Best Nutcrackers and Holiday Shows for New Jersey Kids

Where to see The Nutcracker and holiday shows with kids in New Jersey this year.
Snowflakes swirl in The Great Russian Nutcracker. Photo courtesy of NJPAC.

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 reindeer, and more than a few Christmas ghosts. 

This season, you can dance and sing along with the Laurie Berkner Band or listen to the world-famous Vienna Boys' Choir. Beloved characters such as Charlie Brown, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and Garfield take the stage in musicals based on animated holiday specials. 

Annie brings Broadway talent to NJ in an all-star production at the Paper Mill Playhouse (OK, this one isn't technically a holiday show, but the story takes place at Christmastime, and it's a classic). And Ebeneezer Scrooge gets spooked into a change of heart in several productions of A Christmas Carol at theaters throughout the state, including McCarter Theatre and the Theatre at Raritan Valley Community College, plus 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, 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. 

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

Note that some ballet companies will be performing at multiple venues. Click on each listing for more information, including prices and show times.

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