Another holiday season is already upon us, and there’s no better way to celebrate than by setting aside time for Christmas activities with your loved ones. Whether you’re looking to spend quality time with old friends or want to share holiday magic with the little ones, these 12 Plays of Christmas are perfect opportunities to enjoy the season of giving in the company of those who matter most.
This year, take time out to appreciate the spirit of the season with tickets to these Christmas events that will leave the whole family smiling.
1. Radio City Christmas Spectacular
A holiday tradition more than 75 years in the making, the Radio City Christmas Spectacular is a one-of-a-kind live holiday extravaganza. Featuring everything from toy soldiers to Santa to the Living Nativity, this New York variety show has become one of the most popular Christmas events in America. Audiences of all ages love to watch the Rockettes put their own unique spin on the holidays year after year at Radio City Music Hall.
2. Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Trans-Siberian Orchestra came out with its first Christmas album in 1996. Ever since, this progressive rock group’s winter tours have become a beloved tradition for many families around North America. The band pairs leading songs like “Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24)” and “Christmas Canon Rock” with engrossing light shows and explosive pyrotechnics, making for one of the most cutting-edge Christmas shows around.
3. The Nutcracker
All across North America, ballet companies are in the middle of local productions of The Nutcracker. For decades, seeing this Tchaikovsky-scored ballet has been one of the most popular things to do for Christmas. Whether your performance stars a local group or a revered company, like the Joffrey Ballet or San Francisco Ballet, these strong, graceful dancers never fail to amaze as they perform to favorites like “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.”
4. A Christmas Carol
One of the most popular Christmas plays in the English-speaking world, A Christmas Carol revives Charles Dickens’ timeless tale of Ebenezer Scrooge on stage. No matter how many times you’ve heard it, Scrooge’s redemption--with help from the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future--remains one of the most powerful holiday stories year after year.
If you’re a fan of the 2003 holiday comedy “Elf,” you’ll love the movie’s musical adaptation. Elf the Musical originally appeared on Broadway in 2010, and it’s been a touring holiday staple every year since. This quirky show features high-energy hits like “Sparklejollytwinklejingley” and “There Is a Santa Claus” that will restore your holiday spirit in no time.
6. How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Give your heart the chance to grow three sizes this holiday season with tickets to an upcoming performance of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Dr. Seuss originally published this children’s story in 1957, but over the years the heartwarming story has lived on through countless adaptations, including this zany live musical.
7. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Another classic children’s story-turned-stage success, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer brings the story of Santa’s most unlikely helper to life on stage. Following the plot of the enduring 1964 stop-motion TV special, this musical follows Rudolph, Hermey the Elf, and a gaggle of misfit toys as they each find their special place in the world of holiday cheer.
8. A Christmas Story
Relive the hilarious story of Ralphie and his coveted Red Ryder BB Gun with seats to see A Christmas Story live. Complete with the infamous leg lamp, a trip to Higbee’s, and a cautionary song titled “You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out,” this is one of the funniest Christmas plays you’ll find on tour this year.
9. A Charlie Brown Christmas
If you’re out to find the true meaning of Christmas this year, look no further than a live performance of A Charlie Brown Christmas. It’s easy to get lost in the gaudiness of shopping malls this season, but this Christmas show will remind you what’s most important to celebrate during this winter holiday. As a bonus, many performances of A Charlie Brown Christmas include a sing-along after the show’s over, bringing even more Christmas fun to the table.
10. White Christmas
Based on the 1954 film of the same name, White Christmas has grown to become one of the most adored Christmas shows in the country. When this musical comes to a theater near you, see a talented cast sing and dance along to favorites like “Sisters,” “Snow,” and, of course, “White Christmas” in person.
11. Cirque Dreams Holidaze
If you’re looking for Christmas activities that are out of the ordinary, Cirque Dreams Holidaze is the show for you. In this whimsical circus show, traditional holiday characters like gingerbread men, toy soldiers, reindeer, and snowmen perform difficult physical feats like tight-rope walking, aerial acrobatics, and much more.
12. Disney On Ice: Frozen
Disney On Ice: Frozen isn’t technically a Christmas event, but between the snow, the magic, and the message of family togetherness, this skating show will definitely fill you with holiday cheer. If you have little ones that love to sing along to the movie, nothing will beat the chance to belt out “Let It Go” with thousands of fellow pint-sized fans while Elsa and Olaf skate before their eyes.