Where To See Nutcracker Performances and Holiday Shows This Year

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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 Carol 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.
Canadian Brass: Making Spirits Bright – November 27
Celtic Women: Christmas Symphony Tour  – November 28

New Jersey Ballet’s Nutcracker – December 2-3
Kenny G: The Miracles Holiday and Hits Tour 2023 – December 4
Il Divo – A New Day Holiday Tour – December 5 
Holiday Doo Wop – December 9
The Maccabeats – December 11
Cirque Musica Holiday Wonderland – December 13
Event Calendar
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 1-3, 8-9
Event Calendar
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.
Fiddler on the Roof – December 6-January 7

Event Calendar
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.
A Charlie Brown Christmas: Live On Stage – November 26
A Magical Cirque Christmas – December 2
Il Divo: A New Day Holiday Tour – December 6
Girl Named Tom-One More Christmas Tour – December 10

New Jersey Ballet’s Nutcracker with New Jersey Symphony – December 15-27
Event Calendar
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.
Patti Labelle with Special Guest Leela James – December 10
A Live Conversation with Chevy Chase Following the Screening of Christmas Vacation – December 15
The Nutcracker with The State Ballet Theatre of Ukraine
The Hip Hop Nutcracker – December 23
Cirque Dreams Holidaze – December 26
Event Calendar
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 15-17
Event Calendar
Bergen County Academies, 200 Hackensack Avenue, Hackensack, NJ 07601

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.
Ella Enchanted The Musical – December 1-17
Event Calendar
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.
Shining Stars: Christmas Spectacular – December 2
Cherish The Ladies Celtic Christmas – December 3
New Jersey Ballet: The Nutcracker – A Sensory-Friendly Performance – December 10
Amahl and The Night Visitors: New Jersey Opera Theater at UCPAC – December 15
The Muoppet Christmas Carol – December 21 
Event Calendar
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.
Elf – The Musical – December 2-17
A Christmas Carol – December 15
Beginnings: A New Year’s Tribute To Chicago – December 31
Event Calendar
60 Abe Voorhees Drive, Manasquan, NJ 08736

Axelrod Performing Arts Center
The theater showcases varied and distinct cultural programs.
The Polar Express – December 1- 10
Event Calendar
100 Grant Avenue, Deal, NJ 07723

Count Basie Center of the Arts
This Jersey Shore theatre offers numerous performances throughout the year, educational and cultural partnerships, and a school with acting and vocal classes for all ages.
Navidad: A Mexican-American Christmas – November 20
A Charlie Brown Christmas – November 24
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical – November 28
Celtic Woman: Christmas Symphony Tour 2023 – November 30
Holiday Doo Wop – December 2
Darren Criss: A Very Darren Christmas – December 4
The Nutcracker – December 8-10

Engelbert Humperdinck- A Winter World of Love – December 11
The Irish Tenors: A Family Christmas – December 13
Darlene Love: Love For The Holidays – December 15
Brian Kirk & The Jirks: Santa for Lunch Break – December 16
Monmouth Civic Chorus: Rejoice Greatly – December 17
Holiday Express – December 19
Black Nativity – December 20
Event Calendar
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, nutcracker performances and educational programs.
American Repertory Ballet’s The Nutcracker – November 24-26
A Christmas Carol – December 6-24
The Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged) – December 14
Choir! Choir! Choir! Holiday Show  – December 16
Event Calendar
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.
Something Wonderful – Holiday Edition – November 18
Scrooge – November 30 – December 17

Event Calendar
300 Madison Avenue, Spring Lake, NJ 07762

Strand Theater
Since 1922, The Strand has had a rich history with monumental performances over the years.
The Wag’s Christmas Spectacular – December 9
Atlantic City Ballet’s The Nutcracker – December 10
Event Calendar
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.
Sarah Brightman: A Christmas Symphony – November 26
Pam Tillis and Phil Vassar – November 30
A Magical Cirque Christmas – December 1
Peppa Pig’s Sing-Along Party – December 2
The Illusionists_Magic of the Holidays – December 6
Vienna Boys Choir – December 8
Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis – December 10
The Nutcracker – December 15-17
The Hip Hop Nutcracker – December 29
Salute to Vienna – December 31

Event Calendar
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 Carol – December 8-17
Event Calendar
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.
Lindsey Sterling-Snow Waltz Tour  – December 15
Event Calendar
2100 Pacific Ave., Atlantic City, NJ 08401

Levoy Theatre
A theatre that reaches out to children and the community to make the arts accessible to everyone.
The Sound of Music – November 10 – December 23
The Wizards of Winter – December 23
Event Calendar
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 26
The New York Tenors – December 16
Together This Christmas – December 17
Event Calendar
1000 McKinley Avenue, Manahawkin, NJ 08050

Surflight Theatre
This Jersey Shore 450-seat theater offers Mainstage shows and Children’s Theatre.
A Christmas Story – December 2-17, select dates 
New Year’s Eve Bubbly Bash with The Jersey Tenors – December 31
Event Calendar 
201 Englewide Ave., Beach Haven, NJ 08008

Where will you see your favorite Nutcracker performances and holiday shows in NJ? 

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About Author

Melanie Bodner has always had a love for writing, but now she has a new love…being a mom. Before having her kids, Melanie was no stranger to writing or working with children. She wrote for a local newspaper as a reporter and taught English and Dance in a public school. Now Melanie enjoys spending time with her kids, doing yoga, writing and decorating her home. Check out her Instagram @burlapbythebeach.

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