The Grinch, Ebenezer Scrooge, Charlie Brown and the Sugar Plum Fairy are all set to take the stage in San Diego’s best holiday shows! Treat your kids to a magical performance to revel in the excitement of the holidays. We’ve got a list featuring classic faves like How the Grinch Stole Christmas to brand new productions like Cirque Dreams Holidaze. Watch your little elves’ eyes light up when the curtain goes up at these delightful extravaganzas. Read on for the details.

Hip Hop Nutcracker

The Hip Hop Nutcracker, a contemporary work set to classic the Tchaikovsky score, celebrates its 5th year anniversary and hits the road to play at the Civic Theatre. You’ll find MC Kurtis Blow, one of hip hop’s founding fathers, opening the show with a short set before rapping the introduction. Even more, a dozen all-star dancers, an on-stage DJ and an electric violinist. The traditional Tchaikovsky score beautifully complements the power moves of the 12 dancers, with traditional and incidental music re-mixed and re-imagined, helping to bring a beautifully surprising and contemporary vibe to the production.

The Hip Hop Nutcracker
Nov. 7, 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: From $33.50/person
San Diego Civic Theater
3rd Avenue & B St.
San Diego, CA 92101
Online: sandiegocivictheatre.com

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photo: Jim Cox

Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Get a front row ticket to the land of Whoville and you won't be disappointed! Every year San Diegans flock to the Old Globe Theater to be entertained by their rendition of Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas and time and again audiences leave feeling wowed. Based on the classic Dr. Seuss book and back for its 20th incredible year, the family favorite features the songs “Santa for a Day,” “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” and “Welcome, Christmas (Fah Who Doraze).” Scrooges everywhere are dared not to love this magical show.

Event details.

Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Nov. 4-Dec. 24; (11 a.m. matinée for kids under 3 years old)
Sensory-friendly show on Dec. 14
Tickets: From $29/adult; $19/youth
The Old Globe
1363 Old Globe Way
San Diego, CA 92101
619-234-5623
Online: theoldglobe.org

photo: A Charlie Brown Christmas

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the entire Peanuts gang are back at Balboa Theater to bring this holiday classic to life! With live actors, an animated backdrop, and Vince Guaraldi’s timeless music, this is a beloved holiday classic you won’t want to miss.

Event details.

A Charlie Brown Christmas
Dec. 27, 1:30 p.m.
Tickets: From $34/person
Balboa Theater
868 4th Avenue
San Diego, CA 92101
Online: sandiegotheatres.org

Ebenezer Scrooge’s BIG San Diego Christmas Show

San Diego has a new show for its Christmas stocking with this fast, funny, and highly theatrical reimagining of one of the most beloved holiday stories ever told. All the traditional elements of Dickens’s A Christmas Carol are intact—including the iconic ghosts of Christmases Past, Present, and Future—but with a comic local twist! Audiences of all ages will cheer Ebenezer Scrooge’s rediscovery of the Christmas spirit in this riotous Dickens mash-up filled with music and laughter—all set in “wintery” San Diego!

Event details.

Ebenezer Scrooge’s BIG San Diego Christmas Show
Nov. 23-Dec. 29
Tickets: From $39/person
The Old Globe
1363 Old Globe Way
San Diego, CA 92101
619-234-5623
Online: theoldglobe.org

photo: Ian Ibbetson 2017

Cirque Dreams Holidaze

Light up your holiday season! You’ll enjoy the unique cast of cirque artists and theater talent that will wow your whole family. With over 300 imaginative costumes, 20 world-class astonishing acts, the finest singers, original music and seasonal favorites, celebrate Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Christmas and New Year’s in a 2 hour breathtaking spectacle. This show has something for everyone in your crew, so grab your tickets today!

Event details.

Cirque Dreams Holidaze
Dec. 17 & 18, 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $45-$100/person
340 N Escondido Blvd.
Escondido, CA 92025
800-988-4253
Online: artcenter.org

photo: Ken Jacques

A Christmas Carol

You and your little carolers will feel like you've stepped into a Victorian Christmas card once the curtain comes up at the Cygnet Theatre. This reimagined take on the original holiday classic: A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens, is adapted by Sean Murray with an original score by Billy Thompson. Audience involvement is encouraged as guests are invited to engage in photo ops at the lobby Christmas tree and pre-show singalongs from their seats. Suitable for all ages.

Event details.

A Christmas Carol
Nov. 27-Dec. 29
Tickets: $35/adult; $27.50/child (with paying adult)
Old Town Theatre
4040 Twiggs St.
San Diego, CA 92110
Online: cygnettheatre.com

photo: San Diego Ballet

San Diego Ballet: The Nutcracker

For many people, the holidays just aren’t the holidays without a performance of The Nutcracker. The San Diego Ballet's version appeals to the child in all of us and is a must-see for tiny dancers who dream about tulle and lace-up ballet slippers. Budding stage performers will be inspired by the mix of professional dancers and ballet students (some taking the stage for the very first time). Another reason to love the San Diego Ballet version of The Nutcracker is that the show features an international cast from China, Japan, Russia, South Africa and Mexico.

Event details.

The Nutcracker
Dec. 28 & 29
Tickets: $49-$134/person
Copley Symphony Hall
750 B Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Online: sandiegoballetdancecompany.org

photo: Lou Baldanza

A Magical Cirque Christmas

Your fam will be spellbound and on the edge of their seats at this new holiday show. The producers of Broadway’s smash hit “The Illusionists” have brought together all kinds of entertainers for this extravaganza. Experience the magic of Christmas with dazzling performers and breathtaking cirque artists from all corners of the world, accompanied by your favorite holiday music performed live. Get into the spirit of the season with this merry treat that’s perfect for the entire family.

Event details.

A Magical Cirque Christmas
Dec. 28, 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: From $27.50/person
San Diego Civic Theater
3rd Avenue & B St.
San Diego, CA 92101
Online: sandiegocivictheatre.com

The Nutcracker

A magical journey! Join Clara in the Land of the Sweets with the Nutcracker Prince at the San Diego Civic Youth Ballet’s annual production of The Nutcracker. Witness an epic battle between toy soldiers and mice before being whisked away to an enchanting land of falling snow, waltzing flowers, and the dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy! This classic holiday production is a beloved San Diego family tradition.

Event details.

The Nutcracker
Dec. 11-22
Tickets: $15-$20
Casa del Prado Theater
Balboa Park
1800 Village Place
San Diego, CA, 92101
Online: sdcyb.org

photo: Ken Jacques

Festival of Christmas: A Fargo Christmas

Every holiday season for 40 years families visit Lamb's Players Theater in Coronado looking to be entertained, and every year the theater delivers. Resident Playwright Kerry Meads delights theater goers with her version of A Fargo Christmas, a hilarious play that brings together a rising star, a real estate mogul, a precocious child and an octogenarian looking at the same “dream” property to be their new home by Christmas. This show is appropriate for all ages, but due to the theater's small size, tickets are available for ages 5 and up only.

A Festival of Christmas
Dec. 5-29
Tickets: $28-$82/person
Lamb’s Players Theatre
1142 Orange Ave.
Coronado, CA 92118
Online: lambsplayers.org

photo: San Diego Symphony

Noel Noel

Music to your ears! Ring in holiday cheer at Noel Noel, a holiday concert for the whole family. The sounds of old-fashioned and new-found festive music makes the season bright and delightful as audiences sing along with the San Diego Master Chorale. Decked with boughs of holly and sparkling lights, Copley Symphony Hall at the Jacobs Music Center warmly welcomes you and the North Pole’s most famous resident! Even more, attend the one-hour family version in the afternoon. Snatch up your tickets today, because they go fast.

Event details.

Noel Noel
Dec. 14-22; Dec. 15, 1-hour family version
Tickets: From $25/person (from $10/person for family version)
Copley Symphony Hall
750 B Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Online: sandiegosymphony.org

California Ballet: The Nutcracker

Love the idea of seeing a performance of The Nutcracker in all its glory, but worried your little one may turn sour halfway through the two-hour show? The California Ballet version has toddler-friendly performances that are only 60 minutes long. Read all the details on this kid-friendly show here.

The Nutcracker
Dec. 14-24
Tickets: Start at $45/person
San Diego Civic Theater
3rd Avenue & B St.
San Diego, CA 92101
Online: sandiegotheatres.org/the-nutcracker

––Aimee Della Bitta & Nikki Walsh

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