The Music & Dance and Theater categories include an incredible array of performances for all ages -- from parents and grandparents, young adults and teens to elementary students, preschoolers and toddlers. Shows geared specifically for young children are typically found under “Family” or “Children’s” series listings. Keep in mind that many shows for family audiences are full-length productions best suited for older children and teens. Age recommendations are only guidelines. Parents must use their discretion in determining their individual child’s readiness for a theater, music or dance performance.
The Arts Council of the Morris Area (973-258-5115) publishes a complete arts calendar each quarter. Subscriptions and other benefits are available with membership.
The Music, Dance and Theater listings included in the Kids Guide are only an introduction to the volume and variety of performing arts offered throughout New Jersey. Consult websites using the convenient links below for complete event calendars and check often for new shows added throughout the season.
2015-2016 season calendars
Calendars for many venues are not available until mid-summer for the new season. Call for schedules or go to the "Hot Picks," "Music & Dance" listings below or "Theatre" pages for convenient links to all websites..
The Acoustic Cafe
Our Lady of Mercy School Cafeteria, 25 Fremont Ave. (GSP exit 172), Park Ridge, 201-573-0718. Live music coffeehouse presenting local, independent and nationally touring performers Sept.-May. Discounts for WFUV members.
Ellis Paul, 8pm, First Congregational Church.
A comprehensive listing of acoustic performances in the New York metropolitan area.
Unitarian Church, 4 Waldron Ave., Summit, 908-273-3245. Sunday concerts Oct.-April at 4pm, artists' reception follows.
Alborada Spanish Dance Theatre
732-255-4071. Flamenco and Spanish dance company performs at venues throughout the state.
American Repertory Ballet
Princeton Ballet School
80 Albany St., New Brunswick, 732-249-1254; Princeton Ballet School, 301 N. Harrison St., Princeton, 609-921-7758. Oct.-May season includes performances at theaters throughout the state, annual Nutcracker performances in Nov. and Dec., free On Pointe events in Princeton; educational assemblies and residences for schools and school-time matinees.
Bergen Performing Arts Center
30 North Van Brunt St., Englewood, 201-227-1030. Year round season offers music, dance, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra concerts, comedy, Kidz Cabaret series, family and special events. See Theatre for family theatre events. Check website often for new shows.
Selected Children & Family Events
Big Apple Circus On Stage.
The Wiggles, Rock & Roll Preschool Tour.
Peppa Pig's Big Splash.
Bickford Theatre at the Morris Museum, 6 Normandy Heights Rd., Morristown, 973-971-3706. Year round performances in the 312-seat theater include special concert events, jazz showcase, Main Stage and children's theater series. Student discounts and subscriptions available. See Theater for additional events.
Summer Jazz Fest
90-minute sets starting at 8pm. Advance tickets $15, at the door $18.
Jul 7, 13, 27, Aug 3, 17, 24
Bloomfield Youth Band
Comprised of high school and collegiate musicians, the band performs public concerts in Bloomfield.
Broadway Theatre of Pitman
43 S. Broadway, Pitman, 856-384-8381. Six main stage shows, a Dec. holiday show and children's theater season are presented in a former movie and vaudeville theater from 1926. Concerts, movies, special events and children's summer theater camp are also scheduled. See listings under Theatre for year round children's theater.
31 Woodland Ave., Summit, 908-277-1814. Sept.-May season of concerts on Sundays at 3pm.
Sitnik Theater at the Lackland Center, Centenary College, 715 Grand Ave., Hackettstown, 908-979-0900. Concerts and special events, jazz series, theater season and BlackBox Festival by professional Centenary Stage Company, Women's Playwright series, family fun series, and Festival of Shows is presented by members of Young Performers Workshops at end of fall, spring and summer sessions. Student rates; student matinees; Family Night on Thurs.
Kenny Brawner in Ray Charles On My Mind.
Al Chez & the Brothers of Funk.
Ultimate Michael Jackson Experience.
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young Songs.
Central Presbyterian Church
Sanctuary Arts Series
70 Maple St., Summit, 908-273-0441. Friday lunchtime concerts celebrate the holiday seasons during advent and lent. Bring your own lunch or buy at the church kitchen. Free, open to the public.
Chatham Community Band
Community band presents free concerts to Chatham and surrounding communities.
Coffee with Conscience
908-412-9105. Oct.-May concerts feature professional and touring singer/songwriters. Performances at 1st United Methodist Church of Westfield, 1 E. Broad St., Westfield. Net proceeds from concerts are donated to charity. Advance purchase discounts online
Concerts at the Crossing
Unitarian Universalist Church, 268 Washington Crossing-Pennington Rd., Titusville. Final season for live music concerts in an intimate 125-250 seat setting. Tickets for ages 14 and under are $5, 18 and under for select shows.
John Gorka, with special guest Deirdre Flint.
Finale Concert: The Kennedys, Ellis Paul, Tracy Grammer and Jess Klein.
Count Basie Theatre
99 Monmouth St., Red Bank, 732-842-9000. Year round season of concerts by major recording artists, comedy, dance, theater, classical music and family events in a 1,550 seat theater circa 1926. Performing Arts Academy offers programs in acting, dance, music, rockband, jazz and an outreach program. Half-price rush tickets may be available on the day of a show at the discretion of the box office. See listing under Theatre for additional family events and check website often for new shows.
Crescent Concert Series
Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church, 716 Watchung Ave., Plainfield, 908-756-2468. Oct.-May series includes concerts by the Crescent Choral Society, the Crescent Singers and outside professional and amateur groups and solo artists. The annual Showcase for Exceptional Young Artists, features local young musicians, ages 16 and under, chosen by audition.
A Sonic Spectacular, solid brass. 3pm.
Divine Dvorak, 7pm.
Yuletide by Candlelight, community concert, all ages. Free, donations appreciated.
Showcase for Exceptional Young Artists, local musicians 18 and under. 3pm.
The Thrill of the Chase, organists. 3pm.
Simply Schubert, 7pm.
Love is a Many-Splendored Thing, 3pm.
P.O. Box 4064, Warren, 908-226-7300. Artistic Director George Marriner Maull teaches listening skills to help people emotionally connect with classical music during intimate in-home recitals, courses and discovery concerts. Recommended for adults and ages 10 and up. Student, group and subscription discounts; videos online.
Drew University Arts
The Concert Hall, 36 Madison Ave., Madison, 973-408-3917. Drew hosts Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center performances, music and theater arts department events, annual Drew Forum lecture series and the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey.
Friends of the Library Concert Series
Meeting Room, Somerset County Bridgewater Library, N. Bridge & Vogt Dr., Bridgewater, 908-526-4016 x105. Concerts 7:30-9pm Sept.-June. Free, sign-up is not required.
Hanover Wind Symphony
973-887-0500. Oct.-Aug. season includes concerts throughout Morris County and annual summer Gazebo Series.
Historic Blairstown Theatre
30 Main St., Blairstown, 908-362-1399. 1913 theatre offers a regular schedule of live music and theatrical performances, classic film and community events. General admission seating, 80% seated, 20% standing room.
Hunterdon Symphony and Hunterdon Choral Union present a Nov-May concert season at different venues in Hunterdon County. A Saturday Strings program, chamber ensemble and orchestra camp for youth are also offered. Consult website for tickets and info.
Hurdy Gurdy Folk Music Club
Fair Lawn Community Center, 10-10 20th St., Fair Lawn, 201-384-1325. Contemporary folk music performers Oct.-June. All shows at 8pm. Members receive ticket discounts.
The Band Band, Songs from the Basement Tapes (Bob Dylan & The Band).
Kean University Wilkins Theatre, 1000 Morris Ave., Union, 908-737-7469. Year round season includes world-class music and dance artists, chamber music series, student and faculty productions, professional theater, Holocaust Resource Center events, lecture series, family shows and on school time performances (908-737-4349). Student rates; subscriptions. See Theater and Film for additional events.
Enlow Recital Hall Concert Series
Eugene and Shelley Enlow Recital Hall, Nathan Weiss Graduate School campus, 215 North Ave., Hillside, 908-
737-7469. 300-seat concert hall provides an intimate atmosphere to hear renowned artists, established local musicians and Kean University music faculty members. Subscription season Oct.-May; student tickets. Recording studio.
Kelsey Theatre at Mercer County Community College
1200 Old Trenton Rd., West Windsor, 609-570-3333. Home to a student company and 12 resident theater companies, Kelsey Theatre offers live cultural events, family theater, children's theater and adult events, both professional and semi-professional, year round. Most performances Fri.-Sun. See Theater listings for additional events.
Selected Family Events
Grease-The Movie Sing-A-Long. 7pm Sat., 2pm Sun.
Light Opera of New Jersey
PO Box 344, Millington, 908-903-0702. Most performances at St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 140 S. Finley Ave., Basking Ridge. Specializes in shows featuring staged and costumed highlights of (light) opera and musical theater as well as full scale productions.
A Little Night Music, Stephen Sondheim.
The True Story of Cinderella, updated.
Amahl & the Night Visitors, Gian Carlos Menotti.
Livingston Symphony Orchestra
Four concert series takes place Nov.-May at Livingston High School auditorium, 30 Robert Harp Dr., Livingston, 7:30pm. Student winner of annual concerto competition held in Dec. (open to ages 14-21) performs as a soloist with the orchestra in the spring. For advance ticket purchase, call 973-980-1809 or email email@example.com.
555 Valley Rd., West Orange, 973-395-5551. Intimate Sunday concerts feature renowned local jazz artists. Purchase advance tickets or at the door. See Theatre for Mainstage events and playwrights's reading series.
Lyrica Chamber Music
Presbyterian Church of Chatham Township, 240 Southern Blvd., Chatham Twp., 973-309-1668. Concerts are held on Sundays at 3pm. Sept.-May subscriptions; single tickets; students are free. Outreach program for school groups and special needs children.
Maplewood Community Music
Community ensembles present free performances throughout the community, an annual children's concert and small ensemble performances at local schools. High school and college music students are encouraged to join.
Mason Gross School of the Arts
Rutgers University, 33 Livingston Ave., New Brunswick, 848-932-7511. Student and faculty dance, music, theater and visual art events Sept.-May. Student rates.
for the Performing Arts
100 South St., Morristown, 973-539-8008. 1,200-seat venue offers a wide array of contemporary music, jazz, dance, drama, comedy, speakers, children's programming and classical music. Create-your-own subscriptions; family subscriptions; student and group discounts. School-time shows for school groups, Performing Arts Academy, master classes, school residency programs and high school internship/community service programs are available. See Theater for additional events and check website for newly added events
Selected Children & Family Events
Big Apple Circus: Fun2C.
American Idol Live! 2015.
McCarter Theatre Center for the Performing Arts
91 University Place, Princeton, 609-258-2787. Sept.-May season of internationally known artists in music, jazz, cabaret, dance, theater, world and special events. Extensive education programs include student matinees, touring shows, theater classes, summer camps, group backstage tours, in-school programs and professional development. Discount subscriptions for ages 35 and under. See Theater listings for additional events.
Selected 2015-2016 Children & Family Events
Sing Along with the Muppet Movie.
Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood Live!
Metropolitan Orchestra of New Jersey
PO Box 6, Short Hills, NJ 07078. A full symphonic orchestra composed of local professional and amateur musicians performs three concerts in the fall, winter and spring.
Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, 21 Normandy Heights Rd., Morristown, 973-335-9489. Friday concerts feature hand-made music from local and internationally known performers. Second Fri. of the month is an open stage/audition night.
Monmouth University Performing Arts
Pollak Theatre, 400 Cedar Ave., West Long Branch, 732-263-6889. Sept.-May season of contemporary concerts and special events, The Met Live, Bolshoi Ballet Live and live theater in HD, visiting writers, film, theater, dance and children's events in an intimate 700-seat theater. In summer, outdoor theater is presented on the Shadow Lawn Stage. For birthday party packages, 732-571-3473.
Montclair State University
Alexander Kasser Theater, Montclair State University,
One Normal Ave., Montclair, 973-655-5112, box office; 973-655-3059, info. School of the Arts theater, music and dance performances and professional arts events are presented through Peak Performances.
See listing under Bickford Theatre.
Morrow Memorial Methodist Church, 600 Ridgewood Rd., Maplewood; Temple Emanu-El, 756 E. Broad St., Westfield, 973-762-0108. Five-concert chamber music series Sundays at 2:30pm in Maplewood and 7:30pm in Westfield. Subscriptions; single tickets; students ages 10-21 no charge.
Music at the Mission
West Milford Presbyterian Church, 1452 Union Valley Rd., West Milford, 800-613-1455, 973-728-4201. Non-profit, volunteer organization presents live music in a 160-seat coffeehouse atmosphere. Open mic is usually held on the first Sat. of the month.
Music at Morristown
United Methodist Church, 50 Park Place (on the Green), Morristown, 973-538-2132. Thirty-minute Music at Noon concerts are held on Thursdays in Dec. and Jan. December concerts are free; Jan. concerts have suggested donation. Abendmusik evening concert series runs Feb.-April. Advance ticket purchase discounts; students are free with ID.
Music in the Somerset Hills
973-339-7719. Seasoned professionals along with amateur musicians present classical concert series Oct.-May at venues throughout Somerset County. Opportunities for community musicians to participate include a Community Concert Band, open to ages 14 and older, Somerset Hills Community Chorus, and summer vocal, instrumental and theater camps for grades 2-12.
Music on Main Street
United Methodist Church of Woodbridge, 69 Main St., Woodbridge, 732596-4048. Top contemporary acoustic artists perform in an intimate 250-seat church sanctuary and other locations Sept.-May. See Arts in the Parks for free outdoor summer concert series. Check website for new shows.
New Jersey Ballet Company
973-597-9600. Oct.-May season features full-length performances throughout the state, beloved children's ballets with original "storyteller" narration and annual Nutcracker performances. Adult, sr., student tickets. Call box office of venue for individual tickets.
New Jersey Festival Orchestra
224 E. Broad St., Suite 6, Westfield, 908-232-9400. Oct.-May season includes performances at The Presbyterian Church in Westfield and at other venues throughout the state. Student discounts; Music Caravan school outreach program.
New Jersey Intergenerational Orchestra
570 Central Ave., New Providence, 908-603-7691, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Recognized nationally for its "intergenerational excellence," NJIO brings together all ages and abilities in its three ensembles. No auditions. Students and seniors play together alongside professional mentors, learning and sharing the experience of musical performances.
New Jersey Jazz Society
Sponsors classic jazz concerts, film series, jazz socials, college jazz performances, jazz festivals and co-sponsors Jazz at the Bickford Theatre at the Morris Museum and Jazz for Shore in Ocean County. Membership, open to youth and adults, includes subscription to Jersey Jazz Journal, invitation to musical events and CD discounts.
New Jersey Performing Arts Center
One Center St., Newark, 1-888-GO NJPAC. 2,750-seat Prudential Hall and 500-seat Victoria Theater in Newark. Classical music, international dance, world music & jazz, contemporary concerts, theater and family series. Subscriptions; individual tickets; $10 student rush tickets offered at the box office one hour before curtain time. Subject to availability, valid ID required, limit two per student. Also see Theater and Film/Speakers listings.
2015-2016 Family Series–Music & Dance Events
Most performances in Victoria Theater.
Bob Marley's Three Little Birds.
Selected 2015-2016 Family Events
The Hip Hop Nutcracker.
The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe, dance.
Disney Fantasia: Live in Concert, Czech National Symphony Orchestra.
New Jersey Symphony Orchestra
60 Park Place, 9th floor (admin. office), Newark, 1.800.ALLEGRO (255.3476). Performances at New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Newark; State Theatre, New Brunswick; Richardson Auditorium, Princeton; War Memorial, Trenton; bergenPAC, Englewood; Count Basie Theatre, Red Bank, and Mayo Performing Arts Center, Morristown. Subscriptions; flex passes; individual tickets; student discounts. $10 student rush tickets available at the door one hour prior to most concerts. $25 Class Pass gives students unlimited tickets all season. Program notes for classical concerts are available online before concerts.
2015-2016 Family Concert Series
Performances at 2 pm, NJPAC, Newark. The young and young-at-heart discover the orchestra through engaging concerts and pre-concert adventures. One hour before each concert, learn more about the music, participate in fun activities, play games and meet musicians. Three-concert series for kids is $24; individual tickets on sale in Aug.
Classical Favorites in the Forecast.
Star Power, hear Star Wars and the very best from Beethoven, Mozart & Tchaikovsky.
Athletes of the Orchestra, meet all the teams of the Orchestra.
2015-2016 NJSO Pops & Other Selected Family Events
Opening Weekend: Branford Marsalis Joins the NJSO.
Cirque de La Symphonie with the NJSO.
Home Alone: The Movie, with John Williams' score performed live by NJSO.
Winter Festival: A Midsummer Night's Dream, with Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey & Women of the Montclair State University Chorale.
Bond & Beyond, the music of Bond films.
New Jersey Youth Symphony
570 Central Ave., Murray Hill, 908-771-5544. Three orchestral groups, jazz orchestra, string, percussion, wind and flute ensembles for youth in grades 3-12 present orchestra and chamber music concerts from Sept-May. Auditions are held annually in May/June for the following year. Summer camp.
Opera at Florham
Lenfell Hall, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Madison, 973-443-8620. A professional company in residence at Fairleigh Dickinson University, Opera at Florham presents cabaret, recitals, operatic performances and an annual vocal competition. Student ticket discounts.
Opera Theatre of Montclair
973-202-7849. Community opera company presents full-length, fully-staged and costumed opera with multi-generational orchestra in and around Montclair.
Outpost in the Burbs
40 South Fullerton Ave., Montclair, 973-744-6560. Non-profit organization, dedicated to building community through music, community service and cultural programs, presents affordable, quality acoustic entertainment Sept.-June at the First Congregational Church of Montclair, the Unitarian Church of Montclair, 67 Church St., or the Montclair High School auditorium, 100 Chestnut St. Advance tickets by mail or through Ticketweb, 866-468-7619. Check website for schedule.
Plainfield Symphony Orchestra
PO Box 5093, Plainfield, NJ 07061, 908-561-5640. New Jersey's oldest community symphony presents concerts Sept.-March at Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church, E. 7th St. and Watchung Ave., Plainfield. Subscriptions; student rates; children 12 and under are free.
Princeton Folk Music Society
Concerts at Christ Congregation Church, 50 Walnut Lane, Princeton, 609-799-0944. Monthly concerts on the third Fri. feature music by new singer-songwriters and well-known folk musicians in an intimate, friendly setting.
Princeton Pro Musica
PO Box 1313, Princeton, NJ 08542, 609-683-5122. Chorus, chamber chorus and orchestra presents choral masterworks and other works at central New Jersey locations during Oct.-May season.
Raritan Valley Community College
Edward Nash Theatre, Rt. 28 & Lamington Rd. (Rt. 78 exit 26 or Rt. 22W), North Branch, 908-725-3420. Oct.-May season includes Major Artists Series, Tuesdays with Stories Series, Club 28 cabaret series, Sampler Series for younger children, Family Series for children ages 8 and older and their families, Tiny Tots Series and school-time performances. Student and series discounts.
The Rosen Performing Arts Center at the Wayne YMCA
1 Pike Dr., Wayne, 973-595-0100. 408-seat theater offers theater productions for youth, teens and adults, dance programs, concerts and special events. Rentals available. See listings under Theater for additional events.
Presbyterian Church of Chatham Twp., 240 Southern Blvd., Chatham, 973-376-4946. Acoustic music year round features concerts by well-loved national, regional and local artists. 8pm. Tickets from $25; series discount. Check website for added shows.
Southside Johnny & the Poor Fools.
Jimmy Webb: The Glen Campbell Years.
Shanghai Jazz Restaurant & Bar
24 Main St., Madison, 973-822-2899.
New Jersey Jazz Society Sunday Jazz Socials, 3-5:30pm monthly.
Live Jazz, 6 nights a week, Tues.-Sun.
Shea Center for Performing Arts–WPLive
William Paterson University, 300 Pompton Rd., Wayne, 973-720-2371. Arts hotline: 973-720-ARTS. Jazz series, professional touring artists, family and schooltime shows, university theater and music performances and lecture series presented Sept.-May. Also sponsors annual NJ playwrights contest. See Theater for additional events.
Summer Jazz Room Series.
South Orange Performing Arts Center
One SOPAC Way, South Orange, 973-313-2787. Intimate 415-seat theater presents performances year round by major artists in theater, dance, comedy, music, family events, films, school time performances and performances by the Seton Hall University Arts Council. Series include Juilliard @ SOPAC, Jazz in the Loft and Blues in the Loft. See Theater for additional events.
SOxSO: Creative Collisions, A Festival of Arts, Ideas, Music & Exploration, events at SOPAC, local restaurants, merchants and in public spaces.
South Orange Symphony Orchestra
Performances at South Orange Middle School, 70 N. Ridgewood Ave., South Orange, 973-376-6349. Not-for-profit community orchestra, founded in 1949, presents three to four free classical concerts per year to the local community.
Shows at Ukrainian American Cultural Center, 60 North Jefferson Rd., Whippany, email@example.com. Blues and American roots music, some rock, folk and country. Ages 13-17 $5, 12 and under free.
45 Main St., Stanhope, 973-347-7777. A Sussex County landmark since c. 1794, the Stanhope House has hosted a long list of legendary blues-rock performers. All ages admitted for most concerts. Food and beverage minimums may apply for guests under 21.
15 Livingston Ave., New Brunswick, 732-246-7469. Full schedule of live music, Broadway, dance, opera, symphony and variety events plus a children's series and HD broadcasts. Student matinees (open to students and general public), artist-in residence program and professional development workshops for teachers. For education programs, call 732-247-7200, ext. 534 or visit www.statetheatrenj.org/education. Students Meet the Arts offers discount tickets for students of all ages to attend select classical music and dance programs. Also see Theater and Speaker & Film Series listings.
Selected Children & Family Events
American Repertory Ballet's Nutcracker.
Community orchestra presents three afternoon concerts at Summit High or Middle School in Summit. No admission; sponsored by Summit Board of Recreation, local businesses, and Friends of the Symphony. Annual Young Artist Competition is open to all New Jersey high school students.
Swingin’ Tern Contra & Square Dancing
First Presbyterian Church, Parish Hall, 14 Hanover Rd., East Hanover, 973-295-6864. Dances, held at 8pm on the first and third Saturdays, feature a caller and live band. Beginners workshop at 7:30pm. Best for teens and up, no partner necessary.
Trumpets Jazz Club & Restaurant
6 Depot Square, Montclair, 973-744-2600. Live jazz Wed.-Sun. evenings and for Sunday Jazz Brunch.
Underground Concert Series
Hotline: 973-762-011. Eclectic world and folk music is brought to different venues in Maplewood.
Union County Performing Arts Center
Main Stage: 1601 Irving St., Rahway, 732-499-8226; Hamilton Stage: 360 Hamilton St., Rahway. Contemporary and classical music, dance, theater, films, family and sensory-friendly events are presented in two venues—one, an elegant, restored 1334-seat 1928 vaudeville and silent movie theater, and the second, the 199-seat Hamilton Stage. Intimate concerts and readings are held upstairs in the Loft at UCPAC.
Watchung Arts Center
18 Stirling Rd., Watchung Circle, Watchung, 908-753-0190. Non-profit, volunteer-run center offers new art exhibitions each month, performances in music, comedy, adult and family improv, classes in drawing, photography, yoga and summer art camp.
WBGO Kids Jazz Concert Series
88.3FM. 54 Park Place, Newark, 973-643-4763; email firstname.lastname@example.org. Member-supported radio presents a free children's jazz series in the fall and spring at venues throughout New Jersey. Check website for dates and locations.