When I was a kid, I always looked forward to my family’s holiday tradition of seeing The Nutcracker at the Wortham Theater. We’d dress to the nines, eat a fancy dinner downtown and spend the evening at the ballet, feeling like we were royalty. My days of being a Houstonian may have ended (DFW stole my heart in college), but my love for the theater carries on, especially during this time of year! There’s something simply magical about attending a holiday performance with your loved ones. This year, treat them to one of the best shows in town and make memories that’ll last a lifetime.
Dallas | November 21 – December 30
Everyone knows this classic tale (and may have even caught themselves feeling a bit like Mr. Scrooge this season), but there’s nothing like seeing it onstage. Head to the Wyly Theater and journey through Christmases past, present and future with song, dance and fantastical special effects. Fun fact: The director of this show, Tiffany Nichole Greene, is also directing Hamilton presented by Dallas Summer Musicals and Broadway Across America this spring.
Fort Worth | December 20 – 24
The Texas Ballet Theater has been wowing audiences for 50+ years, and don’t plan on stopping anytime soon! I saw them perform Beauty and the Beast in 2017 and was amazed by the gorgeous choreography, music and set. Needless to say, there’s no doubt in my mind that you’ll also love their breathtaking rendition of The Nutcracker at Bass Performance Hall. Want to make a night of it? Spend some time exploring the magical Sundance Square before or after the show.
Plano | December 21 – 23
Zuzu’s petals, Zuzu’s petals! Don’t know what I’m talking about? Well then, it’s time for you to experience the amazing story of It’s A Wonderful Life! This unique performance brings my favorite Christmas movie to life with a live 1940s radio broadcast, where the actors set the scene and spur your imagination using only their voice. Although it might not be the best option for squirmy little ones, this one-of-a-kind play is definitely worth a trip to Art Centre Theatre this season.
Richardson | December 21 – 22
Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? Instead of crossing your fingers and staring out the window (c’mon, Texas, give us some snow!), head to Repertory Company Theatre and catch the musical rendition of Irving Berlin’s 1950’s classic White Christmas. It’ll have you humming favorites like “Snow” and “Sisters” for weeks to come!
Dallas | December 22
Holiday tunes are great and all, but nothing gets me in the spirit more than jamming out to Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s “Carol of the Bells”. If you want to head-bang a bit this holiday, hurry up and snag your tickets to The Ghosts of Christmas Eve – Best of TSO Tour at the American Airlines Center. When something’s called Rock Theater, you know it’s going to be good! Plus, they have two times to choose from, making it easy to explore Dallas before or after the concert. Yes, please!
Fort Worth | December 28
Make your way to Cowtown for another out-of-this-world holiday concert: Manneheim Steamroller! You’ve probably blasted one or two of their Christmas albums on surround-sound over the past month, but I can assure you that doesn’t come close to hearing these holiday classics in person. Add in the magnificence of Bass Performance Hall, and you’ve got yourself a night to remember!
Grand Prairie | November 22 – December 30
Millions of holiday lights and a show? You bet. This unique indoor holiday performance is included with tickets to Prairie Lights, an annual favorite at Lynn Creek Park on Joe Pool Lake. Drive through dazzling light displays, then stretch your legs at the Holiday Village Tent and enjoy a high-energy performance complete with vibrant lights, sounds and holographic magic.
Dallas | November 16 – December 23
This family-friendly performance is based on a story from the Magic Tree House book series—AKA, my favorite thing to read circa 2003. If I was back in elementary school, I’d be begging my mom to take me to see this show at Dallas Children’s Theater! Tag along with Jack and Annie as they’re transported back in time on a mission to help Charles Dickens combat writer’s block and complete his classic novella, A Christmas Carol.
Fort Worth | November 23 – December 23
Casa Mañana’s holiday musical isn’t based on the poem from your childhood, but it’ll still bring a big smile to your face! Kiddos will love the hot chocolate bar, dancing elves, visits from Santa and fun Christmas parodies of today’s popular songs. Looking for something a bit more grown-up? Snag tickets to the Santaland Diaries (December 20 – 22), a hilariously irreverent show for audiences who prefer their eggnog spiked.
Grapevine | December 19 – 23
If you’re not up for a large-scale performance but still want to treat your loved ones to something special, this one’s for you! The historic Palace Theatre in Downtown Grapevine will be showing It’s A Wonderful Life and a double-feature of A Charlie Brown Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas throughout the weekend. Sure, you could watch these flicks at home—but where’s the fun in that? After all, there’s no better place to soak in holiday magic than the Christmas Capitol of Texas.