When light parades and shopping-mall Santas lose their luster, these kid-friendly shows radiate holiday cheer the whole family can enjoy.
The 22nd annual “Spirit of Christmas Show”
What: No kid, young or old, could possibly be bored during this two-hour mega-variety show by more than 100 singers and dancers from Christian Dance Company. The glittery spectacular’s numbers feature Russian-style acrobats, a horse-drawn carriage, Santa and his reindeer, toy soldiers, angels, snowmen, Rockettes, elves, a native hoop dancer and the nativity, among other things.
When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday in Mesa and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Dec. 20 in Tempe
Where: Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St. and ASU Gammage, 1200 S. Forest Ave., Tempe
Cost: Tickets to the Mesa show are $24-$32; Tempe show tickets are $24-$30. Proceeds benefit the Child Crisis Center.
“Frosty the Snowman: A Magical Adventure”
What: Original songs and a new plot update the classic tale of a snowman who comes to life. But hurry; the theater warns that it’s nearly sold-out.
When: lunchtime matinees select days through Dec. 29
Where: Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, 5247 E. Brown Road, Mesa
Cost: $16, includes lunch buffet; a special Dec. 22 show-only performance (no lunch) is $12.
Information: (480) 325-6700 or www.broadwaypalmwest.com
“Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells!”
What: Young children familiar with Scottsdale author Barbara Park’s Junie B. Jones book series will love to see Junie and her classmates in Room 1 come to life in this production by Childsplay. May, Sheldon, José and Lucille are among the characters preparing for the school’s Holiday Sing-Along.
When: 1 and 4 p.m., Sunday and Dec. 19-20 and Dec. 26-27; 2 p.m. Dec. 24; 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 22-23
Where: Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway
Information: (480) 350-2822 or http://tca.ticketforce.com
“A Christmas Carol”
What: Not only does this timeless classic impart lessons of generosity, empathy and consideration for your fellow man, it’s richly costumed, performed up close on an intimate circular stage and includes snowfall.
When: 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, and 3 p.m. Saturdays, until Dec. 23
Where: Hale Centre Theatre, 50 W. Page Ave., Gilbert
Information: (480) 497-1181 or haletheatrearizona.com
“The Elves and the Shoemaker”
What: Santa’s elves come to the aid of a poor shoemaker and his wife in this musical holiday favorite performed with enchanting puppets.
When: 10 a.m. Wednesdays through Fridays, 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 24
Where: The Great Arizona Puppet Theater, 302 W. Latham St., Phoenix
Information: (602) 262-2050 or www.azpuppets.org
Zoppè Italian Family Circus
What: Once the Christmas rush is over, this sixth-generation troupe of performers’ old-fashioned show is a lighthearted way to ring in the new year. The show features acrobatic feats, equestrian showmanship, canine skits, clowning and audience participation.
When: multiple shows Dec. 26 through Jan. 3
Where: west lawn of the Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 N. Arizona Ave.
Cost: $15-$25; New Year’s Eve show prices are $20-$35
Information: (480) 782-2680 or www.chandlercenter.org