Temple Emanu-El (Courtesy of New York Landmarks Conservancy)
By Jennifer McKee
From virtual holiday celebrations and Christmas markets to song and dance performances, December 2020 is full of good cheer. There’s even a few virtual ugly sweater parties. Bring on the eggnog and Christmas cookies, and settle in for these warm winter events.
New York Landmark Conservancy’s “Tourist in Your Own Town”
Visit the Big Apple and get up-close and personal to its most storied landmarks from the comfort of your own couch in a series of videos from the New York Landmark Conservancy. Learn about the art and architecture of Rockefeller Center, the vibrant design of Temple Emanu-El and much more.
Alvin Ailey’s Inaugural Online Season
Join this acclaimed dance company for the launch of nine free presentations in December. They feature Ailey’s extraordinary dancers in premieres, reinvented classics and interactive workshops, along with a series of “BattleTalk” conversations moderated by artistic director Robert Battle.
Global Ode to Joy
Artists and music-lovers from around the world come together to celebrate Ludwig van Beethoven’s 250th birthday in this special edition of the “Live with Carnegie Hall” streaming series. The webcast features musical performances and guest appearances by Yo-Yo Ma, Joyce DiDonato, Austria’s ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Stay at Home Choir, made up of more than 1,000 singers who perform virtually from 58 countries.
Dec. 4, 13 & 24
Anthony Williams’ “Urban Nutcracker”
Boston dance legend Tony Williams reimagines the classic holiday tale—the Urban Nutcracker‘s winter scenes take place in inner-city Boston, set to the music of Tchaikovsky and Duke Ellington. Although it’s anchored in classical ballet, dance forms such as jazz, tap, hip hop and Flamenco also find their way onstage.
Jackson Galaxy’s Cat Camp
‘Tis the season to celebrate everything feline! Join the nation’s foremost cat authority, Jackson Galaxy, for a virtual romp with fireside chats by a yule log, festive crafts, a cat-themed ugly sweater contest and more. The summer camp-like experience connects you with fellow cat lovers and promotes advocacy. Free for all participants.
Opera Theatre of Saint Louis’ Holiday Concert
Fill your tank with Christmas music in this HD performance from OTSL’s young artists. Delight in traditional carols, popular holiday songs and movie tunes.
To Pittsburgh With Love, From Germany: Holiday Market Tradition
Discover the joys found in German Christmas markets as you explore the tradition with retired German teacher Judy Casturo. The event presenter, Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, joins in to share its behind-the-scenes knowledge.
Dec. 7 & 15
Chamber Music Society of St. Louis Concerts
Enjoy a seasonal music extravaganza with works from Handel, Debussy, Vivaldi and more in the Holiday Celebration (Pillsbury Cookie Concert) on Dec. 7; the music society celebrates Ludwig van Beethoven’s 250th birthday with two of his works on Dec. 15.
Beginning Dec. 11
Liz Callaway: Home for the Holidays
Broadway star Liz Callaway made her debut in “Merrily We Roll Along” and won acclaim for her long-running role, Grizabella, in “Cats.” She gives viewers a tribute of her upcoming holiday album in a performance that mixes of holiday favorites and iconic Broadway show tunes.
Seize the Show’s “A Christmas Karen”
A real-time, immersive, live performance gaming experience, Seize the Show lets audiences affect the outcome of a story by solving puzzles, winning mini games and voting choices. In an offering that merges “A Christmas Carol” with “The Devil Wears Prada,” you play the megalomaniacal Karen’s assistant, guiding her through the holiday season.
Dec. 19-27 (various dates)
Ugly Sweater Party in a Box
Get your family, friends or co-workers together for some festive fun with Unexpected Virtual Tours’ Ugly Sweater Party in a Box. Create an ugly sweater for yourself and your recipient, enjoy some gourmet Atlanta treats and join in on a 90-minute virtual ugly sweater party on one of five dates.
Ballet Hispanico Holiday Celebration of “Club Havana”
Ballet Hispanico, founded in 1970 and recognized this year as one of America’s cultural treasures, invites audiences to enjoy the holiday performance of its signature work, “Club Havana.” Called a “silky, sexy joy,” by the New York Times, it celebrates Cuban music and dance through the conga, rumba, mambo and cha-cha.
Through Dec. 23
Texas Christkindl Market
One of the largest open-air holiday markets in the Southwest, the Texas Christkindl Market has been going strong for 10 years. This year, it’s moving online, but you can still find one-of-a-kind gifts through vendor listings, watch live performances on social media channels, find recipes and enjoy a German holiday playlist.
Through Jan. 1
Virtual Gingerbread Experience at The Broadmoor
The creation of fanciful, over-the-top gingerbread houses has long been a holiday tradition at Colorado Springs’ 102-year-old Broadmoor Resort. Although this year the exhibit is open solely to hotel guests, the Broadmoor has created a virtual experience so fans can delight in it online. This year’s installation was inspired by the Broadmoor’s own Manitou & Pikes Peak Railway, the highest railway in America at 14,115 feet above sea level.
Through Jan. 6
15 Seconds to Stardom
In 2019, the iconic Seattle Star was thought to be damaged beyond repair. Now fully restored with new materials—but following designer Bob James’ original 1950s blueprint—it’s shining brighter than ever before. Dazzle crowds by creating your very own customized light show, which can be live-streamed anywhere in the world.