Cue the applause—holiday shows are here, and bringing your kids to experience Nutcracker performances and holiday-themed shows is a joyful way to kick off the festive season. Watch Santa get back his sleigh in The Christmas Caper at Hackensack Performing Arts Center, see the classic New Jersey Ballet’s Nutcracker at the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown, feel the energy at The Hip Hop Nutcracker at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, or get into the holiday spirit with A Christmas Story, The Musical at the Broadway Theatre of Pitman. Scroll down to buy your tickets now for the most festive holiday shows this season. For more family-friendly performances all year, check out these performing arts centers in NJ. (featured photo credit: Mayo Performing Arts Center)
North Jersey Performing Arts Centers
Bergen Performing Arts Center, also known as bergenPAC
Reaching more than 150,000 theater-goers a year, bergenPAC hosts concerts, stand-up shows, dance productions, and family-friendly programming.
Vienna Boys Choir – November 30
New Jersey Ballet’s Nutcracker – December 3-4
Darlene Love: Love For The Holidays – December 9
Holiday Doo Wop – December 17
Virginia Rep on Tour presents “A Christmas Carol” – December 18
30 North Van Brunt St., Englewood, NJ 07631
Hackensack Performing Arts Center
The Hackensack Meridian Health Theater also nurtures new artists and professional theater companies.
The Christmas Caper – December 2-10
Emmaline Sings the Christmas Classics – December 4
Howdy Stranger Holiday Spectacle – December 8
102 State Street, Hackensack, NJ 07601
Paper Mill Playhouse
Considered a pre-Broadway venue in New Jersey, the Paper Mill Playhouse has performances for the whole family and classes too.
The Sound of Music – December 2-January 1
22 Brookside Drive, Millburn 07041
Mayo Performing Arts Center
This nonprofit performing arts center in downtown Morristown offers shows featuring popular musical acts, dance troupes, family fun, and more.
Baby Shark Live! The Christmas Show – November 6
The Illusionists: Magic of the Holidays – November 11-12
Darlene Love: Love For The Holidays – November 26
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical – November 27
Mannheim Steamroller Christmas By Chip Davis – December 3
Top Of The World: A Carpenters Tribute Christmas Show- December 4
Michael Bolton: Greatest Hits And Holiday Favorites – December 7
Celtic Angels Christmas – December 9
A Very Darren Crissmas With Darren Criss – December 11
New Jersey Ballet’s Nutcracker With New Jersey Symphony – December 16-27
100 South St., Morristown, NJ 07960
New Jersey Performing Arts Center
Known for its art offerings in Newark, NJPAC has options for family outings and date nights.
New Jersey Symphony: A Joyful Noise! Family Concert – December 3
Lindsey Stirling: Snow Waltz Tour – December 7
Lightwire Theater Presents A Very Electric Christmas – December 13
The Hip Hop Nutcracker – December 17
The Nutcracker The State Ballet Theatre of Ukraine – December 18
Cirque Dreams Holidaze – December 26
1 Center St., Newark, NJ 07102
Nunnbetter Dance Theatre
Nunnbetter Dance School students and New York City ballet dancers come together every December to create a full-length adaptation of the Nutcracker.
The Nutcracker – December 16-18
Bergen County Academies, 200 Hackensack Avenue, Hackensack, NJ
The Growing Stage, The Children’s Theatre of New Jersey
The Growing Stage, the Children’s Theatre of New Jersey, is perfect for young audiences with kid-friendly shows featuring young casts.
The Land of Forgotten Toys-A Christmas Musical – December 2-18
7 Ledgewood Ave., Netcong, NJ 07857
Union County Performing Arts Center, also known as UCPAC
With four performance spaces, the Union County Performing Arts Center includes children’s plays and live performances, musicals, film presentations, multicultural programs and events, and live concerts.
Black Violin: Give Thanks Holiday Tour – November 10
Sensory Friendly Theatre: New Jersey Ballet: The Nutcracker – November 30
Moving Youth Dance Company Presents: The Nutcracker – December 4
Shining Stars: Christmas Spectacular – December 9
Orchestra of St. Peter by the Sea – December 10
NJ Youth Symphony: Danzon, Tango, and Bugler’s Holiday – December 11
Classic Film Series: The Muppet Christmas Carol – December 23
360 Hamilton St., Rahway, NJ 07065, and 1601 Irving Street, Rahway, NJ 07065
Central Jersey Performing Art Centers
Algonquin Arts Theater
Visit this nonprofit center for performing arts with theatre, music, dance, and film programs.
A Christmas Story, The Musical – December 3-18
It’s A Wonderful Life – December 13
A Christmas Carol – December 15
A Bluegrass Christmas – December 21
60 Abe Voorhees Drive, Manasquan, NJ 08736
Count Basie Center of the Arts
This Jersey Shore arts center offers numerous performances throughout the year and educational and cultural partnerships, and a school with acting and vocal classes for all ages.
A Christmas Carol The Musical – November 18-20
The Illusionists – Magic of the Holidays – November 23
A Charlie Brown Christmas – November 25
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical – December 1
Holiday Doo-Wop at the Basie – December 3
Count Basie Center Gospel Choir at The Vogel – December 7
The Sensational Soul Cruisers at The Vogel – December 9
FRESH Markets Holiday Market – December 9-11
The Nutcracker – December 9-11
A Magical Cirque Christmas- December 13
A Very Postmodern Christmas: Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox – December 15
Monmouth Civic Chorus, Joy To The World – December 18
Holiday Express – December 19-20
Celtic Woman: A Christmas Symphony – December 21
Darlene Love: Love For The Holidays – December 22
Jonathan Butler ft. Grace Kelly at The Vogel – December 22
99 Monmouth St., Red Bank, NJ 07701
McCarter Theatre Center
Located in the heart of Princeton’s Arts District, the McCarter Theatre offers various programming for patrons, with new plays, a mix of performance art and cultural attractions, and educational programs.
American Repertory Ballet’s The Nutcracker – November 25-27
A Christmas Carol – December 7-24
91 University Place, Princeton, NJ 08540
Spring Lake Theatre
Step back into a building from the 1920s to see local productions and musicals for the whole family.
Scrooge – December 1-18
300 Madison Avenue, Spring Lake, NJ 07762
Since 1922, The Strand has had a rich history with monumental performances over the years.
The Wag’s Christmas Spectacular – December 10
Atlantic City Ballet’s The Nutcracker – December 18
400 Clifton Ave., Lakewood, NJ 08701
The State Theater of New Jersey
Located in Central New Jersey, this New Brunswick nonprofit 1,811-seat theater used to showcase silent films back in the day.
The Wizards of Winter – November 25
Celebrate The Season with Patti Labelle – December 1
Martina McBride: The Joy of Christmas Tour – December 4
The Irish Tenors “We Three Kings” Christmas Concert – December 8
Kenny G The Miracles Holiday & Hits Tour 2022 – December 11
The Nutcracker American Repertory Ballet – December 16-18
The Queen’s Cartoonists Holiday Hurrah: Yule Love It! – December 23
Salute To Vienna New Year’s Eve Concert – December 31
15 Livingston Ave., New Brunswick, NJ 08901
South Jersey Performing Arts Centers
Broadway Theatre of Pitman
Since 1926 when it opened as a vaudeville theater, this South Jersey entertainment spot has had shows, concerts, children’s theater, and summer camp.
A Christmas Story The Musical – December 9-18
The Golden Gays presents: Thank YULE For Being A Friend – The Musical – December 22
The Duprees Holiday Special – December 23
43 S. Broadway, Pitman, NJ 08071
Circus Maximus Theater at Caeser’s Atlantic City
Spend the dance in Atlantic City and take in a show right in Caeser’s in Atlantic City—there’s no better combination of shore and shows in one location.
Atlantic City Ballet Presents: It’s A Shore Holiday – November 26
Jeffrey Osborne with Howard Hewett: A Very Platinum Christmas Special – December 3
Atlantic City Ballet Presents: The Nutcracker – December 17
2100 Pacific Ave., Atlantic City, NJ 08401
A theatre that reaches out to children and the community to make the arts accessible to everyone.
Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn – November 11
Top of the World – A Carpenters Christmas Show – December 1
The Polar Express (movie) – December 3
Christmas with The Jersey Tenors – December 9
NJ Ballet presents The Nutcracker – on December 11
Jesse Garron’s Tribute to Elvis Holiday Show – December 16
The Muppet Christmas Carol (movie) – December 17
It’s A Wonderful Life (movie) – December 17
The Calamari Sisters’ Christmas Carol – December 18
A Christmas Carol – December 20
The Wizards of Winter – December 23
126-130 N. High Street, Millville, NJ 08332
Stafford Township Arts Center
The Stafford Township Arts Center holds various events throughout the year and fits up to 800 guests.
It’s A Shore Holiday – November 27
Elf The Musical – December 2-3
The New York Tenors – December 9
The Celtic Angels Christmas – December 17
1000 McKinley Avenue, Manahawkin, NJ 08050
This Jersey Shore 450-seat theater offers Mainstage shows and Children’s Theatre.
Irving Berlin’s White Christmas – December 3-18, select dates
Ronstadt Rockin’ Eve – December 31
201 Englewide Ave., Beach Haven, NJ 08008
Where will you see your favorite nutcracker performances and holiday shows in NJ? Let us know!
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