As the weather turns brisk and the holidays creep closer, something magical happens in Fairfax County! Brilliant light displays illuminate the night sky, local restaurants serve up comfort food favorites, outdoor winter activities and ice skating rinks open for the season, and a variety of festive shows fill our event calendar. Make your days merry and bright with these local holiday and Christmas performances that even Scrooge himself would love.
The Elf on the Shelf
This holiday season, the beloved tradition that has captured the hearts of families everywhere returns to the live stage! The Elf on the Shelf: The Musical is a thrilling spectacle of music and dance that transports you to the North Pole to have a peek into the magical lives of Santa’s Scout Elves. Featuring an original story, dazzling sets and costumes, and heartfelt moments that will bring the family together, the uplifting celebration at Capital One Hall in Tysons will leave you captivated by the splendor of the season!
Lightwire Theater: A Very Electric Christmas
Lightwire Theater combines electroluminescent puppetry, live dancers, and a lively variety of songs to create a new cutting-edge way of storytelling for an incredible show at George Mason University's Center for the Arts. Follow a young bird, Max, who gets separated from his flock while flying south for the winter during a snowstorm. Lost and alone in the North Pole, he embarks on an odyssey to be reunited with his family, and along the way encounters dancing poinsettias, caroling critters, and more.
Fairfax Ballet Company's "The Nutcracker"
Photo courtesy of The Fairfax Ballet Company
Experience this timeless holiday classic as The Fairfax Ballet Company performs The Nutcracker. Enjoy a winter wonderland of dancing snowflakes, sugar plum fairies and epic battles between heroic toy soldiers and mischievous mice. This special performance taking place at Fairfax High School features guest artists from the acclaimed Ballet Des Moines, as well as local Fairfax County ballerinas from George Mason University and Oakton High School.
Manassas Ballet Theatre's "The Nutcracker"
December 16 - 23
Photo courtesy of Manassas Ballet
At George Mason University's Hylton Center for the Performing Arts, The Nutcracker comes to life with eight performances this holiday season. Follow Clara as she attends her family’s Christmas Eve party, the night she receives the gift of a magic Nutcracker. Together they go on a dream adventure with the Sugar Plum Fairy, the Snow Queen, the Rat King and many other fantastical characters. Gorgeous sets and costumes plus live music by the Manassas Ballet Theatre orchestra help make it a magical moment of holiday cheer.
If you'd prefer to watch the performance from the comfort of your own living room, online streaming options are also available!
A Charlie Brown Christmas Live on Stage
You can't deny the sense of nostalgia that comes with all things Charlie Brown! This season, the whole Peanuts gang is coming to Capital One Hall to produce their own Christmas play and ultimately learn the true meaning of the season. Catch up with Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus, and more at A Charlie Brown Christmas Live on Stage! Featuring the unforgettable music of Vine Guaraldi, as well as a concert of beloved holiday carols, there's no better way to discover the magic of the season.
A Magical Cirque Christmas
Gather the whole crew for a spell-binding and incredible holiday production – A Magical Cirque Christmas! Experience the enchantment of Christmas as Magical Hostess Lucy Darling takes you through an evening of dazzling performers and breathtaking cirque artists, accompanied by your favorite holiday music performed live in the stunning setting of Capital One Hall. Get into the spirit of the season with this merry treat that brings the festive feels right in front of your eyes.
Dianne Reeves: Christmas Time is Here
Jazz makes our souls feel timeless, and what better way to ring in the holiday than with the sweet melodies of an acclaimed vocalist? Dianne Reeves, “the most admired jazz diva since the heyday of Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday” (The New York Times), shares her classic voice and improvisational prowess in an exceptional holiday program of seasonal sounds at George Mason University's Center for the Arts. Adored by audiences and critics alike for her powerful voice, vivacious personality, and captivating performance, Reeves is considered one of the world’s preeminent vocalists.
Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!)
Weekends, December 3 - December 19
Why listen to one story, when you can get them all? Instead of performing Charles Dickens's beloved holiday classic for the umpteenth time, three actors decide to perform Every Christmas Story Ever Told (and then some). Add a sprinkling of Christmas traditions from around the world, seasonal icons from ancient times to contemporary pop culture, and every carol ever sung - and you’ve got a madcap romp through the holiday season. Santa Claus, Rudolph, the Grinch, and just about every other seasonal character, make an appearance in this racy comedy at NextStop Theatre Company in Herndon that will have you laughing all the way to the New Year!
American Festival Pops Orchestra: Songs of the Season
Ding-dong, ding-dong, Christmas bells are ringing! Gather with the American Festival Pops Orchestra and special guests for its annual Holiday Pops concert at George Mason University's Center for the Arts, which is sure to make spirits bright! A beloved tradition, this heartwarming evening of holiday favorites includes a festive audience sing-along. Maestro Anthony Maiello leads Northern Virginia’s own American Festival Pops Orchestra as it ushers in the season with a lively performance filled with musical goodwill and cheer.
Wolf Trap Holiday Sing-A-Long From Home
December 4 & December 18
Since 1968, Wolf Trap's Holiday-Sing-Along has been an annual tradition that invites you to get in on the musical enthusiasm! This year's event will be presented virtually so you can participate from the comfort of your home. The event will feature performances by some of The Barns at Wolf Trap's favorite artists and will commence with a program of festive songs pre-recorded by the United States Marine Band at the Barns at Wolf Trap and conclude with a festive at-home sing-a-long.
From classic and beloved tales to electroluminescent puppetry, there's no shortage of holiday cheer in Fairfax County's local theaters and performance venues. Which shows will you attend? Be sure to tag us in your holiday adventures using #FXVA and @VisitFairfax so we can see all of the fun you have with your loved ones!