When the holiday season rolls around, Boston transforms into a winter wonderland, not just with holiday lights and decorations but with the magic of theater. The city’s holiday tradition and New England charm come alive with a broad range of Christmas shows, from timeless classics to modern interpretations. If you’ve already explored the Christmas festivities in Boston, it’s time to dive into the city’s theatrical offerings.
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Best Christmas Shows in Boston
Here are 18 of our favorite holiday shows to see this Christmas season in Boston and beyond to get you into the holiday spirit! Most of these are family friendly events, ideal for introducing your youngsters to holiday traditions.
1. A Christmas Carol at the Boston Opera House
Every holiday season, the historic Boston Opera House comes alive with the timeless tale of redemption and the spirit of Christmas in its rendition of “A Christmas Carol.” This classic Dickensian story is transformed on stage with evocative set designs, enthralling performances, and a seamless blend of traditional and innovative staging. The journey of Ebenezer Scrooge, from a bitter old miser to a man reborn with kindness and generosity, is portrayed with both reverence to the original narrative and fresh, contemporary twists.
Audiences are whisked away into the snowy streets of Victorian London, meeting beloved characters from Tiny Tim to the trio of Christmas ghosts. The Boston Opera House’s production of “A Christmas Carol” stands not just as a seasonal performance, but as a poignant reminder of the enduring message of hope and humanity at the heart of the holidays.
Check out their website here.
2. Christmas Celtic Sojourn with Brian O’Donovan
Hosted at the Symphony Hall, immerse yourself in a delightful blend of Celtic songs, dances, and stories. Perfect for a cozy evening with loved ones.
3. Irving Berlin’s White Christmas at the Boston Opera House
Dreaming of a white Christmas? This musical masterpiece is a heartwarming tale of love, family, and holiday joy. One of the most beloved holiday movies is brought to life on stage in this lavish production. The story follows two World War II veterans as they team up with a pair of sisters to save a failing Vermont inn. With classic songs like “Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep” and “White Christmas,” it’s a heartwarming musical that captures the essence of the holiday spirit.
4. The Nutcracker by Boston Ballet
Boston Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker” is a perennial holiday favorite, transporting audiences into a magical world of swirling snowflakes, enchanting characters, and a tale of adventure and wonder. Set against the backdrop of Tchaikovsky’s iconic score, this rendition masterfully captures the essence of the classic story, weaving together spellbinding choreography and lavish sets.
From the captivating Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy to the majestic Waltz of the Snowflakes, Boston Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” offers an unforgettable experience that embodies the spirit and beauty of the holiday season. Whether it’s a cherished tradition or a first-time encounter, this performance remains a timeless delight for audiences of all ages.
Here you can get your Boston Ballet – The Nutcracker tickets.
5. Charlie Brown Christmas at the Boston Globe Theater
Relive your childhood memories with Charlie, Snoopy, and the gang. Perfect for kids and adults alike.
6. Christmas Revels at Copley Square
Celebrate the winter solstice with song, dance, and festive cheer. A unique experience that captures the essence of the holiday season. This annual production celebrates the winter solstice in a unique way. With a mix of dance, music, and drama, it showcases traditions from various cultures. Each year brings a different theme, from Victorian England to Nordic traditions, ensuring a fresh experience every time.
7. Urban Nutcracker
Classical ballet meets hip hop in this modern twist on a classic. It’s vibrant, energetic, and a whole lot of fun!
8. Red Nosed Reindeer Musical
Join Rudolph and friends on their adventurous journey. A delightful musical that’s sure to bring a smile to your face.
9. Candlelight: Holiday Special featuring “The Nutcracker” and More
Experience the magic of “The Nutcracker” and other holiday favorites in a candlelit setting.
10. Candlelight: Best Hits and Holiday Favorites
Lose yourself in a musical journey that combines the best hits with holiday favorites. A must-attend for music lovers.
11. Boston Common Tree Lighting Ceremony
Join the community in lighting up the city’s most iconic Christmas tree. A festive experience that’s not to be missed.
12. Candlelight Christmas Concert at Old South Church
Experience soul-stirring music in a historic setting. It’s a serene and beautiful way to welcome the holiday season.
13. Holiday Pops at Symphony Hall
Join Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops Orchestra for a festive evening filled with your favorite holiday tunes.
14. New Year’s Eve Celebration at Copley Square
Ring in the New Year with live music, performances, and a spectacular fireworks display. A festive end to the holiday season, perfect for spreading holiday joy!
15. Christmas at the North End
Experience Italian traditions, festive music and dance, and delicious treats. A cultural dive into Boston’s historic neighborhood. Boston’s historic North End, known for its Italian heritage, offers a unique Christmas experience. Streets come alive with festive lights, and traditional Italian Christmas songs echo through the air. Don’t miss the chance to indulge in some authentic Italian holiday treats available at local bakeries.
16. Tanglewood Festival Chorus at Symphony Hall
Get lost in the harmonious melodies of the season. A musical journey that’s sure to warm your heart.
17. Christmas Celtic Sojourn for Kids
Perfect for the little ones, this show is a blend of stories, songs, and dances. A festive treat for the whole family.
18. Christmas at Beacon Hill
Stroll through the historic streets adorned with holiday lights, and enjoy live performances, carolers, and more.
Are the Christmas Shows in Boston worth it?
Yes! As the melodies of holiday music fill the air (Bing Crosby is always a favorite!) and Christmas Eve approaches, Boston really starts to come alive with a huge range of holiday performances. From special family concerts to an intimate children’s sing-along, there’s the perfect event for everyone starting from late November.
Whether you’re a Boston local or just stopping by, enjoying traditional favorites and musical performances rooted in Christian traditions are surefire ways to fill your heart with Christmas cheer and forge unforgettable moments with those dear to you. Have a very Merry Christmas!
Are there any family-friendly shows on the list?
Absolutely! Shows like “Charlie Brown Christmas,” “Red Nosed Reindeer Musical,” and “Christmas Celtic Sojourn for Kids” are specifically designed for younger audiences. They offer a blend of music, dance, and storytelling that’s sure to entertain kids and big kids!
How early should I book tickets for these shows?
Given the popularity of the holiday season, it’s advisable to book your tickets well in advance. Some shows, especially classics like “A Christmas Carol” and “The Nutcracker,” tend to sell out quickly.
Are there any outdoor events or are they all indoors?
While many of the shows are indoors, events like the “Boston Common Tree Lighting Ceremony” and “Christmas at Beacon Hill” are outdoor events. They offer a unique experience, allowing attendees to enjoy the festive atmosphere of Boston during the holiday season.
Do any of the shows offer special discounts or packages?
Some shows might offer group discounts, early bird specials, or package deals for special guests. It’s best to check the official websites or contact the venues directly for any ongoing promotions.
Are there any shows that incorporate traditions from different cultures?
Yes, the “Christmas Revels at Copley Square” is known for showcasing traditions from various cultures, celebrating the diversity of the holiday season.
Are there any Christmas shows in Boston that include ice skating or places nearby where we can go ice skating?
While most of the Christmas shows focus on musical and theatrical performances, Boston is home to several iconic ice skating rinks that come alive during the holiday season. The Frog Pond on Boston Common is a popular choice, offering a magical skating experience right in the heart of the city. After enjoying a show, it’s a wonderful activity to indulge in, gliding under the twinkling holiday lights with festive music in the background. Remember to check the rink’s schedule for special events, as they often host themed skating nights and children’s sessions during the festive period.