It’s official the holiday season! While the countdown clock to Christmas is ticking, be sure to pause and celebrate the season. Here are some of the best events this month to help you make happy memories with friends and loved ones.
1) THE NUTCRACKER
It truly takes a village to stage “The Nutcracker.” More than 100 students from 30 area schools and dancers from Dayton Ballet II and the Dayton Ballet School will join Dayton Ballet and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra for a new production opening at the Schuster Center, Second and Main streets, Dayton, on Friday, Dec. 13.
Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 22, with 2:30 p.m. matinees Saturday and Sunday and Monday, Dec. 23. “The Nutcracker” is presented through Monday, Dec. 23. Cost: $18-$83. Dayton Ballet presents a Sensory Friendly version of the show at 2 p.m. Friday, Dec. 20. Cost: $28 sensory-friendly show.
Dayton Ballet Barre presents The Sugarplum Tea at Dayton Woman’s Club, 225 N. Ludlow St., Dayton, at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15. Cost: $20 per person. The Children’s Tea celebrates Dayton Ballet’s annual holiday production of “The Nutcracker.” Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com.
Dayton Contemporary Dance Company celebrates the powerful history of the African-American church with “In the Spirit of … Abundant Blessings.” DCDC presents concerts at Victoria Theatre, 138 N. Main St., Dayton, on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 7 and 8. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday. Cost: $28. This is the 10th and final production of DCDC’s 50th anniversary season. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com.
3) SANTA PUB CRAWL
Santa Pub Crawl, the 14th annual benefit for the Marine’s Toys for Tots, returns to spots in the Oregon District, Fifth Street, Dayton, at 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14. Cost: $10 unwrapped toy or $10 donation. Participants are encouraged to dress as Santa, Mrs. Claus, an elf or other Christmas character and prizes will be awarded during a costume contest. Since it was founded in 1947, Toys for Tots has distributed more than 500-million toys to more than 250-million children. Visit www.toysfortots.org.
4) SURREALIST BALL
“De L’autre Côté du Moroir,” the annual Surrealist Ball, is held at 713 W. Grand Ave., Dayton, from 8 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7. The party features food and drink inspired by the original 1972 menu, performance art by Ri Molnar, Rhiannon and Reichardt & Scott Loy, roaming bizarre entertainment and live music from Andromeda, Nathan Peters, Jimmy Joz and DJ Isicle. Attendees are required to wear formal or fancy, surrealist headwear. Cost: $50. A benefit for STRONG. Visit www.daytonsurrealistball.com.
5) ROBERT POLLARD ART
It’s been nearly a decade since Guided By Voices leader Robert Pollard had his first art show in New York City. Now, he’s exhibiting his original collages in Dayton. His first hometown show, “Robert Pollard: Don’t Let Them In,” is being presented at Skeleton Dust Records, 133 E. Third St., Dayton. An opening reception will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13. The work will be on display in the store through December. Free. https://skeletondustrecords.com.
6) HOLIDAY DRAG SHOW
Drag performer John Faas is putting a unique twist on the season with a Carol Channing-inspired holiday show. “Christmas Carol and Her Holiday Kings & Queens,” at PNC Arts Annex, 46 N. Ludlow St., Dayton, at 9:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13, also features Jeff Murphy, B Sharp, Gaia Naturi, Oliver Dixon and Kimberly Lourainne. Cost: $10. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com.
Handmade Holiday returns to Yellow Cab Tavern, 700 E. Fourth St., Dayton, on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 6 and 7, to offer an alternative to shopping at chain stores. The event features artisans and craft vendors, food trucks, cocktails and more will all Handmade Holiday opens at 5 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. Saturday. Call 937-424-3870 or visit www.yellowcabtavern.com.
8) CULTURAL ARTS & BOOK FEST
The Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton’s Cultural Arts & Book Festival is still going strong. Next up is Andrew Ridker, the author of “The Altruists,” at Washington Centerville Public Library, Woodbourne, 6060 Far Hills Ave., Centerville, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10. Cost: Free but tickets are required. Other programs in the series include Myla Goldberg on Dec. 11, Naomi Nachman on Dec. 17 and Lev Golinkin on Jan. 29. 937-610-1555 or www.jewishdayton.org.
9) NICK JR. LIVE
“Nick Jr. Live! Move to the Music” features characters from “PAW Patrol,” “Dora the Explorer,” “Blue’s Clues” and other Nick Jr. programs. The touring family show is presented at Victoria Theatre, 138 N. Main St., Dayton, on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 14 and 15. Showtimes are 10 a.m. and 2 pm. Saturday and Sunday. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com.
Dayton Liederkranz-Turner, 1400 E. Fifth S., Dayton, hosts its annual Christkindlmarkt on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 14 and 15. The event features vendors selling handcrafted items, beers steins, jewelry, antiques, food and more. Market hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. Call 937-223-9013 or visit www.daytongermanclub.org.
11) NUTCRACKER SOUTH
This season marks a milestone for the South Dayton Dance Theatre. The local company celebrates its 25th annual production of “The Nutcracker” with concerts at Dayton Convention Center, 22 E. Fifth St., Dayton, on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 14 and 15. Showtimes are 1 and 7 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday. Cost: $25 adults, $15 children 12 and younger. Call 937-435-5052 or visit www.sddt.org.
12) MICHAEL BLACKSON
Michael Blackson is best known as a stand-up comic but he has a growing filmography. The actor-comedian from Ghana will appear in two high-profile films in 2020, “Last Friday” and Eddie Murphy’s “Coming 2 America.” Blackson, who is currently on a club tour, performs at the Funny Bone Comedy Club, 88 Plum St., The Greene, Beavercreek, on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 13 and 14. Showtimes are 7:30 and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Cost: $39-$49. 937-429-LAFF (5233) or www.daytonfunnybone.com.
🎊NEW YEAR’S EVE EVENTS
1) BELLA ITALIA!
Dayton Performing Arts Alliance rings in 2020 with “New Year’s Eve: Bella Italia!” The evening of Italian composers such as Mendelssohn, Puccini, Vivaldi and Verdi is presented at the Schuster Center, Second and Main streets, Dayton, at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 31. The Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of artistic director Neal Gittleman, will be joined by special guest vocalists from Dayton Opera, soprano Chloé Olivia Moore and tenor Benjamin Werley. Cost: $20-$76. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com.
2) HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS
Harlem Globetrotters return to town for its annual year-ending trip with the new show, “Pushing the Limits. While roster spots are subject to change, Big Easy Lofton and Hi-Lite Bruton are among the players slated to be joined by talented ladies like TNT Lister, Swish Sutton and Torch George at the Nutter Center, 3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy., Fairborn, at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 31. Cost: $27-$82 for arena seating, $127 courtside. Call 937-775-4789 or visit www.nuttercenter.com.
3) LEON AND MENKE
Comedians Justin Leon and Gary Menke are joining forces for a pair of special New Year’s Eve shows at the Funny Bone Comedy Club, 88 Plum St., The Greene, Beavercreek, on Tuesday, Dec. 31. Showtimes are 7:30 and 10 p.m. Cost: $25-$60 early show, $30-$70 late show. Call 937-429-LAFF (5233) or visit www.daytonfunnybone.com.
4) TODD YOHN
Todd Yohn returns to town for two very different New Year’s Eve shows. Wiley’s Comedy Club, 101 Pine St., Dayton, on Tuesday, Dec. 31. The comedian, a longtime Wiley’s favorite, opens the night with a 7:15 p.m. stand-up set followed by a musical performance by Todd Yohn & the Time Flyers at 9:30 p.m. Cost: $20 for early show, $35 for the late show. Call 937-224-5653 or visit www.wileyscomedy.com.
Matthew Gilsenan, James Nelson and Daryl Simpson, better known as the Celtic Tenors are currently doing a few dates in the United States before closing out 2019 in Ireland. The group joins the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra for “A Celtic Tenors Christmas” at the Schuster Center, Second and Main streets, Dayton, at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 6 and 7. Cost: $24-$82. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com.
2) ELISABETH VONTRAPP
Elisabeth vonTrapp is one of the singers from the famous musical family that inspired “The Sound of Music” and she’s coming to town. Human Race Theatre Company presents Elisabeth vonTrapp & Friends at the Loft Theatre, 126 N. Main St., Dayton, at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14. Some of the Human Race regulars will perform with vonTrapp. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com.
3) DAYTON GAY MEN’S CHORUS
“Festive and Fabulous” is the theme of Dayton Gay Men’s Chorus annual holiday concert at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 125 N. Wilkinson St., Dayton, at 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7. Cost: $20. DGMC’s 2019-2020 season continues with “Enter the Queen’s Court” at the Dayton Art Institute on March 21 and “Flashback” at Victoria Theatre on June 6. www.daytongaymenschorus.org.
4) HANDEL’S MESSIAH
“Handel’s Messiah” has been entertaining audiences since it was composed in 1741. Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra brings the piece to Westminster Presbyterian Church, 125 N. Wilkinson St., Dayton, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 18. Cost: $37 adults, $35 seniors 60 and older, military and educators, $19 students. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com.
5) HOME FREE
Home Free saw its profile rise considerably after being crowned the season four winners of “The Sing-Off.” The a cappella group, currently out on its Dive Bar Christmas Tour, returns to the area for a concert at Hobart Arena, 255 Adams St., Troy, at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13. Doors open at 7 p.m. Cost: $25-$55. VIP packages $114 and $304.50. Call 937-339-2911 or visit www.hobartarena.com.
6) WINTER SOLSTICE MUSIC
Yellow Cab Tavern, 700 E. Fourth St., Dayton is celebrating the season with the return of the Winter Solstice Music Series Thursday through Sunday, Dec. 19 through 22. The Big WAZU presents an evening of live band karaoke on Thursday, Dec. 19. Sounds of the Season, on Friday, Dec. 20, features local musicians playing holiday favorites. Grateful Dead tribute the Great Northern String Band performs with special guest Tim Pritchard on Saturday, Dec. 21. David Payne and friends present Main Street Howl, a Bruce Springsteen tribute, on Sunday, Dec. 22. Doors open at 6 p.m. and performances begin at 7 p.m. Cost: Individual show tickets are $7 in advance, $10 at the door. $25 for a four-night pass. Call 937-424-3870 or visit www.yellowcabtavern.com.
7) CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS
Jazz ensemble the Jim Martinez Quartet will join conductor Patrick Reynolds and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra for “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” This special holiday concert is presented at the Schuster Center, Second and Main streets, Dayton, at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 28. Cost: $24-$82. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com.
8) BACH SOCIETY
Jim McCutcheon, Bach Society Chorus, Kettering Advent Ringers and the Kettering Children Chorus Chorale are on the bill for Bach Society of Dayton’s “Sweet Sounds of the Holidays.” The seasonal concert is presented at Kettering Adventist Church, 3939 Stonebridge Road, Kettering, at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8. Cost: $20 adults, $10 students, free children 12 and younger. Call 937-294-2224 or visit www.bachsocietyofdayton.org.
9) DAYTON MUSIC CLUB
Dayton Music Club presents a December Musicale and Christmas Luncheon at Dayton Women’s Club, 225 N. Ludlow St., Dayton, at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10. The program features soprano Christian Coffee-Rondeau and harpsichordist Sally Christman. Cost: Free. Reservations are required for the after-concert Christmas luncheon at 12:15 p.m. Visit www.daytonmusicclub.org.
10) STAINED GLASS CONCERT
Cellist Daniel Dorsey, winner of the 2019 David L. Pierson Concerto Competition for Young Artists, joins the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra for a Stained Glass Concert. The program, at Tabernacle Baptist Church, 380 S. Broadway St., Dayton, at 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1, is part of the Norma Ross Memorial Community Concerts and is sponsored by the Bob Ross Auto Group. Cost: Free. Visit www.daytonperformingarts.org.
11) CARILLON BRASS
The Carillon Brass is comprised of Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra members Charles Pagnard (trumpet), Alan Siebert (trumpet), Aaron Brandt (French horn), Chan Arnow (bass trombone) and Tim Northcut (tuba). The group presents a Bach’s Lunch at the Loft Theatre, 126 N. Main St., Third Floor, Dayton, at 10 a.m. and noon Friday, Dec. 13. Turkey and cheddar croissants are available to purchase from David Boston, with proceeds supporting the DPO and Dayton Performing Arts Alliance. Cost: Free. Visit www.daytonperformingarts.org.
12) KETTERING CHILDREN’S CHOIR
Kettering Children’s Choir presents a pair of holiday concerts at Kettering Seventh Day Adventist Church, 3939 Stonebridge Road, Kettering, on Sunday, Dec. 15. The program features the Chorus, Chorale, Concert Choir and a cappella groups of the Kettering Children’s Choir. Showtimes are 2 and 4 p.m. Cost: Free but canned donations are requested for local food pantries. Call 937-701-4893.
The Story Changes hosts its 17th annual HoliDayton at Blind Bob’s, 430 E. Fifth St., Dayton, at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 28. The holiday showcase also features performances by Nightbeast, Abertooth Lincoln, Legbone, Yardboss and others. Call 937-938-6405 or visit www.blindbobs.com.
14) CHERRY LEE AND FRIENDS
Cherry Lee and friends presents “The Nightmare Before Christmas” at Yellow Cab Tavern, 700 E. Fourth St., Dayton, at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13. The holiday costume party features performances from Cherry Lee & the Hot Rod Hounds, Noah & the Rescue Radio and the G-Thang. Doors open at 6 p.m. Cost: $7 in advance, $10 at the door. Call 937-424-3870 or visit www.yellowcabtavern.com.