalrous Oswald and his siblings on an adventure that leads them through a hole in the Earth to Chinatown where they arrive just in time for New Year’s festivities, dragon puppets, fireworks, lanterns and shadow play. After conquering their fears, our heroes return home with a newfound appreciation for bravery, honesty, and family tradition.

Dates: Feb. 2-Mar. 4; Fri., 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. & 1:30 p.m.; Sat., noon, 1:30 p.m. & 3 p.m.
Cost: $10
Chicago Children’s Theatre
The Station, 100 S. Racine Ave., West Loop

photo: Storytown Improv

Storytown Improv
From superheroes to undersea adventures, princesses to dinosaurs, Storytown takes you on an interactive, fully improvised adventure. The actors use audience suggestions and kids design the setting and help shape the story. When the possibilities are endless, no two stories are ever the same.

Dates: Every Saturday at 10:30 a.m.
Cost: $10
Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Avenue, Lakeview

Magic Tree House: Showtime with Shakespeare
Climb into a musical time machine with Jack and Annie and travel to Shakespearean England. This daring sibling duo learns to overcome stage fright to save the famed poet’s show. Discover how history is shaped by those who learn to overcome their fears . . . and move your feet to the freestyle beats.

Dates: Jan. 27-Feb. 25
Cost: $19+
Apollo Theatre, 2540 N. Lincoln Ave., Lincoln Park

photo: Navy Pier’s Chinese New Year Celebration

Global Connections: Chinese New Year
As part of their celebration of Global Connections and in partnership with the Chinese Fine Arts Society, Navy Pier invites you to an all-ages celebration of music, food and arts of the Chinese New Year.

Date: Feb. 24, 1 p.m.-5 p.m.
Cost: Free
Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave., Navy Pier

Theatre Games at Kohl Children’s Museum
Let your kid’s inner actor explode with Theatre Games! Through a variety of creative dramatic exercises that change monthly, they will enhance gross and fine motor skills, problem solving, listening and speaking skills, following directions, and building confidence.

Dates: All month long; Thurs., 1:30 p.m.
Cost: Free with paid museum admission
Kohl Children’s Museum, 2100 Patriot Blvd., Glenview

photo: Blue Man Group

Blue Man Group
Easily one of the most recognizable performances groups out there, the Blue Man Group performs high-energy percussive shows mixed with a little of their own brand of comedy. They’ll have you tapping your toes and laughing along as they go on a journey into sound.

Dates: Ongoing, check website for dates and times
Cost: $39+
Briar Street Theatre, 3133 N. Halsted, Lakeview

Theater not your thing? Check out our Family Events Calendar for other family date ideas.

Any shows on your theater calendar in February that we didn’t mention? Share in the Comments below!

— Maria Chambers

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