If you want to experience some culture with your children by taking them to the theater, you can count yourself lucky that we have several great local ones to choose from. Seeing a live performance is a truly unique experience and one that kids will remember for a lifetime. At the theater, your child can enjoy watching a ballet, hearing a symphony, or seeing a stage production. So, whether your kid is a budding thespian or you want to take them to their first play, check out these five awesome theaters you can visit near Glenview, Illinois.

Oil Lamp Theater

A group of actors during a play in a theater in Glenview, IL

The Oil Lamp Theater was born from the desire to make theater a personal and cozy experience. The theater hosts just six productions a year and has seating for 60. This means you won’t be far from the stage, no matter where you’re sitting. The ambiance here is home-like, with the lobby more like a living room than a box office. The staff is warm and friendly, and the actors come out to mingle with the guests after the shows. 

Children might be especially pleased to know complimentary cookies are served at every show. Parents, please note that not every show is suitable for children, so you’ll want to research the plays before deciding whether or not to bring your children to a particular performance. 

Location: 1723 Glenview Road in Glenview.

Contact: 847-834-0738.

The Children’s Theatre of Winnetka

What makes the Children’s Theatre of Winnetka truly unique is that the shows are all cast with children as the actors. When you visit this theater, you can watch talented local children performing in high-quality stage performances of your favorite family-friendly shows. Past productions have included Peter Pan, The Lion King, The Wizard of Oz, Hello Dolly, Mary Poppins, and many more. Your kids will enjoy watching other children live on stage; if your youngster is into theater, this might be an inspirational experience. 

This theater casts children in grades four through eight and produces two kid-friendly shows yearly. The inspirational youths work hard to make the plays fun and entertaining for your family, and you’ll be impressed by the level of talent found in our local communities. Many of the actors in the Children’s Theater of Winnetka have gone on to have successful acting careers on Broadway and beyond. If you want to support local theater and local kids, this is the place to go. 

Location: 620 Lincoln Ave. in Winnetka.

Contact: 847-446-0537.

Deerfield Family Theater

Opening its doors in 2000, the Deerfield Park District created Deerfield Family Theater to bring family-friendly productions to the local community. This theater is a great place to take your kids to see a play because all its productions are family-friendly. Children are part of the cast, and your kids will enjoy seeing other youngsters up on the stage. There’s also a family-oriented setting at the theater, so you know even your youngest kids will be able to enjoy it. 

In the past, this theater has produced plays such as Oliver, Oklahoma, School House Rock, The King and I, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Annie, The Music Man, and Into the Woods, to name just a few. You can check their website for current and future performances. There’s a Theater for Young Audiences show in the summer, which would be a great introduction to theater for young children. There are several performances, with some matinees, so you can schedule around nap times to enjoy these shows with your kids.

Location: Performances are held at Caruso Auditorium, 1801 Montgomery Road in Deerfield. 

Contact: 847-945-0650.

Harris Theater

The Harris Theater in downtown Chicago hosts many different kinds of events and cultural performances. In just over an hour’s driving time from Glenview, you can come here to see ballet, opera, symphony, or a host of other performances. The theater has resident companies with ongoing shows and visiting artists from around the country, so you’ll want to check the website often to see what’s happening at the Harris Theater. 

The Harris Theater offers a family series, where one-hour matinees are presented for young audiences. Children as young as 4 can join in the fun, and audience members are encouraged to laugh and clap along, so you won’t have to worry about keeping your little ones quiet during the performance. And, through its Virtual Stage program, you can get online access to stream some performances if you’d like to enjoy the arts at home with your family. 

Location: Millennium Park, 205 E. Randolph in Chicago.

Contact: 312-334-7777.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater

At just over and hour away, the Chicago Shakespeare Theater strives to make Shakespeare, and theater in general, accessible for all. There are three stages here, and productions happen throughout the year. There are generally 19 different plays and up to 650 performances annually. The cast and crew are very professional; this is a high-quality theater experience. 

If your little ones aren’t yet up for Shakespeare, it has other performances, including family-friendly shows that’ll dazzle your youngsters. Another great thing about this theater is that through its Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks program, you and your family can see fun renditions of classic Shakespeare excerpts throughout city parks, and they’re completely free. Through song, dance, and Shakespeare quotes, the performers put on a show to inspire kids and adults alike. This would be a great first introduction to Shakespeare or the theater.

Location: 800 E. Grand Ave. on Navy Pier in Chicago.

Contact: 312-595-5600.

Connect Your Kids to the Arts

Taking the kids to the theater can be a great way to expose them to culture and art, broaden their horizons, and build great family memories. Glenview and the surrounding areas have some awesome places to share the theater with your kids, and we at Crème de la Crème of Glenview hope this list of theaters in our area inspires you to get out and see a show. From ballet to children’s theater to Shakespeare, there are many opportunities to experience the theater with your kids.

crowd of people watching a stage performance in the theater by Yiran Ding is licensed with Unsplash License