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Here are 13 great Broadway shows for the whole family this holiday season

Aladdin at the New Amsterdam Theater (Photo courtesy of Disney Theatrical Productions)

BY ALICE BURDICK SCHWEIGER

Treating the family to a Broadway show during the holiday season can be a magical experience they’ll remember for years to come. Thankfully, there are a number of kid-friendly productions on the Great White Way that are sure to please the young ones in your family. Here are our picks for the best Broadway shows for kids—and adults—of all ages.  (Some close in January.)

Aladdin, an adaptation of the Disney classic, tells the story of a commoner who falls in love with a princess. He discovers an ancient magic lamp with a genie who grants him three wishes. Music includes “A Whole New World” and other songs from the movie. The show, with its colorful sets and flying carpet, is undeniably enjoyable.  Ages 4 and up. New Amsterdam Theater. (866) 870-2717.

Beetlejuice brings Tim Burton’s charming cult movie to the stage.   A couple die in their home but still don’t want to leave. They team up with a very naughty ghost to get rid of the new family that moves in.  Special effects add to the delight. (There is some foul language, but if the kids were fine with the movie, it should be okay.) Ages 10 and up. Winter Garden Theatre, 1634 Broadway. (212) 239-6200.

Come from Away, based on a true story, follows a group of travelers whose planes were diverted to Gander, Newfoundland on September 11, 2001.  The townspeople of Gander open up their hearts and homes to accommodate the stranded travelers. The inspiring story opens a conversation with kids. Ages 10 and up. Schoenfeld Theatre, 236 W. 45th St. (212) 239-6200.

Derren Brown Secret features the extraordinary British mentalist Derren Brown, who wows young and old alike by reading their thoughts.  Random people in the audience are called on stage to participate. It’s hard not to exit the theater asking “how does he do it?” The show closes Jan. 4. Ages 11 and up. At the Cort Theatre. (212) 239-6200. 

Frozen, a stage adaptation of the wildly popular animated Disney film, is based on the Hans Christian Andersen story of a magical ice princess who freezes everything she touches.  Memorable songs include “Let It Go”, which is well known to young ones. The imaginative sets, special effects and costumes are dazzling. Ages 8 and up. At the St. James Theatre, 246 W. 44th St.  (866) 870-2717.

Moulin Rouge! The Musical, based on Baz Luhrmann’s 2001 hit film, is set in the Montmartre Quarter in Paris at the turn of the century. An English poet falls in love with the cabaret singer at the Moulin Rouge, where bohemians, artists and aristocrats all gather. The spectacular set design, confetti cannon, familiar musical numbers and a whole lot of on-stage activity, keeps kids engrossed. Ages 12 and up. Al Hirschfeld Theatre, 302 W. 45th St.  (877) 250-2929.

Wicked, playing on Broadway for 16 years, is the story of the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch. Pre-dating Dorothy’s arrival in Oz, it’s the back story of the BFF’s turned rivals.  Age 8 and up. Gershwin Theatre, 222 West 51st St. (800)745-3000.

Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hip-hop blockbuster, is still the hottest show on Broadway.  Chances are your kids already know all the lyrics by heart. Even if they get a little fidgety with the almost three-hour musical about founding father Alexander Hamilton and the American Revolution, it’s a thrilling, educational show they’ll never forget.   While tickets are difficult to snag and pricy, it’s a once in a lifetime theatre experience for the whole family. Ages 10 and up. At the Richard Rodgers Theatre, 226 W. 46th St.   (877) 250-2929.

The Illusionists—Magic of the Holidays is filled with fun, tricks and mystery. Six impressive performers show off their jaw-dropping talents of magic and mindreading. Closes January 5. Ages 5 and up. Neil Simon Theatre, 250 W. 52nd St. (877) 250-2929.

The Lion King, a beloved long running musical, is based on the animated film with the same name.  kids are enthralled with beautiful sets, enchanting music by Elton John and Time Rice and eye-popping puppetry.   It’s the story of Simba, an African lion cub, who is forced to run away but eventually finds his place in the animal kingdom.  Ages 4 and up. Minskoff Theatre, 200 W. 45th St.  (877) 250-2929.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is perfect for kids who love the J.K. Rowling’s books and movies. The story centers around two teen friends who are going through their first years of Hogwarts together.  This two-part play brings breathtaking magic, illusions and stage wizardry. Ages 10 and up. Lyric Theatre, 214 W. 43rd St.  (877) 250-2929.

A Christmas Carol is once again coming to life on the New York stage. This Charles Dickens’s famed tale of Ebenezer Scrooge never gets old. The Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future are all female. The show will get kids in the holiday spirit. Closes Jan. 5. Ages 8 and up. The Lyceum Theatre, 149 W. 45th St. (212) 239-6200.

The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical is an action-packed adventure based on the popular book series of the same name.   Twelve-year-old Percy Jackson has newly discovered powers he can’t control, and is on a quest to find Zeus’ lightning bolt to prevent a war between the Greek gods.  Closes January 5. Ages 8 and up. Longacre Theatre. 220 W. 48th St. (212) 239-6200.  

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