Mr. Popper’s Penguins

Seattle Children’s Theatre‘s holiday production is Mr. Popper’s Penguins. After a successful run on 42nd Street in New York City, it’s debuting at SCT. The show is recommended for kids ages four and up. It features penguin puppets, vivid storytelling, actors playing multiple characters, lively songs, and so much more!

Mr. Popper's Penguins at Seattle Children's Theatre
The set and props had a great vintage vibe.

Mr. Popper’s Penguins is based on the classic children’s book written by Richard and Florence Atwater. The book was originally published in 1938. It tells the story of a poor house painter who dreams of exploring Antarctica. After writing a fan letter to a famed explorer, he receives a package that changes his life forever. You can purchase Mr. Popper’s Penguins through my affiliate link or at the show.

Mr. Popper's Penguins event program at Seattle Children's Theatre
The cast of Mr. Popper’s Penguins was fantastic!

I thought this presentation was lovely! The vintage-inspired costumes and props really set the stage. Their actors did a fabulous job with their old-timey English accents. Therefore, the whole production made me feel like a was watching a British WWII era film in the coolest possible way!

At the end of the show, the cast led the audience in a fun dance number. It was energetic and I heard squeals of laughter from all the kids around us. My son insisted I get up and dance with him and it was a fabulous way to cap off a great show!

What My Preschooler Thought

My son was very excited to see this show. We had gone to The Snowy Day last year and he talked about it for weeks after. This was the first time he’d been to an evening performance right at bed time. I wasn’t sure how he’d do, but he was mesmerized from the first song! He kept leaning forward and intently watching all the actors. As soon as the song finished, his whole face lit up and he clapped like crazy!

My preschooler loved Mr. Popper's Penguins
My preschooler was even excited to peruse the program.

When the box arrived at Mr. Popper’s house, he kept saying, “I don’t know what’s inside! He should OPEN it!” And when they opened it, he kept saying, “Mommy, it was a PENGUIN!” And then it started moving around the house and it blew my preschooler’s mind. But when the penguin ended up in the refrigerator, my son thought that was the funniest thing on Earth!

He had a few questions during the show about how the penguin puppets worked. So did the kids around us. My son got a kick out of the other kids laughing and responding to the show.

The only part he didn’t like was when the producer walks into his office, sees Mr. and Mrs. Popper and their penguins and asks what they are doing in his office. Apparently, my preschooler found this really rude and kept saying he had bad manners. We spent a lot of time talking about what he could have said instead to sound nicer. But that was literally the one thing he didn’t love out of the entire show.

Mr. Popper's Penguins at SCT in Seattle
Do you see my son wearing his penguin sweater for Mr. Popper’s Penguins?

He went nuts for the part near the end of the show when confetti snows down on some of the audience! It surprised us! In retrospect, I did hear the fans warming up before the confetti, so you can warn kids who don’t like surprises. Note: Sit up front if you’d like it to confetti on you, or sit in the middle/back of the theatre to just watch.

But, he absolute favorite part was watching the penguins on the boat at the end of the show! He couldn’t figure out how they could get on a boat. The whole concept seemed hilarious to him. All weekend, he kept telling me about those funny penguins who got on the boat.

Stop By The Gift Shop

Gift shop at Seattle Children's Theatre
The selection of penguin-related gift items was fabulous!

My husband is famous for saying, “I haven’t met a gift shop I didn’t like.” My preschooler seems to have inherited this. But, I will say that the gift shop at Seattle Children’s Theatre is pretty cool. I mean, they have a puppet theatre where they encourage kids to “try out” their puppets and create a show!

Seattle Children's Theatre gift shop
My son liked saying hello to all the stuffed penguins.

And they have a lot of quality items. I always get a bit giddy for gift shop items that correspond to museum exhibits/events. The selection of Mr. Popper’s Penguins items did not disappoint. Finally, the best part is that you are supporting a non-profit.

Winterfest

Seattle Center's Winterfest event
Seattle Center’s Winterfest is a great addition to a day at Seattle Children’s Theatre.

For the ultimate Seattle family adventure, explore Seattle Center’s Winterfest before or after Mr. Popper’s Penguins. It starts November 24 and festivities include a model Winter Train & Village, Winterfest Ice Rink, ice sculpting, student performances, and more! You could even add in a ride on Seattle’s Monorail.

Mr. Popper's Penguins at Seattle Children's Theatre

Seattle Children’s Theatre sent me press tickets for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

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58 Comments

    • marciecheung Reply

      Yes, it was a great way to kick off our holiday season!

    • marciecheung Reply

      It’s such a silly story and it really came to life on stage!

  1. I have read the book, but have never watched a production of the book…I bet it was outstanding, wish I could have seen it!

    • marciecheung Reply

      It was simply magical and engaged my son the whole time!

    • marciecheung Reply

      YES! He would probably give it his stamp of approval!

    • marciecheung Reply

      It’s such a fun show and the penguin puppets are adorable!

  2. Claudia Krusch Reply

    Mr. Popper’s Penguins is a fantastic holiday production. I would love to go see it in person. It is a great cause to support.

    • marciecheung Reply

      Yes, Seattle Children’s Theatre has made an impact on so many local kids!

    • marciecheung Reply

      We’re going to check out the movie to see what they do differently!

  3. gooooaaals, i wish i could just have my child right now and take him through this experience!

  4. This is so cool!!! I would love to see a theatrical performance of this fabulous show. Thanks for sharing!

  5. This looks like such a cute show! My daughter is going to see Elf soon by us and she is so excited for that. We don’t have this playing anywhere.

    • marciecheung Reply

      My husband and I saw Elf a couple of years ago and it was AWESOME! I hope you have fun!

    • marciecheung Reply

      I think the arts are just so important! The sooner kids get exposed to the arts, the better!

    • marciecheung Reply

      It’s such a fun experience! I love that this show was just over an hour long, so it was perfect for my preschooler!

    • marciecheung Reply

      I didn’t remember the book and I only discovered the movie after we watched the show!

  6. I think it’s wonderful that there are more theater shows for kids. My sons had a hard time sitting through the Nutcracker so we tended to go just 2 or 3 years apart.

    • marciecheung Reply

      Yes! I’ve been thinking about taking my 4yo to see the Nutcracker, but I remember getting bored as a 3rd grader (and I was a dancer!) This show was just over an hour!

    • marciecheung Reply

      It’s such a special gift to expose children to the arts at an early age!

    • marciecheung Reply

      It was fantastic! Can’t wait to take my kids to more shows!

  7. Leigh Anne Borders Reply

    I wish that was playing near me., This is one of our favorite books. My kids would adore this.

    • marciecheung Reply

      It’s such a classic book! Hopefully one of your local theatres will bring it to life!

    • marciecheung Reply

      There’s something truly magical about live theatre!

  8. Aww this is so adorable! I know the kids would love it! We’re planning to do the Nutcracker this year.

    • marciecheung Reply

      Awesome! I’m waiting a bit longer to take my kids to the Nutcracker, but I’m so excited to do that one year!

  9. Awesome! Penguin are so cute and I would love to watch this show with my little brother. Thanks for sharing!

    • marciecheung Reply

      There were SO many penguin puppets/stuffed animals that it was quite entertaining!

  10. I would love to see this show.’it looks like it would be so animated. Love to bring my friend and her daughters to it.

    • marciecheung Reply

      It was quite lively and kept our attention the whole time!

  11. What a wonderful experience! I love taking my little one to the theater. We took her to her first show when she was two and we haven’t missed a Summer production by our local theater company since!

    • marciecheung Reply

      Yay! So glad you’re doing that! I’m hoping to take my kids to more summer productions from our local theatres!

  12. Blair villanueva Reply

    My heart is easily captured by penguis! Am sure I will love this play and even my sister.

    • marciecheung Reply

      There is so much holiday cheer packed into Downtown Seattle this year!

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