Feel like kiddo is spending too much time vegging out in front of the television? Get your little sugar plum up and out of the house for some live action singing and dancing at a holiday-themed theater show. Here are some of D.C’s sweetest family-friendly options. Drumroll, please…


Washington National Opera’s “The Lion, the Unicorn, and Me”
You know it’s a party when the holiday donkey arrives! The Washington National Opera (WNO) has a delightfully fun and uplifting opera for kids that presents the story of the Nativity from the perspective of the family mascot–which is in this case the donkey. Based on an award-winning children’s book, WNO’s Artistic Director Francesca Zambello breaths new (and heartwarming) life into this world premiere family opera.

When: Dec. 14 -22
Cost: $34-$80

Kennedy Center, Terrace Theater
2700 F St., NW (Foggy Bottom)
Online: kennedy-center.org


Glen Echo Park’s “Snow Show” and “Nutcracker Fantasy”
Get ready to celebrate a snowy season at the Puppet Co. in Glen Echo Park with fun and frolicking holiday-themed “Tiny Tots at 10” puppet shows that run 10-10:30 a.m. and are designed especially for your littlest show goers (babes-in-arms through age 4). Tots love the shows, which are created and performed by master puppeteer Bob Brown (of the Muppets and Mister Rogers fame). Shows are short, super fun and highly interactive, which gives parents a minute to actually relax. “Snow Show” features silly bunnies on skis, snowmen (and women), and penguins, while “Nutcracker Fantasy” is filled with fun scenes inspired by the original that take kids on a fantasy journey to lands of snow, treats, flowers and faraway places.

“Snow Show
When: Nov. 20; 10 a.m.
Cost: $5

“Nutcracker Fantasy”
When: Nov. 29-30; Dec. 7, 14-15, 18, 21-22, 26, 28-29; 10 a.m.
Cost: $5

The Puppet Co.
7300 MacArthur Blvd. (Glen Echo, Md)
Online: thepuppetco.org


The Washington Ballet’s “The Nutcracker”
While there are a wide variety of Nutcracker show options throughout the area, one of the most popular and magical is Septime Webre’s Nutcracker by The Washington Ballet. It has a quick pace and churns out one dazzling number after the other (in other words, perfect for kids with short attention spans). Little dancers will adore the show and want to twirl, spin and jeté the rest of the day. (And shhh, don’t ruin the kids surprise, but George Washington does a cameo as the Nutcracker.) On Dec. 8, Webre is hosting a Nutcracker Family Day in which kids and parents can ask the dancers questions about what it’s like to perform in the holiday show. For a special treat, on Dec. 15 kids can party pre-show VIP style with The Washington Ballet cast during the annual Nutcracker Tea Party fundraiser. It’s a time to be fancy, eat silly kid-style finger sandwiches, and get your photo taken with the Sugar Plum Fairy and her court.

When: Dec. 5 – Dec. 29
Cost: $32 – $112

The Warner Theatre
513 13th St., NW (Metro Center)
Online: washingtonballet.org


Baltimore Arena’s “A Very Awesome Yo Gabba Gabba Live! Holiday”
If your kids love Nick Jr’s DJ Lance and his gang of misfit miniature monsters, then you may want to head up to Baltimore (just 55 minutes from D.C. by car) for their special live holiday show. Everyone is sure to get a holiday style disco work out, including lots of singing and dancing and featuring some of the all time Gabba favorites like “There’s a Party in My Tummy.” A few modern rips on traditional holiday classics are also on the performance’s playlist (Jingle Bells!). Optional extras include a “Party Package” that will get you some memory-making photo ops in a hang out session with the cast and crew.

When: Dec. 27; 2 pm and 5:30 pm
Cost: $27-44

Baltimore Arena
201 W Baltimore St., (Baltimore,  Md)
Online: YoGabbaGabbaLive.com

Do you plan on checking out a holiday show with your kids? Tell us about it in the Comments section below. 
—Kristina Messner
Photos courtesy of The Washington Ballet via Facebook, Puppet Co. via Facebook, NewVictory via Flickr