2018 Winter Theatre Guide 4 Kids in Des Moines

2018 Winter Theatre Guide 4 Kids in Des Moines

Winter is a fantastic season for seeing theater in Des Moines. Not only are new shows plentiful, but some of our favorite family friendly theatres including the Des Moines Playhouse, the Civic Center and Stephens Auditorium have several shows perfect for kids of all ages. Best of all, 10 of our picks are $10 or less! Read on to find a show for your family to see this winter in Des Moines.

Note: Dates listed are performance beginning and end dates. Please call for specific performances dates and times within those ranges, as not all performances take place on a daily basis.

January

Elephant & Piggie’s “We Are in a Play!” – Kate Goldman Children’s Theatre

Des Moines Playhouse, Des Moines
January 5-21, 2018; Show times are Fridays at 7:00 pm, Saturdays and Sundays at 1:00 and 4:00 pm.
Ages 5 and up
Tickets start at $19.
Get ready for a musical experience, ripped from the pages of Mo Willems’ beloved, award-winning, best-selling children’s books, that will leave audiences doing the “Flippy Floppy Floory” dance all night long! In Elephant & Piggie’s “We Are in a Play!”, Gerald and Piggie take to the stage in a rollicking adventure that is perfect for young audiences.

The Three Little Pigs – Friday Funday

Des Moines Playhouse, Des Moines
Friday, January 12, 2018; Showtimes are 9:30 am, 10:45 am and 1:30 pm.
Ages 4-6
Tickets are $6.
Once upon a time, there was a pig who loved to eat, a pig who loved to sing and dance, and a bossy older sister with mad construction skills. Throw in one tired mama pig and a Big Bad Wolf and let the fun begin!

Mr Popper’s Penguins – Wellmark Family Series

Civic Center, Des Moines
Saturday, January 13, 2018; Showtime is 1:00 pm.
Ages 4 and up
Tickets are $12.
Painter and decorator by day, Mr Popper spends his time dreaming of Antarctic adventures. He is astounded when one day a packing crate arrives on his doorstep and a penguin waddles out! With original songs and performing penguin puppets, this delightful, action packed musical adaptation of Richard and Florence Atwater’s popular book (also made into a Hollywood film starring Jim Carrey) is the perfect family treat!

The Velveteen Rabbit – Studio Series

Ankeny Community Theatre, Ankeny
January 13-15, 2018; Show times are Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 pm, and Monday at 10:00 am and 1:00 pm.
Ages 4 and up
Tickets are $5.
​In the world of real and unreal, things are not always what they seem. With a dash of nursery magic, ordinary toys come to life and mute the boundaries between real and imaginary. This heartwarming adaptation of Margery Williams’ classic children’s story shows how the power of love brings about a remarkable transformation for an ordinary toy bunny.

Stomp – Willis Broadway Series

Civic Center, Des Moines
January 26 – 28, 2018; Friday at 7:30 pm; Saturday 5:00 and 9:00 pm and Sunday 1:00 pm.
Ages 5 and up
Tickets start at $30.
Stomp is explosive, inventive, provocative, witty, and utterly unique—an unforgettable experience for audiences of all ages. The international percussion sensation has garnered armfuls of awards and rave reviews and has appeared on numerous national television shows. The eight-member troupe uses everything but conventional percussion instruments –matchboxes, wooden poles, brooms, garbage cans, Zippo lighters, hubcaps –to fill the stage with magnificent rhythms. Year after year, audiences worldwide keep coming back for more of this pulse-pounding electrifying show. See what all the noise is about!

Harriet Tubman – Underground Railroad – Virginia Repertory Theater on Tour

Stephens Auditorium, Ames
Monday, January 29, 2018; Show times are 10:00 am and 12:30 pm.
Grades 3-8
Tickets are $5.
This stirring drama with music is a classic tribute to the great American who freed herself and hundreds of others from the bonds of slavery. The escape route that Harriet followed was known as the Underground Railroad, and she quickly became one of its most celebrated ‘conductors.’ “I never run my train off the track,” she said of guiding more than 300 slaves to freedom, “and I never lost a passenger.”

The Wizard of Oz – National Tour

Stephens Auditorium, Ames
Tuesday, January 30, 2018; Showtime is 7:30 pm.
Ages 6 and up
Tickets start at $25.
This all new production of The Wizard of Oz is an enchanting adaptation of the all-time classic, totally reconceived for the stage. Developed from the ever-popular MGM screenplay, this production contains the beloved songs from the Oscar-winning movie score, all the favorite characters and iconic moments, plus a few surprises along the way, including new songs by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

February

The Mitten – Friday Funday

Des Moines Playhouse, Des Moines
Friday, February 2, 2018; Showtimes are 9:30 am, 10:45 am and 1:30 pm.
Ages 4-6
Tickets are $6.
In this Clubhouse at the Playhouse favorite, a young child drops his mitten in the snow and does not realize it is missing. As woodland creatures seek warmth inside the mitten, it magically grows and grows!

Charlotte’s Web – TheatreworksUSA

Stephens Auditorium, Ames
Tuesday, February 6; Show times are 10:00 am and 12:30 pm.
Grades K-5
Tickets are $5.
Charlotte’s Web is based on E.B. White’s classic loving story of the friendship between a pig named Wilbur and a little gray spider named Charlotte. Wilbur has a problem: how to avoid winding up as pork chops! Charlotte, a fine writer and true friend, hits on a plan to fool Farmer Zuckerman — she will create a “miracle.” Spinning the words “Some Pig” in her web, Charlotte weaves a solution which not only makes Wilbur a prize pig, but ensures his place on the farm forever. This treasured tale explores bravery, selfless love, and the true meaning of friendship.

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live: King for a Day!

Stephens Auditorium, Ames
Tuesday, February 13, 2018; Showtime is 6:00 pm.
Ages 3 and up
Tickets start at $25.
Daniel and all of his friends invite you for a brand-new adventure in Neighborhood of Make-Believe where Daniel learns just what it takes to be King. The beloved characters come alive on stage to captivate you with new songs to sing along to, magical moments, and SURPRISE guests along the way! It’s an event filled with tiger-tastic fun, teaching the valuable lessons of kindness, helping others, and being a friend. Don’t miss Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood LIVE: King for a Day! A royally great time!

I Never Saw Another Butterfly – Des Moines Young Artists’ Theatre

Stoner Theatre, Des Moines
February 9-18, 2018; Show times are Fridays at 7:30 pm, Saturdays at 2:00 and 7:30 pm and Sundays at 2:00 pm and Thursday, February 15 at 7:30 pm
Ages 5 and up
Tickets: Adult $24.50; Students / Seniors: $19.50
Over 15,000 Jewish children passed through Terezin, and only about a hundred were still alive when Terezin was liberated at the end of the war. One of the survivors, Raja, having lived through it all, teaching the children when there was nothing to teach with, helping to give them hope when there was little enough reason for hope, creating a little world of laughter, of flowers and butterflies behind the barbed wire, tells the true story of the children. It’s her play and it’s theirs. There were no butterflies at Terezin, of course, but for the children, butterflies became a symbol of defiance, making it possible for them to live on and play happily while waiting to be transported.

Almost, Maine

Ankeny Community Theatre, Ankeny
February 9-18, 2018 Show times are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm, and Sunday matinees at 2:00 pm.
Ages 13 and up
Ticket Prices: Adult $15, Senior (60+) $12, Child (grades K-12) $10.
On a cold, clear, moonless night in the middle of winter, all is not quite what it seems in the remote, mythical town of Almost, Maine. Almost’s residents find themselves falling in and out of love in unexpected and often hilarious ways. Knees are bruised. Hearts are broken. But the bruises heal, and the hearts mend – almost – in this delightful midwinter night’s dream. Written by John Cariani.

The Sound of Music

CAP Theatre, Altoona
February 16-18, 23-25, March 2-4, 2018; Show times are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:00 pm and Sunday matinees at 2:30 pm.
Ages 5 and up
Ticket Prices: Adult $15, Senior (63+) $12, Student (18 and under) $10.
The final collaboration between Rodgers & Hammerstein was destined to become the world’s most beloved musical. When a postulant proves too high-spirited for the religious life, she is dispatched to serve as governess for the seven children of a widowed naval Captain. Her growing rapport with the youngsters, coupled with her generosity of spirit, gradually captures the heart of the stern Captain, and they marry. Upon returning from their honeymoon they discover that Austria has been invaded by the Nazis, who demand the Captain’s immediate service in their navy. The family’s narrow escape over the mountains to Switzerland on the eve of World War II provides one of the most thrilling and inspirational finales ever presented in the theatre. The motion picture version remains the most popular movie musical of all time.

Air Play – Wellmark Family Series

Civic Center, Des Moines
Saturday, February 17, 2018, 2018; Showtimes are 10:00 am and 1:00 pm.
Ages 4 and up
Tickets are $5-12.
Ride the wind and dream with Air Play, a modern spectacle that brings to life the very air we breathe. Flying umbrellas, larger-than-life balloons, giant kites floating over the audience, and the biggest snow globe you’ve ever seen will make you gasp in wonder and laugh until it hurts.

On Your Feet! – Willis Broadway Series

Civic Center, Des Moines
February 20-25, 2018; Show times are Friday at 7:30 pm, Saturday at 2:00 and 7:30 pm and Sunday at 1:00 pm and 6:30 pm.
Ages 5 and up
Tickets start at $35.
From their humble beginnings in Cuba, Emilio and Gloria Estefan came to America and broke through all barriers to become a crossover sensation at the very top of the pop music world. But just when they thought they had it all, they almost lost everything. From international superstardom to life-threatening tragedy, On Your Feet! takes you behind the music and inside the real story of this record-making and groundbreaking couple who, in the face of adversity, found a way to end up on their feet.

Miss Nelson is Missing! – Kate Goldman Children’s Theatre

Des Moines Playhouse, Des Moines
February 23 – March 11, 2018; Show times are Fridays at 7:00 pm, Saturdays and Sundays at 1:00 and 4:00 pm.
Ages 5 and up
Tickets start at $19.
Miss Nelson’s class is the worst behaved in the whole school. Spitballs flying across the room, paper airplanes sailing every which way and uncontrollable children send the gentle, long-suffering teacher, Miss Nelson, over the edge. But the students of Room 207 are in for a surprise when Miss Nelson turns up missing and is replaced by Viola Swamp, a scary substitute teacher who assigns homework from hell and wields her ruler like a sword! In desperation, the students set out to find their beloved Miss Nelson … but will they ever get her back?  Lessons of appreciation and respect.

A View From The Bridge – Iowa Stage Theatre Co.

Kum & Go Theater in the Des Moines Social Club
February 23 – March 4, 2018; Show times are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm and Sundays at 2:00 pm.
Ages 10 and up
Tickets are $35 Adults, $20 Students and $30 Senior
Set in 1950s New York in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge, this searing and timely modern tragedy follows Eddie Carbone and his wife Beatrice, who shelter Beatrice’s orphaned niece Catherine as she studies to become a stenographer – at least, until two of Beatrice’s male cousins from Italy move in. Illegal immigration, unsanctioned love affairs, and the liberty to pursue individual happiness all come under fire; and before it is over, the entire immigrant neighborhood will be hurt in unimaginable climax. Arthur Miller’s unequaled ability to show the triumphs and pitfalls of the common man shine through clearly: loyalty to community and family, fear of the unfamiliar, and the need to recognize, understand, and control our impulsive urges.

March

Pinocchio – Friday Funday

Des Moines Playhouse, Des Moines
Friday, March 2, 2018; Showtimes are 9:30 am, 10:45 am and 1:30 pm.
Ages 4-6
Tickets are $6.
Pinocchio wants more than anything to be a real boy, but he is only a puppet made of wood. Will he listen to his father, and tell the truth? Who ‘nose’?

Clementine– TheatreworksUSA

Stephens Auditorium, Ames
Friday, March 2, 2018; Show times are 10:00 am and 12:30 pm.
Grades K-5
Tickets are $5.
Clementine is having a terrible week, but this spunky eight-year-old doesn’t let her daily visits to the principal’s office get her down! America’s favorite impish and independent third grader navigates the hilarious waters of friendship, family, school and mischief in an epic adventure you’ll never forget.

Moon Over Buffalo – Carousel Theatre of Indianola

Indianola First United Methodist Church Parish Hall, Indianola
March 8 -11, 2018; Showtimes are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:00 pm and Sunday at 2:00 pm.
Ages 8 and up
Tickets can be purchased at the door.
Charlotte and George Hay, an acting couple not exactly the Lunts are on tour in Buffalo in 1953 with a repertory consisting of Cyrano de Bergerac “revised, one nostril version” and Noel Coward’s Private Lives. This backstage farce by the author of Lend Me a Tenor brought Carol Burnett back to Broadway co-starring with Philip Bosco as her megalomaniac, drunken husband and leading man. Fate has given these thespians one more shot at starring roles in The Scarlet Pimpernel epic and director Frank Capra himself is enroute to Buffalo to catch their matinee performance. Will Charlotte appear or run off with their agent? Will George be sober enough to emote? Will Capra see Cyrano, Private Lives or a disturbing mixture of the two? Hilarious misunderstandings pile on madcap misadventures, in this valentine to Theater Hams everywhere.

Chicago – Willis Broadway Series

Civic Center, Des Moines
March 9-11, 2018; Friday at 7:30 pm; Saturday 5:00 and 9:00 pm and Sunday 1:00 pm.
Ages 10 and up
Tickets start at $35.
There’s never been a better time to experience Chicago, Broadway’s razzle-dazzle smash. This triumphant hit musical is the recipient of six Tony Awards®, two Olivier Awards, a Grammy®, thousands of standing ovations and now the #1 longest-running American Musical in Broadway history.

Jack and the Beanstalk – Lunch n’ Laugh

CAP Theatre, Altoona
Saturdays, March 10, 17, 24 2018; Showtime is 11:00 am
Ages 4 and up
Tickets are $10 for children and $16 for adults.
Beans Beans the magical fruit … But just how magical, Jack will find out for sure. When little Jack’s family decides to sell their only cow to buy some food, it takes only a few beans to raise the roof and reap rewards in gigantic proportions

How I Became A Pirate – Dallas Children’s Theater

Stephens Auditorium, Ames
Thursday, March 22, 2018; Show times are 10:00 am and 12:30 pm.
Grades K-5
Tickets are $5.
AARRRGH! This swashbuckling musical excursion tells the tale of young Jeremy Jacobs who joins Captain Braid Beard’s band of comical pirates who are searching for the perfect spot to bury their treasure. Jeremy finds fun and adventure on the high seas, but he soon learns that home and family are treasures you can’t find on any map!Based on the popular book, the production includes terrific songs like “A Good One to Boot”, “Green Teeth”, “I’m Really Just a Sensitive Guy”, “Talk Like a Pirate”, “Soccer by the Rules”, “Pirates Dot Arrgh”, and more…

Shh! We have a plan – Wellmark Family Series

Civic Center, Des Moines
Saturday, March 24, 2018, 2018; Showtimes are 11:00 am and 1:00 pm.
Ages 4 and up
Tickets are $5-12.
Based on the delightful Chris Haughton book of the same title, this show follows the journey of some madcap characters each of whom has a plan-they all want to capture a beautiful bird perched high in a tree! Sounds simple, but the quest becomes an obsession and the obsession becomes the absurd! Where will it all end? Join us as we follow the characters’ exploits, meet an elusive and magical little birdie and discover that perhaps freedom and kindness are more important than getting what you want at any cost!

Did we miss something?  Please let us know at nicole@dsm4kids.com.  And, find more fun things to do this season in our Winter Fun Guide.

Is your family planning on seeing a show at a local theatre in Des Moines this winter? Tell us in the comments below!

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