‘Tis the season to get dressed up and treat the family to a show! From the cannot miss Christmas classics, to must-attend Portland traditions, to entertainment of and unexpected variety— these shows will help make your holiday a magical and memorable one. Read on to find out the what, when and where you can find them.

photo: Oregon Ballet Theater via Yelp

The Nutcracker
Starting off our list is the beloved Christmas story, A Nutcracker. Performed by the professionals of the Oregon Ballet Theater, this show is a guaranteed hit. Little ones will love that these sugar-plums don’t dance in their heads, but before their eyes. All ages will delight in the grandness of the Keller, the magical costumes, and mystical world created by George Balanchine. 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 busy little elves.


Dec. 9-24

2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. performances (dependent on date)
Tickets: $29-$146
Keller Auditorium
222 SW Clay Ave.
Online: obt.org


Nutcracker Tea
This family-friendly adaptation is 90 minutes of Clara and her Nutcracker Prince’s magical Christmas adventure. Choreographed by June Taylor-Dixon as a perfect holiday tradition and first-time ballet experience, this shorter, kid-friendly version of the classic is a must-see. The show, offered by Northwest Dance Theater, a non-profit pre-professional company, generally sells out so get your tickets when they go on sale October 16th!

Dec. 9-10, 15-17

2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. performances (dependent on date)

Tickets: $17-$33
PCC Sylvania Performing Arts Center
12000 SW 49th Ave.
Online: nwdt.org


photo: efs green via Flickr

Portland’s Singing Christmas Tree
“Where Christmas comes alive.” This Portland holiday staple at the Keller hosts 300 choir members of all ages, an orchestra, and local actors for 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 little ones note that all kids over the age of one require a ticket.

Nov. 24-Dec. 3
Noon, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. performances (dependent on date)
Keller Auditorium
222 SW Clay Ave.
Online: singingchristmastree.org

The Enchanted Toyshop
Start celebrating the season as soon as it’s (arguably) acceptable with this thanksgiving-weekend tradition. The Enchanted Toyshop, put on by The Portland Ballet and PSU Orchestra, is a playful ballet about two kids who are accidentally locked in a toy shop and find the toys 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. 24-26
Ticket prices dependent on the show

Get tickets via the box office
Phone #: 503.750.3157
Email: tickets@theportlandballet.org

Lincoln Performance Hall
1620 SW Park Ave.
Online: theportlandballet.org


photo: Patrick M via flickr

Pioneer Courthouse Square Tree Lighting Ceremony
A holiday classic that everyone has braved at least once while living in the Portland area, the annual tree lighting ceremony gets thousands of Portlanders together to start off the holiday season. Watch the lighting of the City’s spectacular 75ft Douglas-fir while joining in a sing-a-long with Thomas Lauderdale and members of Pink Martini, the NW Community Gospel Choir and friends. It does get crowded quickly so grab your spot (and hand warmers) and snacks early.

Nov. 24th

5:30p.m. – 6:30p.m.
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: Dec. 2, 3 p.m.
Holiday Concert: Dec. 16, 3 p.m.
Tickets: girlchoirinfo@gmail.com or 503-226-6162

Zion Lutheran Church
1015 SW 18th
Online: girlchoir.com


If your family is a little Christmased out but still want to treat yourselves to a show head to this Imago Theatre production. FROGZ said to have put Imago on the international map, has a Broadway style production meshed with a simplicity and charm all ages will love.” This one is recommended for audience members aged 3 and up.

Dec. 8- Jan. 7
Tickets: $17.50-$37.50
Imago Theatre
17 SE 8 Ave.
Online: imagotheatre.com

The Christmas Revels

Take a trip across the pond to Iceland, Finland, Sweden, and Denmark all without leaving the comfort of your seat with Portland Revels. We love this show for its mix of comedy, dance, music, and drama perfect for the kid in you (and your kids!). Break away from the mainstream traditions and fill your holiday with sword dances, clowns, and elaborate costumes. Back again this year too is Little Lights, 60 minutes filled with a mini Christmas performance created for kids 2 to 7.

Tickets: $9.00 – $45.00

Dec. 16-23 (minus 19th and 20th)

1:00 PM and 7:30 PM performances (dependent on date)

Online: portlandrevels.org

Portland Revels

1515 SW Morrison St.




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

–Kris Wilhelmy