There is nothing quite like a live performance to bring out the holiday spirit. If you haven’t done so already, this season is also the perfect time to introduce your child to the performing arts and help foster a life-long love of everything from the live music to the theater to ballet. Thankfully, there are plenty of family-friendly performances this time of year to choose from. Below we list a few of our favorites.
Location: Indiana Repertory Theatre
Dates: November 18 – December 24
Indy’s favorite holiday tradition returns for its 27th year at the IRT. Scrooge’s visits to the past, the present and the future bring us hope in the dark of winter, when we need it most. Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol celebrates the power of kindness, family and love in this beloved tale filled with laughter, tears and redemption. This year, Holiday Hoopla pairs most performances with a holiday activity to make your experience even merrier – click here for the complete list of events. Tickets start at $25. Click here to purchase tickets. (Note: Recommended for 4th grade and older.)
Location: The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
Dates: Select days, November 24–December 31, 2017
On Christmas Eve 1822, three children await the arrival of St. Nicholas, and Mother and Father arise thinking they hear intruders. Cousin Harriet enlists the children to copy the poem their father has just written for them, which she hopes to have published for all young people to enjoy. But Father, a distinguished professor fears becoming known as a poet for children – burns the poem so it can never leave the house. At first heartbroken, the children unite to save the poem by improvising it through a riotous enactment. How they convince their father that his verses should be shared with children everywhere brings about the hilarious, happy ending. Recommended for ages 4 and up. Free with museum admission. Tickets available on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 10 a.m. at the Lower Level ticket booth.
Location: Old National Centre
Dates: November 28 – December 3
Set in 1940s Indiana, a young and bespectacled Ralphie Parker schemes his way toward the holiday gift of his dreams, an official Red Ryder® Carbine-Action 200-Shot Range Model Air Rifle. An infamous leg lamp, outrageous pink bunny pajamas, a maniacal department store Santa, and a triple-dog-dare to lick a freezing flagpole are just a few of the distractions that stand between Ralphie and his Christmas wish. Now you can watch this hilarious, heartwarming story come to life on stage. Tickets start at $28. Click here to purchase.
Location: Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre
Dates: November 24 – December 23
Carols and Christmas trees, snowfall and Santa Claus – these telltale signs of the holiday season are all included in the glittering gala known as ‘A Beef & Boards Christmas.’ This annual Hoosier tradition is the perfect outing for the entire family. This year, it will celebrate its Silver Anniversary…and also its last run before going on hiatus. Catch this Indy holiday tradition while you can! Tickets range from $42.50 to $67.50 and include Chef Odell Ward’s dinner buffet. Call (317) 872.9664 to reserve your seats.
Location: Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre
Dates: Select days, December 2 – 22
More Christmas fun at Beef & Boards: From the pages of Dickens comes this delightful musical adaptation of the Yuletide classic with traditional carols. Experience the transformation of the crotchety Scrooge into someone who understands the true meaning of kindness and love, accomplished with the help of three spirits from the past, present and future. Tickets start at $26.50. Call (317) 872.9664 to reserve your seats.
Location: Hilbert Circle Theatre
Dates: Select days, December 1-23
The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and Jack Everly are joined by the beloved Sandi Patty as she returns for the 32nd IPL Yuletide Celebration! Broadway’s best singers and dancers, from New York to right here in Indiana, will bring the Yuletide magic and music to life on the Hilbert Circle Theatre stage. Don’t miss 21-year-old dancing sensation Kyle Van Newkirk, fresh from NBC’s hit World of Dance, as he joins the cast to perform holiday favorites. Tickets start at $25. Click here to purchase.
Location: Peewinkles Puppet Studio inside the Indiana State Museum
Dates: Select days, December 2 – 28
This music filled variety Christmas show will put the entire family into the holiday spirit. Mozart and Ludmilla, the ritzy resident mice, will host the many marionettes, singing and dancing to your favorite music. All tickets $12. Children under two, free. Popcorn is free.
Location: The Palladium, Center for the Performing Arts
Date: Saturday, December 9, 3 and 7:30 pm
This heartwarming family-friendly concert is a community tradition. Enjoy your favorite songs of the season – and an audience sing-along, too! Click here for ticket information.
Location: Clowes Memorial Hall
Date: December 10, 1 and 4 pm
The classic animated television special comes to life in this faithful stage adaptation designed with small children in mind. The 85-minute long show (including intermission) features all of your favorite characters and classic Vince Guaraldi score. Join, Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus and the rest of the Peanuts gang as they mount a play, save a tree and uncover the true meaning of Christmas. Click here for tickets.
Location: The Palladium at The Center for the Performing Arts
Dates: December 15-17
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas as the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir presents Festival of Carols – with 4 performances to choose from! The Midwest’s beloved holiday tradition features your favorite carols and holiday music performed by the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir, the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra and special guest artists. Click here for ticket information.
Location: St. Luke’s United Methodist Church
Dates: December 15-16
The Indianapolis Children’s Choir presents its holiday concerts: This Indianapolis tradition will ensure you have a “White Christmas” in a classic holiday experience inspired by Bing Crosby. Angel’s Sing – Dec 15 & 16 | 7pm. Celebrate the Season – Dec 16 | 12:30pm. Sounds of the Season – Dec 16 | 3pm. Tickets are $13; children 5 and under, free.
And when it comes to Nutcracker performances, there are several to choose from – each offering their own unique interpretation of this timeless tale. Find our complete list of performances across Indy here.