2018 Nutcracker Shows and Festive Train Rides

Tickets go fast for these festive train rides, local Nutcracker performances, and live holiday musicals!

Later in the season we’ll be listing local events like tree lightings, holiday strolls and Santa visits. We also post a map of neighborhoods around the MetroWest with the best light displays and maps of the best sledding hills. Don’t miss a thing; subscribe for our helpful newsletter today!

Christmas Train Rides

Blackstone Valley Polar Express, Woonsocket RI
Weekends Nov 16 – Dec 23
90 minute train ride with stories, songs, cookies, and hot chocolate in a souvenir mug. Santa visits to give each child a silver bell. While waiting for your ride, there are photo ops beside Polar Express backdrops, letter-writing to Santa, and gift shop. $50 to $90

The Train to Christmas Town: Cape Cod Central Railroad, Buzzards Bay
Select dates Nov 23 – Dec 23 (Every Weekend & Most December weekdays)
Enjoy cookies and hot chocolate and dance with the elves to the song “Takin’ the Train to Christmas Town”. Santa and his elves come on board to give out gifts to each child. Games and songs with special guests along the way. $54 to $80

Edaville: Santa Train Ride at Festival of Lights, Carver
Nov 21 – Dec 30 (Wednesdays through Sundays)
45 minute interactive train ride with chocolate milk, egg nog and cookies served by costumed characters. Train ride passes through a wilderness of lights. The train stops to find Santa in his toy shop, and he joins the train on the return journey, giving each child a Edaville train whistle. $40/person admission ($15 under age 2 to receive a gift) includes access to the Festival of Lights, Thomas Land and all Edaville rides. [Or ride the train, see the lights, and enjoy the park without the on-board extras with regular admission price of $35-$37]

Journey to the North Pole, North Conway, NH or Lincoln, NH
Fri-Sun Nov 23 – Dec 23 (plus Thurs Dec 20)
2-hour train ride experience. Hot chocolate and treats while you ride to the North Pole, then leave Santa letters at the Post Office. Visit with elves and hear dramatic “Night Before Christmas” poem at the North Pole Theater. Visit with Santa and receive a special gift. $47 – $67. All proceeds to literacy charity.

Santa’s Holiday Express, Conway, NH
Select dates Nov 23 – Dec 23
1-hour train ride with Santa and his elves to share hot chocolate and cookies. Photo ops. $18-$27

Drama Performances

Disney on Ice: Worlds of Enchantment, Dunkin’ Donuts Center, Providence RI
Dec 27-30
“Thrill to high-speed stunts as Lightning McQueen, Mater and the crew of Disney-Pixar’s Cars race across the ice! Dive into adventure with Ariel and The Little Mermaid’s undersea kingdom. The toys are back in town with heroic action from Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Jessie and the Toy Story gang! Plus, enter the wintry world of Arendelle with sisters Anna and Elsa and pals Olaf and Kristoff from Disney’s Frozen.” $25-$100

“A Christmas Carol”, Stadium Theatre, Woonsocket RI
Dec 14-23
“Experience Charles Dickens’ holiday classic in the Stadium’s beautiful Grand Hall! Join the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future as they lead the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge on a journey of transformation and redemption.” $21 to $31

“How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, Boch Center Wang Theatre, Boston
Nov 28 – Dec 9
“Max the Dog narrates as the mean and scheming Grinch, whose heart is “two sizes too small,” decides to steal Christmas away from the Holiday loving Whos.” $25 to $125

“A Charlie Brown Christmas”, Boch Center Shubert Theatre, Boston
Nov 29 – Dec 2
“When Charlie Brown becomes discouraged by the materialism of the season, Lucy convinces him to direct the neighborhood Christmas play. In typical Charlie Brown fashion, things go awry when he selects a tiny fir tree for the production. It’s up to Linus to save the day and remind everyone of the real message of the holiday. ” $38+

“Cirque Dreams Holidaze”, Boch Center Shubert Theatre, Boston
Dec 4-9
“Soaring acrobatics, gravity defying feats and extravagant theatrical production numbers…over 300 imaginative costumes, 20 world-class astonishing acts, the finest singers, original music and seasonal favorites celebrating the most wonderful time of the year from Thanksgiving to Chanukah, Christmas and New Year’s” $35+

“Elf: The Musical”, Hanover Theatre, Worcester
Nov 29 – Dec 2
“With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father, discover his true identity and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas.” $43 – $76

“A Christmas Carol”, Hanover Theatre, Worcester
Dec 15-23
“Celebrate the holiday season with New England’s largest production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, adapted by The Hanover Theatre’s president and CEO Troy Siebels and featuring the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ, New England’s largest theatre pipe organ. ” $28 – $55

“Dickens’ Christmas Carol” Dramatic Reading, Martha Mary Chapel, Sudbury
Dec 7-8
In this one-man show, Al LePage single-handedly brings 26 characters to life through voice, facial expressions, and gestures. Best appreciated by ages 7+. $15

Nutcracker Performances

Boston Opera House, Nov 29 – Dec 30
by Boston Ballet, with full orchestra
$65 – $200

Hanover Theatre, Worcester, Nov 23 – 25
Features full orchestra and several principal ballet dancers
$32 – $44

Regis College, Weston, Nov 23 – Dec 9
by Commonwealth Ballet
$22 – $44
Sensory-Friendly Nov 24 ($22)

Keiter Center, Natick, Dec 5-16
by Walnut Hill Arts

Norwood Theatre, Dec 14-16
by Dancing Arts Center
$25 – $33

Hopkinton Center for the Arts, Dec 1
by Dancing Arts Center
Act 2 only; great for younger audience
$15 – $20

Stadium Theatre, Woonsocket RI, Nov 24-25
by Heritage Ballet

Franklin High School, Dec 1-2
by Franklin School for the Performing Arts
$32 – $36

King Philip HS, Wrentham, Dec 15-16
by Greater Milford Ballet Company
Approx. $15 – $30

Wayland HS, Dec 8-9
by Studios Fitness and Dance
Contact for pricing

Lincoln-Sudbury HS, Dec 2
by Dance Prism
$20 – $26

Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Dec 9
by Dance Prism
$20 – $26

Wilson Middle School, Natick, Dec 15
by Miss Michelle’s Performing Arts

Bellingham HS, Date TBA
by Patti Eisenhauer Dance Center
Contact for details

Wellesley HS, Dec 8-9
by Kathy McCrohon Dance Center

Keefe Tech HS, Framingham, Dec 16
by Greater Boston School of Dance

Not Just Nutcracker: Drosselmeier’s Toy Shop, Grafton HS, Dec 1
by Dance It Up

Millis High School, Nov 30 – Dec 2
by Terpsichore: Millis School Dance Club
[A small local performance; great option for a low-key first Nutcracker experience]

$6-$8 at the door (under 5 free)

Santa Visits, Light Displays, and More

Community Kangaroo is a team of 18 moms scattered between Boston and Worcester. We track down all the best events year-round to help you find everything within a short drive of your house!

We’ll be adding every local tree lighting, pancakes with Santa, etc on our jam-packed dailiy event calendar, and will post our maps of sledding hills and holiday light displays (including the very best neighborhoods to check out). There’s much more to come, but you can find what we have so far near your town by choosing your region from our homepage map, or sign up for our newsletter for the very best updates!