Listen, the last thing I want to be doing this month is forking out more dough after I just spent plenty on my new fake Christmas tree (Ya, I did it, and I’d do it again. It’s amazing and I want to marry it, if people married trees), but I also want to jam in as many holiday-related activities with my family as I can. Someday soon, these kids are going to refuse to see “Polar Express” with me, so for now, I’m gettin’ while the gettin’s good.
That being said, there are plenty of holiday deals to be found around the Seacoast this time of year to see classic holiday movies, live theater performances, concerts and more.
Let’s start with the movies. Over at Smitty’s Cinema in Sanford, Way Back Wednesdays offer up a free showing of “Home Alone” on Wednesday, Dec. 13 at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m. and you can order dinner and drinks during the show if you felt bad about not spending any money yet. A fun family night during the holidays! See smittyscinema.com for more details.
Chunky’s Cinema wins my vote for getting in the holiday spirit. Through the month of December, they will be showing “The Polar Express,” “Home Alone,” “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” ”Elf,” “It’s a Wonderful Life” and a double feature of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “Frosty the Snowman” (this lunchtime showing is free). All movies are only $4 and are shown in all cinema locations including Manchester, Pelham, Haverhill and Nashua. See chunkys.com for more info.
For live theater, check out The Mayor’s Holiday Special which is an eight-week celebration of the area’s performing arts featuring half-priced tickets to over 100 shows throughout Boston and beyond. A few holiday shows that caught my eye were “Elf The Musical,” “Urban Nutcracker” (a hipper take on the original) and “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” However you can purchase tickets to non-holiday performances, as well, including “Blue Man Group,” “Mary Poppins Sing-a-Long,” “Disney on Ice,” “Wizard of Oz” and tons more. Tickets available to purchase through artsboston.org.
For some live performances around the Seacoast, check out “Irving Berlin’s White Christmas The Musical” now through Dec. 17 (side note, they are also showing a matinee of the classic film “It’s a Wonderful Life” on Dec. 23). See themusichall.org for more info. At the Leddy Center (leddycenter.org) in Epping, you can catch the last weekend of “Charles Dickens: A Christmas Carol” this weekend and The Rochester Opera House (rochesteroperahouse.com) offers performances of “The Nutcracker” from Dec. 9 to 15 and “A Christmas Carol” from Dec. 7 to 23.
Although this “Nutcracker” performance is abbreviated, the event itself gets a serious notable mention in my book. This Sunday, Dec. 10 from 10 a.m. to noon for $35 a ticket, The Blue Ocean Music Hall in Salisbury invites families to enjoy a family-friendly brunch at the Seaglass Restaurant, including photo ops with the Nutcracker and ballerina Clara, tableside visit with Santa, performances from The Nutcracker Ballet by Methuen Ballet Ensemble (just 20 minutes long —perfect for little kid attention spans), and Nutcracker chocolate and activity book giveaways for each child. Visit the blueoceanhall.com for tickets and event details.
It’s not easy to try and squeeze in a holiday event on top of the expense of holiday shopping, but try and find something that works within your budget and go for it. It’s all about making memories, people. Making memories.
Suzanna Vicinus, founder of www.seacoastkidscalendar.com and author of the Adventures in Parenting blog, is a mom of two kids who always wins at Scattergories but never at short-distance sprints. Follow her to find out about the best family activities, events, edibles and tangibles that the Seacoast area has to offer. Find more of her Adventures in Parenting columns online.