Dr Seuss The Grinch Christmas-5

Chicago is one of the best places in the world to celebrate the holidays, thanks to the wide array of events and activities on our seasonal menu. With so many fantastic shows on stage, there's no time like now to catch some live theater. Here are our picks for the top holiday shows in Chicago.

Joffrey Ballet's The Nutcracker

December 5-28
Auditorium Theatre

Joeffrey Nutcracker

Robert Joffrey's timeless The Nutcracker returns for its seasonal run at the Auditorium Theatre. One of Chicago's favorite holiday traditions brings Tchaikovsky's classic score to life with battling toys, raucous rodents, swirling snowflakes, waltzing flowers and the splendor of the full Joffrey company on stage with more than 100 young dancers from the Chicagoland area. 


Great Russian Nutcracker

December 7, 3 p.m. & 7 p.m.
Rosemont Theatre

Great Russian Nutcracker

Moscow Ballet brings its acclaimed Great Russian Nutcracker to Rosemont Theatre for one day only, Dec. 7! Exclusive to this performance is the Dove of Peace, boasting a 20-foot wingspan created by two dancers moving as one. In 2014, audiences can also see the new authentic Russian Christmas puppet play and Masha's magical Toy Cabinet. Prepare to be captivated as these performers wearing intricately detailed costumes float across the stage, all to Tchaikovsky's classic score.


The Nutcracker

November 6 - December 28
The House Theatre

This updated version of the holiday classic is our family's Christmastime favorite. Clara fights to save her family not only from the rat king but also from the sadness of a holiday filled with loss. Hilarious and heartwarming, this show will remind everyone in your family about the real reason for the season.


Dee Snider's Rock & Roll Christmas Tale

November 4 - January 4
Broadway Playhouse

Däisy Cütter is a heavy metal bar band looking to make it big even though the 80's are long gone. Only when the struggling musicians sell their souls to the devil do they realize they're no match for the Christmas spirit. Dee Snider, infamous lead singer of Twisted Sister, has created and stars in this rocking holiday musical.


Santaland Diaries

November 21 - December 28
Theater Wit

Santaland Diaries

David Sedaris' hilarious account of his time served as an Elf at Macy's during the holiday season is the antidote to an overdose of Christmas cheer.


How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical 

November 20-29
Chicago Theatre

Dr Seuss The Grinch Christmas-2

Narrated by the Grinch's overworked Max the Dog, this fun show is colorful, merry and bright, and onstage for just 10 days at the historic Chicago Theatre. The story sticks to the Dr. Seuss classic, throwing in a few fun surprises along the way, making it a great show for families with little ones.


Christmas on the Air

November 26 - December 28
Provision Theater Company

For the first time in Chicago, this popular hit from the Pacific Northwest will give audiences the chance to take a peek behind the scenes at an annual Christmas radio show. Filled with classic Christmas music and stories, Christmas on the Air is sure to warm your heart this holiday season.


Welcome Yule

December 14-23
Symphony Center

Welcome Yule

The best musicians in the city - the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus - showcase traditional favorites in this musical tribute to all things merry and bright. Now entering its 20th season, Welcome Yule!, this full-length musical production, is a delightful holiday tradition for all ages. 


A Christmas Carol

November 15 - December 28
The Goodman Theatre

A Christmas Carol Goodman Theater

Ever since its debut more than 35 years ago, families have flocked to witness Ebenezer Scrooge's change of heart. A timeless classic, a Christmas Carol at the Goodman is a holiday must for Chicagoans.


Cirque Dreams Holidaze

December 17-21
The Chicago Theatre 

This brand new cirque-style variety show is a Broadway musical, a circus, and a family holiday show all wrapped up into one bright, shiny package. It's a holiday spectacular featuring the beloved characters of Christmas - from Frosty to Santa - alongside circus and musical acts that will knock your Christmas stockings off.


Mrs. Claus: A Holiday Musical

December 4-23
Beverly Arts Center

Targeted for kids ages 2 to 12, this musical spectacular stars the unsung heroine of Christmas - Mrs. Claus - who saves the holiday just in the nick of time.


It's a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago

November 21 - December 28
American Blues Theater at the Greenhouse Theater Center

ABT It's A Wonderful Life

Travel back in time to the 1940's radio broadcast of Frank Capra's holiday classic. Live Foley sound effects, an original score, and a stellar cast bring Bedford Falls back to life.


The Annoyance Christmas Pageant

November 14 - December 21
The Annoyance Theater

The classic stories of Charlie Brown's Christmas and Rudolph are turned upside down by the crafty Annoyance theatre cast. The adult jokes will fly through the kids' ears, making this a wholesomely hilarious family show.


Buddy Cop 2

November 25 - December 21
Pavement Group at Theater Wit

Cops, criminals, cancer, racquetball - this show adds some new elements to the traditional holiday show. Set in August - in small-town Indiana - in the 1980s, this is perhaps the quirkiest Christmas tale you'll ever be told.


Hansel & Gretel: A Wickedly Delicious Musical Treat

November 22 - January 4
Emerald City Theatre at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place

Follow along with the brother/sister duo as they journey through a forbidden forest, hoping to restore holiday warmth to their home.