With things looking a little different for holiday season 2020, you might not be able to dress the kids in their fancy clothes and head to your traditional Nutcracker performance. Luckily 2020 has a little gift for you as many of your favorite holiday shows are coming to you at home! From live performances streamed virtually to symphonies airing their best holiday singalongs of yesteryear, these shows are the perfect way to bring a little holiday cheer to your home. Don your holiday PJs, warm up some peppermint hot cocoa and get ready for some virtual merriment!

Pulling Back the Curtain: The Nutcracker from the Joffrey Ballet Chicago

The Joffrey Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker is a beloved holiday tradition for many Chicago families. Unfortunately, in-person performances have been cancelled for 2020, but they invite you to kick off the holiday with a virtual celebration. Get a glimpse like never before with behind-the-scenes footage, interviews with the Joffrey artists and delightful surprises to celebrate the magic of this story. Nov. 7, 3 p.m. CT. Event details

photo: San Francisco Ballet/Erik Tomasson

SF Ballet: Nutcracker Online

Watch SF Ballet’s spectacular Nutcracker stream in HD, tour the virtual opera house full of fun activities, send downloadable holiday snaps to your friends and family, enjoy historical highlights of San Francisco Ballet’s Nutcracker, and learn steps from the choreography. You can even check off items on your gift list with a visit to SF Ballet’s online Holiday Shop! Streaming Nov. 27-Dec. 31. Event details

Eleanor's Very Merry Christmas Wish - The Musical

Bring a sprinkle of holiday magic to your home with Eleanor's Very Merry Christmas Wish - The Musical. Enjoy the story of a rag doll named Eleanor who lives in the magical world of The North Pole, but dreams of a best friend and a home of her very own. Realizing that wishing alone is not enough, she writes to Santa, which opens the door to many questions and a journey that leads to her wish coming true. Virtual performances Nov. 27-Dec. 27. Event details

photo: iStock

A Child's Christmas in Wales, the Radio Show

This holiday season, Denver's Arvada Center is proud to present a radio play of the classic and cozy A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas. Told through the nostalgic and innocent eyes of a young boy at Christmas time, this timeless story invokes images of snowy country hillsides, warm fireside songs and idyllic and light-hearted memories of the holidays with family. Make time with your family and experience this radio play that will set imaginations alight and conjure goodwill for all mankind. Nov. 30-Dec. 27. Event details

A Christmas Carol from The Goodman Theatre

There are always a few versions of Marley’s thought-provoking caper across town during the holidays. One that’s everlasting (and truly tear-jerking) is at The Goodman Theatre in Chicago, which was first staged there more than 40 years ago. Due to COVID, A Christmas Carol will be available via free audio streaming. Hear the voices you love and the signature soundscape surrounded by the love of family at home. Virtual performances Dec. 1-31. Event details

photo: iStock

Handel's Messiah Reimagined

If you are missing out on your usual performance of Handel's Messiah this year, you'll want to tune in to this one. Laurence Cummings will lead four star soloists and the London Handel Orchestra who will perform live from St George's, Hanover Square in London's Mayfair - Handel's own church. This is a carefully managed socially-distanced arrangement behind closed doors, with no audience present in keeping with current lockdown regulations in the UK. The choruses have been prepared and pre-recorded by seven choirs, including our 'Sing at Home' chorus of some 150 singers from 16 countries, and will be integrated digitally into the overall performance. The whole event will be livestreamed on Facebook for global audiences to enjoy free, and will be available on YouTube after. Dec. 3, 11 a.m. PT and available after via youtube. Event details

photo: iStock

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Shakespeare is in quarantine just like you! That won't stop him and his actors from making some theatre magic with you from home! Emit Theatre's digital retelling of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream allows families to enjoy this classic story retold with a contemporary audience in mind right from the comfort of your own home. Kids will be able to play along and help characters throughout the course of three 20-minute episodes, performed weekly. Episode 1: Dec. 3 or 5, Episode 2: Dec. 10 or 12 and Episode 3: Dec. 17 or 19. Event details

photo: American Conservatory Theater

Listen In to ACT's A Christmas Carol: On Air

For the first time in its 44-year history, American Conservatory Theater’s (A.C.T.) celebrated production of the Charles Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol, will come to life as A Christmas Carol: On Air, an enthralling radio play that the whole family can enjoy from the comfort of their home. This spirited and uplifting tale of reckoning and redemption will feature the delightful music, deliciously spooky ghosts, and cast that have made it a cornerstone of the A.C.T. repertory and a holiday tradition for families all around the San Francisco Bay Area. Stream online from Dec. 4-31. Event details

photo: Elf The Musical

Elf: The Musical

Based on the beloved holiday film, this hilarious fish-out-of-water comedy follows Buddy the Elf in his quest to find his true identity. Buddy, a young orphan, mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported to the North Pole. The would-be elf is raised, unaware that he is actually a human until his enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. 

This modern-day holiday classic is sure to make everyone embrace their inner elf. After all, the best way to spread Christmas Cheer is singing loud for all to hear. Live stream shows on Dec. 5, 12 and 19, 7:30 p.m. CT. Event details

photo: iStock

Music That Connects Us All from the National Philharmonic

Brian Ganz, teacher, musician, lover of all things Chopin, and favorite performer to NatPhil audiences of all ages, inspires with his visceral connection to his performance and his emotional connection to each composition. In his commitment to each piece, Ganz reveals the power of music to bring us all together, reminding us no matter how different we are from each other, we all speak the language of music. Enjoy pieces brought to vivid life by this wonderful entertainer. Dec. 6, 2 p.m. Event details

photo: ODC/Dance

The Velveteen Rabbit On Demand

Brimming with wit, festive costumes, madcap characters and the perfect amount of holiday cheer, ODC/Dance, one of America’s most exciting and acclaimed contemporary dance companies, brings a new, interactive, and special digital presentation of The Velveteen Rabbit to you for a limited period of time. Enjoy 3 weeks of unlimited on-demand access for your whole family to the beloved Bay Area holiday tradition. Dec. 10-31. Event details

PNW Ballet: Virtual Nutcracker

You can enjoy the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s favorite holiday tradition from the comfort of home this year. Stream this archival performance of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® with the unique-to-Seattle scenery and costumes by Ian Falconer and immerse yourself in a candy-filled dreamland. Streaming for Digital Plus ticket holders starts Dec. 11 and Dec. 18 for Digital ticket holders. Event details

photo: iStock

Cinderella

Join Trinity Theatre's Storytime team online through ZOOM as we present CinderellaThis initiative is an effort to maintain Social Distancing, while providing the Arts to our local community. About the Story: "Cinderella! Cinderella!" shout her two evil sisters, before the sleepover with the royal family. Cinderella obeys every whim of her family, at the sacrifice of her own happiness - that is, until Cinderella's own fairy godmother intervenes. Dec. 13, 11 a.m. PST. Event details

photo: iStock

Making Merry, Greatest Hits

Denver's Stories on Stage performs audience favorites during the 20th Anniversary Holiday Celebration, streaming live from the stage! Dec. 13, 1:30 p.m. MT. Event details

photo: iStock

ASO Live! Holiday Classics

The holidays are a time spent with friends and family, both near and far, celebrating togetherness. Enjoy a virtual concert from the Anapolis Symphony Orchestra that will warm your heart on a cold winter's night with holiday favorites and classical selections by Arcangelo Corelli, Johann Strauss, Scott Joplin, and Leroy Anderson, among others. Dec. 18, 8 p.m. ET. Event details

photo: iStock

The Best of Handel's Messiah from the National Philharmonic

Celebrate the holidays with highlights from George Frideric Handel’s Messiah, featuring an all-star cast of performers, and led by National Philharmonic Chorale’s artistic director Stan Engebretson. Sing along from home while enjoying all your favorites, including And the Glory of the Lord and the Hallelujah chorus! Dec. 20. 2 p.m. ET. Event details

photo: San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus

[At] Home for the Holidays with San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus

SFGMC rings in the holiday season with [At] Home for the Holidays, featuring fan favorites that have made this concert one of San Francisco Bay Area’s annual signature treats! At this all-virtual concert, guests can expect plenty of upbeat, show-stopping numbers, stunningly beautiful choral pieces, and updated, modern takes on old favorites—all done with SFGMC’s trademark humor and flair. Haul out the holly and don your gay apparel for this not-to-be-missed holiday extravaganza! Dec. 24, 5 p.m. Event details

CirqueConnect

Cirque du Soleil shows offer an escape from the everyday routine and invite into a world of delight and whimsy. While in-person performances aren't a possibility, their CirqueConnect programming gives you access to awe-inspiring show footage and fan-favorite videos. Sit back on the couch and let them transport your family. Available on their website all season long. Event details

—Kate Loweth

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