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Can’t Miss Holiday Performances in Philly

From sugarplums to Scrooge, here’s what’s coming to Philly for the holidays.

Is it really the holidays if Marie doesn’t get a nutcracker from her mysterious grandfather? Or if the Grinch’s heart doesn’t grow three sizes? Of course not! Winter is coming, so get your tickets to these fantastic performances around town, and have a music-filled season your family won’t soon forget.


November 6–January 6

Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut St.


Based on the beloved Roald Dahl novel, Matilda The Musical will delight with high-energy dance and catchy songs.


November 14–December 23

Quintessence Theatre, 7137 Germantown Ave.


With familiar songs like “Consider Yourself” and “Food, Glorious Food,” this musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic is a crowd pleaser for all ages.

The Rock School’s ‘Nutcracker 1776’

November 23—24

Merriam Theater, 250 S. Broad St.


In this Revolutionary take on a holiday classic, Ben Franklin leads the story as our heroes battle General Mouse Howe! This production is performed by the students of The Rock School for Dance Education, and is a nice way to kick off the holiday season right after Thanksgiving.

‘A Philadelphia Nutcracker’

Kurtz Center for the Performing Arts, William Penn Charter School, 3000 W. School House Lane, Philadelphia
November 23, 7 pm; November 24, 1 and 4 pm


Philadelphia Dance Theatre’s A Philadelphia Nutcracker has a local flair, with scenes set in the Northwest Philly neighborhoods many of the school’s dancers call home.

Charlotte’s Web

November 28, 2018 – January 27, 2019

Arden Theatre, 40 N. Second St.


The heart-warming story of a special friendship between a lovable pig and everyone’s favorite spider comes to life at the Arden.

Philly Nutt Crak-Up

November 30—December 2

Suzanne Roberts Theater, 480 S. Broad St.


Back for its 15th year, ContempraDANCE Theatre’s Philly Nutt Crak-Up is The Nutcracker like you’ve never seen it before! Join the Rappin’ SugarPlum Fairy, battling Hip Hoppin’ Railway Rats, City Hall Dolls, Captain Philadelphia, and Liberty Belle-Anne, as they travel to the Kingdom of Prussia for an adventure full of dance, rap, and lots of Philly references!

Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’

December 1—23

Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut St.


WST for Kids presents a special hour-long musical adaptation for families, using traditional songs to highlight Dickens’ magical Christmas story. Since it’s only one hour long, it’s a perfect way to get into the spirit without having to make your kids sit still for too long!

A Philly POPS Christmas: Spectacular Sounds of the Season

December 1—22 (Sensory-Friendly Performance: December 5, 8 pm)

Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad St.


This Philly tradition features over 300 performers bringing an all-new repertoire of favorite holiday classics. In addition to the fabulous pop orchestra conducted by Broadway legend Todd Ellison, the concert features vocals by Hamilton’s Mandy Gonzalez, the Philadelphia Boys Choir, the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas Gospel Choir, and the Philly POPS Festival Chorus. On December 5, there will be a sensory-friendly performance with a judgment-free environment, mid-level sound and light, trained staff, a quiet area, and fidget devices.

Free Library of Philadelphia’s Sundays on Stage: ‘The Nutcracker’

December 2, 2 pm (doors at 1:30 pm)

Parkway Central Library, 1901 Vine St.


This free performance by Pages to Pirouettes presents The Nutcracker through story and dance, and closes with a ballet lesson for the whole audience.

Photograph by Alexander Iziliaev, courtesy of the Pennsylvania Ballet.

George Balanchine’s ‘The Nutcracker’

December 7—31 (Sensory-Friendly Performance: December 27, noon)

Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad St.


In our family, the holiday season just isn’t complete without the Pennsylvania Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker. From the  Tchaikovsky score to the timeless story of holiday magic, this ballet is a classic for a reason. Come early for photos with the Sugarplum Fairy and the Mouse King in the lobby! On December 27 at noon, there will be a sensory-friendly performance with accommodations both inside and outside the theater to make children who are on the autism spectrum, or who may have sensory sensitivities, more welcome.

The Snow Queen

December 8, 10 am and 2 pm; December 9, 1 pm

Annenberg Center, 3680 Walnut St.


Based on the beloved fairytale by Hans Christian Andersen, Enchantment Theatre Company uses life-size puppets, expressive masks, original music, and imaginative effects to tell the story of a brave young girl and the power of friendship.

Philadelphia Orchestra’s ‘Christmas Kids’ Spectacular’

December 15, 11:30 am

Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad St.


Bring the kids for a family-friendly orchestra concert featuring some holiday favorites, including “Sleigh Ride,” “The Night Before Christmas,” and excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker. You can also expect special appearances by Santa Claus and the new mascot of the Philadelphia Flyers, Gritty!

Pentatonix: ‘Christmas is Here!’

December 15, 7 pm and December 16, 6 pm

The Met, 858 N. Broad St.


The newly renovated Metropolitan Opera House will host a cappella stars Pentatonix for their holiday tour.

A Dream Is a Wish: Princess Holiday Concert

December 16, 3 pm and 6 pm (Sensory-Friendly Performance at 6 pm)

Suzanne Roberts Theatre, 480 S. Broad St.


This sing-along concert features over 15 holiday and Disney movie songs, sung by some of your favorite princesses! Children are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite prince or princess. After the show, there will be a meet-and-greet reception with holiday cookies, apple cider, and photo opportunities. The 6 pm show will be a relaxed performance that welcomes children with autism or sensory or emotional sensitivities.

Photograph by Kory Aversa.

Dr. Seuss’ ‘How The Grinch Stole Christmas!’ The Musical

December 19—29 (Sensory-Friendly Performance: December 22, 11 am)

Merriam Theater, 250 S. Broad St.


Fantastical sets and costumes inspired by Dr. Seuss’ original illustrations help transport audiences to the whimsical world of Whoville, as Max the Dog narrates this children’s classic. With songs “You’re A Mean One Mr. Grinch” and “Welcome Christmas” from the animated television special, plus new songs, the play is sure to delight audiences of all ages. On the morning of December 22, there will be a special sensory-friendly performance with relaxed house rules, designated quiet areas, trained staff, and sensory kits (fidget toys, headphones, etc.).

Disney on Ice

December 24—31

Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St.


You know the drill—and your little ones have probably been begging to go since last year— so get on your best princess dress and bring your light-up wand for skating, music, and adventure. This new production, Mickey’s Search Party, includes favorite characters like Elsa, Ariel, Moana, Belle, and the debut Miguel from Coco. Of course, Mickey, Minnie, and the whole gang are there too.


Lead photograph courtesy of the Kimmel Center.

Philadelphia Assistant Editor | Email tips to laura@familyfocus.org


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