The Nutcracker and Beyond: 2021’s Best Christmas Shows Ever!

Christmas Plays, Musicals and Ballets in the Twin Cities, MN

2021’s Christmas Theatre Season will offer the usual round up of Nutcracker Ballets, Elf Musicals and the Guthrie’s Christmas Carol, plus Children’s Theatre is bringing back Annie. If you know of any Christmas Plays we’ve missed, leave us a comment and we’ll check it out to share.

See the full list of Holiday plays, musicals, Nutcracker Ballets and more below:

2021 Nutcracker Ballets

Nov 20, 2021: Backstage Nutcracker

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, 2021: Mini-Nutcracker

Lakeville Area Arts Center
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 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

December 10th-12th at Ames Center in Burnsville. Tickets will be available soon.

Dec 17-22, 2021: Loyce Houlton’s Nutcracker Fantasy

State Theatre, Minneapolis
More than 150 dancers, artists and production professionals create this annual holiday show. Tickets $TBA. Check our Goldstar affiliate for discounted tickets.

2021 Christmas Plays & Musicals

If your must see list of Christmas plays includes Buddy the Elf or Ebenezer Scrooge, you are in luck!

Nov. 6 – Dec. 27, 2021: A Christmas Carol

The Guthrie, Minneapolis
Bringing back this annual tradition in 2021, we usually recommend this event for families with older kids. The Guthrie recommends this play for age 8+ and children 5 and under are not permitted.

Nov. 6 – Jan. 9, 2021:  Annie

Children’s Theatre Company, Minneapolis
Celebrate the holidays with everyone’s favorite orphan. Tickets $15+

Nov. 16 – Dec. 30, 2021The Elves and the Shoemaker

Sidekick Theatre, Ives Auditorium, Bloomington
A stage re-telling of the classic fairytale. $14-$21/pp. Check our Goldstar affiliate link for discounted tickets.

Nov. 19 – Dec. 27, 2021: Elf, The Musical

Stages Theatre, Hopkins
Watch Buddy the Elf make a Christmas to remember as he searches for his long lost father. • All Ages. • $21-$33/pp.

Dec. 4 – Dec. 12, 2021: Madeline’s Christmas

Merrill Community Theatre, Woodbury
A musical adaptation of the Ludwig Bemelman Classic. Tickets $5-$22. Check our Goldstar affiliate link for discounted tickets.

Past Christmas Plays We are Watching

Let your kids take the lead in recording and sharing your own family holiday stories with a kit from Steppingstone.

12/11/20-12/20/20: Here Comes Santa Claus – Radio Play | Lakeshore Players Theatre, White Bear Lake
An original radio play, inspired by the history of White Bear Lake • Tickets $18.00.

12/13/20 @ 1 pm: Virtual – ASI’s Lucia Celebration Concert | American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis
Celebrate light in the winter with a special virtual concert on Zoom featuring the ASI Lucia Choir performing traditional Swedish music. Join the 2020 Lucias, Emmie Gumaelius of St. Paul and Nina Duffy of Mahtomedi, who have been participating in ASI’s Lucia Choir since age 4!  We will also provide fun activities for you and your family throughout the day. Registration is required. $10 per household connection.

St. Lucia Celebration at the American Swedish Institute
The tradition of St. Lucia is celebrated in the Twin Cities at the American Swedish Institute.

12/13/20-12/23/20: Celebrate the Holidays with Continental Ballet | On Demand Video
This virtual performance will feature dances from a variety of classical ballets and close with excerpts from our Nutcracker Ballet. All ages. Tickets $28/household.

12/18/20-12/30/20: Ballet Chicago’s Nutcracker | Zoom Stream Online,
An online version of the classic Christmas ballet. All ages. Tickets $13.

Ballet Chicago Performing The Nutcracker
Click here to purchase discounted tickets through Goldstar

12/19/20-1/2/21: The Great Russian Nutcracker | Stellar Stream Online,
Moscow Ballet presents the Nutcracker Ballet with hand-painted sets, Russian Snow Maidens, and jubilant Nesting Dolls. All ages. Tickets $16-$63.

Moscow Ballet Nutcracker Banner
Click here to find discounted tickets through Goldstar

*Family Fun Twin Cities receives compensation for referrals to Goldstar, however, we believe this program is an important part of an affordable family fun arsenal.

Image courtesy of CTC: David Murray and Traci Allen Shannon by Dan Norman

11/21/19-12/22/19: Black Nativity | Penumbra Theatre
This musical was created by Poet Langston Hughes. Tickets $15-$40.

11/26/19-11/27/19: Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer The Musical | Ames Center
See the classic Christmas special live on stage in Burnsville. Tickets $35-$55.

11/30/19: Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Christmas Show | Pantages, Minneapolis The cast of “A Prairie Home Companion” reunites for a Christmas show. Tickets $46-$66.

12/6/19-12/22/19: June B. Jones in Jingle Bells Batman Smells
Youth Performance Company puts on this funny show for all ages. Tickets $12-$15. Check our Goldstar affiliate link for discounted tickets.

FREE: 12/8/19: Kids Christmas Pageant | Presbyterian Church of the Way, Shoreview
If your Christmas just isn’t complete without tots acting out the Bethlehem Christmas story, PCOTW is offering a free option.

12/9/19-12/20/19: The Secret Garden | Old Gem Theater, New Richmond  ​
Audience-participation musical. Two children grow as a result of their love for a secret garden. All ages. Tickets $10-$12.

12/12/19-12/15/19: An “Eventually” Christmas Holiday at the Mill | Mill City Museum, A Christmas play based on 1920 Washburn Crosby holiday party. Recommended for ages 8+. Tickets $16-$20/pp.

12/14/19-12/19/19: Home for the Holidays | Minnesota Orchestra
Combines music performed by the Minnesota Orchestra and storytelling by Kevin Kling with a Minnesotan slant on Christmas and family traditions. Ages 6+.

12/19/19-12/22/19: A Christmas Carol, The Musical Bunce Backyard @ Plymouth Covenant Church
Dickens’ story of Ebenezer Scrooge and the three ghosts of Christmas with singing. Recommended for ages 7+. Tickets $15-$18.

11/23/19: 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, $15/advance, $20/door.

12/13/19: A Minnesota Nutcracker | Ames Center, Burnsville
A holiday tradition with Minnesota settings and custom designed Minnesota-centric backdrops. Tickets start at $24-39.

12/13/19-12/15/19: Family Classic Nutcracker | Lindbergh Center
Minnesota’s only Nutcracker featuring two live orchestras — Kenwood Symphony Orchestra and Linden Hills Chamber Orchestra. Tickets: $39-$59.

12/13/19-12/23/19: Loyce Houlton’s Nutcracker Fantasy | State Theatre
More than 150 dancers, artists and production professionals collaborate to create this annual Holiday show. Tickets $30-$75. Check our Goldstar affiliate for discounted tickets.

12/21/19: A Nutcracker Story by St Paul Ballet | The O’Shaugnessy, St. Paul
Tickets: $12-$37.


*Family Fun Twin Cities receives compensation for referrals to Goldstar, however, we believe this program is an important part of an affordable family fun arsenal.

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