If family movie night is your thing, why not turn it up a notch during the holiday season? The stage lights are lit all over Portland for modern and classic shows that will give even the family Scrooge the warm fuzzies. Check out our top picks and grab your seats for a spotlight performance.

Xuan Cheng as "Dewdrop" with the "Flowers" in Oregon Ballet Theatre's 2015 production of "George Balanchine's The Nutcracker," running December 12 - 26, 2015 at the Keller Auditorium. Photo by James McGrew.

Xuan Cheng as “Dewdrop” with the “Flowers” in Oregon Ballet Theatre’s 2015 production of “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker,” running December 12 – 26, 2015 at the Keller Auditorium. Photo by James McGrew.

The Nutcracker
Start this classic family tradition with the professionals of the Oregon Ballet Theater. Tiny dancers will be dazzled by the grandness of the Keller and we recommend you check the schedule for the shows that feature the OBT live orchestra. Keep in mind that this production runs two hours, so plan accordingly for small children.

Dec. 10-26
Tickets: $15-$105
Keller Auditorium
222 SW Clay Ave.
Online: obt.org

Nutcracker Tea
If a 2-hour performance is not yet in the cards for your youngsters, start with this 90-minute abridged version of the Christmas favorite. This family-friendly production is offered by Northwest Dance Theater, a non-profit pre-professional company. Complimentary refreshments will be served.

Dec. 10-11, 16-18
Tickets: $17-$33
PCC Sylvania Performing Arts Center
12000 SW 49th Ave.
Online: nwdt.org

Portland Singing Christmas Tree

photo: Portland’s Singing Christmas Tree

Portland’s Singing Christmas Tree
This Portland holiday staple is heading back to the Keller this year! Over 350 adult and youth choir members, an orchestra, and local actors have put together a show that includes both contemporary and traditional Christmas music. Because of the long running time – 2 hours plus intermission – this one might be best for kids six and up. If you take the youngsters, be aware that all kids over the age of 1 require a ticket.

Nov. 25-Dec. 4
Keller Auditorium
222 SW Clay Ave.
Online: singingchristmastree.org

The Enchanted Toyshop
A Thanksgiving-weekend tradition for many families comes courtesy of The Portland Ballet and PSU Orchestra, who perform this joyful ballet about toys that come to life. The show, often paired with another ballet for a double delight, lasts approximately 100 minutes and features 100 dancers and musicians from Portland.

Nov. 25-27
Fri/Sat 2:30pm & 7:30pm
Sun 1 p.m. & 5 p.m.
Tickets: $5-$35
Lincoln Performance Hall
1620 SW Park Ave.
Online: theportlandballet.org

Plaid Tidings
Portland’s best-kept secret on the stage is Stumptown Stages, the theater group that holds residence in Portland’5 Centers for the Arts Brunish Theatre. This year they bring you Forever Plaid, the silky crooners that send us all back to the days of Ed Sullivan and Rosemary Clooney. Join Francis, Jinx, Smudge and Sparky for a harmonious blast into Christmas past with a dash of humor to keep things jolly.

Dec. 1-24
Antoinette Hatfield Hall
1111 SW Broadway
Online: stumptownstages.org

Oregon National Guard band

photo: Oregon National Guard via flickr

Pioneer Courthouse Square Concerts
Amid the sightseeing tourists, the Honkin’ Huge Burrito Truck and the holiday-decked windows, the square has some of the most cheerful (and free) holiday shows in town. This December you’ll want to grab a seat for the 26th annual Tuba Christmas Concert featuring over 200 tubas and The Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition, as well as choirs and bands from schools throughout the city. Most performances run an hour and it’s outside, but there are plenty of warm spots with hot cocoa nearby.

Dec. 10–21
Pioneer Square
701 SW 6th Ave.
Online: TheSquarePDX.org

Jingle Bear
This group includes over 135 girls between the ages of 5 and 18. Their “Jingle Bear” concert features the choir’s youngest singers and includes a sing-along to get everyone in the festive spirit. Later in the month, the choir’s Holiday Concert takes a more sophisticated repertoire for the season. Whichever concert you attend, they will have you humming your holiday favorites for the rest of December.

Jingle Bear: Sat., Dec. 3, 3 p.m.
Holiday Concert: Sat. Dec. 17, 3 p.m.
Zion Lutheran Church
1015 SW 18th
Online: girlchoir.com

La Belle
If you enjoy a dazzling show but don’t need the holly jolly theme, don’t miss this Imago Theatre production. A fantastic spectacle of moving parts, puppetry and shadow theater (along with music, comedy and drama), you won’t believe your eyes as this Steampunk-style rendition of Beauty and the Beast comes to life. This one is recommended for audience members aged 4 and up.

Dec. 9- Jan. 8
Tickets: $19.50-$42.50
Imago Theatre
17 SE 8 Ave.
Online: imagotheatre.com

What performance will you attend with your kids this year? Tell us in the Comments below!

–Marianne Walters