Holiday shows to enjoy with your kids

From theater to music to dance, the DC area is full of spectacular seasonal performances for all ages to enjoy.

Looking to celebrate the holiday season by taking in a show with your family? From theater to music to dance, the DC area is full of spectacular seasonal performances for all ages to enjoy. DCTA staff have curated this roundup of family-friendly holiday shows within a 30-mile radius of DC. (Let us know if we’ve missed any!)

Marshall Bailey, Justin Mohay, Rose Talbot, Cate Ginsberg, and Mollie Greenberg in ‘The Nutcracker’ at The Puppet Co. in Glen Echo, MD. Photo by Maggie Rocha.


Tiny Lights: Tales for Chanukah Theater J (December 3-10). Taking inspiration from the great Chanukah tales of master storyteller Isaac Bashevis Singer, Theater J’s theatrical storytellers will weave tales out of words, a few simple props, and theatrical devices—and then teach you and your young kids how to do the same!

Step Afrika!’s Magical Musical Holiday Step Show Arena Stage (December 8-17). As the world’s first holiday show highlighting the African American tradition of stepping, Step Afrika!’s Magical Musical Holiday Step Show is a feast for the eyes and ears. Fabulous and furry friends from the Arctic Kingdom – Popper the Penguin and Polo the Polar Bear – along with DJ Nutcracker ensure a fun and exciting experience for the entire family!

Season of Hope Washington Performing Arts (December 9-10). Washington Performing Arts Children of the Gospel Choir (COTG) joins The United States Air Force Band in Season of Hope, a free concert celebrating the holiday season. The concert features The United States Air Force Concert Band, Singing Sergeants, and COTG singing timeless renditions of holiday favorites, with an additional performance from the Alexandria School of Highland Dance. To conclude the program, a surprise guest (Santa Claus) will join the audience in holiday sing-alongs.

The Spirit of Kwanzaa Dance Institute of Washington (December 15-16). The Spirit of Kwanzaa is the Dance Institute of Washington’s most popular and longest-running cultural arts and dance production (since 1995). The Dance Institute of Washington has adapted the principles of Kwanzaa to convey the struggles and creativity of the Black diaspora. The production highlights the holiday’s principles with dance, song, and spoken word.

Christmas Revels: The Magical Medieval Tale of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Washington Revels (December 15-17). This production whisks audiences to the time of Camelot, King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, weaving the ancient tale of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight with English and French medieval music, delightful Revels favorites, and many opportunities for the audience to join in the fun.

La Fiesta de los Reyes Magos – Three Kings Day GALA Hispanic Theatre (January 7, 2024). Join in the magic of GALA’s annual Three Kings Day celebration featuring a procession through the neighborhood led by the magi, live animals, music and dance performances, and a gift for every child. A free community event.


My Father The Elf Maryland Ensemble Theatre’s The Fun Company, Frederick, MD (November 25-December 17). Lorrie’s world is turned upside down after she discovers that her dad is moonlighting as an elf at the North Pole. But when the ‘up to no good’ Kris Kringle kidnaps Santa Claus, it’s up to Lorrie and her dad to save the holidays!

The 35th Annual Nutcracker The Puppet Co, Glen Echo Park, MD (November 24-December 31). This time-honored seasonal celebration includes Tchaikovsky’s familiar story of Clara and her prince, with some Puppet Co. nursery rhyme spin.

Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins The Puppet Co, Glen Echo Park, MD (November 30-December 31). Hershel just wants to celebrate Hanukkah with the community, but the Queen and King of the Goblins have forbidden the lighting of the candles. Can Hershel save the day and lift the curse for this shtetl (village)?


Madeline’s Christmas Creative Cauldron, Falls Church, VA (December 1-17). In this musical adaptation of Ludwig Bemelmans’ classic, Madeline’s schoolmates and tutor are all sick in bed on Christmas Eve, unable to go home for Christmas to be with their families. So it’s Madeline to the rescue! And with the help of a magical rug merchant she takes her friends on a Christmas journey they will never forget.

A Steampunk Christmas Carol NextStop Theater Company, Herndon, VA (December 2-17). Ebenezer Scrooge is a hard-hearted old miser, who hates Christmas! But when he is visited by the ghost of his long-dead business partner and three phantasmagorical spirits, even he can not deny the power of the holiday season. Join NextStop for a wildly original and imaginative retelling of the most beloved holiday story of all time!

Reindeer Games Encore Stage & Studio, Arlington, VA (December 8-17). Pulling Santa’s sleigh is hard work. And when team leader Dasher decides to retire, coaches Kris and Carol Kringle host the Reindeer Games to find the next member of the Nifty Nine, Santa’s reindeer crew.

A Christmas Story: The Musical City of Fairfax Theatre Company (December 8-17). Based on the classic 1983 holiday movie, A Christmas Story follows nine-year-old Ralphie Parker, a daydreamer from Indiana who spends his days counting down to the most exciting day in any kid’s life: Christmas.

Dash: The Musical Providence Players of Fairfax (December 8-17). In this holiday musical fantasy, reindeer sing and dance, Mrs. Claus has a cooking show, and the elves just might do a Christmas “rap.” A family-friendly, original musical written by Providence Players members, Deborah Davidson and Barbara Schelstrate, Dash: The Musical is co-produced with The Young Hearts Foundation, providing support to children and young adults whose lives have been affected by serious illness or loss.

Junior Claus StageCoach Theatre Company, Ashburn, VA (December 9-23). Junior Claus is the only son of Santa and Mrs. Claus. Like many teenagers, Junior Claus (only son of Santa and Mrs. Claus) is reluctant to take over the family business. But, when a sudden drop in Christmas spirit renders Santa incapable of making the great ride, Junior must take the reins. With a tuneful score, a flexible cast of beloved Christmas characters old and new and a Pixar-esque tone, Junior Claus is a comedic holiday adventure for the whole family.

Snow Maiden Synetic Theater, Arlington, VA (December 9-January 6). In a frozen silver forest high in the mountains, a lonely boy builds a girl from snow. When she mysteriously comes to life, mischief, laughter, and enchantment abound. But what will happen when the ice begins to melt? Told through Synetic’s signature style of dazzling movement, dance, and acrobatics, this magical take on the beloved folk tale Snegurochka is a heartwarming story of love, hope, and the transformative powers of awe and wonder.


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