Central Ohio offers a wide range of family-friendly entertainment, especially with live performance. Read on for a rundown on our favorite options!

Central Ohio offers a wide range of family-friendly entertainment, especially with live performance. Read on for a rundown on our favorite options!

Abbey Theater of Dublin (5600 Post Road, Dublin 43017; 614-410-4550; dublinohiousa.gov/recreation-services/abbey-theater-of-dublin) Located inside the Dublin Community Recreation Center, the Abbey Theater provides professional and community performances throughout the year.

BalletMet Columbus (performs at a variety of venues in Columbus; 614-229-4860; balletmet.org) A professional ballet company with an affiliated dance academy. The Nutcracker ballet is a popular holiday tradition each year in December. Also presents 1-2 other "story" ballets like Cinderella or The Sleeping Beauty each year, which are very kid-friendly.

CAPA (manages bookings and ticket sales at a variety of venues in central Ohio; 614-469-0939 for tickets; capa.com) Originally known as the Columbus Association for the Performing Arts, CAPA is a nonprofit presenter of the professional performing arts at the Ohio, Palace, Southern, Riffe Center, McCoy Center and Lincoln theatres, as well as other venues. Their popular Broadway Series brings national touring productions of Broadway shows to Columbus.

CATCO Is Kids (performs in a variety of venues; 614-469-0939; catco.org) Formerly known as The Phoenix Theatre for Children, CATCO is Kids is now part of the Contemporary American Theater Company (CATCO) and produces children's theater shows throughout the year. Also manages the Columbus Performing Arts Center (549 Franklin Ave. (Discovery District), Columbus 43215) in partnership with Columbus Recreation and Parks.

Columbus Children's Theatre (performs primarily at the Park Street Theatre, 512 Park St. (Arena District), Columbus 43215; 614-224-6672; columbuschildrenstheatre.org) Begun in 1963 as the Columbus Junior Theatre of the Arts, this nonprofit organization continues to provide performing-arts education and productions for children and teens.

Columbus Symphony Orchestra (performs primarily in the Ohio Theatre, 39 E. State St. (Downtown), Columbus 43215; 614-228-8600; columbussymphony.org) First established in 1951, the CSO is Columbus's oldest professional orchestra. Each summer the CSO brings its popular Picnic with the Pops and Popcorn Pops concerts to the Bicentennial Pavilion on the Columbus Commons (160 S. High St. (Downtown), Columbus 43215). Also runs an excellent Youth Orchestra program and presents CSO Concerts for Kids in the Riffe Center's Capitol Theatre (77 S. High St. (Downtown), Columbus 43215).

Gateway Film Center (1550 N. High St. (OSU Campus), Columbus 43201; 614-247-4433; gatewayfilmcenter.com) Nonprofit filmhouse located just south of OSU's main campus. In addition to many first-run films, GFC also hosts the popular HOOT Family Film Series (the last Saturday of the month; donation of a canned good for charity gets you frree admission to kid-friendly short films, musical entertainment, crafts and more) and the Book to Film Summer Adventure Series (admission to a full-length, kid-friendly movie is free when you show your library cards). Three hours of parking is available in the 11th Avenue garage next door with the purchase of a $1 voucher inside the GFC.

JazzArts Group (614-294-5200; jazzartsgroup.org) A performing and education organization, devoted to jazz music. It is the oldest nonprofit jazz arts organization in the United States. JAG is home to the Columbus Jazz Orchestra and produces the popular PBJ & Jazz concerts for families. These take place for free each summer in the Topiary Garden (480 E. Town St. (Discovery District), Columbus 43215) and for a nominal cost in the Lincoln Theatre (769 E. Long St. (King-Lincoln District), Columbus 43203) during the non-summer months.

Lincoln Theatre (769 E. Long St. (King-Lincoln District), Columbus 43203; 614-384-5640; lincolntheatrecolumbus.com) Historic theatre, first opened in 1928. After decades of closure, was renovated and reopened in 2009. Has become a primary and secondary home to many performing arts organizations including Columbus Children's Theatre, JazzArts Group and Thiossane West African Dance Institute.

McConnell Arts Center (777 Evening St., Worthington 43085; 614-431-0329; mcconnellarts.org) Community-based arts center, includes performances by professional and local performers in the Bronwynn Theatre.

McCoy Community Center for the Arts (100 E. Dublin Granville Road, New Albany 43054; 614-245-47901 or 614-469-0939 for ticket sales; mccoycenter.org) Community-based performance venue features professional music and dance, along with high-profile lectures and productions by local arts groups.

Opera Columbus (performs primarily in the Southern Theatre, 21 E. Main St. (Downtown), Columbus 43215; 614-469-0939 for tickets; operacolumbus.org) In addition to family-friendly productions throughout the year, this professional organization also provides in-school education with its traveling Opera Tales program.

ProMusica Chamber Orchestra (performs primarily in the Southern Theatre, 21 E. Main St. (Downtown), Columbus 43215; 614-464-0066; promusicacolumbus.org) A professional classical music organization that also presents free concerts throughout the community, particularly at Columbus Metropolitan Library branches. Their free Youth and Family Day event takes place each May at the WOSU@COSI studios.

Shadowbox Live (503 S. Front St. (Brewery District), Columbus 43215; 614-416-7625; shadowboxlive.org) Already the largest resident theater troupes in the U.S., Shadowbox Live also provides a growing range of youth education programs, including its Play Café for kids ages 6-11 on Sunday afternoons and its school-year Academy and Summer Bootcamp for teens.

Wagnalls Memorial Theater (150 E. Columbus St., Lithopolis 43136; 614-837-4765; wagnalls.org) A small, historic theater set in a historic facility that also houses a library and banquet rooms in this village near Canal Winchester. Their programming includes community productions of family-friendly shows.

Wexner Center for the Arts (614-292-3535; wexarts.org) In addition to year-round live theater productions and film showings from around the world that are kid-focused, the Wex hosts the Zoom: Family Film Festival the first weekend in December each year. The creatively curated film series includes low prices and many free activities, including a free cereal and pajama party.

Bonus Tip: Local universities such as The Ohio State University (theatre.osu.edu), Capital University (in Bexley, capital.edu/conservatory), Otterbein University (Westerville; otterbein.edu/public/About/Calendars/ArtScene/TheatreDancePerformances.aspx) and Ohio Wesleyan University (Delaware; theatre.owu.edu) offer high-quality and low-cost performances of music, dance and theater throughout the year. Because many of these programs produce graduates who go on to become professional performers, these productions are often a great way to say you saw them before they became stars!

Another Bonus Tip: Check out our Go-To Guide on Attending the Performing Arts. It helps you figure out the do's and don'ts of attending the ballet, theater, opera and concerts.