Jump into the world of puppetry through performance, narrative, and craft with Puppet Showplace Theater! Enjoy puppetry performances, interactive demonstrations, and puppet-making workshops for all skill levels! Explore exhibitions in the galleries and engage in activities designed for families with kids to work on together! Request free admission tickets online in advance*.  

*On Saturday, February 25, museum admission is FREE for families when accompanied by kids ages 12 and under, with up to 2 adults per family. Tickets must be reserved online in advance. Use the code PLAYDATE when reserving your ticket(s). Advance tickets are strongly recommended; day-of tickets are not guaranteed. 


Puppet Shows – Excerpts from “Judy Saves The Day,” 2nd Floor Theater, 11 AM, 12 PM, 1 PM, 2 PM

Resident and affiliated artists from Puppet Showplace Theater in Brookline will perform excerpts from their delightfully silly audience-favorite shows! Cheer Judy on as she goes on a quest for respect, justice, and a well-deserved nap in this modern interpretation of the classic “Punch and Judy” puppet show! All activities are drop-in, first-come, first served, and space is limited.

The Rubber Band Hand Puppet!, 1st Floor, Art Lab 11 AM–4 PM 

Build your own hand puppet, performed like the puppets in “Judy Saves The Day”! We’ll turn everyday objects into simple, dynamic characters that come to life before your eyes. Have you ever needed a puppet friend on hand? After this workshop, you’ll have one wherever you go! All activities are drop-in, first-come, first served, and space is limited.

Books + Looks, 11:30 AM-12 PM, 12:30 PM–1 PM

4th Floor, Mediatheque 
Join for a staff led reading of family-friendly storybooks and make connections to artworks on view. Drop-in, first come, first serve, space is limited.  

Boston Public Library Table, 10 AM–4 PM

Visit your friendly librarians to learn more about family resources through Boston Public Library.

In the Galleries, 10 AM–5 PM 

4th Floor, Galleries
Our Visitor Assistants (VA) are always eager to talk about the artworks and answer your questions. Pick up a gallery game card to explore the museum as a “Thinker, Maker, Explorer, or Performer.” Great for a variety of ages and for intergenerational audiences to play together. Cards are available on the 1st and 4th floor near the elevators. Questions? Ask a VA on the 4th floor. Only #2 pencils allowed in the galleries. 

Free Admission for Youth

Youth 18 and under always receive FREE museum admission. The ICA is committed to providing access to the art and artists of our time—and we do this with the incredible support of our community. Explore the +1 Membership: A free ICA membership program for youth 0-18.

Artist Bio

Sarah Nolen is a puppeteer and filmmaker known for her versatile and witty work across multiple puppetry styles. Originally from Texas, Sarah resides in Massachusetts, where she works as a freelance puppeteer, director, and puppet builder for both stage and screen through her company Puppet Motion. She received her MFA in Puppet Arts at the University of Connecticut in 2016. Currently, she is the resident artist at Puppet Showplace Theater in Brookline, MA, where she tours her own solo puppet shows around New England. As a builder, Sarah earned a Drama Desk Award nomination for “Outstanding Puppet Design” for her work with Sinking Ship Productions’ A Hunger Artist. She has interned with Puppet Heap in Hoboken, built with AchesonWalsh Studios, and most recently, built and performed puppets for Netflix’s Don’t Look Up (2021) and another upcoming release, Mothership (2023). 

You can learn more about her work at her website.

About Puppet Showplace Theater

Puppet Showplace Theater is dedicated to presenting outstanding puppetry to diverse audiences through performances, workshops, and community outreach activities. Founded in 1974, the theater is a treasured Boston-area cultural institution and one of the few dedicated puppetry centers in the United States. Puppet Showplace presents over 300 performances a year in the intimate Brookline Village theater, and reaches further audiences through touring productions at schools, libraries, theaters, and cultural centers. From children’s birthday party performances to provocative Puppets at Night shows, the theater’s programming is designed to connect with a diverse audience of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. Workshops, classes, summer programs, and training opportunities are offered to both children and adults, and partnerships include local and emerging artists to develop new and innovative puppetry productions. Learn more 

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About Boston Public Library

Established in 1848, the Boston Public Library is a pioneer of public library service in America. It was the first large free municipal library in the United States, the first public library to lend books, the first to have a branch library, and the first to have a children’s room. As a City of Boston historic cultural institution, Boston Public Library today features a central library and twenty-five neighborhood branches, serving nearly 4 million visitors per year and millions more online. Boston Public Library is a department of the City of Boston, under the leadership of Mayor Michelle Wu. 

Learn more 

Questions? Reach us at familyprograms@icaboston.org.


Your support helps keeps programs like this – both virtual and in-person – free and accessible in this time of uncertainty. If you are able, please consider becoming a member or making a one-time gift to support the ICA. 

ICA Kids and Family programs are supported, in part, by the Willow Tree Fund and Raymond T. & Ann T. Mancini Family Foundation.