Family Picks

Family Picks: Treat the kids to some affordable live holiday shows

CorrespondentDecember 12, 2013 

Children rehearse for Walltown Children’s Theatre’s production of “Indigo Blue,” an original adaptation of the tale of the Pied Piper.


One of my family’s favorite holiday traditions is seeing a live show, but this year, I was shocked at the cost of some of the kid-friendly shows in the Triangle. Touring musical productions of “The Grinch” and “Elf” came to the Triangle this year, but many of the tickets were more than $100 each.

Other shows such as the Carolina Ballet’s “Nutcracker” are not exactly a cheap family outing, either, at an average of about $55 a ticket and over $80 for the best seats.

These professional productions are a wonderful experience, if you can afford them. But for those whose budgets are feeling a little tight, here are some lower cost options for taking your children to a show this holiday season:

• The Raleigh dance school City Ballet will present its own version of “The Nutcracker,” which will feature guest artists from the Carolina Ballet. Shows are this Saturday and Sunday at Enloe High School, and tickets range from $10 to $25. Tickets and showtimes at

• Another student production of “The Nutcracker” is offered by Durham’s Barriskill Dance Theatre School. They will perform the Tchaikovsky classic at Duke University’s Reynolds Theater on Saturday and Sunday. They promise elaborate costumes and a 30-foot growing Christmas tree during the hour and a half performance. Most tickets are $20. Tickets and showtimes at

• In Apex, the Halle Cultural Arts Center will present a double-feature directed by Kathleen Rudolph of Raleigh Little Theatre. “The Toys Take over Christmas” tells the story of a toymaker whose toys revolt against him after he refuses to sell them to children. “Broadway Santa” is a comic piece about the “North Pole gang” performing on Broadway. Shows are Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $6 for children and $8 for adults. Tickets and showtimes at

• The Concert Dancers of Raleigh will perform “’Twas the Night Before Christmas and Other Works” at Meredith College’s Jones Auditorium on Saturday at 4 p.m. Ballet dancers will bring the classic poem and other Christmas stories to life, with elves, reindeer, toys and Santa twirling across the stage. Tickets range from $5 to $10. Call 919-782-0622.

• The Walltown Children’s Theater in Durham is offering a unique performance Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The nonprofit theater – which provides dance and drama classes to underserved youth in Durham’s Walltown community – raised $5,000 online to produce “Indigo Blue,” an original adaptation of the Pied Piper. The story was written by well-known Durham playwright Howard Craft, and teaches children about their inner strength and ability to overcome challenges. Tickets and showtimes at

• Of the bigger shows, Raleigh Little Theatre’s yearly Christmas-time production of “Cinderella” is the most affordable. Performances are this weekend and next, and all tickets are $30. Tickets and showtimes at

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