THE CHRISTMAS REVELS
Puget Sound Revels present The Christmas Revels set in a 12th-century English manor house scheduled for demolition. Coming for a last visit to their abandoned ancestral home, the 10th Duke of Rutland and his family are startled to find it not as abandoned as they thought – it is filled with the family’s ancestors, who are gathering for their annual celebration of the Winter Solstice. This Christmas Revels summons the ghosts of many Christmases past and draws on many centuries of English song, dance, foolery and drama. It is a most amazing party, one at which the whole family gathers! The Christmas Revels is a joyous, timeless celebration for all ages. It is a high-spirited concoction of folk tradition and high art – hilarious street theater to glorious choral works. Come and enjoy whether it is your first time or your 20th and help drive winter’s darkness away. Dec. 15 (American sign language interpreted), 16, 18 and 19 at Rialto Theater. Info: http://www.broadwaycenter.org.
SINGING CHRISTMAS TREE
This year marks the 50th annual Singing Christmas Tree and Life Center is celebrating big with “A Golden Christmas.” This dazzling show has become a treasured holiday event for many families throughout Western Washington. Known for being one of the larger and longer running productions in the country, Life Center’s Singing Christmas Tree has enriched the lives of thousands of people throughout the years with its festival carols, dancers, singers, thousands of twinkling lights, elaborate sets, full orchestra, original music and an inspirational story that will make you laugh and may very well bring you to tears. Gather up your friends and family and enjoy a celebration unlike any other in the Northwest. Experience the awe-inspiring grandeur of the living nativity and the birth of a baby born in a lowly manger surrounded by live animals, kings and angels. The tree has inspired, uplifted and created wonderful holiday memories that last a lifetime. Runs through Dec. 23. Get tickets early at http://www.singingtreetacoma.com before shows sell out.
MUSEUM OF GLASS HOLIDAY EVENTS
Museum of Glass has scheduled a series of events to celebrate the holiday season. Designed for families, the events feature hands-on art activities to foster creativity and festive holiday music. Kids 12 and under will be admitted free on each of these days. Holiday Guitar Recital, Dec. 15, 1-4 p.m. Join B Natural Guitar Studio for their third annual Christmas recital. Hanukkah Celebration, Dec. 16, 1-4 p.m. Celebrate the last day of Hanukkah with special crafts and treats. What the Chelm will perform Klezmer songs from 2-3 p.m. Illuminated Traditions: Christmas around the World, Dec. 22, 1-4 p.m. Grab your Sinterklaas sack and revisit some favorite Christmas tradition destinations from around the world. Take a virtual tour to Holland, Australia, Poland, Croatia and then back to Tacoma’s own Wright Park and create your own craft mementos along the way. Dean the Dreamweaver will also provide a tubular bell performance to ensure cheerful travels! New Year’s Eve Cone Head Workshop, Dec. 31, 1-4 p.m. Ring in the New Year by making cone head party hats. Dean the Dream Weaver will provide musical entertainment. Free admission with First Night button.
‘THE SOUND OF MUSIC’
After 10 seasons, this timeless story of the Von Trapp family returns to the Tacoma Musical Playhouse stage just in time for the holidays with a very special production to share with your friends and family. Plays through Dec. 16. Info: HYPERLINK "http://www.tmp.org" www.tmp.org and (253) 565-6867.
‘MIRACLE ON 34th STREET’
Tacoma Little Theatre presents the favorite holiday film onstage. Kris Kringle is the personification of good will and holiday spirit. As Macy’s holiday Santa, he enchants children and shoppers so completely that he is deemed dangerous by fellow employees who question his competency and plot to ruin him. A small girl’s belief in Santa and the magic of the holiday is at stake in a climactic courtroom decision. Plays through Dec. 23. Info: http://www.tacomalittletheatre.com and (253) 272-2281.
‘THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER’
In this hilarious Christmas tale at Lakewood Playhouse, a couple struggling to put on a church Christmas pageant is faced with casting the Herdman kids – probably the most inventively awful kids in history. You will believe the mayhem, and the fun, when the Herdmans collide with the Christmas story head on! Plays Dec. 13-24 for 10 performances and tickets are just $15. Info: http://www.lakewoodplayhouse.org and (253) 588-0042.
For countless people, the holidays would not be the same without seeing a stage performance of “The Nutcracker.” In Tacoma, there are four dance companies presenting this timeless tale:
Tacoma City Ballet - In concert with The Northwest Sinfonietta, Tacoma City Ballet’s “Nutcracker” is performed in the tradition of the St. Petersburg Russian original first presented more than 100 years ago. From choreography to scenery and costume design, this glorious production transports you to a land filled with music, magic and wonder. Plays Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 23, 3 p.m. at Pantages Theater. Representatives from the Marine Corps Toys for Tots Foundation will be on hand at each performance to accept toys, so please bring an unwrapped one with you. Info: http://www.broadwaycenter.org.
Washington Contemporary Ballet – Takes to the stage at Mount Tahoma High School on Dec. 15 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 16 at 2 p.m. Info: http://www.wcbdance.org.
Tacoma Performing Dance Company – Features new choreography and staging. Stadium High School Performing Arts Center at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Dec. 15 and at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Dec. 16. Info: http://www.tacomaperformingdance.org.
LIFE CENTER CHRISTMAS EVE
Life Center invites one and all to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas at “Candlelight Experiences.” On Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, it will hold three services: 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Life Center is located at 1717 S. Union Ave.
CHRISTMAS NIGHT WITH SWAMPY CLAUS
Dee-rect from the great state of Texas, Swampy Claus is comin’ to town! Also known as Tacoma’s beloved Swampy Draws, Swampy Claus will be giving a free show at the Top of Tacoma on Christmas night around 10 p.m. and also at The Eleven Eleven (date tba)! He is bringing gifts for all the folks on his naughty list, and the best way to get on this exclusive list is by donating to the Bringin’ Swampy Back fund so he can afford to get up to Tacoma. Donations are being accepted at the Top of Tacoma (3529 McKinley Ave.) and The Eleven Eleven (1111 S. 11th St.). Be sure to write your name on the list when you donate or leave a picture of your butt in zebra print spandex so Swampy Claus will know whom to thank. $10 or more will get you a CD, a Polaroid with His Swampyness and elves, and make you a member of his fan club, where all his new stuff can be downloaded! Be sure to “Like” Swampy Draws on Facebook!
POLAR BEAR PLUNGE
Kick off the New Year with a cool tradition – a refreshing plunge into invigorating Puget Sound! Jump into the water with other jubilant merrymakers at the Polar Bear Plunge on Jan. 1 at Point Defiance Marina. Trade your winter coat for a swimsuit and go knee high, waist deep or take the full plunge! The Cub Plunge, for youth under 10 years of age, begins at 11:30 a.m., followed by an Adult/Family Plunge at noon. Costumes are welcome but not required. The event is free and takes place rain or shine at the Point Defiance boat launch, located at 5912 N. Waterfront Dr. in Point Defiance Park. Daring folks who jump in can warm up afterwards in front of heaters while sipping free hot drinks. In addition to a year’s worth of bragging rights, participants will receive a Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium coupon good for $3 off general admission. Commemorative T-shirts will be available for purchase. For more information visit http://www.PointDefianceMarina.com or call (253) 591-5325.
Extend the fun and warm up before the Polar Bear Plunge by participating in First Run, a newly created fun run that features a flat, fast one-mile run/walk near Point Defiance Marina. First Run is free and begins at 11 a.m. on Jan. 1, leaving plenty of time to enjoy the Polar Bear Plunge afterward. No registration is necessary to participate. For more information visit http://www.PointDefianceMarina.com or call (253) 591-5325.
Tacoma’s New Year’s Eve celebration is an alcohol-free, family friendly event that offers all kinds of fun things to do for the small price of a $10 First Night button, which are available at numerous Tacoma businesses and downtown museums. During the day, get free admission to two museums, free skate rental all day at Tollefson Plaza ice rink and free access to all First Night stages showcasing amazing performances throughout the night. Info: http://www.firstnightacoma.org.
NEW YEAR’S EVE JAZZ
If you are looking to take a drive north for some New Year’s Eve festivities, the Danny Quintero Quartet will be performing at Russell’s of Woodinville with special guest Lance Buller. A real crowd pleaser, Quintero’s voice is like Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin all rolled into one – and he is just as charming, too. $150 per person, includes gourmet four-course dinner and dessert, wine pairings, swinging live music and champagne at midnight. Info: http://www.RussellLowell.com.