What I hear is the sound of families enjoying Christmas music together. We all have our classic favorites – and the Twin Cities has so many opportunities to hear them live during the season. The sounds of the holidays are tuning up all around us! How to choose from the live performances if we’re planning to bring children?
We have something for just about everyone in our Twin Cities Christmas & Holiday Guide: Santa, shopping, stage shows, singalongs, sleighrides, sparkling light displays and special holiday events at sites across the Minneapolis & St. Paul metro area:
A meaningful trip to the ballet is probably best reserved for kids who have a specific interest in dance and can weather a performance of up to two hours. The costumes and set pieces can be lovely eye candy for children, but it’s important to explain to them ahead of time that a ballet is a typically a story told completely through instrumental music – no sing-alongs here!
A few family-friendly choices we recommend that are also easier on the holiday budget:
Nov 20, 2021: Pas de Deux Backstage Nutcracker
St Paul U of M Student Union Theater, 2017 Buford Avenue, St Paul
The classic story with a few special twists, presented at the St Paul Student Union Theater. Shows at 1:30 & 4pm. Ages 4 & up only, $15/advance, $20/door.
Nov 30, 2021: Mini-Nutcracker
Lakeville Area Arts Center, 20965 Holyoke Ave, Lakeville, MN 55044
This one-hour abbreviated version of the full-length A Minnesota Nutcracker is a delightful introduction for young children to the classic ballet. 11am & 6pm performances. • All Ages. • $12-$15/pp.
Dec 8-12, 2021: Continental Ballet’s The Nutcracker
Bloomington Center for Arts, 1800 W Old Shakopee Rd, Bloomington, MN 55431
Tchaikovsky’s classic tale of Clara’s voyage to the land of the Sugar Plum Fairy with her magical godfather Drosselmeyer. Tickets: TBA.
Dec 10-12, 2021: A Minnesota Nutcracker
Ames Center, 12600 Nicollet Ave, Burnsville, MN 55337
A holiday tradition with Minnesota settings and custom designed Minnesota-themed backdrops. Tickets start at $24-39.
Dec 17-22, 2021: Loyce Houlton’s Nutcracker Fantasy
State Theatre, 805 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55402
More than 150 dancers, artists and production professionals create this annual holiday show. Tickets $TBA. Check our Goldstar affiliate for discounted tickets.
Dec 2, 2021: Holiday Band Concert
Crystal Community Center, 4800 Douglas Dr N, Crystal, MN 55429
Traditional holiday music with refreshments. 7:30pm-8:30pm. FREE
Dec 5, 2021: Uh-Oh, Here Comes Christmas! Concert
The Grove United Methodist Church, 7465 Steepleview Rd, Woodbury, MN 55125
East Metro Symphony Orchestra performs music from the musical by David Caldwell and Ernest Zulia and traditional carols. Followed by cookies and a meet & greet with orchestra members. 3pm. FREE
Dec 16, 2021: Songs of the Season – Carols by Minnesota Composers
Central Presbyterian Church, 500 Cedar St., Saint Paul, 55101
The Schubert Club’s annual holiday program features carols and other winter songs composted by Minnesota songwriters and composers. 12pm & 7pm concerts. FREE
TBA: A Winter Festival | Music Association of Minnetonka
Come enjoy hot beverages, desserts and listen to music provided by the Minnetonka Symphony Orchestra, Civic Orchestra, Senior Chorale, Chorus a la Carte, and Youth Choirs. 3pm. $5/door.
TBA: Festivus Maximus | Seward Concert Band, Minneapolis
Two family-friendly performances at a family-friendly price. The Seward concert band will play classic holiday music like “Sleigh Ride” and “The Night Before Christmas”. Dec 13 at Sanford Middle School, 7:30pm & Dec 15 at Heart of the Beast Theater, 3pm. Suggested donation: $6/adult, $5/child, $4/senior.
TBA: MYS Play-a-thon | Rosedale Center
A family-friendly performance that highlights the joy Minnesota’s youth during this season. Music will range from the movies to favorite holiday selections. Come and go as you do some Christmas shopping. Minnesota Youth Symphonies is one of the nation’s premiere youth orchestra programs. Noon-4 pm. FREE, donations are welcomed.
TBA: Santa & Albert’s Holiday Play | Virtually by Bachman’s on Lyndale, Minneapolis
Bachman’s Annual Christmas Play is free and perfect for all ages. This year it is virtual. All ages are welcome to watch online on our Facebook or Instagram pages at 10 a.m. on Saturday mornings, November 21 through December 19.
TBA: Julglädge! | American Swedish Institute
An annual tradition hosted by Ross Sutter, who plays an energetic variety of American and Swedish tunes. This is an affordable experience for the whole family to enjoy.
All shows at 1pm. Tickets $5-$12/pp includes museum admission (advanced tickets recommended).
TBA: VocalEssence Winter Wonder | Minneapolis Institute of Art
Clap, wiggle, and sing along to your favorite holiday classics, and kids can create a winter-themed craft to take home. Best for kids up to age 8, please dress for comfort. Shows at 9 & 11am and 1pm. Crafts begin on the hour and last a half hour before the performance. $15/adults; Kids FREE.
TBA: Carols & Cocoa | The Museum of Russian Art
Learn traditional Holiday music from Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Norway, and the British Isles; and wintertime songs from Jewish tradition from Europe and North Africa. Suggested Donation $5-$10. Pre-Register on EventBrite.
Family Fun Twin Cities Holiday Shop on Amazon
If you still haven’t found what you’re looking for, we can help you with our Holiday Shop on Amazon. We have carefully selected gift ideas to help you get a super fun gift for the littler ones in your life.Jump over to our Amazon Holiday Shop
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