Atlanta Ballet: The Nutcracker at The Kennedy Center: Nov. 27-Dec. 1, 2019
Ballet and Nutcracker fans are in for a treat Thanksgiving week with the Kennedy Center debut of Atlanta Ballet and its extraordinary new production, which premiered last December. Washington audiences will be the first to see it outside of Atlanta—a truly spectacular, visually inventive staging set against a fantastical starry night, dominated by oversized storybooks, clocks, and constellations.
Messiah- G. F. Handel at The Washington National Cathedral: Dec. 6-8, 2019
Join Washington National Cathedral for Handel’s beloved “Messiah,” and experience this Christmas classic in a space as Handel would have intended. The Cathedral’s soaring architecture and Gothic splendor offers a space unlike any other in Washington to experience Handel’s masterpiece.
Family Messiah at The Washington National Cathedral: Dec. 7, 2019
The 12pm performance is an abbreviated performance of “Messiah” highlights, perfect for busy families with young children. Experience the best of “Messiah” with the whole family.
NSO: A Holiday Pops! with Leslie Odom, Jr. at The Kennedy Center: Dec. 13-14, 2019
Our annual tradition, complete with Santa, the joyful voices of The Choral Arts Society of Washington, and even “snow!” Warm your spirit with fresh takes on comforting classics and sing-along favorites in the festively decorated Concert Hall. This year, we welcome Leslie Odom, Jr., whose remarkable talents continue to inspire audiences across the globe, from his Tony®-winning role in Hamilton to singing “America the Beautiful” at the 2018 Super Bowl™.
Getty Music Presents Keith & Kristyn Getty and Friends: SING! An Irish Christmas at The Kennedy Center: Dec. 14, 2019
Come sing along with Keith and Kristyn and special guests for an evening that unites tradition and innovation in a vibrant celebration of the season!
Christmas at the Cathedral at The Washington National Cathedral: Dec. 15, 2019
Join Washington National Cathedral for a mix of mystery and celebration of the Christmas season. Experience Benjamin Britten’s sublime “Ceremony of Carols” and alongside medieval and modern Christmas favorites. Join in as they raise the roof with rousing Christmas congregational favorites with the help of the Cathedral’s grand organ and the incomparable Washington Symphonic Brass. If you’re not in the holiday spirit yet, you will be after this concert!
The Washington Chorus presents A Candlelight Christmas at The Kennedy Center: Dec. 15-22, 2019
It’s not Christmas without The Washington Chorus! Featuring brass, organ, sing-alongs, and the magnificent candlelight processional.
The Choral Arts Society of Washington presents Songs of the Season at The Kennedy Center: Dec. 15-24, 2019
Choral Arts returns to celebrate the holidays, bringing Songs of the Season to the Kennedy Center Concert Hall.
National Symphony Orchestra: Handel’s Messiah at The Kennedy Center: Dec. 19-22, 2019
Since its debut nearly three centuries ago, one work reigns unchallenged as the ultimate celebration of holiday cheer: Handel’s Messiah. This year, experience Messiah’s supreme glory in Sir Andrew Davis’s must-hear orchestration of the beloved classic. A stellar cast of singers joins Davis, the Orchestra, and The Washington Chorus.
Cathedral Choral Society: Joy of Christmas at The Washington National Cathedral: Dec. 21-22, 2019
Celebrate the warm spirit of the season in a majestic setting. A well-loved Washington, DC holiday tradition, this concert includes Christmas favorites and a festive carol sing-along.
Christmas Lessons and Carols at The Washington National Cathedral: Dec. 23-24, 2019
Join us for this service as they proclaim the Nativity in word and song. Through readings from Holy Scripture, favorite, hymns, choral and instrumental music, you’ll move from Creation to the manger in Bethlehem, telling the ancient story of God’s continued love as shown in Christ.
The Choral Arts Society of Washington presents A Family Christmas at The Kennedy Center: Dec. 24, 2019
Bring the kids for an unforgettable holiday experience as the Choral Arts Chorus fills the concert hall with holiday classics just for them!
National Philharmonic Holiday Singin’ Pops at Strathmore: Dec. 6, 2019
Create memories with your family and friends as you share in the sights and sounds of the holidays at the National Philharmonic’s annual Holiday Singin’ Pops. Join top-level Broadway and international talent for a fun and festive evening featuring fresh new takes on traditional and beloved holiday songs. Broadway singer/actress performer Ali Ewoldt of Phantom of the Opera; Hilary Morrow of the Birdland Jazz Club; international vocalist Kevin Rose; and acclaimed tap dancer Evan Ruggiero, who recently performed at the Oscars, perform holiday favorites such as Santa Baby, I’ll be Home for Christmas, No Place Like Home for the Holidays, and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. The evening will include audience participation. Come early to take a festive photo with Santa, decorate an ornament and hear young carolers. Kids 7-17 Free!
Stathmore Children’s Chorus: Great American Folksong for the Holidays at Strathmore: Dec. 8, 2019
Put a little fiddle in your holiday tradition with a spectrum of American folksong! Strathmore Children’s Chorus collaborates with Grammy winners Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer on folk arrangements of holiday gems that celebrate the spirit of the season, including the spiritual “Children Go Where I Send Thee,” “Hine Ma Tov,” “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem,” and “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” plus Appalachian tunes and more. The chorus is accompanied by a stellar lineup of roots musicians on guitar, banjo, fiddle, and hammered dulcimer.
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra: Cirque Nutcracker at Strathmore: Dec. 12, 2019
Troupe Vertigo’s acrobats, jugglers and high-flying aerialists join the BSO for this spectacular twist on Tchaikovsky’s holiday classic. This concert is not presented by Strathmore.
A Candlelight Christmas at Strathmore: Dec. 14, 2019
It’s not Christmas without The Washington Chorus! Featuring the National Capital Brass, over 130 singers, organ, sing-alongs, and the magnificent candlelight processional, A Candlelight Christmas includes popular songs such as The Dream Isaiah Saw, Hallelujah Chorus, and more holiday favorites to fall in love with! This concert is not presented by Strathmore.
Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker at Strathmore: Dec. 15-16, 2019
This Christmas give your family the gift of Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker! Step into a simpler time filled with sweet dreams and Christmas magic. With world-class artists, dazzling costumes, stunning sets, towering puppets, and soaring birds, don’t miss your chance to ring in the holidays with this acclaimed Christmas extravaganza. Described as the holiday season’s “Hot Ticket!” by The New York Times, celebrate this cherished tradition and relive the dream with Tchaikovsky’s timeless score. This concert is not presented by Strathmore.
The Hip Hop Nutcracker at Strathmore: Dec. 17-19, 2019
This holiday mash-up is back by popular demand! Join Maria-Clara and the Nutcracker Prince as they set off for a magical adventure…in modern day New York City. The Hip Hop Nutcracker features Tchaikovsky’s classic score punched up by all-star contemporary and hip-hop dancers, a DJ, a violinist, and Kurtis Blow, one of hip-hop’s founding fathers, who opens the show with a short set. Innovative visual effects transform the landscape of E.T.A. Hoffmann’s beloved story from traditional 19th century Germany to the vibrant, diverse sights and sounds of modern urban life. Through this remixed and reimagined version of the holiday classic, The Hip Hop Nutcracker takes us on a journey that celebrates love and community.
National Philharmonic: Handel’s Messiah at Strathmore: Dec. 21-22, 2019
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.” Kids 7-17 Free!
More holiday shows, music and ballets at various locations in order of showtime debut:
Disney Junior Holiday Party at Warner Theatre: Nov. 17, 2019
A Christmas Carol at Ford’s Theatre: Nov. 21-Dec. 31, 2019
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.
Washington Ballet’s Nutcracker at Warner Theatre: Nov. 23-Dec. 29, 2019
Set to Tchaikovsky’s magical score, this celebrated classic comes to life with intricate, stunning set designs, original period costumes and over 100 dancers including students and trainees from The Washington School of Ballet. It has become the signature Nutcracker of the nation’s capital. With over 40 scheduled performances, The Washington Ballet’s The Nutcracker will transport audiences of all ages into a winter wonderland that has become a lasting holiday tradition not to be missed. This year they will also celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Washington School of Ballet.
The Nutcracker on Strings at The Puppet Co. at Glen Echo: Nov. 29-Dec. 29, 2019
Holiday Sing-A-Long at Wolf Trap: Dec. 1, 2019
Kick off the holiday season with family and friends at Wolf Trap’s Annual 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.
Seasons of Light at Discovery Theater: Weekdays Dec. 2-20, 2019
Joy, warmth, and community illuminate seasonal holiday celebrations the world over. Back for its 20th season, this signature Discovery Theater show celebrates 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 in an interactive event that bridges communities and cultures. This show sells out early, so get your tickets now!
The Illusionists: Magic of the Holidays at National Theatre: December 3-8, 2019
Family-friendly spectacular The Illusionists: Magic of the Holidays is an all-new installment of the world-famous touring magic blockbuster that has appeared on Broadway and beyond. The show has shattered box office records across the globe and dazzles audiences of all ages with a powerful mix of the most outrageous and astonishing acts ever seen on stage. This nonstop show is packed with thrilling and sophisticated magic of unprecedented proportions. This year’s family-friendly show promises even more illusions, close-up magic, mentalism, daring escapes, and technological spectacle performed by master entertainers who’ve captivated audiences worldwide.
The Snow Queen at Synetic Theater: December 4-29, 2019
Just in time for the holidays, Synetic presents a whimsical, family-friendly adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson’s beloved fairy tale, Snow Queen. Join Gerda, a little girl with gumption, a magic mirror, and a quest to save her best friend, as she sets out on a life-changing journey that takes her over mountains and across distant lands to the Snow Kingdom. Synetic Theater’s striking visuals and embodied storytelling turn this chilling tale into a heartwarming adventure.
CSI: Christmas Scene Investigators at Encore Stage & Studio: December 6-15, 2019
Santa Claus is missing! During the last rehearsal for the annual Christmas Show, the action comes to a screeching halt when the cast discovers that the Santa Claus statue has been stolen! Mrs. Dickens calls in the Clue Club — a group of ambitious and eccentric students who take mystery and detection into the realm of science. Full of more surprises than a fruitcake, the Clue Club finds they have successfully fulfilled their duty as “Christmas Scene Investigators” when they discover the true meaning of Christmas. Recommended for ages 4 and older.
Frosty the Snowman at The Performing Arts Factory: Dec 7-28, 2019
An OVT favorite returns! Developed by the creative team at Other Voices Theatre, Frosty the Snowman is a heartwarming original musical that tells the story of the magic hat that brings Frosty to life and also has the magical ability to transform others who wear it. You can join Frosty and Jack Frost in helping their young friends. Perfect for the young ones and family alike.
The Christmas Revels: A French-Canadian Celebration of the Winter Solstice: Dec. 7-15, 2019
Magic is just around the corner in a rustic village in Europe! As the Winter days grow short, three wandering performers from far-off lands weave music, dance and stories from their cultures into an enchanting and dramatic tale of the Winter Solstice. But when the sun finally sets on the longest night — and darkness seems to stretch on without end — these “Celestial Fools” lead us on a journey into the heavens to reclaim the light and restore its warmth to the world. The cast of over 100, ages 9-90, invites you to join tradition bearers Karim Nagi, Shizumi Shigeto Manale and Mark Novak for this timeless fable. Sing along and dance through the aisles to eclectic instrumentals by Seth Kibel, Vladimir Fridman and Bob Abbott, with the glorious tones of the Washington Revels Brass. And as we prepare to call back the Sun, let’s light a candle, deck the hall, and revel in this exuberant blend of seasonal celebrations from around the world and across the centuries. Welcome Yule!
The Mini-Nut at Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center: Dec. 7-8, 2019
MYB’s Mini-Nut is a delightful abbreviated version of our classic 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!
Step Afrika!’s Magical Musical Holiday Step Show at Atlas Performing Arts Center: Dec. 12-22, 2019
Step Afrika!’s Magical Musical Holiday Step Show is the most vibrant holiday celebration in town! 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 eight 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! NOTE: Step Afrika!’s Magical Musical Holiday Step Show is suited to adults and kids age four and up. Join 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.
The Nutcracker presented by Maryland Youth Ballet: Dec. 20-26, 2019
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. With VIP experiences as well as photo ops available.
The Snowy Day and Other Stories by Ezra Jack Keats at Adventure Theatre: February 14–April 5, 2020
This beautiful show follows the character of Peter and his friend Archie around the neighborhood in four of Ezra Jack Keats’ beloved tales, The Snowy Day, Whistle for Willie, Goggles!, and A Letter to Amy. Renowned for his tender personality, the character of Peter faces relatable everyday challenges to which children of all ages will find delightfully entertaining. Recommended for all ages.