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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? 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.

Shrek: The Musical

November 5—January 5

Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut St.


This award-winning Broadway musical based on the beloved movie features all new songs and fun for the whole family.

The Gifts of the Magi

November 20–December 22

Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut St.


This beautiful musical adaptation of the classic O. Henry story reminds us of the true meaning of giving, and of love. In previews until November 21. Tickets available online.

The Snow Queen

November 27—January 26

Arden Theatre, 40 N. Second St.


Based on Hans Christian Anderson’s classic fairy tale, The Snow Queen transports audiences on a journey through the four seasons, and celebrates the magical power of friendship.

The Wizard of Oz

November 27—January 5

Sedgwick Theater, 7137 Germantown Ave.


Quintessence Theatre Group continues its tenth anniversary season with this classic tale of Dorothy’s adventures in the Land of Oz. This production will honor both the classic MGM film (with music from the movie!) as well as the original L. Frank Baum novel.

Philadelphia Dance Theatre presents ‘A Philadelphia Nutcracker’

Kurtz Center for the Performing Arts, William Penn Charter School, 3000 W. School House Lane, Philadelphia
November 29, 7 pm; November 30, 1 and 4 pm


“A Philadelphia Nutcracker” has a local flair, with scenes set in the Northwest Philly neighborhoods many of the school’s dancers call home. It’s become a weekend-after-Thanksgiving tradition for local families. Tickets are $22 for kids, seniors, and students, and $25 for adults.

Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’

November 30—December 22

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!

The Spongebob Musical

December 3—15

Forrest Theatre, 1114 Walnut St.


Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? Broadway’s best creative minds reimagine and bring to life the beloved Nickelodeon series with humor, heart, and pure theatricality! Recommended for ages 5 and up.

PJ Masks Live

December 5, 6 pm

The Met, 858 N. Broad St.


Watch Catboy, Owlette, and Gekko along with their new friend PJ Robot, as they try to save the day! Complete with your favorite music and brand new songs, too. Meet-and-greet upgrade tickets available.



Photograph by Alexander Iziliaev, courtesy of the Pennsylvania Ballet.

George Balanchine’s ‘The Nutcracker’

December 6—31 (Sensory-Friendly Performance: December 30, 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! December 14 and 15 are “Tea with the Sugarplum Fairy” days with photos and brunch buffets. The sensory-friendly performance is December 30 at noon has accommodations both inside and outside the theater to make children who are on the autism spectrum, or who may have sensory sensitivities, more welcome.

‘Nutcracker 1776’

December 6, 7 pm; and December 7, 1 pm and 4 pm

Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 3680 Walnut Street


Each 70-minute performance adaptation of the original Nutcracker involves the history of the city of Philadelphia into the plot, but is still sure to entertain with Ben Franklin and General Mouse Howe leading the story. Performed by The Rock School.

A Philly POPS Christmas: Spectacular Sounds of the Season

December 7—21

Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad St.


This Philly tradition features over 300 performers bringing a repertoire of favorite holiday classics. 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. You can also catch Gonzalez and the POPS at The Met earlier in the month.

Pages to Pirouettes presents ‘The Nutcracker’

December 8, 2 pm
Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Branch, 1901 Vine St.


See a kid-friendly production of the beloved ballet, then try it yourself during a post-show ballet lesson for the audience. This event is free.

Trolls Live

December 13—15

Liacouras Center, 1776 N. Broad St.


Poppy and Branch host a toe-tapping, Trolls-tastic show, jam-packed with all the epic music, glitter, humor, and happiness only the Trolls can create. Meet-and-greet upgrade tickets available.

Philadelphia Orchestra’s ‘Christmas Kids’ Spectacular’

December 14, 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 a special appearance by Santa Claus!

The Philadelphia Dance Academy presents ‘The Nutcracker’

December 14 and 15

Mandell Theater, Drexel University, 3220 Chestnut St.


Each two-hour performance will feature students of the Philadelphia Youth Ballet, Philadelphia Dance Academy, and professional guest artists.

Pentatonix Christmas Tour

December 16, 7 pm

The Met, 858 N. Broad St.


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

Moscow Ballet’s ‘Great Russian Nutcracker’

December 19, 7 pm

The Met, 858 N. Broad St.


With world-class artists, over 200 dazzling costumes, stunning sets, towering puppets, and even soaring birds, this one-night-only Nutcracker production is quite an extravaganza!

‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ Live On Stage

December 20—21

Merriam Theater, 250 S. Broad St.


Join Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus, and the whole Peanuts gang as they produce their own Christmas play and ultimately learn the true meaning of the season. The play is adapted from the classic television special and features the music of Vince Guaraldi, as well as a concert of beloved holiday carols performed by the Peanuts characters.

Cirque Dreams Holidaze

December 26—29

Merriam Theater, 250 S. Broad St.


Over 300 imaginative costumes, 20 world-class astonishing gravity-defying acts, the finest singers, original music and seasonal favorites celebrate the holidays in a two-hour breathtaking spectacle.

Disney on Ice

December 27—January 5

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 production, Road Trip Adventures, includes favorite characters like Moana, Buzz and Woody, Aladdin, Queen Elsa, and more. Of course, Mickey, Minnie, and the whole gang are there too.




Lead photograph by Dan Norman, courtesy of the Kimmel Center.

Editor | Email tips to laura@familyfocus.org



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