12 Places To Watch Holiday Shows & Plays in ChicagoElise Tayloron November 15, 2021 at 4:06 pm

One of the most wonderful things about the holiday season in Chicago is the abundance of shows and plays in production throughout the city. From the iconic venues such as The Chicago Theatre and Lyric Opera House to smaller neighborhood spots like Music Box or Victory Gardens, the holiday spirit is alive in all parts of the city. Whether it be annual family tradition or a memorable date idea, these are 12 holiday shows and plays in Chicago you must see this season to truly round out your holiday season.

170 N Dearborn St, Chicago, IL 60601

Established in 1922 and located in Chicago’s Loop, Goodman Theatre is one of the city’s oldest running theatres. Now in its fifth decade of production at Goodman Theatre, A Christmas Story has long drawn crowds for its performance of the holiday classic, A Christmas Carol. Follow the story of Ebenezer Scrooge and the spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come from November 20 to December 31 at Goodman Theatre.


20 N Upper Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60606


The Joffrey Ballet’s magical production of The Nutcracker is not one to miss. The Nutcracker shows the whimsical journey of Marie and the Nutcracker Prince on Christmas Eve as they explore the 1893 World’s Fair. Complete with beautiful costumes, breathtaking dance, and wondrous set design, the story unfolds between December 4 and December 26 at the Lyric Opera House. 

175 N State St, Chicago, IL 60601

Cirque du Soleil puts a twist on a Christmas classic during their first ever holiday production. Performing at the Chicago Theatre from November 6 to December 5, the world-renowned touring circus company is putting on a spectacular show called ‘Twas the Night Before… that captures the joy of the holiday season in incredible dance and acrobatic performances.  

Music Box Theatre: Christmas Sing-a-Long and Double Feature

3733 N Southport Ave, Chicago, IL 60613

In 1983, an operator at Music Box Theatre invited spectators to a night of back-to-back Christmas movies and joyful carol singing. This year, the tradition is still going strong. On select days from December 10 to December 23, you can catch a double feature production of White Christmas and It’s a Wonderful Life at Music Box Theatre. Join Santa Claus and other movie-goers for a cheerful round of Christmas carols during intermission.

24 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60601

Will the mean ol’ Mr. Grinch succeed in ruining Christmas for the cheerful people of Whoville? Find out in this rendition of Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas that features beloved songs such as You’re A Mean One Mr. Grinch and Welcome Christmas. Hilariously narrated by the Grinch’s sidekick, Max the Dog, this show runs only from December 21 to January 2 at the James M. Nederlander Theatre.

2433 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago 60614

In It’s a Wonderful Life, a small-town man named George Bailey experiences an extraordinary Christmas miracle that allows him to live his life in a new way. For many, watching this holiday classic on film is a Christmas tradition. You can take in the live interactive production from November 26 to December 31 at Victory Gardens Theater. 

5779 N. Ridge Ave., Chicago 60660

Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins, an adaptation of the award-winning book by Eric Kimmel, focuses on the story of a traveling troupe of actors that encounters a somber town devoid of Hanukkah cheer. Can their show bring the spirit of Hanukkah back to the town? This play runs from November 20 to December 12 at Rivendell Theatre.

220 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60604

Based on composer John William’s cherished masterpiece, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is performing the Academy Award-nominated score of Home Alone alongside a showing of the film during this unique holiday experience. For three days only from November 26 to November 28, don’t miss this special blend of film and live music that follows the hilarious twists and turns in Home Alone.

Allstate Arena: Trans-Siberian Orchestra and More

6920 Mannheim Rd, Rosemont, IL 60018

This year, Allstate Arena is featuring several events for the holiday season. On December 23, you can see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra take on classic Christmas tunes with a rock twist in their show Christmas Eve and Other Stories. Also making a stop in Chicago on December 7 is the iHeartRadio’s Jingle Ball tour with performers such as Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa, and the Jonas Brothers.

100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181

Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn follows the story of a man named Jim, a retired performer who longs to bring holiday entertainment to his small Connecticut town. With the help of a few friends, he transforms his farmhouse into an inn where he hosts extravagant shows complete with exciting dance numbers. Catch this hilarious musical from November 19 to January 9 at Drury Lane Theatre in Oakbrook Terrace. 

Rosemont Theatre: The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Musical

5400 N River Rd, Rosemont, IL 60018

With two showings on December 19 at Rosemont Theatre, The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Musical transports audiences to the North Pole, where we follow the magical activities and tasks of Santa’s Scout elves as they prepare for Christmas. This dazzling musical features an original story and score for the whole family to enjoy.

2936 N Southport Ave., Chicago, IL 60657

The Art Deco Nutcracker is an extravagant take on the traditional ballet performance that many love. The show captures the luxury and pomp of the 1920s American Art Deco movement and translates it into beautiful costume and set design. Featuring Tchaikovsky’s original score, the Art Deco Nutcracker plays for one day only on December 4 at The Athenaeum Theatre.

Photo by Rezal Scharfe on Unsplash

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