It’s all about the kids

Dinosaur Train Live

With the craziness of the Christmas shopping season now over with, it’s time to start planning and finding things for the kids to do in 2015 and there are plenty of options in Southeast Texas.

The annual Kid Series at the Lutcher Theater in Orange is a hidden gem and the series has five events remaining beginning with Jim Henson’s Dinosaur Train Live — Buddy’s Big Adventure on Thursday, Jan. 15 (9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m.).

Dinosaur Train Live embraces and celebrates the fascination that preschoolers have with both dinosaurs and trains. The series encourages basic scientific thinking skills as the audience learns about life science, natural history and paleontology.

Jim Henson’s Dinosaur Train Live — Buddy’s Big Adventure will bring the beloved stars of the hit PBS series to your hometown for the first time. From giant King to teeny Tiny, all of the friends will be brought to life in an exciting, original, musical story created just for the stage where our audience is always a part of the action. Utilizing lush projected backgrounds and vistas, magical special effects that fill the theatre, a full sized replica of the Dinosaur Train, unique hybrid puppeteered costume characters and an engaging live host, the dinosaur pals and their adventures will truly seem larger than life.

The second event is The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley with two showings on Friday, Jan. 23, at 9:30 and 11:30 a.m.

Stanley Lambchop is just like everyone else — and that’s the problem. He wants to travel the world, do something amazing, something no one’s ever seen before. One night, the bulletin board on the wall above Stanley’s bed comes loose and falls right on top of Stanley and the next morning, he wakes up flat. Not just a little flat ... really, really flat.

In a whirlwind musical travelogue, Stanley, who becomes the ultimate exchange student, explores the globe and learns that heroes come in all shapes and sizes.

Directed by Broadway veteran Michael Serrechia, this production celebrates the book’s 50th anniversary, bringing Flat Stanley to life as a charming musical with a delightful score.

Wednesday, March 25 (9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m.), it’s The Gruffalo Child. The Gruffalo said that no Gruffalo should ever set foot in the deep dark woods. But one wild and windy night the Gruffalo’s Child ignores her father’s warning and tiptoes out into the snow. After all, the Big Bad Mouse doesn’t really exist, or does he? 

The Gruffalo’s Child is a musical adaptation of the picture book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. It is the sequel to The Gruffalo, which is the picture book that won the Smarties Book Prize Gold Award and the Blue Peter Award for Best Book to Read Aloud. The Gruffalo has been the best-selling children’s book in the UK for five years running.

John Tartaglia’s ImaginOcean is Thursday, April 2 (9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m.), and is a one-of-a-kind live black-light puppet show. Tank, Bubbles and Dorsel are three best friends who just happen to be fish, and they’re about to set out on a remarkable journey of discovery. And it all starts with a treasure map. As they swim off in search of clues, they’ll sing, they’ll dance, and they’ll make new friends, including everyone in the audience. Ultimately they discover the greatest treasure of all — friendship.

Doktor Kaboom! is the final installment of the Lutcher Kid Series and will take place Friday, April 10 (9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m.). This is an interactive one-man science variety show creatively blending theatre arts with the wonders of scientific exploration that keeps crowds riveted with interest and rolling with laughter.

Ticket information for the Kid Series can be obtained by calling (409) 886-5535.

The Lutcher also welcomes America’s most beloved animal expert Jack Hanna on Friday, Feb. 27, at 7 p.m. Hanna brings his two-time Emmy Award winning television series to the live stage with Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild Live. Jungle Jack will introduce you to some of the world’s most spectacular animals and share humorous stories and exclusive footage from his worldwide adventures. From the jungles of Rwanda to the savannas of Australia, Jack has explored the corners of the globe as one of the most visible and respected animal ambassadors.

Tickets range from $37-$20 and can be purchased at the Lutcher box office at 707 Main Ave in Orange.

Ford Arena in Beaumont will host Sesame Street Live “Let’s Dance” on Friday, Feb. 27 (10:30 a.m., 6:30 p.m.), Saturday, Feb. 28 (1 p.m., 5 p.m.) and Sunday, March 1, at 2 p.m.

Elmo’s got the moves. Have you got the moves? Get up and get moving with Elmo, Abby Cadabby and everyone’s favorite Sesame Street friends.

Hosted by two live performers, Sesame Street Live “Let’s Dance” offers an up-close, interactive experience like you’ve never experienced before. You, the audience, are invited to dance as all of your favorite Sesame Street friends join you on the floor. In addition to ongoing dance parties, Elmo uses his imagination to “Do the Robot,” Cookie Monster teaches all ‘feets’ to dance, and Ernie shares the fun of dance with the Sesame Street favorite “Shake Your Head One Time.”

Tickets are on sale now for $21-$15 and a limited number of $31 Gold Circle seats and $59 Sunny Seats are available at the Ford Park box office and Ticketmaster outlets. The Sunny Seats package features premium show seating and a pre-show meet and greet with two Sesame Street Live friends, including Elmo.

Those wanting to take a trip to Houston can venture to Marvel Universe Live running Saturday, Feb. 7, through Sunday, Feb. 15, at NRG Stadium, the home of the NFL’s Houston Texans.

Marvel Universe Live takes live entertainment experience to a whole new level, with mind-blowing shows unlike anything you’ve seen before. Watch your favorite Marvel superheroes including Spider-Man, The Avengers, Iron Man, Hulk and more, and threatening villains come to life. You will definitely feel the energy with cutting-edge special effects, pyrotechnics, aerial stunts, martial arts, motorcycles and more. It’s being hailed as the most technically advanced live show ever. Join Marvel fans of all ages for this once-in-a-lifetime, monumental performance.

Tickets start at $20 and can be purchased through Ticketmaster. For show times and directions, view nrgpark.com.

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