Celebrate the Holiday Season With the Arts

Enjoy and honor the traditional and new, and create unforgettable memories by experiencing great performances.

Holiday Events

Dorrance Dance: Nutcracker Suite

Nov. 30 - Dec. 2, 2023

In Nutcracker Suite, explosive tap dance meets your favorite holiday classic. This Nutcracker boogies, slides, struts, and dives into Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn’s intoxicating interpretation of the Tchaikovsky classic.

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  • Student Rush

The Dragon King’s Daughter

Dec. 2 - 17, 2023

Chinese dragon mythology, martial arts, and stunning voices combine as an unlikely young duo embarks on a daring adventure in this world premiere musical featuring an original story and inspiring songs by Marcus Yi.

NPR’s A Jazz Piano Christmas

Sat. Dec. 2, 2023

Your favorite holiday classics as you’ve never heard them! ݮƵѰapp and NPR present A Jazz Piano Christmas, the annual sell-out event featuring jazz-infused renditions of the season’s most-loved music. This year, we spotlight three Cuban pianists for a festive evening full of the rhythms, melodies, and positive energy Cuban music brings: Melvis Santa, Alfredo Rodriguez, and Hilario Durán.

National Symphony Orchestra

NSO at The Anthem:
Ugly Sweater Holiday Concert

Wed. Dec. 6, 2023 7:30p.m.

’Tis the season to break out your most festively heinous knitwear—the ugly Christmas sweater! Don your favorite holiday threads (ugly or not) for an unforgettable evening filled with orchestral beauty and favorites like “Sleigh Ride,” “Carol of the Bells,” “I Saw Three Ships,” music from The Nutcracker and Babes in Toyland, and so much more. This performance takes place at The Anthem.

National Symphony Orchestra

FREE! Notes of Honor: NSO Salutes the Military: A Holiday Pops! with Norm Lewis

Thu. Dec. 7, 2023

Notes of Honor: NSO Salutes the Military invites all current, retired, veteran, and prior service members and their families to a special FREE performance of the hottest holiday bash in town—A Holiday Pops! Get ready to sing along, laugh, and warm your spirit at our sparkling celebration as Broadway superstar Norm Lewis lights up the stage with holiday showstoppers, Broadway favorites, and more! Please note: you must present a valid military ID along with your reservation voucher(s) to attend.

Washington National Opera

 The Lion, the Unicorn, and Me

Dec. 8 - 10, 2023

The hit family opera returns for the holidays, based on the award-winning children’s book and featuring music from Tony®-winning composer Jeanine Tesori.

National Symphony Orchestra

NSO Pops | A Holiday Pops! with Norm Lewis

Dec. 8 - 9, 2023

Get ready to sing along, laugh, and embrace the magic of the season at the hottest holiday bash in town! Warm your spirit at our sparkling celebration as Norm Lewis lights up the festively decorated Concert Hall with holiday showstoppers and selections from his best-selling Christmas album, along with favorites that make him one of Broadway’s most sought-after leading men.

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  • Student Rush

Millennium Stage (In-Person and Livestream)


Mon. Dec. 11, 2023

2023 is the 50th year of Merry TUBACHRISTMAS! events which are presented throughout the world. Since the first TUBACHRISTMAS, musicians of all ages have gathered annually to perform traditional Christmas music arranged by American composer Alec Wilder on the tuba and euphonium.

Currently Sold Out

Girl From The North Country

Dec. 12 - 31, 2023

Girl From The North Country is the Tony Award®–winning new musical that the Chicago Tribune declares is “a Broadway revelation!” It’s 1934 in Duluth, Minnesota. We meet a group of wayward travelers whose lives intersect in a guesthouse filled with music, life, and hope. Experience this “profoundly beautiful” production (The New York Times) brought to vivid life by an extraordinary company of actors and musicians.

Millennium Stage (In-Person and Livestream)

Holiday Swingin’!

Wed. Dec. 13, 2023

Kat Edmonson and her band have recorded Christmas classics such as “Jingle Bell Rock,” “O Christmas Tree,” and “Let It Snow.” The award-winning songwriter and her band will perform these yuletide favorites along with Kat’s originals for a magical holiday evening to remember.

On Sale Wed. Nov. 29, 2023 10a.m.

National Symphony Orchestra

Handel’s Messiah

Dec. 14 - 17, 2023

Washington, D.C.’s favorite holiday tradition returns! Laurence Equilbey makes her much-anticipated debut conducting the NSO, the University of Maryland Concert Choir, and an all-star lineup of soloists in Handel’s greatest oratorio celebration. Composed in 1741, Messiah is as potent today as it was more than 280 years ago, inspiring joy and wonder from both first-time listeners and those who return every year.

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  • Student Rush

The Choral Arts Society of Washington presents

A Family Christmas

Dec. 16 - 24, 2023

For the Young and the Young at Heart!

Bring the kids for an unforgettable holiday experience as the Choral Arts Chorus fills the concert hall with holiday classics just for them! We’ll take you on a merry tour of Christmas favorites that will have your family singing all the way home. Expect a visit from Santa, Frosty, and Rudolph!

The Washington Chorus presents

A Candlelight Christmas

Dec. 16 - 22, 2023

Ring in the holiday season (literally!) at The Washington Chorus' "A Candlelight Christmas!" Featuring spirited brass, a festive chorus, and extra special guests to help you celebrate the season, this concert is among the DC region's most beloved holiday traditions—so don't miss this heartwarming seasonal delight!

I Still Love H.E.R.: Hip Hop & The Multi-hyphenate Life

Sat. Dec. 16, 2023

Join us as Grammy, Emmy, and Academy Award–winning rapper and Kennedy Center Hip Hop Culture Council Member Common returns to the Center for an intimate conversation with writer Marcus J. Moore as he reflects on his storied career, hip hop’s 50th anniversary, and the multitude of ways that hip hop has served as the catalyst for his multi-hyphenate life as an artist, activist, producer, philanthropist, and change agent.

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  • Student Rush

Millennium Stage Films

Extraordinary Cinema: The Nightmare Before Christmas

Sun. Dec. 17, 2023

Join us for a FREE film screening in the Justice Forum at the REACH. The Nightmare Before Christmas follows the misadventures of Jake Skellington, Halloweentown’s beloved pumpkin king, who accidentally stumbles on Christmastown.

On Sale Wed. Nov. 29, 2023 10a.m.

The Choral Arts Society of Washington presents

O Night Divine!

Dec. 18 - 24, 2023

Let the radiant voices of Choral Arts transport you home for the holidays with warm nostalgic carols and the spirited sounds of a full orchestra.

The Capitol Bones Big Band presents

A Christmas Brass Spectacular!

Tue. Dec. 19, 2023

The Capitol Bones All-Brass Big Band has created the ultimate show of favorite holiday music, performing original and new arrangements from “A Stan Kenton Christmas,” Duke Ellington’s “Nutcracker Suite,” and Vince Guarldi’s “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”

Millennium Stage (In-Person and Livestream)

DuPont Brass

Wed. Dec. 20, 2023

Join DuPont Brass for a special holiday concert as they celebrate their new holiday album A DuPont Holiday.

On Sale Wed. Dec. 6, 2023 10a.m.

Disney’s Frozen

Dec. 20, 2023 - Jan. 21, 2024

From the producer of The Lion King and Aladdin, Frozen, the Tony® Award–nominated Best Musical, is now on tour across North America—and the critics rave, “It’s simply magical!” (LA Daily News). Frozen features the songs you know and love from the original Oscar®-winning film, plus an expanded score with a dozen new numbers by the film’s songwriters, Oscar winner Kristen Anderson-Lopez and EGOT winner Robert Lopez. It’s everything you want in a musical: It’s moving. It’s spectacular. And above all, it’s pure Broadway joy.

Millennium Stage (In-Person and Livestream)

Beltway Brass Quintet

Thu. Dec. 21, 2023

The Beltway Brass Quintet is a project group led by Zachary Smith of the nationally acclaimed Dixie Power Trio. The members of the quintet reside in the Washington, D.C. area, and their repertoire is unusual in its emphasis on 20th century jazz harmonies and stylings.

On Sale Wed. Dec. 6, 2023 10a.m.

Millennium Stage (In-Person and Livestream)

Messiah Sing-Along

Sat. Dec. 23, 2023

Be part of Washington’s most popular free holiday event, the Kennedy Center’s Messiah Sing-Along. Back by popular demand, the evening concert features conductor Nancia DAlimonte as she leads members of the Washington National Opera Orchestra, guest soloists, a chorus of 150, and a very enthusiastic audience in Handel’s masterpiece. A family and community tradition since 1971!

On Sale Wed. Nov. 29, 2023 10a.m.

Millennium Stage (In-Person and Livestream)

All-Star Christmas EVE Jazz Jam

Sun. Dec. 24, 2023

Join in our annual All-Star Christmas Jazz Jam, with host and vibraphonist Chuck Redd, drummer Lenny Robinson, pianist Robert Redd, bassist James King, and and vocalist Ekep Nkwelle!

On Sale Wed. Dec. 6, 2023 10a.m.

Millennium Stage (In-Person and Livestream)

Encore Creativity for Older Adults

Tue. Dec. 26, 2023

Encore Creativity for Older Adults is the nation’s largest choral arts organization for adults 55 and over. Based in Maryland, Encore leads ensembles across the country, all conducted by seasoned professional artists.

On Sale Wed. Dec. 6, 2023 10a.m.

Millennium Stage (In-Person and Livestream)

The Peace and Carol Ringers

Sat. Dec. 30, 2023

Under the direction of Tamara Freeman, the Peace and Carol Ringers will perform Songs of the Season. The program will include a variety of sacred and secular music performed on seven octaves of handbells, chimes, and an assortment of other percussion instruments.

On Sale Wed. Dec. 13, 2023 10a.m.

A Jazz New Year’s Eve: Jazzmeia Horn and Her Noble Force

Sun. Dec. 31, 2023

Swing in the New Year with Jazzmeia Horn and her sensational big band! With a name that speaks for itself, the mesmerizing vocalist transports audiences to a bygone era of elegance and improvisation. Get ready for a night of fiery new music and the timeless allure of big-band jazz.

New Year’s Eve with Gregory Porter

Sun. Dec. 31, 2023

Spend New Year’s Eve with one of the greatest voices of our generation! Two-time Grammy-winning singing sensation Gregory Porter is back on tour showcasing his effortlessly cool fusion of jazz, soul, R&B, and gospel. Expect brand-new and fan-favorite songs from across his celebrated album catalogue, festive tracks from his forthcoming album Christmas Wish, and more!

Holiday Gift Guide

T-Shirt with the words Theater Nerd and Kennedy Center logo

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