There’s definitely magic in the air when you’re able to take in a theatrical show around the holidays. It’s not all about Christmas, either, with favourite characters like Peter Pan, Annie, and Jillian Jiggs coming to life on stage.

The winter school break makes for a great time to plan to take the kids to a family-friendly show. The following are the top ten kids’ shows running in the GTA during the school break this year, to make everyone very merry indeed!

Beauty and the Beast

Young People’s Theatre and one of Disney’s most popular musicals together at last? What a gift! Look forward to musical performances true to the Disney animated movie at the always-excellent Young People’s Theatre. Options for relaxed performances are available. For ages 5 and up.

November 6–December 31
Young People’s Theatre, 165 Front St. E. (west of Sherbourne), Toronto
Tickets from $10

Ross Petty’s A Christmas Carol

Here’s a slightly, erm, less traditional take on the Dickens classic A Christmas Carol. Ross Petty’s hilarious, audience-involved pantomime shows have become holiday favourites for many families. Expect over-the-top characters and lots of laughter and noise. Appropriate for all ages.

November 24–December 31
Elgin Theatre, 189 Yonge St. (north of Queen), Toronto
Tickets from $27

Jillian Jiggs

That Jillian Jiggs—what a great character to be presented by the awesome team at Solar Stage. We know the troupe will bring their characteristic high energy and connection with kids to the tales of Jillian Jiggs, who would rather be having adventures than cleaning her room. Recommended for ages 4–9.

November 25–January 7
Artscape Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie Street, Toronto
Tickets $20

Fancy Nancy Splendiferous Christmas

Popular picture-book heroine Fancy Nancy has big plans (as always) and this time they’re of the Christmas variety! Lots of sparkle, fancy things and tunes will add a healthy dash of holiday spirit to this special outing. The venue is an intimate, general admission style so all the kiddos will be able to see. Recommended for ages 2–10.

December 2–January 6
Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts, 10268 Yonge Street (north of Major Mackenzie), Richmond Hill
Tickets $18

Soulpepper Family Festival

If Soulpepper’s Family Festival, in the Distillery Historic District, is not yet on your radar, it needs to be. There are some great shows for kids, including Peter Pan (for ages 3 and up), A Christmas Carol (age 8 and up), and A Very Soulpepper Christmas (ages 6 and up). As an added bonus, ticket holders get same-day free admission to the fantastic Toronto Christmas Market during market hours using the Cherry Street entrance.

Peter Pan
December 8–31
Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Lane, Toronto
Tickets from $25

A Christmas Carol
December 7–24
Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Lane, Toronto
Tickets from $35

A Very Soulpepper Christmas
December 15–17
St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, 27 Front St. E., Toronto
Tickets from $25

Annie the Musical

The kids will get a kick out of the traditional classic tunes and the story of spunk (and a certain dog named Sandy). Plus, the Randolph Theatre is a great, slightly more casual way to ease kiddos into their first big “play” experience. For ages 4 and up.

December 8–January 14
Randolph Theatre, 736 Bathurst Street (south of Bloor), Toronto
Tickets from $50

The Lorax

Fresh from London, this show is not to be missed. People are raving about the staging and energy that fizzles through the beloved Dr. Seuss tale. Expect all-new tunes and a fantastic story with an important message. For ages 2 and up.

December 9–January 21
Royal Alexandra Theatre, 260 King Street West (west of University), Toronto
Tickets from $69

The Nutcracker

Truly a holiday tradition, The Nutcracker is full of wonderful costumes, choreography and the spirit of make believe. The kids will feel like they’re dropped right into a fairy tale at this all-ages ballet, whose music alone conjures up that warm holiday glow.

December 9–30
Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen St. W. (at University Ave.), Toronto
Tickets from $39

 The Second City’s Miracle on Mercer Street

Miracle on Mercer Street is back and audiences are going to love it. Featuring puppets and a plot line of working together to overcome those with little holiday spirit, this play will be great for all ages (it was created especially for ages 4–12). And yes, and it’s a musical!

December 16–January 5
51 Mercer Street (King and John), Toronto
Tickets $15 adults, $12 ages 12 and under

Disney on Ice Reach for the Stars

This show is billed for all ages but is especially great for the little ones ages 4 and up, as some of their most favourite Disney characters take to the ice. There’s Anna, Elsa and Olaf, of course, as well as Belle and Beast, Ariel and Rapunzel. A montage of songs by crustacean Sebastian and the Daughters of Triton will get the place grooving.

December 22–January 1
Rogers Centre, 1 Blue Jays Way
Tickets from $20

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