Here comes the snow and winter holiday shows. So many live theater and dance options for celebrating the season – classy, classic, toddler-friendly, low-key and more. Guides to holiday lights, Santa, markets and more festive fun coming soon.
Get started on your wintry show-going, with our giveaway of a family pack of 4 tickets to Show Up, Kids, a fun, interactive twist on traditional kids shows. When the main attraction doesn’t show up, improvisor Peter Michael Marino makes one up on the spot with lots of help from kids (and adults) in the audience, who can add in Santa, snowmen and latkes to match the season. Choose from weekend afternoon performances Nov 18-23.
An original production from the historic, cozy Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre features a young girl who teaches a snow-hating yeti named Pascetti the value of snow and friendship. A charming, intimate show for all ages in a magical-in-the-snow Central Park setting.
This truly spectacular show is great for all ages, even toddlers, with fabulous dancing by the talented Rockettes, dazzling costumes, special effects, camels, sheep and Santa Clause (many, many Santa Clauses in one of our favorite numbers). Includes a 10-minute Nutcracker section danced by giant bears that little kids love. It can be a bit loud and over-stimulating for some kids but the noise and bustle are more forgiving for those not behaving perfectly.
The lavish New York City Ballet Nutcracker that started it all in 1954 is a rightly beloved American tradition. The first act is full of action with (actual) children playing at a party, mischievous giant mice battling toy soldiers, and a blizzard of ballerinas. The costumes, sets and dancing are stunning in the Land of Sweets second act. Pricey but priceless; though wait until your kid is able to sit very still and quiet for 2 hours. Learn some of the delightful Balanchine choreography at children’s workshops before some performances.
Fabulous fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi narrates Sergei Prokofiev’s charming children’s classic accompanied by Ensemble Signal as a dancing cast costumed and directed by Mizrahi brings the lively tale of animals and instruments to quirky life. Only 30 minutes long plus funny dancing animals make it great for very wee ones (but also entertaining for grown-ups).
Special family-friendly meals featuring peppermint hot chocolate, pasta alfredo and a decorate-your-own cupcake in museum’s The Wright restaurant before every performance. Also take a trip around the famous spiral to see the gorgeous Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the Future.
The Met’s English-language, abridged, family-friendly adaptation of Mozart’s sublime and mystical journey returns in Julie Taymor’s fanciful production featuring giant bear puppets, boys flying in dragons and stunning scenery. Entertaining for all but the vibe is formal and there is a lot of operatic singing in the 1 hour & 45 minutes so best for older kids who can sit still.
Pre-curtain open houses feature family-friendly activities related to the production including a “dress-up” station featuring child-friendly costume pieces; an instrument show-and-tell with members of the orchestra; a live demonstration by the Met scenic artists who create props and set elements for all of the company’s productions; and a lighting display by the Met’s electrics department.
Players Theatre presents a lively musical stage adaptation of Charles Dickens’ beloved Christmas story featuring British pantomime-inspired scenic design. Grumpy old miser Ebenezer Scrooge finds a second chance to become a loving, generous, kind human being through the aid of four ghosts who visit him in turn one Christmas Eve, each teaching him valuable lessons. Free family workshops 1 hour prior to the Sunday 11 am performances.
See a free performance of New York Theatre Ballet’s kid-friendly, one-hour version of the Tchaikovsky’s beloved holiday ballet The Nutcracker set in Art Nouveau-style circa 1907 with innovative choreography by Keith Michael. Includes clockwork imps, an owl that flies above the audience, mice dressed in polka dots, and dancers dancing with huge chopsticks. Audiences are invited to come early before each show to take photos with their favorite characters. Seating for these popular performances is first come, first served and early arrival is strongly suggested.
Scampering mice, whirling snowflakes, and a magical dream all dazzle the young girl, Marie, in the story of the Nutcracker. This presentation is choreographed for children and performed by the students of The Ballet Club.
Choreographer Francis Patrelle’s Old New York-set version of Tchaikovsky’s timeless ballet depicts a holiday party at Gracie Mansion, dancing at the Crystal Palace and skating in Central Park. New York City Ballet Principals Abi Stafford and Ask La Cour star as the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier, backed by student dancers ages 5 to 85.
Adapted from the classic fairy tale by The Brothers Grimm, this interactive play with music features a blend of advanced technology and live performance. Children in the audience will be encouraged to participate in many of the Kid’s challenges with singing and organized “shout outs.”
Angelina the ballerina mouse and her friends are planning an absolutely positively spectacular holiday dance pageant; the best in all of Mouseland. When a mix-up prevents the pageant from going on, Angelina and her friends must use their creativity to save the show and discover the true spirit of the holidays. A heart-warming musical with dancing, singing and festivities.
Dr. Seuss’ whimsical holiday classic come to life on stage with hit songs from the TV special including “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch” and “Welcome Christmas.” Fabulous two-time Tony Award-nominated Broadway actor Gavin Lee (Squidward Tentacles in SpongeBob SquarePants and Bert in Mary Poppins) plays the title role with his canine sidekick Max.
New York Theatre Ballet performs a kid-friendly, one-hour version of the Tchaikovsky’s beloved holiday ballet The Nutcracker set in Art Nouveau-style circa 1907 with innovative choreography by Keith Michael. Includes clockwork imps, an owl that flies above the audience, mice dressed in polka dots, and dancers dancing with huge chopsticks. The intimate theatre providing excellent views from every seat (and sells out quickly).
Choreographer Igal Perry’s innovative contemporary Nutcracker experience features a fusion of ballet, hip hop and contemporary dance depicting falling snowflakes and waltzing flowers. Over 60 performers, dance to excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s original score as well as new music selected by Igal Perry. Sunday’s 1 pm performance has a pre-show tea party for children.
See a musical mash-up of Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol and the witty Victorian melodies of Gilbert and Sullivan.
This witty, gender-bending version of The Nutcracker keeps Tchaikovsky’s original 1890s score but transports the setting to the swinging 70s inspired by the comic book art of Charles Burns, with raucous parties, dancing G.I. Joes, whimsical costumes and Mark Morris’ lyrical modern dance choreography. Funny and moving and unlike any other Nutcracker.
This annual holiday show brings Camille Saint-Saëns’s beloved work to life with talented musicians and the poetry by Ogden Nash. Everyday objects take on new lives as lions, elephants, and birds, through the vision of director Lake Simons and some of New York’s best puppeteers.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
This holiday classic belongs in every family’s library. Perfect for reading aloud at special holiday moments to cleverly celebrate the true meaning of Christmas (spoiler alert – it’s not about the presents).
The Magic Flute: An Opera by Mozart
Simple prose with dialogue and occasional sound effects and Kyra Teis’s painted papers and collages tell the fantastical story of Mozart’s famous opera. Prince Tamino must save Princess Pamina from her evil mother, the Queen of the Night with the help of a magic flute that charms both animals and humans and jovial bird-catcher Papageno. Includes an introductory spread of the ethnically diverse characters and a parent-teacher guide with ideas for activities.
The Nutcracker by New York City Ballet
Prep for the quintessential New York City Ballet Nutcracker with a gorgeous picture book that mimics George Balanchine’s choreography and illustrations inspired by the backdrops and scenery from the actual production. A holiday favorite with stylish and modern sensibility.