What better gift is there than sharing an experience with friends or the whole family. Check out our guide to the best holiday shows, concerts, ballet and more this season. From family shows to adults only, there’s something for everyone!
5 Seymour Street, Montclair
Drag Queen Christmas – Tuesday, November 19 at 8:00 PM
A Drag Queen Christmas: The Naughty Tour. It’s a magical (and hilarious) evening of holiday performances featuring contestants from the reality television show on VH1. All ages welcome. Warning – adult content.
Cost: $39.50 – $87
14 Alvin Place, Upper Montclair
Madeline’s Christmas – Saturday, December 7 and 14, and Sunday, December 8 and 15 at 1:30 PM and 3:30 PM
In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines lived 12 little girls in two straight lines.” So begins this delightful story of Madeline’s Christmas! The day begins like any other day. Miss Clavel takes the 12 little girls on their morning walk. They go to the zoo and then back to school for their French history lesson. Suddenly disaster strikes when everyone gets the flu! Everyone that is, except for the ever-resilient Madeline. Saddened that they may not be able to go home for Christmas, the girls and Miss Clavel take to their beds. But on Christmas Eve, the adventure begins when there is a knock at the front door.
South Orange Performing Arts Center
One SOPAC Way, South Orange
Seton Hall Winter Concert – Wednesday, December 4 at 7:30 PM
Ring in the holiday season with the Seton Hall University Chorus, Concert Band and Chamber Choir.
Cost: Free, but reservations are recommended
Dianne Reeves – Christmas Time Is Here – Saturday, December 7 at 8:00 PM
Five-time Grammy Award winner Dianne Reeves in concert with Peter Martin, Peter Sprague, Reginald Veal and Terreon Gully.
Cost: $58 – $78
Angelina Ballerina Very Merry Holiday the Musical – Sunday, December 9 at 2:00 PM.
Angelina Ballerina and her friends are planning an absolutely, positively spectacular holiday dance pageant; the best in all of Mouseland! With dancing, singing and festivities, this heart-warming musical is perfect for everyone’s holiday season!
Cherish the Ladies – Celtic Christmas – Sunday, December 22 at 3:00 PM and 7:00 PM
Celebrating nearly 35 years of music making, Cherish the Ladies continues to delight audiences with its beautiful vocals, captivating arrangements and stunning step dancing. You’ll delight in the special Christmas music that embodies the beauty of the season- Celtic style!
Cost: $30 – $40
Memorial Auditorium at Montclair State University
1 Normal Avenue, Montclair
New Jersey Dance Theatre Ensemble’s the Nutcracker – Saturday, December 14 at 1:00 PM and 5:00 PM and Sunday, December 15 at 2:00 PM.
Celebrate the holidays with New Jersey Dance Theatre Ensemble’s acclaimed full-length production of The Nutcracker at Memorial Auditorium at Montclair State University for three performances. Choreographed by NJDTE Artistic Director, Nancy Turano and set to Tchaikovsky’s classic score, this captivating production features 55 dancers ages 7-18 from across New Jersey and renowned professional guest artists.
Cost: $25 – $40
New Jersey Performing Arts Center
1 Center Street, Newark
Lindsey Stirling: Warmer in the Winter Christmas Tour 2019 – Friday, December 13 at 8:00 PM
Ring in the holidays with acclaimed electronic violinist Lindsey Stirling! The musician-dancer-YouTube sensation brings her unconventional blend of choreography, song and spectacle to NJPAC.
Cost: $43.50 – $98.50
The Boston Pops on Tour Holiday Celebration – Sunday, December 15 at 4:00 PM
The iconic Boston Pops, under the masterful direction of Keith Lockhart, return to NJPAC with a sparkling holiday celebration, complete with stories, songs and carols.
Cost: $49 – $125
The Hip Hop Nutcracker with MC Kurtis Blow – Friday, December 20 at 7:00 PM and Saturday, December 21 at 2:00 PM
Celebrate the season with NJPAC’s original holiday extravaganza, which reimagines the traditional Tchaikovsky ballet with explosive urban choreography. Featuring rap legend Kurtis Blow as special guest MC.
Cost: $29 – $79
Holiday Dreams: A Spectacular Holiday Cirque – Saturday December 28 at 3:00 PM and 7:30 PM
Tired of the same old holiday show? Bring the family to Holiday Dreams, a jaw-dropping holiday cirque! You’ll marvel at the death-defying acrobats, aerialists and daredevils. You’ll be dazzled by holograms, projection mapping, computer animation and interactive lasers. You’ll ooh and ahh at this high-tech winter wonderland that takes the phrase “the magic of Christmas” to a whole new level!
Cost $29 – $69
25 Lafayette Street, Newark
Trans-Siberian Orchestra: Christmas Eve and Other Stories – Saturday, December 21 at 3:00 PM and 8:00 PM
The multi-platinum, critically acclaimed progressive rock group is stopping at The Rock! Returning with all-new staging and effects is the unforgettable show that started it all, “Christmas Eve and Other Stories.” In keeping with the classic line “If You Want to Arrange It, This World You Can Change It,” the story is set on Christmas Eve when a young angel is sent to Earth to bring back what is best representative of humanity.
Cost: $54.50 – $74.50
Shea Center for the Performing Arts at William Paterson University
300 Pompton Road, Wayne
WP Presents! Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker – Monday, December 2 at 7:00 PM
Step into a simpler time filled with sweet dreams and Christmas magic. With world-class artists, over 200 dazzling costumes, stunning sets, towering puppets and soaring birds, don’t miss your chance to ring in the holidays with this acclaimed Christmas extravaganza.
Cost: $49 – $69
WP Presents! & Bright Star Touring Theatre Present Holidays Around the World – Saturday, December 14 @ 1:00 PM
Tis the season for hilarity! When the tour guides for Worldwide Tours get separated at holiday time, a worldwide adventure awaits. As they travel around the world in search of each other, these guides share what they learn about the season from a wide variety of places and cultures. Celebrate holidays from all over the globe – the Lohri Festival, St. Lucia Day, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas and more! For Grades K to 8
Cost: $10 Adults/$8 Children
Mayo Performing Arts Center
100 South Street, Morristown
Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox: A Very Postmodern Christmas – Thursday, November 21 at 8:00 PM
Enjoy your favorite holiday songs reimagined in classic, timeless style as well as other Postmodern favorites.
Cost: $39 – $79
A Magical Cirque Christmas – Saturday, November 23 at 3:00 PM and 8:00 PM
Experience the magic of Christmas with dazzling performers and breathtaking cirque artist from all corners of the world, accompanied by your favorite holiday music performed life. Get into the spirit of the season with this merry treat that’s perfect for the entire family.
Cost: $39 – $125
Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis – Saturday, November 30 at $3:00 PM and 8:00 PM
America’s favorite holiday celebration for over 35 years features the beloved Christmas music of Mannheim Steamroller along with dazzling multimedia effects that bring the magic of the holidays to life.
Cost: $59 – $99
Holiday for Toys – Sunday, December 1 at 1:30 and 4:30 PM
Holiday for Toys is a musical for the young — and young at heart — that tells the whimsical story of a toy maker and his shop filled with toys, which magically come to life once a year. This event will also feature a performance by MPAC’s Performing Arts Company and other holiday surprises!
Cost: $12 – $15
Leann Rimes: You and Me and Christmas – Tuesday, December 3 at 7:30 PM
LeAnn Rimes was the youngest recipient of a Grammy Award at the age of 14 on the heels of her debut number one single “Blue” in 1996. Since then, she’s charted 42 hits, including “How Do I Live” and “Can’t Fight the Moonlight.” Enjoy an evening of her hits and holiday music.
Cost: $49 – $89
The Irish Tenors Holiday Concert – Friday, December 6 at 8:00 PM
Enjoy the boisterous charm of The Irish Tenors — Ronan Tynan, Declan Kelly, Anthony Kearns — as they perform the charmingly beautiful music of Ireland and the glorious music of Christmas in this holiday concert for young and old that warms hearts and lifts spirits high.
Cost: $49 – $89
New Jersey Ballet’s Nutcracker with New Jersey Symphony Orchestra – Friday December 13 – Friday, December 27, performance times vary.
This annual seasonal favorite enchants youngsters and grown-ups alike with splendid dancing, live orchestra, eye-popping special effects and a touch of holiday magic. For ages 4 and up.
Cost is $29 – $69
Bergen Performing Arts Center
30 North Van Brunt Street, Englewood
Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer – Sunday, November 24 at 1:00 PM and 4:00 PM
The beloved TV classic soars off the screen and onto the stage this holiday season.
Wizards of Winter – Sunday, December 1 at 7:00 PM
The Wizards of Winter present a holiday rock event for the whole family featuring former members of classic rock bands like The Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Def Leppard, The Irish Tenors Rainbow, Blue Oyster Cult and Alice Cooper Band.
Cost: $29 – $49
New Jersey Ballet’s Nutcracker – Saturday, December 7 and Sunday December 8 at 1:00 PM and 4:30 PM.
Audiences of all ages will feel the holiday magic when the toys come alive in beautiful fashion and dance to the beloved music of this tale.
Cost: $23 – $53
The Irish Tenors Holiday Tour – Tuesday December 10 at 8:00 PM
Get in the spirit of the season when The Irish Tenors: Christmas/Holiday Tour 2019 with members of the New Jersey Symphony come to bergenPAC for a festive night of traditional and secular holiday songs.
Cost: $39 – $99
Holiday Doo Wop Vol. II – Tuesday December 10 at 8:00 PM
Celebrate the holidays in classic style when LAR Enterprises presents Holiday Doo Wop Vol. II featuring Lou Christie, Jimmy Gallagher & The Passions, The Capris, The Happenings, Larry Chance & The Earls, and Belmont Ave – A Tribute to Dion.
A Christmas Carol – Friday December 20 at 8:00 PM, Saturday, December 21 at 1:00 PM and 4:30 PM, and Sunday, December 22 at 1:00 PM
Get in the spirit of the season and follow Ebenezer Scrooge on a magical journey through Christmas past, present, and future. Pictures with Santa before the show.
Cost: $15 – $29
1000 Morris Avenue, Union
Lightwire Theater: A Very Electric Holiday – Friday, December 13 at 7:30 PM
Audiences of all ages will treasure this magical and captivating tale of family, friendship and hope set to timeless holiday hits. This heartwarming production will make children wide-eyed with delight and warm the hearts of young and old.
Darlene Love: Love for the Holidays – Saturday – December 14 at 7:30 PM
The holidays wouldn’t be the same without hearing Darlene Love sing Christmas (Baby Please Come Home), a song whose popularity has grown immensely since it was released in 1963. Join her as she sings some holiday favorites along with her classic hits, including He’s a Rebel and Today I Met the Boy I’m Gonna Marry.
Cost: $40 – $65
State Theatre New Jersey
15 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick
Nutcracker: American Repertory Ballet – Friday, December 13 – Sunday December 15; performance times vary
American Repertory Ballet (ARB) returns to the State Theatre to perform the beloved classic Nutcracker with Tchaikovsky’s magnificent score, stunning sets, thrilling choreography, and a cast of more than 100 performers.
Cost: $25 – $65
Union County Performing Arts Center
1601 Irving Street, Rahway
American Repertory Ballet’s Nutcracker – Saturday, November 23 at 7:30 PM
American Repertory Ballet brings the beloved Nutcracker to the stage with Tchaikovsky’s magnificent score, thrilling choreography, and a cast of more than 100.
Sensory Friendly Theatre: ARB’s Nutcracker – Sunday, November 24 at 1:00 PM
The abridged, one-hour, Sensory-Friendly performance of American Repertory Ballet’s Nutcracker is especially for children and adults with special needs.
2nd Annual Shining Stars Christmas Spectacular – Thursday, December 5 at 7:00 PM
Shining Stars Network, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization will present this show starring a talented special needs cast and their high school “buddies” singing and dancing to the songs of the season.
Cost: $12 – $30
Elf: The Musical – Friday, December 6 – Sunday December 15. Showtimes vary.
Pixie Dust Players will present this production based on the beloved holiday film.
Two Nutcrackers: Tchaikovsky & Ellington – Sunday, December 8 at 3:00 PM
Two Nutcrackers, one spectacular holiday concert: Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker performed by the NJYS Youth Symphony and Ellington’s Nutcracker performed by the combined NJYS Jazz Orchestra and Youth Symphony.
Cost: $15 – $20
Martina McBride: The Joy of Christmas Tour 2019 – December 15 at 8:00 PM
Singer Martina McBride will perform following the release of her latest holiday album, “It’s the Holiday Season.”
Cost: $65 – $125
Home for the Holidays 2019 – Friday, December 20 at 6:00 PM (gala); 7:30 PM (performance)
The 3rd Annual Home for the Holidays benefit concert honors the continuing success of youth programming at UCPAC under the Artistic Direction of Pixie Dust Players.
Cost: $22- $35