Washington Ballet’s Nutcracker at Warner Theatre: Nov. 29-Dec. 28, 2018
DC’s perennial favorite, Septime Webre’s The Nutcracker, celebrates 15 years in 2018 with 40 performances! This celebrated production is set in historic 1882 Georgetown with George Washington, King George III, and other historical figures. Join us again with family and friends or start a new holiday tradition with your loved ones. The Nutcracker running time is approximately two hours including one intermission.
Offerings from The Washington National Cathedral
Messiah- G. F. Handel: Dec. 7-9, 2018
A beloved Christmas favorite featuring the Cathedral Choir.
Cathedral Choral Society: Joy of Christmas: Dec. 15 & 16, 2018
Celebrate the warm spirit of the season in a majestic setting. A well-loved Washington, D.C. holiday tradition, this concert includes Christmas favorites and a festive carol sing-along. The program will feature a newly commissioned carol by popular British composer Paul Mealor.
Offerings from The Kennedy Center
Ballet West: The Nutcracker: Dec. 5-9, 2018
Ballet West returns to perform the D.C. premiere of its whimsical new production of The Nutcracker, which was unveiled in Salt Lake City last year. Pairing reimagined designs with beloved choreography, the opulent production delivers treasured moments and surprising new delights.
The Washington Chorus presents A Candlelight Christmas: Dec. 7-22, 2018
It’s not Christmas without The Washington Chorus! Featuring brass, organ, sing-alongs, and the magnificent candlelight processional.
Merry TubaChristmas!: Dec. 10, 2018 at 6:00pm
This year marks the 45th anniversary of MERRY TUBACHRISTMAS!, founded by Harvey Phillips, in which hundreds of tuba, sousaphone, and euphonium players from around Washington, D.C., play traditional Christmas music. Free general admission tickets will be distributed in the Nations Gallery starting at approximately 4:30 p.m., up to two tickets per person.
Washington National Opera: Holiday Family Opera: The Lion, the Unicorn, and Me:Dec. 14-16, 2018
As the first Christmas nears, a special character will share the Nativity story from his perspective: the donkey! Director Francesca Zambello brings the award-winning children’s book to vibrant life in this heartwarming family opera, revived after its acclaimed 2013 world premiere.
National Symphony Orchestra: A Holiday Pops! Under the Mistletoe with Ashley Brown: Dec. 14-15, 2018
Warm your spirit with fresh takes on comforting classics in this singalong tradition with the NSO and The Washington Chorus, a perfect holiday treat for the entire family! Join us in the festively decorated Concert Hall for this year’s program that welcomes musical theater darling Ashley Brown—originator of the title role in Mary Poppins on Broadway—in her NSO debut.
Getty Music Presents Keith & Kristyn Getty and Friends: SING! An Irish Christmas: Dec. 15, 2018 at 8:00pm
Join Ireland’s own Keith and Kristyn Getty, writers of modern hymns and carols, for their seventh annual tour of An Irish Christmas.
Cirque Dreams Holidaze at MGM National Harbor
This critically acclaimed extravaganza is the nation’s iconic holiday stage spectacular and part Broadway musical, new cirque adventure and a family show – all wrapped into the ultimate holiday gift for the entire family. Weekday performances are scheduled to begin nightly at 7:30 p.m. and weekend shows are scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.
National Symphony Orchestra: Handel’s Messiah: Dec. 20-23, 2018
Join the NSO, exceptional singers, and a heavenly chorus in the festively decorated Concert Hall for our holiday tradition! Experience all of the hope, redemption, and grace of Handel’s much-loved Messiah, conducted by Nicholas McGegan.
Messiah Sing-Along: Dec. 23, 2018 at 6:00pm
Be part of Washington’s most popular free holiday event, the Kennedy Center’s Messiah Sing-Along. Back by popular demand, the evening concert features conductor Nancia D’Alimonte as she leads members of the Opera House Orchestra, guest soloists, a chorus of 200, and a veryenthusiastic audience in Handel’s masterpiece. A family and community tradition since 1971! Free general admission tickets will be distributed in the Hall of Nations starting at approximately 4:30 p.m., up to two tickets per person.
All-Star Christmas Day Jazz Jam: Dec. 25, 2018 at 6:00pm
Join in the 20th annual All-Star Christmas Day Jazz Jam, a Millennium Stage tradition, with host/vibraphonist Chuck Redd, drummer Lenny Robinson, trumpeters Robert Redd and Tom Williams, bassist James King, and vocalist Delores King Williams.
Music for Young Audiences: Timbalooloo Live: Dec. 26-31, 2018
Explore the thrilling language of instruments! Grammy Award®–winning clarinetist and composer Oran Etkin and his band use games, stories, songs, and movement to teach children rich musical and cultural heritage. Age 3+
Offerings from Strathmore
Manheim Steamroller: Dec. 2, 2018
Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis has been America’s favorite holiday tradition for over 30 years! Grammy Award-winner Davis has created a show that features Mannheim Steamroller Christmas classics along with a selection of compositions from his groundbreaking Fresh Aire series which introduced the distinctive Mannheim sound to all of America. Experience the magic as the spirit of the season comes alive with dazzling multimedia effects and the signature sound of Mannheim Steamroller.
National Philharmonic Holiday Pops: Dec. 7, 2018 at 7:30pm
Experience the joy and magic of the holidays! Hear Ms. Blake sing O Holy Night and other favorite holiday solos and sing along to seasonal classics including White Christmas with your family and friends at Strathmore. Ms. Blake was recently seen in Signature Theater’s Titanic. Come early to this special concert, supportiing military families of the USO-Metro, to view the Polar Express Train, decorate an ornament and hear young carolers. Members can enjoy a delicious hot chocolate bar.
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra: Cirque Nutcracker: Dec. 13, 2018 at 8:00pm
The awe-inspiring talents of Troupe Vertigo come to the concert hall as acrobats, contortionists, jugglers, strongmen and high-flying aerialists join the BSO for this spectacular holiday-themed show.
Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker: Dec. 16-17, 2018
Christmas is coming and so is the one and only Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker. Presenting world class Russian artists, hand-painted sets, Russian Snow Maidens, and jubilant Nesting Dolls—Great Russian Nutcracker brings the Christmas spirit to life for all ages. “Kids wide-eyed with delight!” says The New York Times. Experience the Dove of Peace Tour, spreading goodwill in over 100 cities across North America. Get seats now for the whole family and make memories for a lifetime at Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker!
The Hip Hop Nutcracker: Dec. 18-19, 2018
This holiday mash-up for the whole family is back by popular demand! The Hip Hop Nutcracker reimagines Tchaikovsky’s classic score through explosive hip-hop choreography. A dozen all-star dancers, an on-stage DJ, and an electric violinist bring the traditional Nutcracker story to life in contemporary New York City.
A Candlelight Christmas: Dec. 20-21, 2018
It’s not Christmas without The Washington Chorus! Featuring brass, organ, sing-alongs, and the magnificent candlelight processional, A Candlelight Christmas includes audience favorites such as “The Dream Isaiah Saw,” “Hallelujah Chorus,” and more.
National Philharmonic: Handel’s Messiah: Dec. 22-23, 2018
No Christmas celebration is complete without a performance of Handel’s uplifting oratorio Messiah, a work that has delighted and inspired audiences worldwide since its premiere in 1741. The perennial favorite features such timeless highlights as “And the Glory of the Lord” and the “Hallelujah Chorus.” Messiah will once again infuse audiences with its beauty in a performance by the acclaimed National Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorale and world-class soloists, led by conductor Stan Engebretson.
More shows in and around Washington, DC at various locations:
Fancy Nancy’s Splendiferous Christmas at Adventure Theatre: Nov. 16-Jan. 6
What could be fancier than Christmas? Presents with elegant wrapping paper, festive decorations, Christmas cookies with sprinkles-and who could forget the tree? After all, there is no such thing as too much tinsel. Oohlala! This year, Nancy is especially excited. After selling some of her old gowns and accessories, Nancy has enough money to buy a brand-new sparkly tree topper. She can’t wait to decorate the Christmas tree. But when things don’t turn out the way Nancy planned, will Christmas still be splendiferous?
Encore Stage & Studio presents Jingle ARRGH the Way! : Nov. 16-18 and Nov. 30-Dec. 9, 2018
A mysterious message left in the crow’s nest of their ship brings Captain Braid Beard and his pirate mates back to North Beach to seek out young Jeremy Jacob to help solve a riddle and find the Christmas treasure. Favorite characters, a rollicking story, great songs, and a trip to the North Pole to find “you know who,” this production is based on a story by Melinda Long, author of How I Became a Pirate. We recommend this musical for ages 4 and older.
A Christmas Carol at Ford’s Theatre: Nov. 15-Dec. 30, 2018
Join the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future as they lead the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge on a journey of transformation and redemption. Originally conceived by Michael Baron, this music-infused production captures the magic and joy of Dickens’s Yuletide classic. Acclaimed actor Craig Wallace returns to play Ebenezer Scrooge. This annual production has been a Washington tradition for more than 35 years.Length: 2 hours with one intermission. Recommended for ages 5 and older.
The Nutcracker on Strings at The Puppet Co. at Glen Echo Nov. 23-Dec. 30, 2018
Tiny Tots: Nutcracker Fantasy at The Puppet Co. at Glen Echo Nov. 23-Dec. 30, 2018
Holiday Sing-A-Long at Wolf Trap: Dec. 1, 2018 at 4:00pm
Kick off the holiday season with family and friends at Wolf Trap’s 2017 Holiday Sing-A-Long! This musical celebration hosts a performance by the United States Marine Band and a Sing-A-Long of Christmas carols and Hanukkah songs with local choir and vocal groups from the metropolitan Washington area. Wolf Trap will be participating in Toys for Tots by collecting new, unwrapped toys at the entrance to the Filene Center before the Sing-A-Long. Donations are voluntary and not required. Admission is free and no tickets are necessary. Parking is free but limited so please plan on arriving early. Bring a candle and join the tradition of exiting the Filene Center with a candlelight processional during the last verse of “Silent Night.” There will also be a ‘Jing-A-Long’ during the singing of Jingle Bells so remember to bring a bell and your holiday cheer!
Seasons of Light at Discovery Theatre:Weekdays Dec. 3- Dec. 21 at 10:15 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., (with additional 1 p.m. performances on Dec. 13, 18, & 19)
Join in the annual celebration of seasonal holidays from around the world. The history and customs of Diwali (Devali), Chanukah, Las Posadas, Ramadan, Sankta Lucia Day, Kwanzaa, Christmas, and the First Nations’ tradition of the Winter Solstice make for an amazing interactive event that bridges communities and cultures. Back for its 20th season, this signature Discovery Theater show sells out early, so get your tickets now!
Madeline’s Christmas presented by Creative Cauldron: Dec. 6-23, 2018
She’s Back!! After sold out runs at the Cauldron in 2014 & 2017, we couldn’t resist one more visit from everyone’s favorite precocious little Parisian. “In an old house in Paris, covered in vines, lived 12 little girls in two straight lines.” And with that familiar phrase, author, illustrator Ludwig Bemelmans sets in motion the adventures of the brave and resourceful Madeline! In this musical adaptation, Madeline’s schoolmates and tutor are all sick in bed on Christmas Eve, unable to go home to be with their families. So, it’s Madeline to the rescue! And with the help of a magical rug merchant she takes her friends on a Christmas journey they will never forget.
(Picture: The Mini-Nut) Maryland Youth Ballet presents Mini-Nutcracker: Dec. 8 & 9, 2018
MYB’s Mini-Nut is a delightful abbreviated version of our classic, award-winning, The Nutcracker, designed to introduce children to the magic of this family favorite. This beloved holiday tradition with soaring music by Tchaikovsky promises to hold the attention of even the youngest theatergoer. Come see the Nutcracker turn into a handsome Prince, see the battle between the Nutcracker and the Seven Headed Mouse King. Watch the sparkling Snow Queen float through her kingdom. See the beautiful Sugar Plum Fairy and the magical residents of The Kingdom of Sweets! Suitable for all ages, this version is less than an hour and performed by cast members from MYB’s full-length production. A perfect holiday mini-treat!
The Christmas Revels: A French-Canadian Celebration of the Winter Solstice: Dec. 8-16, 2018
Spend a festive holiday evening with the Queen — Elizabeth the First, that is! The year is 1599, England is swept up in a flowering of music and drama, and master Shakespearian actor and fool Will Kemp has become an overnight sensation by Morris dancing from London to the town of Norwich in just nine days! Queen Elizabeth herself is also on the way to Norwich, and the locals enlist Kemp’s help as they prepare a Winter play worthy of Her Majesty. But Elizabeth has left the trappings of court far behind — and she has much more rustic entertainment in mind.
The Nutcracker presented by Maryland Youth Ballet: Dec. 14-23, 2018
Voted both Outstanding Production in Classical Dance and Outstanding Youth Performance by Metro DC Dance Awards, Lees’ version of the holiday classic is a metropolitan area family favorite. There is something for everyone in this fun and engaging version of The Nutcracker—a huge cannon that fires at the mice, a beautiful growing Christmas tree, whirling flakes in a snowstorm, cute little Ginger Snaps peeking out of a huge Mother Ginger skirt, a lovely Sugar Plum dancing with her handsome Cavalier, and extraordinary costumed characters from the Kingdom of Sweets.
Step Afrika!’s Magical Musical Holiday Step Show at Atlas Performing Arts Center: Dec. 14, 2018 at 7:30pm
This fun, family-friendly performance will have you stomping your feet and clapping your hands to energetic beats from Step Afrika! and special guest, DJ Frosty the Snowman. Over the last six years, this internationally-renowned percussive dance company has created a contemporary holiday tradition at the Atlas, featuring friendly, furry characters, pre-show instrument-making workshops, photo ops, and even a dance party. Why celebrate the holidays sitting still when you can step with Step Afrika! Step Afrika!’s Magical Musical Holiday Step Show is suited to adults and kids age four and up. Join us in the lobby 30 minutes before show time to decorate your own musical instrument so you can make music with Step Afrika! during the performance. (Pictured below)