Although zoos and playgrounds prove to be one of the most popular variants of children entertainment, sometimes kids are bored even of these interesting activities. Moreover, some kids adore witnessing shows alive, be it a circus performance or plays on the stage. That’s why Destinations gathered top-5 best children’s theatres in Kiev to spend time with family.
Kiev Academic Puppet Theatre
The puppet theatre in Ukraine was founded way back in 1927, and throughout its history moved to various premises, from Karaite Kenesa on Yaroslaviv Val to National Philharmonic of Ukraine. Finally, in 2005 it settled on Hrushevskoho street, where the building often catches the attention of those who wander in Mariinsky Park. It’s not surprising, given that the children’s theatre looks like a castle straight out of the fairytales, decorated with towers and clocks that announce time with melodies.
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The place itself is a nice relaxation place after a walk with kids in Kiev: the Theatre’s area is equipped with benches, sculptures of the fairytale heroes and a beautiful fountain. A proud member of UNIMA — International Puppetry Association, Kiev Academic Puppet Theatre has more 40 Ukrainian and foreign plays for children of all ages in their repertoire. For instance, Beauty and the Beast, The Ugly Duckling, Town Musicians of Bremen, as well as a tale of the popular Ukrainian fairytale hero Kotyhoroshko.
Address: 1A, Mykhaila Hrushevskoho Street
Another children’s theatre in Kiev that might interest the youngest audience, Marionette Theatre has been performing for almost 30 years in Ukraine’s capital. Throughout its history, the theatre’s works have been critically acclaimed and received the highest theatre award in Ukraine, Golden Pectoral, for the best performance for children, as well as for the best artistic and musical design.
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Performances at Kiev Marionette Theatre are based on the plays of Ukrainian and world classics. To name but a few titles from the repertoire, the popular European fairytale Little Red Riding Hood and Kotylas' Torba, based on various Ukrainian fairytales, are among the most popular performances for kids starting from 5 years old. Besides, the Marionette Theatre introduces Kiev children to the world of classical music through their performance ‘Who will wake up the Sun?’ set to the musical pieces by Antonio Vivaldi.
Address: 1A, Mykhaila Hrushevskoho Street
Kiev Academic Young Spectators’ Theatre on Lipki
The oldest children's theatre in Ukraine was founded in 1924 in Kiev and right from the beginning worked with the most renowned artists and theatrical personalities of the time, including even legends like Konstantin Stanislavski, who took part in the performance based on the play “The Blue Bird” by Maurice Maeterlinck. In 1954 the theatre moved to the premises located in the historical district in Kiev, Lipki, that despite being not as well-known as Podil hides many gems and is one of the best places to go for long walks with children in Kiev due to the abundance of nature. The theatre has been a nominee for Ukrainian and international theatrical awards, and up to date continues to experiment to find the best way to reach the audience’s hearts. The repertoire is suitable for the youngest of children, youth, and the older generation. Here kids will have a chance to see adventures of Tom Sawyer, Pollyanna, Pippi Longstocking, and Thumbelina. A Christmas Carol based on the same-named book by Charles Dickens is especially popular with kids at the Kiev theatre before Christmas and New Year.
Address: 15/17, Lypska Street
Kiev Municipal Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre for Children and Youth
A youngster among the Kiev theatres, yet an incredibly popular place is the Kiev Opera and Ballet Theatre for Children and Youth, located in mere 5 minutes from the Kontraktova Ploshcha metro station in the Podil historical district. The round building hosts a large theatre hall for 450 people, which is often filled to the brim. The peculiarity of the repertoire at this Kiev theatre is that performances are family-oriented, meaning that both older members of the family and the youngest kids will enjoy the show on the stage.
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The choice is quite broad — each month the stage hosts from 20 to 25 various performances. Ballets like Thumbelina and The Sleeping Beauty are incredibly popular among the audience and are always sold out. Youth may enjoy Giselle, a romantic French ballet about love and death, based on Heinrich Heine's De l'Allemagne. As they say, dance is a universal language, so visiting the theatre easily answers the question “Where to Entertain Multilingual Kids in Kiev”.
Address: 2, Mezhyhirska Street
National Opera of Ukraine
Last but not certainly not least, National Opera of Ukraine located in the downtown is one of the most popular places to go with children on weekend in Kiev. The building that catches the eye of tourists and passersby even today was erected in 1867. The ongoing success of the local troupe was mainly attributed to the great talent of Mykola Lysenko, whose efforts and fame aren’t forgotten — the composer’s statue stands proudly on the right side of the opera’s building. The modern history of the Kiev Opera is acknowledged by UNESCO: ballet Romeo and Juliet directed by Anatolyi Shykera was named the best interpretation of Prokofiev's ballet.
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Apart from numerous ballets and operas for adults, the repertoire at Kiev Opera House is filled with ballets for children of all ages: for instance, the well-known classics like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Buratino (who is essentially a long-lost brother of Pinocchio), and Cinderella. Each winter, tickets for The Nutcracker ballet are sold-out in mere days, as the play is incredibly popular with many local kids and their parents.
Address: 50, Volodymyrska Street
Luckily, Kiev as the capital has hundreds of spots to entertain children, and children’s theatres are merely one of many that continue to appear each month. Enjoy!