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 23, 2019: Nutcracker Ballet by Pas de Deux Dance Studio | St Paul U of M
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-Dec 8, 2019: Continental Ballet’s The Nutcracker | Bloomington Center for Arts Tchaikovsky’s classic tale of Clara’s voyage to the land of the Sugar Plum Fairy with her magical godfather Drosselmeyer. Tickets: $13-$25.
Dec 21, 2019: A Nutcracker Story by St Paul Ballet | The O’Shaugnessy, St Paul
And a holiday splurge for kids who enjoy dance performances or are dancers themselves:
Dec 6-7, 2019: The Great Russian Nutcracker | Orpheum, Minneapolis
Moscow Ballet’s performance boasts hand-painted sets, Russian Snow Maidens, and jubilant Nesting Dolls. All ages welcome. Tickets $32+.
Dec 13-15, 2019: Family Classic Nutcracker | Lindbergh Center, Minnetonka
Minnesota’s only Nutcracker featuring two live orchestras — Kenwood Symphony Orchestra and Linden Hills Chamber Orchestra. Tickets: $39-$59.
Dec 13-23, 2019: Loyce Houlton’s Nutcracker Fantasy | State Theatre
More than 150 dancers, artists and production professionals create this annual holiday show. Tickets $30-$75. Check our Goldstar affiliate for discounted tickets.
Nov 23-Dec 22, 2019: Santa & Albert’s Christmas Holiday Play and Sing Along | Bachman’s on Lyndale, Minneapolis
Bachman’s Annual Christmas Play is free to attend and perfect for all ages. Guests are encouraged to participate in caroling after the play, and Santa and Albert will be available for photos. Sat: 10 & 11:30am and 1 & 2:30pm. Sun: 11:30am and 1 & 2:30pm.
Nov 30-Dec 1 & Dec 27-28, 2019: 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).
Dec 7, 2019: Totally 80’s Christmas | Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 4100 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis
80s Style Christmas music presented by Spirit Garage (“a casual, quirky and curious Christian faith community”). Sing-Along or just listen. Fresh cookies served. FREE. 7pm.
Dec 8, 2019: Totally 80’s Christmas | The Hook and Ladder Theater and Lounge, 3010 Minnehaha Ave, Minneapolis
80s Style Christmas music presented by Spirit Garage (“a casual, quirky and curious Christian faith community”). Sing-Along or just listen. Fresh cookies served. FREE. 4pm.
Dec 14, 2019: 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.
Dec 18, 2019: 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.
Dec 7, 2019: 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.
Dec 13 & 15, 2019: 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.
Dec 14, 2019: 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.
Dec 15, 2019: Christmas Concert | Presbyterian Church of the Way, Shoreview
10th Annual Christmas Concert features PCOTW’s Christmas Choir, the handbell choir, praise band and children/youth choirs accompanied by live musicians from the Minnesota Orchestra. 6pm-8pm. FREE.
Dec 15, 2019: Uh-Oh, Here Comes Christmas! Concert | St. Mark’s Lutheran, N. St. Paul
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.
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.
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