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. Be sure to check out our calendar for more holiday family fun.
The jolly, happy snowman comes to life to help friend Jenny save their town in Frosty. Photo courtesy of The John W. Engeman Theater
Frosty — Northport
November 18-December 31
Frosty returns to help his friend Jenny save the town from Ethel Pierpot and her snow-melting machine. Kids can help by participating from their seats in getting Frosty back to the North Pole. At the John W. Engeman Theater.
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Barnaby, Santa's littlest elf, sets off on a journey to save Christmas. Photo courtesy of Theatre Three
Barnaby Saves Christmas — Port Jefferson
November 24-25, December 2, 9, 16, 23, 28, 29, 30
Theatre Three presents Barnaby Saves Christmas. This delightful show, back for its 14th season, features a little elf named Barnaby who joins forces with a reindeer friend to save Christmas.
A Charlie Brown Christmas — Patchogue
November 26 at 11 am and 3 pm
The Peanuts gang comes to life in this performance of the holiday cartoon classic. Don’t miss Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and Woodstock as they gather around the tree and remind us what the holidays are really about.
Enter the dreamscape of The Nutcracker from the American Dance Theatre of Long Island. Photo courtesy of Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts
Clara’s Dream: The Nutcracker — Patchogue
Watch as toys come to life, snowflakes waltz, and a Christmas tree grows before your eyes in this rendition of The Nutcracker. The American Dance Theatre of Long Island has enchanted audiences with sold-out performances since 2000, and this one promises to do the same.
The Magical Toy Shop — Oakdale
December 2, 9, 23, 26
A group of misfit toys try to save their shop from an evil toymaker in this kid-friendly performance at the Noel S. Ruiz Theatre. This is an adventure filled with magic, music, and fun, and audience participation is encouraged.
Mrs. Claus Saves the Day — East Islip
December 3, 9, 16, and 23
Santa needs help on Christmas Eve, but Mrs. Claus has her hands full with a particular reindeer with a glowing red nose. Find out how this red-nosed reindeer helps Santa and Mrs. Claus in this version of the beloved children's story at Bayview Arts Center.
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Students of the Hampton Ballet School join in the annual performance of The Nutcracker. Photo courtesy of Hampton Ballet Theatre School
Hampton Ballet Theatre School’s The Nutcracker — Bridgehampton
The ballet school’s annual holiday production is in its ninth year, showcasing students of the Hampton Ballet Theatre School along with local actors. Suitable for all ages, the students of HBTS show a land where angels, snowflakes, and flowers dance and Clara saves the Nutcracker Prince from the evil Mouse King.
Thrill to the music and movement at Seiskaya Ballet’s The Nutcracker. Photo courtesy of Seiskaya Ballet
Seiskaya Ballet’s The Nutcracker — Stony Brook
One of Long Island’s most lavish performances of The Nutcracker returns to the Staller Center. Choose from six performances, and be prepared for amazing costumes, sets, and dance choreographed by internationally acclaimed choreographer Valia Seiskaya.
New York Dance Theatre’s The Nutcracker — Hempstead
Enjoy the full-length production of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker at Hofstra University. The cast includes guest artists from New York City Ballet and a cast of 80 children, semi-professional and professional dancers. It's the largest production of The Nutcracker on Long Island and the only one performed in the tradition of George Balanchine’s New York City Ballet production.
The Nutcracker: Act II — Ronkonkoma
December 16, 20
This shorter version of The Nutcracker is a great introduction to watching live theater with little ones. Be transported by the Sugar Plum Fairy to the Land of Sweets with this performance by Ballet Long Island. Remember the magic with a souvenir from the Nutcracker boutique set up in the lobby.
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A moose dreams of being one of Santa's reindeer in Mooseltoe: A Holiday Moosical. Photo by Jeff Bellante/courtesy of the theater
Mooseltoe — Bellport
December 17 at 12 pm, 2:30 pm, and 5 pm
The Gateway Playhouse presents this fun, family musical about a moose who dreams of being one of Santa’s reindeer. Narrated by Al Roker with other celebrity voices, this musical is sure to capture the imagination of children as young as toddlers.
Once Upon a Snowflake — Bellmore
Who will win the title of Supreme Snowman of the Year? Join Ella, her grandpa, and Frosty on this one-hour adventure filled with songs that delight at The Showplace. The audience can even meet the cast after the show.
Top photo: The New York City Ballet’s version of The Nutcracker is the largest such production on Long Island. Photo courtesy of Ohman School of Ballet
This post is updated annually.