Back in the day, all you needed to make some high- quality puppets was a tube sock, some buttons and a marker, maybe use yarn hair to make your sock puppet fancy. But let’s face it, your kids can’t sit still for more than five minutes, forget the craft making! But they will be captivated by the colourful characters, stories and adaptations of fairy tales by New York City’s best puppet troupes. From the famous Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre at Central Park to Symphony Space, here’s the list of New York City’s Top 7 Puppet Theatres your kids should experience at least once!
- Wonder Spark Puppets – Various locations, NYC A puppet theatre founded by an adorable couple in 2009 brings the funny for free at venues such as the YMCA, Bed, Bath and Beyond, libraries and parks across the city. Kids of all ages interact with the shows with plenty of songs and indulge in the magical world through fables such as The Little Red Hen. Most of their events are free but they also conduct birthday parties and holiday events!
- Penny Jones & Co. Puppets – West Village This celebrated 70’s theatre is not as well known as some of the others on our list but is the best in the business for narrating classic tales and are always conducting original shows involving great interaction with the audience.
- Puppetworks – Park Slope, Brooklyn This beautiful theatre situated in the heart of the city at Park Slope, with their beautiful handmade wooden marionettes performing classic fairy tales is one of the best in the city. The setting of the stage and the seating of the audience is intimate, making the whole experience surreal.
- Puppetsburg: An Interactive Puppet Show for Babies – Various locations, NYC This special production is specially created for infants and toddlers involving experiences in songs and dancing in the midst of bubbles. They offer drop ins in Brooklyn and Manhattan and other parts of the city occasionally. You can book them via email or facebook for your private events!
5.Shadow Box Theatre – Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn As the only shadow puppet theatre in New York City, Shadow Box holds cultural significance as the production has entertained the children of the city since the 60’s. They regularly perform at Brooklyn school but also perform sets at other city events.
- Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre – Upper West Side This Central Park site has been in performace since 1973 and has made the park its home. The shows are usually fairy tale adaptations with modern twists and elements engulfing the attention of their little audience members. It is said to be one of the New York’s finest attractions to toursists all around the world. This public show is free of cost and a destination for a perfect sunday evening!
- Teatro SEA Los Kabayitos Puppet & Children’s Theater – Lower East Side New York’s only Latino children’s theatre company is a sight for all in its revamped 110 seat space thatre downtown. The shows are performed primarily in Spanish and English but even if your knowledge of one of the languages is low, the shows are pretty easy to follow! The shows has a hispanic touch with the involvment of human performers along with the puppets! It’s a very holistic experience in the end.