The stories and music of the season call us into the sweet nostalgia and warmth of the holidays. With songs we can all sing along to, Christmas ghosts giving timeless lessons and twirling sugarplum fairies, make memories and start new traditions at these live local holiday shows!
December 2–19, 2021 | Thurs.–Sat.: 8 p.m., Sun.: 2 p.m. | $25; Students and Seniors: $15
A holiday institution that’s been going strong at Touchstone Theatre on Bethlehem’s SouthSide for 22 years now, Christmas City Follies is a must-see variety show of vaudeville extravagance. Songs, comedy skits and recurring characters light up the stage with irreverence and wit. From holiday yoga to dancing hippos, expect the unexpected at this spirited show!
December 3, 2021 | 7:30 p.m. | $30
Chris Collins and Boulder Canyon hail from Aspen, Colorado, where they put together an internationally-touring John Denver tribute band renowned for its humor, warmth and authentic sound. Playing some of Denver’s dearest hits along with holiday favorites, this is a delightful evening at the beautiful State Theatre in Easton with some truly cozy classics.
December 3–18, 2021 | $34; Student, Senior & Military: $32; Member: $29; Children: $13
Christmas wouldn’t be complete without this Dickensian mainstay of humbugs, hauntings and hope for change. At Civic Theatre in Allentown, it’s a yearly event over three decades strong, beautifully staged and freshly imagined. See this spooky parable play out before your eyes for a powerful shot of Christmas spirit.
December 4 & 5, 2021 | 2 p.m. | $22–$42
For the 34th year running, you can experience the dainty pirouettes and dueling Rat King action of The Nutcracker on stage at Miller Symphony Hall in Allentown. Repertory Dance Theatre and guest artists depict this visual and auditory smorgasbord with accompaniment from the Allentown Symphony Orchestra, a holiday phenomenon as necessary as eggnog.
Candlelight Carol Services
December 4 & 5, 2021 | Sat.: 7:30 p.m.; Sun.: 3:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. | Free; tickets required
It’s hard to choose one holiday choral event when Moravian and Lehigh Universities both offer Christmas Vespers and DeSales University puts on its annual Gaudeamus concert of hymns, songs and readings. Each has a breathtaking setting and resonant, soul-stirring music, just like Candlelight Carols at Muhlenberg College, held among the stone arches of Egner Chapel.
Holiday Marionettes & Elves meet the Mock Turtle
December 5, 2021 | 1 p.m. | $12; Seniors: $9; Students: $7; Children 12 & Under: Free
An engaging art form for kids, puppetry is perfected by Lehigh Valley’s own Mock Turtle Marionette theatre company. Held in the 1950s Hubcap Café at the America On Wheels museum in Allentown, the show features fascinating handmade puppets and accompanies a workshop to make your own Christmas Elf! Reservations recommended.
Corinne Mammana’s Jazz in the Christmas City
December 10, 2021 | 7 p.m. | Free
One of the free concerts at SteelStacks’ ArtsQuest Center in Bethlehem, Corinna Mammana’s renditions of familiar tunes and Christmas favorites evoke the smooth crooning of the cabaret. Food and drinks are available to make this a festive holiday shopping or date night stop with the lit-up stacks as an impeccable backdrop.
Home for the Holidays
November 10–December 19, 2021 | Adults $30; Children 2–12: $20
Enjoy dinner and a show in the same spot at Pines Dinner Theatre in Allentown, where the night begins with a varied menu of from-scratch entrées and graduates to an intimate theatre experience. In Home for the Holidays, a blizzard snarls up plans for a family Christmas, but the magic of the season prevails. This musical sparkles with an original score.
Bach’s Christmas Oratorio
December 11, 2021 | Allentown | 8 p.m. | $38
December 12, 2021 | Bethlehem | 4 p.m. | $38
Bethlehem’s Bach Choir is the oldest in America, and a revered tradition in the Christmas City. With orchestral accompaniment, the Oratorio tells the story of the Nativity in three soul-stirring parts, as Christ is born and visited by three shepherds. Experience brass, strings and voices reverberating through your choice of Allentown’s or Bethlehem’s First Presbyterian Church.
December 17, 2021 | 7:30 p.m. | $20
The crystalline chiming of a bell choir is perfectly suited to the music and mood of the holidays. Ring in this season with the “silver bells” of Westminster Bell Choir, performing at Lehigh University’s Packer Memorial Church (which would look right at home in a snow globe). Its holiday performances have been heard on NPR, at Carnegie Hall and on tour with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
For more Christmas events and happenings through the region, visit our events calendar and plan your visit.