Spiral Q Puppet Theater

Beautiful giant puppets, civic theater, and pageantry join around themes of social change at Spiral Q, whose founder was inspired by the Bread and Puppet Theater in Vermont. Call for an appointment and visit the museum for a look at more than 100 puppets and masks in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Or take the children to one of the Theater’s neighborhood parades, performances, or make-your-own puppet workshops.

Contact number: (215) 222-6979

Location: 3114 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104

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Philadelphia Orchestra for Kids

This world-renowned orchestra offers a family concert series every season, performing in Philadelphia and its suburbs for the 6 to 12 year old set. Another initiative, Sound All Around, appeals to 3 to 5 year olds. Music is chosen for its appeal to children, often with the addition of visuals, dance, and drama. For Sound All Around, the children sit up close to the musicians, who demonstrate their instruments, perform short pieces and tell musical stories for 40 minutes.

Contact number: (215) 893-1999

Location: Broad Street and Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102

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Philadelphia Children’s Festival

The oldest festival of its kind in the U.S., the annual Philadelphia International Children’s Festival spotlights some of the world’s best children’s performers to celebrate culture, storytelling, dance, music, and art. You and your children will love the wide range of performers, with website descriptions offering helpful details and age ranges. In 2007, a few offerings included the American-based Zoppe Family Circus, Los Folkloristas from Mexico and Amara, and The Shadow Theatre Of Java from Indonesia.

Contact number: (215) 898-3900

Location: 3680 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104

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PECO Energy Lights of Liberty Center

This high-tech addition to Independence National Historical Park puts you and your children in the middle of the action. The show unfolds at five different points in the park, where you can see and hear images and sounds depicting events that led up to the colonists’ fight for independence from the British. Kids love the cool headsets, five-story images projected onto Independence Hall, and the special audio children’s channel. Lights of Liberty also boasts sound editing by George Lucas’s Skywalker Sound; the engineers for Star Wars and Titanic, among other movies.

Contact number: (215) 524-3789

Location: Sixth Street and Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106

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Mann Music Center

This performance venue, located in verdant Fairmount Park, offers a wide range of entertainment; from pop to opera, classical to dance, jazz, and rock and roll. Free lawn seats to Philadelphia Orchestra performances are one highlight, another is a free young people’s concert series, which includes multi-cultural music, circus performances, and gospel offerings. Bring a picnic before the show, and sing along with your children under the stars.

Contact number: (215) 893-1999

Location: 5201 Parkside Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19131

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Arden Children’s Theatre

This division of the Arden Theatre Company is dedicated to producing high quality children’s shows that rival anything on the mainstage. Shows like Ferdinand the Bull, Looking Glass Alice and the Dinosaur Musical will delight you and your children. After each performance, the director leads a Q&A session, giving kids the chance to ask questions. Afterwards, they can meet the cast in the lobby.

Contact number: (215) 922-1122

Location: 40 North Second Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106

Learn more here.