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The Best Christmas and Holiday Family Shows In And Around Los Angeles

Hot Chocolate Nutcracker

One way to celebrate the holiday season is to attend a show. Here in Southern California, there are musicals, stage productions, vocal performances, and more happening throughout the month and guaranteed to leave you full of holiday spirit!

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Debbie Allen’s The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

Los Angeles Ballet The Nutcracker
Dolby Theatre
6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90028 and
Royce Hall
340 Royce Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90095 and
Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center
1935 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Redondo Beach, CA 90278

The Los Angeles Ballet is performing the classic tale, The Nutcracker, on Saturday, December 10th and Sunday December 11th at Dolby Theatre. On December 16, 17, and 18 the performance will be held at Royce Hall. And on December 22, 23, and 24, the ballet will be at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center. This version of the story takes place on Christmas Eve in Los Angeles in 1912. Tickets are available online.

Festival of Carols
Walt Disney Concert Hall
111 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012

Enjoy the sounds of the season at the Walt Disney Concert Hall on Saturday, December 10th at 8:00 pm. The “Festival of Carols” includes traditional favorite holiday music as well as new arrangements all performed by the 115 singers of the Los Angeles Master Chorale! And after the performance, children can visit with Santa Claus! Tickets are available online.

Holiday Concert and Santa on the Pier
Redondo Pier
100 Fisherman’s Wharf, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

Redondo Beach invites families to a free special holiday concert on Saturday, December 10th from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. This free event features live holiday music and Santa arriving on his surf board! Don’t forget to bring a new, unwrapped toy to participate in the toy drive.

The Red Chair Children’s Production Company presents The Nutcracker
Alex Theatre
216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale, CA 91203

The Alex Theatre invites families to The Nutcracker with performances scheduled for Saturday, December 10th and Sunday, December 11th. Unlike other Nutcracker performances, this one features young performers (ages 5-18) in principal and supporting roles (along with adults). A cast of over 100 will bring this classic tale to life. Ticket information is available online.

“Joy to the World” Free Concert
Bay Shore Church
5100 E. The Toledo, Long Beach, CA 90803

Families are invited to a free concert on Sunday, December 11th at 5:00 pm. The “Joy to the World” concert does require tickets, which are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Families will enjoy the sounds of the Southern California Brass Consortium at this 90-minute concert. And don’t forget to bring food items (including peanut butter, cereal, pasta, and canned fruit) to contribute to the food drive.

Debbie Allen’s The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012

Debbie Allen puts a new spin on a traditional tale, with the holiday classic The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker. Families will enjoy the story as told by three mice and be taken “on a journey through Candy Cane Land, The Rainforest, Bollywood, Egypt, and more.” Three performances are planned for Friday, December 16th and Saturday, December 17. Tickets are available online.

The Music Center Holiday Sing-Along
The Music Center Plaza
135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012

Families are invited to The Music Center Holiday Sing-Along happening on Friday, December 16th from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm (weather permitting). The event is free, and tickets are distributed beginning at 5:30 pm; one per person waiting in line. This is a first-come, first-served event. Families should bundle up and then get ready for a special way to celebrate this special time of the year. Lyric sheets will be provided and all singers will enjoy live accompaniment.

Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker
The Wiltern
3790 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90010

The Moscow Ballet will be performing the classic story of The Nutcracker, on Friday, December 16th and two shows on Saturday, December 17th. Families will enjoy a beautiful rendition of a familiar story along with a growing Christmas tree, falling snow, and Tchaikovsky’s score. Tickets are available online.

National Children’s Chorus Presents “Peace”
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels
555 W. Temple St., Los Angeles, CA 90012

Families are invited to a very special performance of the National Children’s chorus on Saturday, December 17th at 7:30 pm. These talented children (aged 5-17) will sing a message of peace and global harmony. The children will be accompanied with brass, percussion, and the Cathedral’s 6019-pipe Dobson organ. It promises to be a night that will leave you feeling inspired by these children and hopeful for the future.

Holiday Sing-Along at Disney Hall
Walt Disney Concert Hall
111 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012

The Holiday Sing-Along at Disney Hall is happening on Saturday, December 17th, with one performance scheduled for 11:30 am and one for 2:30 pm. Families will enjoy popular songs of the holiday season accompanied by Walt Disney Concert Hall’s pipe organ, a choir, and a jazz combo. Before each concert, families can enjoy free hot chocolate as well as photos with Santa. (Children must be at least two years of age to attend).

34th Annual Production of Long Beach Ballet The Nutcracker
Long Beach Terrace Theater
300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, CA

While the story may be the same, this production is unlike any other you’ve most likely seen. Families are in for a treat including a live full orchestra, flying sleigh, and pyrotechnics. Performances are scheduled for Saturday, December 10th through Sunday, December 18th. Tickets are available online.

American Ballet Theatre The Nutcracker
Segerstrom Center for the Arts
600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa, CA 92626

A cast of over 100 performers will enchant you with the classic tale of The Nutcracker. Families will enjoy mischievous mice, colorful scenery, sparkling snowflakes, exquisite dancing, and much more. Performances continue through December 18th.

The Magic of Christmas
La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts
14900 La Mirada Blvd., La Mirada, CA 90638

The Magic of Christmas starring The Young Americans is a full-on holiday extravaganza. Families will enjoy a spectacular show featuring a cast of 250 and over 45 holiday favorite songs. You’ll see over 6,000 costumes and 30 scene changes! Musical numbers including dancing Santas, hip-hopping penguins, choral music, and much more. Santa will even be around before the show! Performances continue through December 18th, and tickets are available online.

Santa Monica Rep presents A Christmas Carol
Miles Memorial Playhouse
1130 LIncoln Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90403

The Charles Dickens holiday classic, A Christmas Carol, will be performed in Santa Monica through December 18th. After each night’s performance, the audience will have the chance to interact with the cast as everyone enjoys eggnog and caroling. (The show is not recommended for children younger than 8). A portion of all ticket sales will be donated to local charities assisting the homeless.

Elf The Musical
Segerstrom Center for the Arts
600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Families who have enjoyed the holiday film Elf will enjoy the musical version, on stage from December 20th through January 1st. Have fun as you watch Buddy learn that he’s actually human and not an elf. Tickets are available online.

Sweet Honey in the Rock: Celebrating the Holidays
Walt Disney Concert Hall
111 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012

Sweet Honey in the Rock, the Grammy-nominated female, African-American, a cappella ensemble, will be performing at the Walt Disney Concert Hall on Wednesday, December 21st at 8:00 pm. Their performances are said to entertain as well as empower their audiences. Tickets are available online.

Swinging Christmas with the Arturo Sandoval Big Band
Walt Disney Concert Hall
111 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012

Bring your family to the Walt Disney Concert Hall on Thursday, December 22nd for an 8:00 pm performance featuring the Arturo Sandoval Big Band. Arturo Sandoval is a trumpet virtuoso and multiple-Grammy honoree. He will be leading this Latin-flavored holiday jazz performance. Tickets are available online.

A Little House Christmas
Sierra Madre Playhouse
87 Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre, Ca 91024

If you’re familiar with the Laura Ingalls Wilder Little House stories, you’ll enjoy this production at the Sierra Madre Playhouse. A winter’s storm is threatening to block Santa’s visit to the Ingalls’ family home. You’ll enjoy the story as well as the music and dancing. Performances run through December 23rd, and tickets are available online.

White Christmas Sing-Along
Walt Disney Concert Hall
111 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012

If you’re familiar with the classic film White Christmas, you’ll want to plan to attend the sing-along scheduled for Friday, December 23rd. There will be two performances that day — one at 3:00 pm and one at 8:00 pm. Families will enjoy watching the film as the lyrics appear on the screen, and then of course, singing along to favorite songs such as “Sisters,” “Snow,” and “White Christmas.” (No children under six are admitted.) Tickets are available online.

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer The Musical
Dolby Theatre
6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90028

Perfect for all ages is the family-tale Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer. This musical version is based on the television special we’re all so familiar with. All your favorite characters will be on stage as we learn that being different is what makes us special. Performances are scheduled at three different times on December 23rd and one morning performance on Saturday, December 24th.

57th Annual L.A. County Holiday Celebration
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012

It’s happening on Christmas Eve and everyone’s invited. On Saturday, December 24th from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm, families can join bands, choirs, and dance companies from neighborhoods around southern California for a special free, three-hour holiday celebration. Doors open at 2:30 pm, and tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Festivities for those waiting in line begin at 12:30 pm.

A Cinderella Christmas
The Pasadena Playhouse
39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena, CA 91101

A Cinderella Christmas is described as “wild, wacky, and interactive.” Audiences will enjoy interacting with the performance (cheering for Cinderella and booing the Stepsisters) while also marveling at the dancing and singing happening on stage. In this production, families will also hear contemporary pop hits (including Meghan Trainor and Michael Buble among others). The production is two hours long and will be in Pasadena until January 8th. And before the show families will enjoy interactive exhibits, snacks, crafts, and more. 

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Wendy Kennar (349 Posts)

Wendy is a freelance writer who finds inspiration in her nine-year-old son and from her experiences from her twelve-year teaching career. Her writing has appeared in several publications and anthologies, both in print and online. She prefers sunflowers to roses and thinks chocolate is okay at any meal. You can find her at wendykennar.com.


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