The Nutcracker and Beyond: 2022’s Best Christmas Shows Ever!

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

From the Nutcracker to A Christmas Carol, you’ll find a variety of family-friendly Holiday shows this season. Here’s a look at the best Christmas plays, ballets, musicals and interactive shows coming to the Twin Cities this year.

The Nutcracker Ballet

Nov. 29, 2022: 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. • Tickets: $13-$16/pp.

Dec. 8-11, 2022: A Minnesota Nutcracker

Ames Center, 12600 Nicollet Avenue, Burnsville, MN 55337
Twin Cities Ballet of Minnesota performs. Offering a sensory-relaxed performance this year. Tickets available Fall 2022.

Dec 18, 2022: Loyce Houlton’s Nutcracker Fantasy

State Theatre, 805 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55402
More than 150 dancers, artists and production professionals create this annual holiday show. Tickets $15-$125.

Find Discount Holiday Shows through our affiliate, Goldstar*: Half-Price Tickets


Christmas Plays & Musicals at Local Theaters

If your must-see list of Christmas plays includes Ebenezer Scrooge, you are in luck! This year, we also have The Grinch, Rudolph, the real St. Nick and Madeleine.

All Ages Christmas Plays

Nov. 8, 2022 – Jan. 8, 2023:  How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Children’s Theatre Company, 2400 3rd Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55404
A Dr. Seuss favorite back at CTC for a new season. Tickets: $15+

Nov. 19 – Dec. 27, 2021: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Stages Theatre, 1111 Mainstreet, Hopkins, MN 55343
Based on the classic TV Special. Can Rudolph’s nose save Christmas? • All Ages. • Tickets: $21-$33/pp.

Dec. 1 – Dec. 23, 2022: The Snowy Day and Other Stories by  Steppingstone Theatre

Park Square Theater, 20 W Seventh Place, St. Paul, MN 55102
Zip up your snowsuit and follow Peter through the pages of Ezra Jack Keats books as he grows from a small child exploring a snowy day through his grade school years.

Dec. 2 – Dec. 18, 2022: The Velveteen Rabbit

Howard Conn Fine Arts Center, 1900 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403
A stuffed bunny’s journey to become “real”. • All Ages. • Tickets: $8-$15.

Dec 2. – Dec. 29, 2022: Nicholas

Open Window Theatre, 5300 S. Robert Trail, Inver Grove Heights, MN 55077
The story of St. Nicholas of Myra. Season Tickets available now.

Dec. 3 – Dec. 11, 2022: Madeline’s Christmas

Merrill Community Theatre, 380 Rivertown Dr. #200, Woodbury, MN 55125
A musical adaptation of the Ludwig Bemelmans Classic. Tickets $5-$22.
Petite Patisserie Dress Up Party! Special treats (including bundtinis from Nothing Bundt Cakes), activities and photo-ops prior to Saturday Matinees December 3rd & 10th – 12:30pm. $10-$20 in addition to theater ticket.


Holiday Shows with Teens & Tweens

Nov. 12 – Dec. 31, 2022 A Christmas Carol

The Guthrie, 818 S 2nd St, Minneapolis, MN 55415
The Dickens tale of the redemption of Ebenezer Scrooge and the 3 Christmas ghosts who guided his journey. Tickets: $15+
Note: 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. 18 – Dec. 8, 2022: A Christmas Story

Hanifl Performing Arts Center, 4941 Long Ave, White Bear Lake, Minnesota 55110
Ralphie’s memories of Christmas in the 1940s and his pursuit of a Red Ryder BB gun. Pay-What-You-Can Night is the Thursday prior to opening night. • Buy Tickets $23-28/pp.


Other Christmas Shows for Kids

November 19, 2022: A Sleeping Beauty

Student Union Theater, 2017 Buford Ave, St Paul, MN 55108
A ballet version of the fairy tale by Pas de Deux Dance Studio. Some portions may be intense for younger audience members. Shows at 1:30 & 4pm. Ages 5 & up only, Tickets: $15/advance, $20/door.

Nov. 21- Dec. 30, 2022: Snow White and Rose Red

Ives Auditorium, 11411 Masonic Home Drive, Bloomington, MN 55437
Sidekick Theatre‘s re-telling of the classic fairytale. Tickets: $9-$19/pp.

Find Christmas Concerts & Holiday Sing-A-Longs Here


Christmas Plays We are Watching For

If you know of any Christmas Plays we’ve missed, leave us a comment and we’ll check it out to share.

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: $13-$25/pp.

Holiday Performance by Ballet Co.Laboratory

Ted Mann Concert Hall, University of Minnesota Campus, 2128 4th St S., Minneapolis, MN 55455
A twist on two classic stories – The Nutcracker and Alice in Wonderland. Clara travels through the Land of Snowflakes to meet your favorite Wonderland characters. Tickets: $25-$35/pp.

Metropolitan Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” with Full Symphony Orchestra

Auditorium at Hopkins High, 2400 Lindbergh Drive, Hopkins, MN 55305
Metropolitan Ballet celebrates 15 years of this family friendly holiday tradition! The classic story comes to life with fresh choreography and a cast of talented artists under the direction of Erik J. Sanborn of the Metropolitan Ballet. Tchaikovsky’s brilliant score is masterfully performed live by the Kenwood Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Dr. Yuri Ivan. Starring Russian ballerina, Natalia Sheptalova, as Sugar Plum Fairy. Tickets: $49-$79.

Metropolitan Ballet Nutcracker Ballet 2017, Hopkins, Minnesota
Image courtesy Metropolitan Ballet

Black Nativity

Penumbra Theatre, 270 N. Kent Street, St. Paul, MN 55102
Musical created by Poet Langston Hughes with chorus music performed by the Kingdom Life Church Choir. Tickets $15-$40.

Julglädje 

American Swedish Institute, 2600 Park Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55407
The perfect theater experience for toddler and preschool audiences. Enjoy a performance that includes songs, stories, games and celebration; then explore the museum together. Tickets: $12/adults; $5 kids; 5 and under FREE. 11am-12pm or 1pm-2pm performances.

A Christmas 2022 Show

by Bunce Backyard

Santa & Albert’s Holiday Play at Bachman’s on Lyndale.

6010 Lyndale Ave South, Minneapolis, MN 55419
Santa and Albert traditionally come from the North Pole to visit Bachman’s with an original, new production each year. Currently, you can watch last year’s virtual events and print the activities from last year. We are excited to see if Santa & Albert will be back live this year.

Bachman's Santa & Albert Rock Christmas Holiday Play and Sing-Along, Bachman's on Lyndale Garden Center, Minneapolis, Minnsota
Image courtesy Bachman’s

A Charlie Brown Christmas.

Usually someone offers this play, but I’ve not found a production in the Twin Cities yet.  If not, TPT will probably play it again in 2022.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.

Steppingstone Theatre used to perform this classic annually. A few years ago, they decided to put it in the vault for awhile. We are watching for a nearby theater to pick up this classic and run with it.

Elf on the Shelf, the Musical.

This is a new touring musical skipped Minnesota in 2021. We’re watching to see if they will come here in 2022.


This article is Family Fun Twin Cities’ independent show guide; it is not currently sponsored by any venue, production company or show. As affiliates, we do receive compensation for referrals to Goldstar and Maestro Classics and sometimes receive tickets from theaters to facilitate reviews.

3 thoughts on “The Nutcracker and Beyond: 2022’s Best Christmas Shows Ever!”

  1. Pingback: Twin Cities December Family Events & Activities Guide - Family Fun Twin Cities

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