Chicago's theater scene is hot during the colder winter months, with holiday shows popping up around the city. Start a new family tradition and make a point of getting dressed up in your holiday best and hitting a show or two. Here are nine kid-friendly holiday shows in Chicago that you won't want to miss.
The Joffrey Ballet's classic adaptation of The Nutcracker, will sweep you into a winter wonderland complete with spectacular scenery, elegant costumes and exquisite dancing. This is perhaps the grandest Nutcracker in the city, and a beloved holiday tradition for many families. Tchaikovsky's glorious score is played live by a full orchestra in the beautiful Auditorium Theatre, adding to the splendor of a holiday evening at the ballet.
Through December 27; joffrey.org
The American Blues Theater, Chicago's second oldest Equity ensemble, presents the holiday classic It's a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago!,
in live radio style, on the main stage of the Greenhouse Theater
Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave. Live Foley sound effects, an original
score, and a stellar cast of eight bring the entire town of Bedford
Falls to life, transporting the audience to the Golden Age of Radio.
Through December 27; americanbluestheater.com
The Goodman Theatre's presentation of A Christmas Carol is a Chicago
family tradition, guaranteed to keep the "bah-humbugs" away.
Through December 27; goodmantheatre.org
This fresh and moving version of The Nutcracker brings
audience members smack dab into the Clara's family drawing room, as
everyone gathers to celebrate Christmas Eve. Though it centers on young
Clara's journey to rescue Christmas after the heart-breaking death of
her older brother, this magical take focuses on bravery and unity in the
face of fear, and features amazing puppetry, original song, and many
Through December 31; thehousetheatre.com
Emerald City Theatre presents the play based on the tv classic at the downtown Broadway Playhouse. Follow along with everyone’s favorite Peanuts pals as they rediscover the true meaning of Christmas and friendship.
Through January 3; emeraldcitytheatre.com
Chicago Tap Theatre's tap-tastic holiday spectacular showcases the Christmas, Hanukkah and winter season with some of the most amazing tap dancers in the world.
December 11-13; chicagotaptheatre.com
The Hyde Park School of Dance's Nutcraker hits the holiday stage at Mandel Hall on the University of Chicago campus (1131 E. 57th Street). The 90-minute production follows Clara, Fritz and the mysterious Uncle Drosselmeyer from the family holiday party to the the battle with the Mouse King and his troops through the Land of Snow to the Kingdom of Sweets. December 11-13; hydeparkdance.org
This world premiere winter fairy tale is a great way to introduce your little ones to the heartwarming stories of Beatrix Potter. Chicago Children's Theatre is presenting 12 performances only at three different locations in the city. This is a Younger Stages show, ideal for ages 3 and up.
December 12 & 19; chicagochildrenstheatre.org
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Midwest Young Artist choral ensemble and the von Trapps — the talented great-grandchildren of the family depicted in The Sound of Music — join forces as they showcase the best holiday tunes of all times. Be prepared to tap your toes and sing along.
December 18-23; cso.org
For more seasonal celebrations across the city for families and all ages, visit choosechicago.com/holidays.