“Beauty and the Beast” (credit: Jacques Demarthon/AFP/Getty Images)

There’s no need for a babysitter when the kids are coming along to enjoy the show. A live onstage performance is always exciting and a fabulous way to introduce young people to theater and cultivate it in those who have enjoyed it previously. We’ve updated our list of children’s Bay Area favorites to highlight those with upcoming performances in the city, including some classics and road shows for top Broadway hits.

“Beauty and the Beast”
Young Performers Theatre
Fort Mason Center, Bldg C
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 346-5550
Date: Oct. 17 – Nov. 2, 2014

A re-telling of the classic love story that’s as entertaining as it is eternal. Kids will see kids performing as Belle and the Beast transformed into a handsome prince. Some 23 years after the release of the animated film and 20 years after the curtain lifted on the Broadway stage version of this Walt Disney story, audiences still adore the “tale as old as time” sung by a teapot.

“James and the Giant Peach”
Young Performers Theatre
Fort Mason Center, Bldg C
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 346-5550
Date: Sept. 12-28, 2014

An absolutely mesmerizing storyteller, Roald Dahl brings the funny tale of a magical peach to life through the uncanny adventures of James and his insect friends. Founded in 1982 by theater educator Mathilda Kunin as a tribute to her late son Anthony, the non-profit YPT is live performance theater for kids and by kids. Over 20,000 tickets have been donated over the past eight years to 30 Bay Area children’s organizations, bringing the performance experience to those who may not otherwise have access.

“Motown – The Musical”
Orpheum Theatre
1192 Market St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 551-2000
Date: Aug.15 – Sept. 28, 2014

Berry Gordy’s name isn’t nearly as well known as the names of the fabulous talent he discovered in Detroit as the founder of the Motown record label. Suggested as suitable for audiences of all ages, it’s the true story of the Motown promoter who launched the careers of Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight and more legendary artists. Get ready for a blast from the past while revisiting some of America’s greatest — and timeless — hits.

Golden Gate Theatre
1 Taylor St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 551-2050
Date: Sept. 23 – Oct. 19, 2014

The 1970s hit Broadway revival is a trip to the theater and a ticket to the circus in one, suggests Associated Press, calling the show “Thrilling!” Recommended for children ages eight and above, it’s a vaudeville extravaganza with a rock musical score. After scooping up four Tony Awards in 2013, the musical is taking its dazzle on a USA tour.

San Francisco Ballet
War Memorial Opera House
301 Van Ness Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 865-2000
Date: Dec. 12-29, 2014

The magic of Tchaikovsky as interpreted by San Francisco Ballet tradition, beloved by kids of all ages since 1944, continues. The ballet suggests ages five and up for the live production. Tickets go on sale to the general public on August 27, 2014. This year, “Nutcracker Under the Dome” is presented as a free, six-minute surround theater animated 3D light spectacular at Westfield San Francisco Centre each evening.

Laurie Jo Miller Farr loves walkable cities. A tourism industry professional and transplanted New Yorker by way of half-a-lifetime in London, she’s writing about the best of the bay and beyond for Yahoo, USA Today, eHow, and on Examiner.com.