10 Best Holiday Shows for Kids

Posted: November 10, 2022

Chicago Holiday Shows: 10 Best Plays and Performances For Kids 

The Holiday Season is upon us, and we've rounded up dozens of holiday productions for your entire family to enjoy! These kids play and performances offer something for everyone, from Nutcrackers to A Christmas Carols to Hanukah shows and more. Choose your favorites and get tickets now!

Visit our Holiday Performances page to see our full listings of family-friendly shows. And see our Nutcracker Roundup here!

November 9 - January 9
Elf the Musical
Drury Lane Theatre, 100 Drury Ln., Oak Brook
After discovering he is really a human raised as an elf, Buddy makes the journey from the North Pole to New York City to find his birth father, sharing the true meaning of Christmas along the way. Elf the Musical brings heart, hilarity, and holiday joy - after all, "the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!" Based on the hit Christmas film, the musical adaptation was nominated for one Drama League Award. See web site for schedule and ticket pricing. Rated PG.

November 13 - January 8
The Steadfast Tin Soldier
Lookingglass Theatre Company, 875 N Michigan Ave, Chicago
Chicago's beloved holiday tradition returns to the stage this holiday season, a classic the whole family will treasure! Based on Hans Christian Andersen's story about a little tin soldier who never gives up, Ensemble Member Mary Zimmerman's production is a gorgeous spectacle of music and movement that the Chicago Tribune calls "A treat for all ages! It's transformational, truly. Barely more than an hour-long, this is one holiday experience you don't want to miss." For ages 5 and up. Tickets from $35. See web site for schedule.

November 19 - December 24
The Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party
Chicago Children's Theatre, 100 S Racine Ave., Chicago
Four adorable Beatrix Potter favorites come to life in this mesmerizing, interactive trunk and puppet show, complete with original music. Levers are pulled and cranks are turned to reveal images that surprise and delight. Our charming storytellers interweave the classic narration and guide gentle interactive moments, recruiting young watchers to join the adventure. After the show, come up on stage to gently play with the puppets and take pictures. Then, head to the lobby for a festive spread of chocolate milk and cookies! Ages 2-6. Saturdays and Sundays at 9:30AM and 11:30AM. $43.25.

November 19 - December 31
A Christmas Carol
Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn, Chicago
Experience the perfect Chicago holiday tradition that has delighted nearly two million theatergoers. With its "first-rate cast and marvelous staging (that) shines merry and bright" (Chicago Sun-Times), this must-see annual production has enchanted audiences for more than four decades. Larry Yando returns for his 15th season as the miserly Scrooge in this "beautiful, timeless message of generosity's triumph over greed" (Chicago Tribune). Ages 6 and up (ages 5 and under not permitted.) See web site for schedule. From $25.

November 19
The State Ballet Theatre of Ukraine - The Nutcracker
Governors State University, 1 University Pkwy., University Park
'Tis the season for making special memories with your family! Whether you're a kid or a kid at heart, The Nutcracker will fill you with the holiday spirit. Starring the acclaimed State Ballet Theatre of Ukraine, this treasured fairytale follows a young girl's journey through a fantasy world of fairies, princes, and an army of mice. Tchaikovsky's beloved score is full of instantly recognizable holiday music, including "Waltz of the Flowers," "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy," "Waltz of the Snowflakes," and more. All ages. 1pm and 5pm. $55/$50/$45/$35 Children 14 and under: $20.

November 30 - December 23
Mrs. Claus! A Holiday Musical
Chicago Kids Company at Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th, Chicago
This holiday classic and audience favorite returns for its 23rd year. Our biggest and most colorful show will put children and adults alike in the holiday spirit. Join Mrs. Claus as she teams up with the new Elf Class of 2022 to find Santa's missing list in time for Christmas. Will the Fusspots spoil the season? Can Mrs. Claus and the elves save the holidays? All CKC shows feature plenty of audience participation and run for one hour with no intermission. Mrs. Claus! A Holiday Musical is targeted for children from 2 to 10 years old. See web site for schedule. From $15. Under 2 free.

December 2-3
Salt Creek Ballet's The Nutcracker
North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie
Hailed by critics and audiences alike, Salt Creek Ballet's enchanting production is everything you hope for with stunning costumes and magical effects. With a jaw-dropping Christmas tree that grows nearly 60 feet tall, 125 exquisite costumes, internationally recognized guest soloists and live music by New Philharmonic, this magical production offers all of the grandeur of the timeless tale you've come to love. All ages. Friday 7pm, Saturday 1pm and 5pm. $26 - $52.

December 3 - 27
Joffrey Ballet's The Nutcracker
Lyric Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Dr., Chicago
Playing select dates December 3-27. Magic is on the horizon for young Marie and the Nutcracker Prince, thanks to a visit from the charming but mysterious Great Impresario. At the stroke of midnight on a snowy Christmas Eve when the lines between fantasy and reality blur together, Marie sets out on an unforgettable journey through Chicago's 1893 World's Fair, a marvel of sights, sounds, and enchantment. This annual holiday tradition celebrates the magic of the season and the rich cultural heritage of Chicago. All ages. See web site for schedule and ticket pricing.

December 6-11
A Magical Cirque Christmas
CIBC Theatre, 18 W. Monroe, Chicago
The world's greatest entertainers unite for a spell-binding and incredible holiday production - A MAGICAL CIRQUE CHRISTMAS! Experience the enchantment of Christmas as Magical Hostess Lucy Darling takes you through an evening of dazzling performers and breathtaking cirque artists, accompanied by your favorite holiday music performed live. All ages. See web site for schedule and ticket pricing.

December 10
Duke It Out! Nutcracker
Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Avenue, Evanston
This unique Nutcracker performance pits the classical (Tchaikovsky) and jazz (Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn) versions of the holiday favorite in a spectacular side-by-side showdown. Curated by Dance Chicago, the program features members of Axiom Brass and Music Institute of Chicago Ensemble-in Residence, Quintet Attacca. The performance is a family-friendly 60 minutes and is preceded by an interactive musical instrument petting zoo at 1pm for ages 3 and up. All ages. 2pm. $10.

Visit our Holiday Performances page to see our full listings of family-friendly shows.