Here’s what each of Portland’s performing arts organizations has in store for your family from April to June this year. Shows are organized by presenter, starting with shows for the youngest audiences and going up in age. (Ages listed are guidelines only.)

Northwest Children’s Theater

Courtesy of Northwest Children’s Theater – David Kinder

Ages 3 and up

Elephant & Piggie’s: We Are in a Play! Meet “bestus friends” Gerald the Elephant and Piggie the Pig. Together, they tackle friendship’s big questions: What happens when two friends want to play with one toy? What do you wear to a fancy party? And will anyone say “Banana?”
Pro tip: Elephant & Piggie will also be playing in early April at The Reser in Beaverton on Saturday, April 1 and Sunday, April 2 at 11 am and 2 pm.

When: April 29 to May 28, Saturdays and Sundays at 11 am and 2 pm at The Judy
Audio-described show: May 13, 2 pm
ASL-interpreted show: May 20, 2 pm
Free sensory-friendly show: May 21, 11 am


Ages 5 and up

Cinderella. A tap-dancing extravaganza featuring a big-band jazz score by local composer Ezra Weiss, this NWCT original musical explores the challenges of being true to yourself while trying to live up to family expectations (pictured above).

When: May 5-21, Fridays 7 pm, Saturdays 12 and 4 pm, and Sundays 2 pm at The Judy

Oregon Children’s Theatre

Courtesy of Briana Cerezo Photography

Ages 7 and up

Impulse: Sweet 16. This is the Young Professionals Company’s annual improv comedy production. Pro tip: Buy early! It always sells out.

When: April 21 to May 7, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 2 pm at the Brunish Theatre

Ages 8 and up

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. Based on the award-winning novel by Grace Lin, this musical tells the story of Min Li, a young girl who lives in a ramshackle hut with her parents in the valley of Fruitless Mountain (pictured above). Inspired by her father’s stories, Min Li sets off on an extraordinary journey to find the Old Man on the Moon to ask him how she can change her family’s fortune.


When: April 30 to May 28, Saturdays at 2 pm and 5 pm, Sundays at 11 am and 2 pm at the Newmark Theatre

Metropolitan Youth Symphony

Courtesy of Metropolitan Youth Symphony

Ages 8 and up

Season Finale. Metropolitan Youth Symphony (MYS) wraps up its season with the Faust Overture by Emilie Mayer; West Side Story: Symphonic Dances by Leonard Bernstein; and a vocal piece addressing gun violence by student composer Elaina Stuppler, as well as winners of the MYS Concerto Competition. Pro tip: regularly performs evening community concerts, usually in neighborhood churches and event centers.

When: Friday, May 19 at 7:30 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall

Oregon Symphony

Courtesy of Oregon Symphony

Ages 5-10

Peter & The Wolf. Prokofiev’s enchanting children’s work for narrator and orchestra is both a fable about a headstrong boy and, cleverly, an introduction to the instruments of the orchestra. At an hour long, this concert is the perfect introduction for young listeners. Tickets start at $11.

When: Sunday, April 16, 4 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall

Ages 13 and up

West Side Story. Celebrate this iconic American musical as the Oregon Symphony plays Leonard Bernstein’s electrifying score live with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim while the film is showing on the big screen (pictured above). The movie is rated PG-13, so this riff on Romeo and Juliet is better suited for teens.

When: Saturday, May 27 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, May 28 at 2 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall

Portland Youth Philharmonic

Courtesy of Mason Perez

Ages 2-8

Cushion Concert. Conducted by Inés Voglar Belgique, PYP presents a family-friendly concert for children. The delightful program runs for 45 minutes and will include instrument demonstrations, a Q&A, and PYP’s pre-show Instrument Petting Zoo hosted by Kennedy Violins!

When: Saturday, May 6, 3 pm at Rise Church

Ages 5 and up

Spring Chamber Music Concert. This free program will include performances of chamber groups from each of PYP’s ensembles.

Ages 8 and up

Beethoven’s Ninth. PYP concludes its 99th season with the famous and revered Ninth Symphony of Ludwig van Beethoven. The Portland Symphonic Choir will join PYP musicians.

When: Sunday, May 7, 4 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall

The Portland Ballet

Courtesy of the Portland Ballet

All ages

Current/Classic. The Portland Ballet presents two world premieres in Current/Classic on May 12-13, its annual family-friendly spring show of contemporary and classical pieces. Tom Gold’s The Carnival of the Animals and Nick Le-Jurica’s Innominate will share the bill with Paquita, a traditional ballet with a long history and bravura performances.

When: Saturday and Sunday, May 12-13, 7:30 pm, at the Lincoln Performance Hall at Portland State University

White Bird

Courtesy of Steven Pisano

Ages 6 and up

MOMIX. Travel down the rabbit hole with Moses Pendleton’s newest choreographed creation, Alice. MOMIX is internationally renowned for performing dance works of astounding inventiveness and physical beauty.

When: Wednesday, May 3, 7:30 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall

Paul Taylor Dance Company. The program will include classic Taylor works that can be lyrical, humorous, deeply emotional, and breathtaking. At the Friday performance, the dancers, founders and artistic directors will take the stage for a post-show discussion.

When: Thursday-Saturday, March 30-April 1, 7:30 pm at the Newmark Theatre

Ages 13 and Up

Ballet Hispánico. Since 1970, Ballet Hispánico has explored Latino culture through innovative dance by today’s outstanding choreographers from Spain and Latin America. It’s one of the most popular companies White Bird has presented.

When: Wednesday, March 15, 7:30 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall

Looking for how-tos on attending a kid-friendly show? Check out our guide for the best ways to have fun at a performance with your family!

Stephanie Gehring
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