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This isn’t your average list of holiday musicals and plays, though of course, feel free to see The Nutcracker again if you want! There’s nothing wrong with the classics, but we’ve come up with a list of five different Christmas-themed performances that are perfect for you and the whole family. Not sure what to do after all the presents are unwrapped? Head out to a holiday show or musical, and this time, try something new or off-beat! From hip hop to Cirque Du Soleil, everybody’s getting into the holiday spirit on stage this year! Many of these shows take place in NYC (which seems to be the epicenter for Christmas-themed entertainment), but lots of these productions are happening all across the US this season! Get your tickets today!

A Christmas Carol

Nothing like a holiday ghost story to get you in the mood for celebrating, right? There are several versions of Charles Dickens’s classic tale of Tiny Tim and Scrooge that you can go see during the holidays! (Don’t worry, most versions aren’t too spooky for kids!) You can check out the off-Broadway production of A Christmas Carol at The Players Theatre in Greenwich Village – it’s been running there for the past ten years – or transport yourself back in time and see it at The Merchant’s Theatre in Noho, a venue set in the former home of a wealthy 19th-century family – truly an atmospheric experience now in its seventh year! You can also see it live ON Broadway at the Lyceum Theater and in tons of cities around the country. Many performances will run through the end of the year and into January.

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Cirque Du Soleil – Twas the Night Before

Fancy a little something different for the holidays? We’ve written about the best Cirque Du Soleil shows here before, but this one is just the thing for the Christmas season! Head to Hulu Theatre in Madison Square Garden to see the iconic dance troupe wow you with their amazing acrobatics, contortionism, strength, and dance, not to mention incredibly designed costumes, makeup, and set. Twas the Night Before is a take on the classic poem by Clement Clarke Moore in 1823, “A Visit from the St. Nicholas,” but you probably know it by its famous first line (and the name of this show). This company’s first holiday-themed production follows a young girl as she disappears into a magical world on Christmas Eve!

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A Charlie Brown Christmas

If you don’t want to just watch this annual Christmas special when it comes on TV this year, why not check out Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and his sad little Christmas tree live on stage?! The whole Peanuts gang will be there, accompanied by a jazz trio and Vince Guaraldi score. You can catch A Charlie Brown Christmas in Long Island at the Secret Theater through January 4th, 2020 and the production is touring the US as well. It’s like a cartoon come to life with that standard comic strip humor and even the physical comedy!

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The Hip Hop Nutcracker

You may have seen the classic ballet by Tchaikovsky, so why not try something new? The Hip Hop Nutcracker features 12 amazing dancers and MC rap legend Kurtis Blow, along with a live DJ mixed with the original Nutcracker score for a new twist on an old favorite. Celebrate the holidays with family or friends by taking them to see something out of the ordinary – and watching some enviable dance moves set in the streets of NYC. With minimal costumes, sneakers instead of ballet slippers, and a video screen projection behind the talented dancers, fans of the original Nutcracker will especially appreciate this modern take on an old favorite.

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Elf – The Musical

Ahh, one of the most hilarious Christmas movies ever made is also a musical that travels the world! The story of Buddy the Elf, a human who was raised by elves in the North Pole, is told on stage with just as much humor, but more singing. Buddy explores all the wonder of New York City in search of his long lost father. It might not be Will Ferrell starring in this version of Elf, but you can bet you’ll still know some of the best lines. Be warned though, the Christmas cheer and sheer energy of this performance can be a lot at times – some critics say it verges on mania! (Sorry, still sounds hilarious to us.) Remember, the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.

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Do you ever go see shows or musicals at Christmas?