Theater & art

Critic’s picks: family entertainment

Kids can be part of art history by stepping inside historic artworks in “Framed” at the Boston Children’s Museum.
Minnesota Children’s Museum
Kids can be part of art history by stepping inside historic artworks in “Framed” at the Boston Children’s Museum.

TRAD KIDS In Shannon Heaton’s interactive folk musical, a book-loving mouse throws a party for his critter friends that turns into an exercise in creative participation. It’s aimed at children 3 and older, but toddlers will enjoy it too. Sept. 15 and 22, 10:30 a.m. Club Passim, Cambridge. 617-492-7679,

STORY PIRATES In Pittsfield, the theater troupe collects stories from kids, no matter how wacky, and turns them into a sketch comedy musical before their eyes. Sept. 15, 2 p.m. Tickets: $15. Colonial Theatre, Pittsfield. 413-997-4444, www.

A Pittsfield theater troupe collects kids’ stories and turns them into a sketch comedy musical in “Story Pirates.”

PARTICIPATE Celebrate exhibits indoors and out at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum as the Okay Mountain artist collective unveils a new work and the “Love Podium,” a sculpture by Dan Peterman, hosts its first reading. Art activities for all ages. Sept. 15. Adults $14, 12 and under free. DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln. 781-259-8355,


BLUE DISCOVERIES FAMILY DAYS Art, science, and storytelling as well as favorite marine residents give families at the New England Aquarium

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a chance to learn more about sharks (Sept. 15), seals
(Oct. 14), and sea turtles
(Nov. 17). Free with regular
admission, which is $22.95 for adults, $15.95 for kids 3-11, free under 3. New England Aquarium, Boston. 617-973-5200,

FARM DAY AT FRANKLIN PARK ZOO Rare Poitou donkeys, sheep, goats, and Guinea hogs are among the farm animals on view with zookeeper events, crafts with the Puppet Showplace Theatre, and more.
Sept. 15. Admission $17, $12 for ages 2-12, under 2 free. Franklin Park Zoo, Boston. 617-541-5466, www.zoonew

LIFE IS GOOD FESTIVAL This music fest organized by the clothing company benefits the Life is good Playmakers charity for kids in need. Dave Matthews headlines, kids’ performers include the Fresh Beat Band and Dan Zanes & Friends, and there are tons of family activities. Sept. 22-23. Tickets are $20 for kids and go to $120 for an adult two-day pass. Prowse Farm, Canton. 877-435-9849,

Gloucester celebrates the Rudyard Kipling novel and the city’s maritime heritage with a day of events including gallery talks, readings, performances, and schooner sails, as well as an evening movie screening. Many events are free. Sept. 22. Gloucester.
978-281-8079, www.captains


FRAMED: STEP INTO ART This traveling exhibit at the Boston Children’s Museum allows visitors to step inside the frame of famous paintings and learn about the artists and their work, including Grant Wood and John Singer Sargent.
Sept. 25-Jan. 2. Free with museum admission ($14 for all over the age of 1). Boston Children’s Museum, Boston. 617-426-6500,

MARY POPPINS A touring Disney musical about the magical British nanny and her young charges. Sept. 25-30. Tickets: $35-$93. Hanover Theatre, Worcester. 877-571-7469,

LES 7 DOIGTS DE LA MAIN ArtsEmerson presents the artful circus troupe’s newest performance, “Sequence 8,” featuring trapeze, acrobatics, juggling and more. Sept. 27-Oct. 7. Tickets: $25-$79. Cutler Majestic Theatre, Boston. 617-824-8400,

TOPSFIELD FAIR Beekeeping, the demolition derby, the giant pumpkin contest, and free grandstand performances by everyone from Frankie Avalon to teen idol Austin Mahone. Sept. 28-Oct. 8. Tickets: $11-$15, kids under 8 free. Topsfield Fairgrounds, Topsfield. 978-887-5000,

ANNE OF GREEN GABLES The musical tale of the plucky orphan adapting to a new life on Prince Edward Island, with a bit of a spin: Adults play the children’s roles.
Oct. 19-Nov. 18. Tickets: $20-$30. Wheelock Family Theatre, Boston. 617-879-2300, www.wheelockfamily


LEGEND OF ZELDA: SYMPHONY OF THE GODDESSES The popular video game series comes to life on the big screen, with original music from 25 years of the franchise performed by the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra and concert choir. Oct. 18. Tickets: $34.75 - $107.25. Citi Wang Theatre, Boston. 866-348-9738,

PETER AND THE WOLF Prokofiev’s classic tale performed by the Boston Youth Symphony conducted by Federico Cortese, with narrator Bill Barclay. Nov. 10. Up to four kids under 18 per family get free tickets, otherwise $20. Symphony Hall. 888-266-1200,

A Kidspace at the Clark exhibit riffing on a Peter Paul Rubens painting to explore both the content and background of the work through hands-on activities. Nov. 17-March 31. Adults $15, kids under 18 free. Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown. 413-458-2303, www

Joel Brown

Joel Brown can be reached at