We were lucky enough to catch a little performance of the Great Arizona Puppet Theater at the Peoria Main Library a year ago. My kids thought it was hilarious!
Before you go, you will want to call for a reservation. Yes, you have to call. The system is a bit..eh. They don’t have an online system. You have to call and listen to the order in they want you to record the message of the show, date and time, how many adults and kids and your phone number. They will call you back if they don’t have enough room. If you don’t hear from them, assume you have a reservation.
The Great Arizona Puppet Theater is located in an old renovated LDS Church in Downtown Phoenix near The Teapot!
The Great Arizona Puppet Theater is easily accessible from 7th Ave. Parking is off of W Latham Street and 3rd Avenue is a one way street heading north. The parking lot for the Puppet Theater is pretty small. I suggest parking further from the door as school buses for field trips park nearest the door (and I hate being blocked in).
The entrance to the Puppet theater is off of 3rd Avenue, so you will have to walk around the building from the parking area. W Latham St is pretty calm, but 3rd Avenue was a bit busier.
The sign is on the corner of Latham and 3rd Ave, and a great little place to take a picture. We saw “The Frog Prince.” On the Great Arizona Puppet Theater’s Website they have information about each show and the age appropriateness for each. I feel that the age list was spot on, as we sort of pushed Dimples into seeing the show, and he was able to sit through it, but it was really for 5 and up.
I highly recommend, as the website recommends, to arrive early to check in and use the bathrooms. There is no easy access from the show to the bathrooms. You have to go out of the performance, out to the shop, to the outside and back into the building to use the bathroom. I believe there must be a handicap accessible bathroom, but the men’s bathroom was down a small set of stairs and the women’s bathroom was up a few stairs. Leave the stroller at home! There were only two stalls in the womens bathroom and they were very tight! There was a changing pad/area as well!
They had craft supplies set up right outside the bathroom/lobby area-but I think it was for the school groups that came in? I wasn’t really sure so I told my kids not to touch it! But, a great activity to do at home!
There was a great waiting area that was mostly shaded. The doors to check in weren’t quite open, but it was a good place to get out all the long drive wiggles!
The process they have is a bit of a manual process for check in, so expect a few minutes of waiting to check in.
The room is very large, and yes, there are stairs (that have a chain on them-no going up to the balcony), so if you have a runner-be wary!
There are benches and chairs are available-The first row of benches in the middle of the room is usually sectioned off for the kids, and parents can sit behind that first row. The carpet section is usually for the field trips. One of the moms that was waiting for the show was a little upset that her kiddos couldn’t sit on the rug, but once we saw how many kiddos they packed on the rug (but yet, extremely and efficiently organized!), I think she was happy! The benches and seats aren’t the most comfortable, but they were doable. There were over 100 kids there for field trips, but the puppeteers and teachers kept the kids well behaved and entertained!
Gwen was the puppeteer (along with another) for the performance. We had seen her at the library in Peoria, and she is just a dear! She got the kids to “get their wiggles out” and entertained them and told them the rules (be quiet, if someone is being restless please walk them out, and no pictures during the performance). After the performance, they also brought out the puppets and let the children see them a little closer.
The performance was fun and funny. They are humorous story tellers. The hour was a bit much for the youngest of our kiddos, but the other two were entranced!
At the end of the performance, the doors opened directly to the parking lot for an easy exit.
The Great Arizona Puppet Theater has lots of different plays that rotate for all ages, including an “adult only” show. We really had fun, and it sounds like a great date night as well!
302 Latham Street, Phoenix AZ