Twin Cities holiday theater and events: Cheer, sneer, and more!

The holiday season is officially underway! Bright lights have started lining the streets, and our first real snowfall will be here before you know it. What better way to get into the holiday spirit than to see a holiday-themed show out on the town? From religious to irreverent, merry to scary, and everything in between, this year's line up has something for everyone.

UPDATED 12/4/2013


We're kicking off things with a spotlight on some theater or music shows in or near the Twin Cities and a general listing. We'll continue to add more shows as the season unfolds.  If you have a favorite show that's not listed, please use the comment section to let us know about it.

TC Daily Planet reviews:


Pop Up Holiday Theater at American Swedish Institute, December 4, 11, 18

 American Swedish Institute  
2600 Park Avenue,  Minneapolis MN 
(612) 871-4907
6 pm & 7pm

Information from the website:
“The Ballroom at the historic Turnblad Mansion comes alive on Wednesday nights this holiday season, with pop-up theater performances.

"Imagine the unexpected conversations between four Nordic legends as they sit down to share a festive winter feast. Carl Larson, Sweden's own Norman Rockwell, side by side with Edvard Munch, the Norwegian artist, Snorri Sturluson (the Icelandic poet responsible for penning the narrative of Norse mythology in the 13th century), and Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman.... Included with museum admission; no reservations required. The show runs twice each evening for 20 minutes, beginning at 6 and 7 p.m.”

Check the ASI calendar for other winter events


I Saw Daddy Marry Santa Claus, December 4 – February 1

Brave New Workshop
824 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 

Tickets $18- $36 (with discounts for preview performances, students, seniors, AAA members, groups and more)

Details from the website:

"I Saw Daddy Marry Santa Claus" continues the BNW's 55 year tradition of having the funniest Christmas show in town with songs, sketches and general merry-making that will make your spirits brighter than some Minnesotans consider appropriate. Plus, audiences will see the return of the BNW's most renowned and requested holiday sketch, "The 12 Days of Christmas."


A Christmas Carol, December 5 – 22

NewBridge Theatre Company
105 2nd Street East, Hastings, MN 

Go here to buy your tickets.

 As advertised:

Our show is particularly unique in that every character in the show, no matter how minor, has their own story that is interconnected to every other character’s story, thereby creating a constant momentum that drives the life and energy of the action and reinforces the overall theme,” says Elizabeth Tanner, Artistic Director and Owner of NewBridge Theatre Company.

A Tuna Christmas, December 5 – 28

Cabaret Theater in Camp Bar
490 N Robert St., Saint Paul, MN 
(651) 292-1844

Thursdays – Saturdays; 7 pm

Tickets: $29.50-39.50 - Reservations or 800-838-3006

More information from the website:

It’s 24 hours before Christmas and all comic hell is about to break loose in the town of Tuna, the “third-smallest” town in Texas where the Lion’s Club is too liberal and Patsy Cline never dies. 

 The Magic Dreidels, December 5 – December 20, 2013 

 Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company
Hillcrest Center Theater

1978 Ford Parkway, Saint Paul, MN 

$17; Go here to get tickets

More information from the website:

“It’s a tale of a boy and how the magic dreidels he receives from a goblin help him learn the warm lessons of the Jewish “Festival of Lights.” The Magic Dreidels was originally commissioned by and received its world premiere at MJTC in 2000. “


Handel's Messiah, December 6

Minnesota Chorale & Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra

Roseville Lutheran Church

1215 Roselawn Avenue W, Roseville MN


Free-will offering; no tickets or reservations


Illusion's 14th annual Holiday Show!, December 6 22

llusion Theater
528 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 

$30-$40; Groups of 10 or more people receive 10% off their tickets when they call 612.339.4944 to make reservations.

"Miss Richfield 1981's 14th annual Illusion Theater holiday show, SWEET & SOUR RICHFIELD: MADE IN CHINA!, finds the Midwestern maven getting ready to take perhaps one final Greyhound Bus trip, as the people of Richfield are cutting expenses."


The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, December 6 – 23

SteppingStone Theatre
55 Victoria Street North, Saint Paul, MN 

Tickets: Adults: $15.00; Children/Seniors: $12.00; Groups of 6–19: $10.00
Groups of 20–99 / 100+ (Available by Phone Only): $7.50 / $6.50

 More information from the website:

"'Shazaaaam!' When the Angel of the Lord speaks, people listen! 

Especially when that angel is Gladys Herdman, the youngest, meanest and bitey-est of the whole Herdman crew. Revel in yuletide chaos and hilarity as baby angels, church ladies, firefighters, the Bradleys, and even the Herdmans, discover the true meaning of Christmas."


Sing Along with Family, Friends and Neighbors, December 7

CMS/Camden Luther Memorial
3751 Sheridan Ave. North, Minneapolis, MN 
4 pm; Free

From the website:

“Come enjoy a delightful hour of good, old-fashioned holiday cheer.  Audience members choose their favorite songs to sing – from Jingle Bells to Jingle Bell Rock – culminating with a grand mass chorus of The Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah.  The singing is sprinkled with concert performances by local musicians.

After the concert join us for our RECIPE FOR FUN CRAFT and BAKE SALE.  All proceeds go to the CMS Scholarship Fund a sponsored project of Our Neighborhood Works."


God Rest Ye Scary Gentlemen II - Christmas Ghosts – Four New Stories!, December 7 – 22

Bryant-Lake Bowl Theater
810 W. Lake St, Minneapolis, MN

$15; $12 in advance or with Fringe button; $6 kids 12 and under

For reservations, call 612.825.8949 or visit the website

 Information from the website:

“What’s Christmas without a few ghosts? Dead folks get up to all kinds of mischief in this fully-staged sequel to last year’s show, featuring four new tales of holiday hauntings."

“The Inexperienced Ghost” by H.G. Wells
“Mr Tilly’s Séance” by E.F. Benson
“The Black Poodle” by F. Anstey
“Teig O’Kane and the Corpse”

For adults, God Rest Ye Scary Gentlemen is the wittiest Christmas show in town; for kids, it’s fun and not really scary at all. Bring the whole family!”


Holiday Lights Live! Concert Event, December 8

Pantages Theatre, 710 Hennepin Ave.  Minneapolis, MN

Tickets are $35 at the Pantages Box Office or by visiting the Hennepin Theatre Trust Website.

Informations from the website:

"The 5th Annual Holiday Lights LIVE! charity concert event will feature acoustic performances by an unprecedented lineup of Minnesota's top musical talents as they come together in this incredible one night event. Artists performing include T. Mychael Rambo, Ari Herstand, Dez (from KS95), Peter Mayer, Jennifer Grimm, Zack Dyer, Lacey Canfield, True North and Phil Thompsonand will feature selections from the benefit album "Holiday Lights Vol. 5" (available exclusively at Kowalski's Markets)."


Black Nativity: A Holiday Concert, December 12 – 22

Penumbra Theater
270 N. Kent St, Saint Paul, MN 
(651) 224-3180

Get your tickets here

From the website:

“The songs and stories of Black Nativity are back at Penumbra!  Join us for an evening of your favorite holiday music as we revisit the nativity story.  Featuring Dennis W. Spears, Greta Oglesby, Yolande Bruce, Latonia Hughes-Kendrick, Sanford Moore and the Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church Mass Choir with narration by Lou Bellamy.  There's nothing like Penumbra to spark a little Christmas cheer!”


The 6th Annual Lowertown SantaCon, December 14

Lowertown, Saint Paul, MN

RSVP on Facebook.

More information from the website:

Lowertown SantaCon is half spectacle, half pub crawl in the historic Lowertown district of Saint Paul, MN. Come as Santa, come as an elf or reindeer or get creative and come as a Santasaurus, the SantaChrist, a Hanukkah Chicken, a Kwanza get the picture.

Featuring MC Foxy Tann, the Brass Messengers, Krampus and the fire demons, and a costumed cast of hundreds. Lowertown SantaCon is a real pub crawl (with a route) and the Brass Messengers band turns the night into a magical series of flash mobs at multiple venues in Lowertown. 

Between the Worlds: A Winter Solstice Celebrations, December 13 – 15, 20 – 22

In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre
1500 E Lake Street, Minneapolis MN 

7 pm; $20

Buy your tickets here

Information from the website:

"A tribute to the beauty and mystery of the winter solstice, the time of darkness when earth is dormant.

Flowing with acapella choral pieces, haunting cello and guitar, lively accordion music, balafon, marimbas and flute – Between the Worlds is a river of music from start to finish.

The evening moves along a ceremonial journey from vibrant color to the stark whiteness of snow, mirroring the dance of crones toward the dark curtain of death.

Through puppetry and masked dance the audience and performers will celebrate the birth of the returning light. A reception with warming beverages and home-baked cookies will follow each performance."


Holiday Greetings Concert: a Minnesota Chorale Christmas Card, December 20

Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church

511 Groveland Avenue, Minneapolis, MN

Free-will offering

7:30 pm

Please bring non-perishable food items for Groveland Food Shelf




The Nutcracker According to Mother Goose
Zenon Dance Company at Cowles Theater in Minneapolis December 6-7 

Loyce Houlton’s Nutcracker Fantasy
Minnesota Dance Theatre at State Theater in Minneapolis - December 20-23

Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker
Moscow Ballet at Orpheum Theater in Minneapolis - December 6-7 

At Bryant Lake Bowl - click on title for date(s) and times of performances

And more:

A Don't Hug Me Christmas Carol
New Century Theatre in Minneapolis -  November 1-January 5, 2014


Madame Josette's Sugar & Spice with the Occasional Nut
Interact Theatre in Minneapolis - November 15-December 14


Llama Llama Holiday Drama (Theater All Year)
Stages Theatre Company in Hopkins - November 22-December 29 


Miracle on Christmas Lake (Theater All Year)
Yellow Tree Theatre in Osseo - November 22-December 29 


Words by .... Ira Gershwin and the Great American Songbook 
Park Square Theater in St. Paul - November 29-December 29


Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells
Youth Performance Company in Minneapolis - December 6 – 22


The New Standards Holiday Show
State Theater in Minneapolis - December 7-8


KDWB Jingle Ball
Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul - December 10

Santaland Diaries
Frank Theatre at Cowles Theater in Minneapolis - December 13-23


Comedy Roast of Mr. Scrooge
Actors Theater of Minnesota, Cabaret Theater in Camp Bar in St. Paul - December 14 -22


Messiah Sing-Along with the Minnesota Chorale

St. Olaf Catholic Church in Minneapolis - December 15


All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914
Cantus, Theater Latté Da and Hennepin Theatre Trust
Pantages Theatre in Minneapolis - December 19-22 


Remember to check back for updates as the holiday season unfolds — and if you have a favorite show that's not listed, please use the comment section to let us know about it.

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    Paige Elliott's picture
    Paige Elliott

    (paigeelliott [at] tcdailyplanet [dot] net) Paige Elliott was born and raised in south Minneapolis. Paige works as a freelance reporter for TC Daily Planet, having completed a Media Skills Fellowship in the spring.