Nutcracker and Holiday Shows in Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor

Gather the family and celebrate the 2018 holidays at these kid-friendly stage performances, films and holiday shows in Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties.

holiday shows in metro detroit and ann arbor

Looking for something kid- and grown-up-friendly to do this holiday season? Perhaps a holiday show might be the way to go to boost that Christmas spirit.

If this idea tickles your fancy, Metro Parent has got your back with your 2018 guide to holiday stage performances and Christmas films to make the season merry and bright – in metro Detroit, Ann Arbor and beyond. So, jump out of bed and peruse this list of holiday shows in metro Detroit that lead up to the big day to find the perfect one for you and your family – and don’t forget to check out the Metro Parent calendar for even more holiday family fun.

A Christmas Carol at Meadow Brook Theatre

Nov. 9-Dec. 23, 2018 (see times for select date information)

  • Address: Meadow Brook Theatre, 207 Wilson Hall, Oakland University, Rochester
  • Times: 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, 2 and 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11, 8 p.m Friday, Nov. 16, 2 and 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18, 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23, 2 and 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24 and Sunday, Nov. 25, 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29, 8 p.m., Friday, Nov. 30, 2 and 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1-Sunday, Dec. 2, 2 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5, 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6, 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, 2 and 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8-Sunday, Dec. 9, 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12-Thursday, Dec. 13, 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14, 2 and 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15-Sunday, Dec. 16, 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18-Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2 and 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20, 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21, 2 and 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 22-Sunday, Dec. 23
  • Tickets: $30-$45/tickets
  • Phone: 248-377-3300

The grouchy Ebenezer Scrooge learns a lesson from Christmas ghosts that haunt him during the night and become a cheery Christmas delight.

Far, Friends and Fa-La-La at Detroit Country Day School

Nov. 14, 2018

  • Address: Seligman Center for the Performing Arts, Detroit Country Day School, 22305 W. 13 Mile Road, Beverly Hills
  • Times: 5:30-9:30 p.m. Wednesday
  • Tickets: $10-$150
  • Phone: 248-646-3347
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This fest features performances by FAR’s special needs students. Formerly known as Flutes, Friends and Fa-la-la.

ELF The Musical at the Fox Theatre

Nov. 20-25, 2018

  • Address: Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit
  • Times: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m., 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday
  • Tickets: $39-plus
  • Phone: 800-745-3000

This musical tells the story of a man, who was raised by elves and is now searching for his real dad in the Big Apple.

The Nutcracker by BalletMet at Detroit Opera House

Nov. 24-25, 2018

  • Address: Detroit Opera House, 1526 Broadway St., Detroit
  • Times: 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday
  • Tickets: $29-plus
  • Phone: 313-237-7464

From the dazzling choreography to the beautiful music, this annual holiday production is for theatergoers of all ages.

Just in the Nick of Time by Saline Area Players

Nov. 29-30 and Dec. 1-2, 2018

  • Address: Fifth Corner, 211 Willis Road, Saline
  • Time: 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Friday, 3 p.m. Saturday-Sunday
  • Tickets: $6/person (cash or check only; no credit cards)
  • Phone: 734-255-4388

Santa has gone missing and he took the Christmas cheer with him. Now, it’s up to ace detective Red Mistletoe to find out what happened.

It’s a Wonderful Life at The Village Theater at Cherry Hill

Nov. 29-Dec. 2, 2018

  • Address: The Village Theater at Cherry Hill, Biltmore Studio, 50400 Cherry Hill Road, Canton
  • Times: 7:30 Thursday-Friday, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday
  • Tickets: $16-$18
  • Phone: 734-394-5300

This ultimate holiday favorite tells the story of a man in despair and how he learns that life isn’t so bad one Christmas Eve.

Macomb Ballet Company Presents The Nutcracker at Macomb Center for the Performing Arts

Nov. 30-Dec. 2, 2018

  • Address: Macomb Center for the Performing Arts, 44575 Garfield Road, Clinton Township
  • Time: 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Friday, 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday
  • Tickets: $10-$20
  • Phone: 586-286-2222

The Nutcracker comes to you this holiday season by way of the Macomb Ballet Company.

Holiday Classics at the Penn Theatre

Nov. 30, Dec. 1-2, 6-9, 14-16 and 20-23 2018

  • Address: Penn Theatre, 760 Penniman Ave., Plymouth
  • Times: Vary by date and show; check ahead
  • Tickets: $3/all seats
  • Phone: 734-453-0870

The historic Plymouth theatre packs the month of December with holiday classic flicks. See It’s a Wonderful Life (PG) Nov. 30-Dec. 2, Scrooged (PG-13) Dec. 6-7, Miracle on 34th Street (note rated) Dec. 8-9, Elf (PG) Dec. 14-16, The Man Who Invented Christmas (PG) Dec. 20-21 and The Polar Express (PG) Dec. 22-23.

Too Hot to Handel at Detroit Opera House

Dec. 1, 2018

  • Address: Detroit Opera House, 1526 Broadway St., Detroit
  • Time: 7:30 p.m.
  • Tickets: $25-$73
  • Phone: 313-237-7464

This “distinctively Detroit” jazz/gospel performance features the Rackham Symphony Choir and soloists in a reinterpretation of Handel’s Messiah.

The Nutcracker at the Michael A. Guido Theater

Dec. 1-2, 2018

  • Address: Michael A. Guido Theater, 15801 Michigan Ave., Dearborn
  • Time: 1 and 7 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday
  • Tickets: $20-$35
  • Phone: 313-943-2354

Don’t miss the snowflakes and sugarplums of the magical stage show The Nutcracker, performed by the Detroit Symphony Youth Orchestra.

The Nutcracker by Ballet Chelsea

Dec. 1-2, 2018

  • Address: Chelsea High School Performing Arts Complex, 740 N. Freer Road, Chelsea
  • Times: 2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday
  • Tickets: $10-$30
  • Phone: 734-475-3070

Ballet Chelsea performs the classic holiday ballet full of sugarplums, brave soldiers and a handsome prince. Plays at in Jackson Dec. 8-9, too. 

Holiday Movies at the Redford Theatre 

Dec. 1, 7, 8, 9, 14 and 21-22, 2018 

  • Address: Redford Theatre, 17360 Lahser Road, Detroit
  • Time: Varies by date and show; check ahead
  • Tickets: $5/person
  • Phone: 313-537-2560

See holiday classic movies including Miracle on 34th Street (Dec. 1), Scrooged (Dec. 1), The Santa Clause (Dec. 7), Home Alone (Dec. 8), A Christmas Story (Dec. 8), A holiday mystery movie (Dec. 9), National Lampoons Christmas Vacation (Dec. 14) and It’s a Wonderful Life (Dec. 21-22).

A Winter Fantasy at Detroit Opera House

Dec. 2, 2018

  • Address: Detroit Opera House, 1526 Broadway St., Detroit
  • Time: 3 p.m.
  • Tickets: $30
  • Phone: 313-237-7464

Ring in the holiday season with this festive performance by the Michigan Opera Children’s Chorus.

Ebird & Friends Holiday Show at the Ark

Dec. 6-8, 2018

  • Address: The Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor
  • Time: 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday, 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday
  • Tickets: $25-$50;  $15/kids on Saturday

This annual family variety-style show has tunes by The Ragbirds, along with a variety of talented Ann Arbor artists.

Dearborn Holiday Choral Festival at Michael A. Guido Theater

Dec. 8, 2018

  • Address: Michael A. Guido Theater, 15801 Michigan Ave., Dearborn
  • Time: 6 p.m.
  • Tickets: $11-$18
  • Phone: 313-943-2354

The Dearborn Community Chorus is bringing you the sounds of the season at this annual holiday event.

Jingle Jury at The Village Theater at Cherry Hill

Dec. 6-9, 2018

  • Address: The Village Theater at Cherry Hill, 50400 Cherry Hill Road, Canton
  • Times: 7 p.m. Thursday-Friday, 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday
  • Tickets: $12
  • Phone: 734-394-5300

Jim Dandy has called the Christmas spirit ‘a lot of nonsense’, but that won’t fly in the Christmas court of justice. Can the Toy Maker find out whey Jim is acting so strangely or is he simply guilty of being a grinch?

Woodward Wonderland at the DIA Film Theatre

Dec. 8-9, 2018

  • Address: Detroit Film Theatre, Detroit Institute of Arts, 5200 Woodward Ave.
  • Times: 7 p.m. Saturday, 4 p.m. Sunday
  • Tickets: $12-$20
  • Phone: 313-872-6910, ext. 4024

Mosaic Detroit brings everything that metro Detroiters love about the holiday season to the theater during this holiday show.

A Charlie Brown Christmas Live On Stage at the Fox Theatre 

Dec. 15, 2018 

  • Address: Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit
  • Times: 2 and 5:30 p.m.
  • Tickets: $29-plus
  • Phone: 800-745-3000

Experience this classic holiday story of that time Charlie Brown picked a too-small Christmas tree live.

The Nutcracker 2018 at the Michigan Theater

Dec. 15, 2018

  • Address: Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor
  • Time: 6:30 p.m.
  • Tickets: $35-$45
  • Phone: 734-668-8463

The Academy of Russian Classical Ballet and the Michigan Classical Ballet join forces to put on this must-see.

Motor City Brass Band presents Sounds of the Season at the Michael A. Guido Theater

Dec. 16, 2018

  • Address: Michael A. Guido Theater, 15801 Michigan Ave., Dearborn
  • Time: 3 p.m. Sunday
  • Tickets: $15/general
  • Phone: 313-943-2354

Motor City Brass is coming to the Michael A. Guido Theater this holiday season to present its annual Sounds of the Season show.

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas at Fox Theatre

Dec. 16, 2018

  • Address: Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit
  • Times: 7:30 p.m.
  • Tickets: $30-plus
  • Phone: 800-745-3000

An American holiday tradition for decades, this show features some of your favorite Christmas tunes and is presented by Grammy Award-winner Chip Davis.

A Christmas Story, The Musical at Fox Theatre 

Dec. 20-22, 2018 

  • Address: Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit
  • Time: 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday, 11 a.m., 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday
  • Tickets: $36-plus
  • Phone: 800-745-3000

This musical performance brings a young boy’s quest for a Red Ryder Carbine-Action 200-Shot Range Model Air Rifle to life.

Home for the Holidays at Orchestra Hall

Dec. 21-23, 2018

  • Address: Orchestra Hall, Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center, 3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit
  • Time: 10:45 a.m. and 8 p.m. Friday, 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday
  • Tickets: $19-$120/adults
  • Phone: 313-576-5111

The DSO brings this holiday tradition, which celebrates the holidays with music, to the stage – plus there’s a visit from Santa Claus.

Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker at Fox Theatre

Dec. 23, 2018

  • Address: Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit
  • Time: noon, 4 and 8 p.m. Sunday
  • Tickets: $32-plus
  • Phone: 800-745-3000

The Fox Theatre hosts this beautiful production. This year, the show brings Russian Snow Maidens and a two-dancer Dove of Peace to life.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra at Little Caesars Arena

Dec. 29, 2018

  • Address: Little Caesars Arena, 2645 Woodward Ave., Detroit
  • Time: 3 and 8 p.m.
  • Tickets: $48.25-plus
  • Phone: 800-745-3000

This world renowned, multi-platinum orchestra presents its The Ghosts of Christmas Eve tour.

This post is updated regularly. 

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