From stage musicals to sparkling lights, these seasonal happenings are sure to make your yuletide jolly
After an opening ceremony on December 3 that includes a tree lighting broadcast live on local television, this spectacular light and sound display officially kicks off its eighth year the following day, featuring a rotation of seven seasonal ditties that run every half hour from 4:30–10 p.m. daily through January 1. For shoppers, explore the new Holiday Bazaar for discounted merchandise every Saturday from noon–5 p.m. through December 21.
Faneuil Hall Marketplace, 4 South Market Building, 617-523-1300, faneuilhallmarketplace.com
Running December 6–22, this presentation of Langston Hughes’ gospel-tinged re-telling of the birth of Christ has been a highly anticipated event since it made its Boston debut in 1969.
Emerson Paramount Center, 559 Washington St., 617-824-8400, blacknativity.org
From December 19–28, this take on the classic tale transports audiences to Boston and beyond on an enchanting Christmas Eve infused with jazz, hip hop and classical music and dance.
Boch Center, Shubert Theatre, 265 Tremont St., 866-348-9738, bochcenter.org
A Christmas Carol
North Shore Music Theatre’s home-grown musical adaptation of Dickens’ classic tale of redemption—a 29-year tradition that returns December 6–22—is produced in-the-round just 20 miles north of Boston.
62 Dunham Rd., Beverly, 978-232-7200, nsmt.org
Boston Ballet’s The Nutcracker
One of the city’s grandest holiday spectacles, this Tchaikovsky ballet based on E.T.A. Hoffmann’s Christmas fantasy features choreography by Mikko Nissinen, the troupe’s artistic director.
Citizens Bank Opera House, 539 Washington St., 671-695-6955, bostonballet.org
Irving Berlin’s White Christmas
The Vermont-set 1954 film classic comes to life live on stage from December 17–29.
Boch Center, Wang Theatre, 270 Tremont St., 800-982-2787, bochcenter.org
A Christmas Celtic Sojourn
Celebrate the season December 13–22 with an Irish flair thanks to this annual stage show based on the local radio broadcast.
Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre, 219 Tremont St., 617-824-3400, emersontheatres.org
Gets in the spirit in Harvard Square with this exploration of traditional tunes, which this year highlights American roots music from December 13–29.
Sanders Theatre, 45 Quincy St., Cambridge, 617-496-2222, revels.org
Beginning December 4, conductor Keith Lockhart leads the beloved Boston Pops in its annual concerts of favorite songs celebrating this magical time of year, complete with visits from Santa at performances through December 24.
Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Ave., 888–266–1200, bso.org
Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Carol
Although only providing new songs and not appearing as a performer, the country music icon nevertheless brings the world premiere of her new Tennessee-set holiday musical to the Hub December 3–29.
Emerson Colonial Theatre, 106 Boylston St., 888-616-0272, emersoncolonialtheatre.com