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Top 10 Kid-Friendly Holiday Shows for Families in New York City

Top 10 Kid-Friendly Holiday Shows for Families in New York City

We found the best family-friendly holiday shows in Manhattan!

UPDATED DECEMBER 2018: New York City is known for it’s abundance of Broadway and off-Broadway shows for the whole family—and that’s especially true during the holidays. We found the best kid-friendly holiday shows in Manhattan for the 2018 holiday season, including Broadway and off-Broadway must-sees. You won’t want to miss these shows, such as the Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring the Rockettes, NYC Ballet’s The Nutcracker, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and more! You’ll find the details for all of these family-friendly Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and winter-themed performances here.

Radio City Christmas Spectacular

The Christmas Spectacular starring the Radio City Rockettes is an iconic annual holiday musical presented at Radio City Music Hall. Your entire family will be wowed by the popular Wooden Soldier Fall, New York City Christmas during which the Rockettes board a real double-decker bus, the Living Nativity, and much more!
Where: Radio City Music Hall, 1260 Sixth Ave. (between 50th and 51st streets), Rockefeller Center
When: Through Jan 1, 2019; see website for show times.
Running Time: 90 minutes
Ages: All; tots younger than 2 do not need a ticket, but must sit on a parent or guardian’s lap
Tickets: $40-$450


The Big Apple Circus

The 41st season of Big Apple Circus has a talented roster of acrobats, jugglers, magicians, face painters, stilt walkers, and more great acts. No seat is more than 50 feet from the performers, which cultivates an intimate and family-friendly experience. No wild or exotic animals are in the show and community outreach is the circus’s priority. Check the website for special sensory-adapted Autism Performances and enhanced Circus of the Senses show dates, along with its Circus for All initiative with reduced ticket prices for underserved children and schools.
Where: Damrosch Park, 137 W. 62nd St., Lincoln Center
When: Through Jan. 27, 2019; see website for show times.
Running Time: 2 hours, including intermission
Ages: All
Tickets: $35-$175;

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical

Discover the magic of Dr. Seuss's classic holiday tale as it comes to life on stage in this beloved family musical. Featuring the hit songs "You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch" and "Welcome Christmas," the Grinch discovers there's more to Christmas than he bargained for in this heart-warming holiday favorite. Max the Dog narrates as the mean and scheming Grinch, whose heart is "two sizes too small,” decides to steal Christmas away from the Whos, an endlessly cheerful bunch bursting with holiday spirit. Don't miss this limited holiday engagement as the record-breaking Broadway production returns to New York.
Where: Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, 4 Penn Plaza, Midtown
When: Through Dec. 30; see website for show times.
Running Time: 75 minutes
Ages: All ages; children younger than 1 do not need a ticket.
Tickets: $35-$150; call 212-465-6080 or    

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker

The New York City Ballet takes center stage in this classic show set to Tschaikovsky’s famous score. In a holiday dreamland, little Marie looks on as her beloved Nutcracker battles the Mouse King and transforms into a prince, then brings her to meet the Sugarplum Fairy in the Land of Sweets. The show ends as the children soar off in a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer.
Where: David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center, Broadway (at 64th Street)
When: Through Dec. 30; Tuesday, 7pm; Wednesday, 2pm and 7pm; Thursday, 7pm; Friday, 2pm (beginning Dec. 21) and 8pm; Saturday, 2pm and 8pm; Sunday, 1pm and 5pm; Dec. 24, 2pm; no show on Dec. 25.
Running Time: 2 hours
Ages: Recommended for ages 4 and older
Tickets: $45 and up
FYI: VIP “Sweet Seats” include premium seating, souvenir book, and a 15-percent discount at the gift shop. Plus, for every two VIP tickets purchased, you’ll receive a voucher good for one complimentary keepsake photo with a character from the show.

Yeti, Set, Snow!

An original story and production from the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre, Yeti, Set, Snow! is the story of a young girl named Widget, and her friend, Twig, who encounter a yeti named Pascetti on the first snow day of the winter season. Pascetti, who lives on a mountain top nearby, dislikes the snow. Through songs and snow day activities, Pascetti not only discovers that snow can be fun but also the value of friendship.
Where: Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre, 79th St. and West Drive, Central Park
When: Through Feb. 24, 2019; see website for schedule.
Running Time: 40 minutes
Ages: Recommended for children in preschool through third grade
Tickets: $8-$12

A Christmas Carol

Of all the holiday shows starring grumpy old Ebenezer Scrooge, this is the big one. The off-Broadway musical, presented by Be Bold! and Players Theatre, translates the classic Dickens tale into a live production featuring all the usual suspects. Even if you know the story by heart, which surely most of us do, this lively adaptation is still sure to jump-start your holiday spirit.
Where: Players Theatre, 115 MacDougal St., Greenwich Village
When: Through Dec. 30; see the website for show times.
Running Time: Approximately 1 hour (does not include pre-show workshop)
Ages: Recommended for ages 3 and older
Tickets: $25-$60
FYI: An interactive arts workshop (included in ticket price) precedes the 11am show on Sundays.

Kwanzaa Celebration: Regeneration Night

The Apollo's annual Kwanzaa Celebration returns with the renowned and energetic New York-based dance company, Abdel Salaam’s Forces of Nature Dance Theatre. It is an evening of joyful dance and music, hosted by WBLS personality Imhotep Gary Byrd, that honors the principles of Kwanzaa: family, community, and culture. 
Where: The Apollo Theatre, 253 W. 125th St., Harlem
When: Dec. 29, 2pm and 7:30pm
Running Time: Approximately 2 hours
Ages: All
Tickets: $20-$35

Angelina Ballerina: A Very Merry Holiday Musical

Angelina and her friends are planning an absolutely positively spectacular holiday dance pageant—the best in all of Mouseland! When a mix-up prevents the pageant from going on, Angelina and her friends must use their creativity to save the show. By working together, Angelina, Alice, Gracie, AZ, Marco, and Angelina's little sister, Polly, discover the true spirit of the holidays. It's not about things you receive, but the holiday cheer you share. With dancing, singing and festivities, this heart-warming musical is perfect for everyone's holiday season!
Where: McGinn-Cazale Theatre, 2162 Broadway, 4th floor, Upper West Side
When: Through Jan. 6, 2019; see website for show times.
Running time: 1 hour
Ages: 2-7
Tickets: $30 and up

The Little Dancer: A Holiday Family Musical

The Little Dancer is a heartwarming story of how a young girl became the most famous ballerina in the world.
Where: Theatre 71, 152 W. 71st St., Upper West Side
When: Through Dec. 23, Saturday-Sunday, 11am and 1pm; Dec. 26-31, daily 11am and 1pm
Running time: 55 minutes
Ages: 5 and older
Tickets: $50 and up

FunikiJam’s Holiday Beat

Part live concert and part stage show, FunikiJam’s HOLIDAY BEAT is New York City’s only off-Broadway show for kids this season to celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Diwali, Chinese New Year, and Shichigosan.
When: Through Dec. 30, Sundays, 11am
Where: Actor’s Temple Theatre, 339 W. 47th St., Hell’s Kitchen
Running time: 1 hour
Ages: 10 and younger; lap-sitting infants don’t need a ticket.
Tickets: $30

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Megan Vasquez

Author: Megan Vasquez, a junior at New York University pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Media, Culture and Communication, is a fall 2018 editorial intern at NYMetroParents. You can find her at the dog park with her chihuahua, making your favorite drinks as a Starbucks barista, or camping along the east coast. See More

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