The Nutcracker and Beyond: The Best Christmas Shows Ever!

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The Twin Cities offers more than the Nutcracker ballet and The Christmas Carol at the Guthrie for holiday shows. Though these are classics, we have plenty of options for families with every age of child.

The Nutcracker and Beyond - Christmas in the Twin Cities

While we couldn’t possibly cover every Holiday show in the Twin Cities, we’ve rounded up what we believe to be the best family friendly Christmas shows this season.

Insider Tip: Many of these shows have discounted tickets available through our affiliate partner, Goldstar.*


It’s Fest! Merry Mansion, the season for affordable family fun at the American Swedish Institute. Don’t miss the Kids at the Castle playdates every month. Join in a musical story with Julglädje “Christmas Joy” performances on Nov. 25-26. Explore the decorated Nordic holiday rooms during our Making Traditions weekend music/craft series, FIKA’s food for kids, a Family Gallery and a FREE Holiday Open House on Dec. 13. Click here for our calendar and visit ASI at 2600 Park Ave., Mpls.

11/8-1/8: Cinderella @ Children’s Theatre CompanySee the classic fairy tale with a Christmas spin.

11/16-12/30: A Christmas Carol @ The GuthrieThis Twin Cities favorite may be best suited for families with older children.

11/29-12/28: The Elves and the Shoemaker @ Sidekick Theatre • The musical based on the fairy tale  • Tickets  $18.


12/1-23: Black Nativity @ Penumbra Theatre • This musical was created by Poet Langston Hughes • Tickets $15-$40.

12/2-18: The Littlest Angel @ Youth Performance Company • The musical adaptation of the children’s book  • Tickets $12-$15 (12/3 7pm – $5).

12/8-31: Irving Berlin’s White Christmas @ Ordway • The musical based on the movie • Tickets start at $37.

12/9-11: Cirque Dreams Holidaze @ Carlson Family Stage • An acrobatic traveling holiday show • Tickets $25-$75.

12/15-22La Natividad @ In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, Minneapolis • $17-$23/ticket

And Then There Are The Nutcracker Ballets:

11/26St. Paul Ballet Reading and Performance of Clara’s Dream @ Barnes & Noble, Roseville • Free • A short a free version for those not ready for the full ballet!

11/26Moscow’s Great Russian Nutcracker @ Orpheum Theatre, Minneapolis • Tickets $32-$102

12/2-4: Clara’s Dream from the Nutcracker by St. Paul Ballet @ The O’Shaugnessy, St. Paul • Tickets $19-$32.

12/9-11: A Minnesota Nutcracker @ Ames Center • A holiday tradition with Minnesota settings and custom designed Minnesota-centric backdrops. • Tickets start at $18.

12/16-18The Classic Nutcracker by Ballet Minnesota @ The O’Shaugnessy, St. Paul • Tickets $18-$44.

12/16-23: Nutcracker Fantasy @ State Theater, Minneapolis • Tickets start at $59.

12/17-18: Nutcracker Ballet with Live Orchestra @ Lindbergh Center Auditorium, Hopkins, MN • The Metropolitan Ballet and Kenwood Symphony Orchestra present this holiday classic • Tickets start at $29.

*FamilyFunTwinCities 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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About the author

Joy Peters

Joy Peters – co-creator and writer for

Besides Family Fun Twin Cities, I spend my 9 to 5 at a day job pursuing my weird passion for calendars and organizing things as a legal secretary. When I get home I spend my time with my four kids, 10, 6, 4 and 1. My amazing husband is both a full-time musician and full-time stay-at-home dad. Together we run a small radio empire — SiaNet Radio — playing, promoting and enjoying the wide variety of local music and art in the Twin Cities. I juggle all this while writing about exploring the Twin Cities with kids. I couldn’t be happier.

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