5 Live Holiday Shows You Have To See This Season

If you love the holiday season, and you love live theater, let this list be your guide.

Milwaukee is home to a very merry handful of live holiday shows that are family-friendly this season, and we’ve got the lowdown for you below:

1. The Nutcracker (Ages 6+)

Various showtimes throughout December

Marcus Center for the Performing Arts (929 N.Water St., Milwaukee, WI 53202)

(414) 273-7121


Photo: Mark Frohna

The Nutcracker has delighted generations of families in Milwaukee since 1977. Gather the family for this delightful dance adventure! Looking for information on the Sensory-Friendly performance? Find it here!

2. Holiday Pajama Jamboree (Free & For All Ages)

December 4th, 2019

6:30 p.m.

Marcus Center for the Performing Arts (929 N.Water St., Milwaukee, WI 53202)



Each winter, Festival City Symphony offers this free classical “pops” concerts, one hour in length and geared towards children and their families. Each concert has narration and music selections that are lively, tell a story, and/or demonstrate the colors of the orchestra. Kids are encouraged to wear their pajamas, and teddy bears and blankets are welcome! Snuggle up in a spot on the floor directly in front of the orchestra. There are frequently dancers, costumed actors, children’s performing groups, and sometimes audience members even get to conduct.

3. A Christmas Carol (Ages 6+)

Milwaukee Repertory Theater (108 E. Wells St., Milwaukee, WI 53202)



A Milwaukee holiday tradition for over four decades, this show is a classic tale of love and redemption, mixed with lively music, dancing, and special effects. It’s about two hours long including intermission, and it perfect for kids ages six and up.

4. Cirque Musica Presents Holiday Wishes (Ages 6+)

Miller High Life Theater on December 1, 2019


Cirque Musica presents Holiday Wishes” brings a holiday story to life in a full theatrical cirque event for the entire family. Featuring the world-renowned cast of Cirque Musica with your favorite holiday hits all performed LIVE by a full symphony orchestra.

A special offer from our friends at Miller High Life Theatre: $10 off select tickets to Cirque Musica presents Holiday Wishes with promo code MKEKIDS.


5. Elf The Musical (Ages 8+)

Presented by First Stage

November 23 – December 29, 2019


“The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.” Buddy the Elf has spent his entire life at the North Pole. When he discovers that he is not really an elf, he sets off for New York City to find his true identity. Faced with the harsh reality that his real father is on the naughty list and his half-brother does not even believe in Santa, Buddy is determined to win over his new family and help New York remember the magic of Christmas. Based on the beloved 2003 holiday film, this Broadway holiday musical is sure to have everyone embracing their inner elf.”

Performance runtime is approximately two hours, including intermission. Suggested for families with young people ages 8 – 18+


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