Fall Children’s Theater Performances in Lake County

I love live theatre, but admittedly, it can be hard to make the trek to Chicago, especially when I’m already trying to juggle a full-time job, long commute, and the hectic schedules of three kids. As soon as my kids were old enough to sit still for at least an hour, I started taking them to see live children’s theatre, in hopes that they would share my passion. So far, it has been working – my oldest, now 19, was involved in theatre throughout his schooling, and my littles (ages 7 and 4) love to put on pretend shows with their stuffed animals.

fall children's theatre lake county

Fortunately, Lake County is home to several wonderful theatres that offer year-round performances for children – all within a short drive! Here are some fall highlights. Remember to click through for ticket purchases, Little Lake County is not responsible for sold out shows.

Children’s Theatre Performances in Lake County

Mary Poppins Jr. 
September 22 at 7:00 p.m. and September 23 at 2:00 p.m.
Cost: $10 for children, $20 for adults, purchase online or by calling (847) 990-3703
Lambs Farm Participant Theater, Gorton Community Center, 400 East Illinois Rd., Lake Forest, IL 60045
Cast is made up of adults with special needs who reside at Lambs Farm. Come see their energetic performance of Mary Poppins and support the theatre program.

Junie B. Jones is Not a Crook
September 27 – 28 at 10:00 a.m.
$6 general admission, purchase online or call box office at (847_543-2431
CLC Theatre, James Lumber Center, 19351 W. Washington St., Grayslake, IL 60030
The world’s funniest kid is back! Junie B. Jones is ecstatic about her new black furry mittens-until someone steals them! And keeps them! So when Junie B. finds a wonderful pen of many colors, she should be allowed to keep it, too. That’s fair, right? “Finders keepers, losers weepers,” is the rule, right? Junie B. Jones is not a crook … or is she? Find out in this hilarious and heartfelt tale based on the beloved book series by Barbara Park. Show is suitable for children 5 and older and runs about 60 minutes.

elephant and piggie play

Elephant & Piggie’s We are in a Play! The Musical
September 29-30 and October 6-7 at 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
Cost: $10, purchase tickets online
Citadel Theatre for Young Audiences, Gorton Community Center, 400 East Illinois Rd., Lake Forest, IL 60045
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. (Best for Ages 3+)


marriott theatre for young audiences

Shrek the Musical
: October 5 – December 30
Cost: $18.23, purchase online or call the box office (847) 634-0200
Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences, 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire, IL 60089
Based on the Oscar-winning DreamWorks Animation film, Shrek The Musical is a Tony Award-winning fairy tale adventure featuring all new songs from Jeanine Tesori (Thoroughly Modern Millie; Caroline, or Change) and a sidesplitting book by David Lindsay-Abaire. Shrek brings all the beloved characters you know from the film to life on stage and proves there’s more to the story than meets the ears. A special one-hour presentation for kids (and parents) of all ages. Please note: all patrons, regardless of age, need a ticket. Watch for an upcoming review of the show!


Curious George: The Golden Meatball
October 6 – November 10
Cost: $12 per ticket, purchase tickets online
Northbrook Theatre for Young Audiences, Northbrook Leisure Center, 3323 Walkters Avenue, Northbrook, IL 60062
Join Curious George, the inquisitive, lovable monkey-star of books, movies, and the award-winning PBS television show in a brand new musical. Curious George: The Golden Meatball is a lovable adventure, specifically designed for young audiences, that is sure to leave them singing and swinging down the aisles. Show runs one hour.


The Wizard of Oz
Dates: October 25 – November 4
Cost: $15 adults, $13 children and seniors, $17 all tickets at the door, purchase tickets online
CYT Chicago, Christian Arts Auditorium, 2500 Dowie Memorial Drive, Zion, IL 60099
The beloved classic, The Wizard of Oz, comes to life onstage! With its heartwarming tale of love, courage, and friendship, you will find yourself over the rainbow in this musical adventure! Performance is done by local youth.

Mary Poppins Jr.
November 9 -11 and 16-17
Cost: $12 in advance, $15 at the door, purchase at bigdealproductions.org after October 5
Big Deal Productions Children’s Theatre, Buffalo Grove Community Arts Center, 225 McHenry Rd., Buffalo Grove, IL 60089
Big Deal Productions is thrilled to present Mary Poppins, Jr. as the Fall 2018 Children’s Theatre production. Based on one of the most popular Disney movies of all time, and the highly successful Broadway musical, this “practically perfect” show will be a treat for the whole family.

November 11, 17 and 18
Cost: $13 per ticket
Northbrook Theatre Jr. Company, Northbrook Leisure Center, 3323 Walkters Avenue, Northbrook, IL 60062
The timeless enchantment of a magical fairy tale is reborn with the Rodgers & Hammerstein hallmarks of originality, charm, and elegance. Originally presented on television in 1957 starring Julie Andrews, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA was the most widely viewed program in the history of the medium. As adapted for the stage, with great warmth and more than a touch of hilarity, the hearts of children and adults alike still soar when the slipper fits.



Which Lake County theatre productions are on your list this fall? Leave us your recommendations in the comments section below.

About Laura Otto 26 Articles
Laura Otto is an associate professor at Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, where she teaches courses in journalism, writing for new media and creative writing. She lives in Vernon Hills with her husband, Matt, and three kids: Cole (19), Maya (7) and Shane (4). When she isn’t grading papers or scrubbing crayon off the walls, she can be found playing Downton Abbey trivia games on Facebook or doodling all over her kids’ homework.


  1. Standing Ovation Theatre Academy has two student productions in November.

    Aladdin Jr.
    Friday, 11/9 @ 6pm
    Saturday, 11/10 @ 1pm

    You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown
    Friday, 11/16 @ 7pm
    Saturday, 11/17 @ 1pm & 6pm

    Both at Village Church of Gurnee
    All tickets $8 presale by mail or $10 online/at the door

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