Shows

Nutcracker and Other 2018 Holiday Shows for Kids on Long Island

Ring in the holiday season by taking in a theatrical performance. Kids of all ages will enjoy the magic of music, storytelling, and dance in a classic performance of The Nutcracker or another holiday show.

Here are some amazing holiday shows for families on Long Island in 2018. Be sure to check out our events calendar for more holiday family fun.

This post is updated annually.

The Nutcracker: 28 Holiday Performances of the Classic Ballet Fit for Kids

Most of the year, most of us parents don't attempt to take our children to full-length ballet productions, but Christmas just doesn't feel like Christmas without one good Nutcracker. And if one good Nutcracker begins to make it feel a lot like Christmas, then LA, Orange, and Ventura counties are evidently hitting Uber-Christmas in the coming weeks with more than two dozen professional Nutcracker productions.

Incidentally, we've got answers to the two questions posed most often by LA parents in search of a Nutcracker Ballet for their families: Yes, there is a condensed version staged specifically for kids, offered by the Festival Ballet Theatre down in Costa Mesa or Classical Ballet Theatre in Palos Verdes; and yes, there are local productions performed with full orchestra—​at the Long Beach Terrace Theater, the Broad Stage, the Dolby Theatre, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, and the Grove of Anaheim. There is even the odd Nutcracker Tea or two—in case you were wondering.

And when you've had your fill of Sugarplum Fairies, we can direct you to some nifty Christmas train rides.

Best Nutcrackers and Holiday Shows for New Jersey Kids

The holidays are the most wonderful time of the year for lots of things, including performances. Over the next several weeks, New Jersey theaters will come alive with dancing sugar plum fairies, singing elves, and more than a few Christmas ghosts. 

This season, you can dance and sing along with the Laurie Berkner Band or check out musical versions of holiday favorites like Elf and A Christmas Story

Charlie Brown and friends learn the true meaning of Christmas in A Charlie Brown Christmas: Live Onstage, with productions taking place at multiple venues throughout NJ. And Ebeneezer Scrooge gets spooked into a change of heart in several productions of A Christmas Carol, including an area favorite at McCarter Theatre, as well as kid-friendly musical versions at Paper Mill and bergenPAC.

If your child is nuts about The Nutcracker, you don't have to go to New York City to see a great production—there are several top-notch companies performing the holiday fave right here in NJ, at multiple venues across the state, including American Repertory Ballet, New Jersey Ballet, and Moscow Ballet. For a sweet twist on the classic, don't miss the Hip Hop Nutcracker at NJPAC. We couldn't list all of them here, so be sure to check out our event calendar for more!

Read on for a list of the best productions happening this holiday season.

Big Apple Circus Returns to NYC with New Ringmaster and Incredible Acts

At a time when the world sometimes feels like a circus, it's soothing to find a real, true, exuberant circus wowing audiences at Lincoln Center. The Big Apple Circus is back for its 41st edition under an intimate one-ring big top, where no seat is more than 50 feet from the stage. While many of the thrills are new, the joyful effect remains the same.

Stephanie Monseu, the fabulous new female ringmaster, keeps the show moving at an exhilarating clip alongside two wonderful clowns, Mark Gindick and Adam Kuchler. And the jaw-dropping array of acts, all backed by a live band, includes both veterans (Jenny Vidbel and her adorable animals) and first-timers (horizontal juggler Victor Moiseev). We've got the scoop on all the audience favorites, whether it's worth splurging on VIP tickets, and how you can connect with the circus stars after the show.

The Best Family Shows of Off-Broadway's New Victory Theater 2018-2019 Season

For the past 23 years, the award-winning New Victory Theater in the heart of Times Square has been the premier destination to catch entertaining and affordable productions for all ages. But the beloved New Vic is much more than just a place to "go catch a show." Through hands-on workshops, interactive pre- and post-show activities, and performances tailored for children with special needs, the nonprofit organization is raising the bar for what children's theater can be. As a parent who has been taking my daughter to the New Vic for over a decade, I'm pleased to share a preview of its 2018-2019 season, including the best shows for different ages and how to save on tickets.

Best Family Theater in NYC This Fall

Autumn marks the start of a new theater season, but you don't need to shell out big bucks on Broadway shows to give your kids a memorable live entertainment experience in NYC. In fact, this fall boasts more high-quality theater productions for young audiences than ever—so many in fact, we have a whopping 25 picks, and that's after whittling down the contenders.

Preschoolers will be excited for the return of old friends Pete the Cat and Angelina Ballerina, plus the debut of a new show based on a Laurie Berkner song. Older kids will be inspired by That Inventions Show, the interactive improv piece Show Up, Kids!, and the immersive Gumshoe, which takes place throughout the 125-year-old Henry Street Settlement. There's also funky fare for tweens at Lincoln Center and the New Victory Theater, plus everyone in your family can enjoy the Big Apple Circus. Best of all, many of our picks are $25 or less per ticket.

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