Some of my fondest childhood memories were made on Broadway in NYC. I was obsessed with musicals as a child and dreamed of seeing my name in lights on the Great White Way. I even loved that old Milford Plaza commercial with the hotel staff singing The Lullaby of Broadway–remember that?
I never made it to the Broadway stage, but my dad, who didn’t have much money, saved to take me to a few shows and it meant the world to me. Now I’m able to share the Broadway experience with my girls. Taking the kids to Broadway is a wonderful way to get some family culture in and enjoy the best of NYC. And there are some fabulous kid-friendly shows to see.
Roald Dahl’s children’s books are a family favorite. Child heroes overcoming hardships, dark humor, and often a bit of grossness are at the center of Dahl’s stories, which all offer a message of love, kindness, and being true to oneself. Matilda is the perfect example and the musical adaptation captures the essence of the book perfectly.
There are songs that you’ll be singing for days — “Revolting Children” and “When I Grow Up,” clever jokes and witty writing, spectacular set design, great dance productions — the “School Song” number with alphabet blocks is wonderful, and, above all, a real look at childhood with a message of empowerment.
Like most Dahl stories, there is a darkness in Matilda that may be disturbing for very young and/or sensitive children. (My 8 year old loved the show, but one scene did upset her.) For families with elementary school children and older, Matilda the Musical is a magical production and a wonderful Broadway experience.
Where to Eat
If you want to continue your show tunes high, take the kids to Ellen’s Stardust Diner (1650 Broadway, 51st Street). The retro 1950s theme restaurant is filled with memorabilia and, best of all, waitstaff who sing while serving your supper.
The menu offers your basic diner favorites and drool-worthy milkshakes. (Bonus for peanut allergic diners — the shakes are safe!)
Tip For Broadway on a Budget
Besides Broadway Week, Kids’ Night on Broadway is an annual event which offers children ages 6 to 18 a FREE ticket with every adult ticket purchased. In addition, many restaurants offer free kids meal when you purchase an adult meal and participating parking garages offer discounted parking. during this special event.
Want even more Broadway fun? Check out Walking Tours of Broadway review.