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Top Things To Do This Month: Morris County, December 2013

Donald McDermott

Dancing for a Cause
The hearwarming story of a young girl and her magical, wooden soldier comes to life on stage during special performances of The Nutcracker. Charitable organization JulieDance unites more than 100 performers from Miss Patti’s School of Dance and The Donetsk Ballet for this fabulous fundraising event. Proceeds from the shows go toward pediatric cancer research, care, and treatment. Enjoy The Nutcracker on December 13, 14, and 15 at Paramus Catholic High School, 425 Paramus Road, Paramus. For times and ticket prices, contact Miss Patti’s School of Dance at (201)670-4422 or log onto www.misspatti.com.

Disney on Ice

Audiences of all ages are invited to join in the celebration as Disney characters from 18 beloved stories come to life in Disney On Ice - 100 Years of Magic! Featuring Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and a plethora of princesses, the skating spectacular runs from January 3 to 5 at the Izod Center in East Rutherford. Seats for Disney on Ice shows always fill up fast. Get your tickets early at www.izodcenter.com or by calling the box office at (201)935-3900.

Paper Mill Christmas
The legendary works of Charles Dickens are alive and well this month at the Paper Mill Playhouse, 22 Brookside Drive, Millburn. TheatreWorks USA entertains families with children ages 3 and older with the holiday tale of Ebeneezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol on December 14 and 15. The miraculous tale of a young orphan’s quest to find home and family in Victorian London takes the stage through December 29 in Oliver! For times and tickets, call the Paper Mill box office at (973)376-4343 or log onto www.papermill.org.

Holiday Splendor
Welcome the holiday season with a retelling of A Christmas Carol on December 6 and 13. The tale by Charles Dickens is staged at The Historic Village at Allaire, 4265 County Road 524 in Farmingdale. The center also offers its famous Holiday Lantern Tours on December 7, 14, and 21, as well as the Christmas at Allaire Celebration on December 8 and 15. Visit www.allairevillage.org for details.

Get Crackin’
The talented and versatile members of Company of Dance Arts present The Nutcracker Ballet from December 12 to 15. Set to Tchaikovsky’s legendary score, the show features principal dancers from professional ballet companies and local ballerinas performing one of the most beloved stories of all time. Shows are held at the Count Basie Theatre, 99 Monmouth St., Red Bank. For a list of other great holiday shows in December, go to www.countbasietheatre.org.

All Aboard
The Whippany Railway Museum’s long-awaited 22nd Annual Santa Claus Special returns by popular demand on December 7, 8, 14, and 15. During your 10-mile, 45-minute train ride, Kris Kringle makes his way through the train and visits with the kids. Santa’s helpers follow along, handing out gifts to your little ones. Registering in advance is highly recommended. For more information, visit www.whippanyrailwaymuseum.net or e-mail tickets@whippanyrailwaymuseum.net.

Fun Run
Shed those extra Thanksgiving Day pounds by partaking in the 16th Annual Jingle Bells 5K Run in Toms River on December 8. Runners view downtown Toms River and neighboring homes decorated for the holidays. The course is mostly flat. A one-mile fun run/walk is also available for beginners. To sign up, see www.jinglebellsrun.com.

December at SOPAC
The South Orange Performing Arts Center, One Sopac Way, South Orange, makes it a month to remember starting December 1 when the New York Theatre Ballet presents, The Nutcracker. Other events throughout the month include: Cherish the Ladies - A Celtic Christmas on December 5, A Charlie Brown Christmas on December 6, Holiday Joy with the Julliard Jazz Ensemble on December 8, Max & Ruby in The Nutcracker Suite on December 13, a Winter Concert with the Essex Youth Orchestra on December 15, and The Glenn Miller Orchestra presents In The Christmas Mood on December 22. For more, call (973)275-1114 or visit www.sopacnow.org.

Happy Holidays
The Union County Performing Arts Center, 1601 Irving St., Rahway, is the place to be this holiday season! Mark your calendar so you won’t miss amazing performances such as the Orchestra of St. Peter by the Sea on December 7, The Wizards of Winter - A Trans-Siberian Experience on December 12, A Holiday Doo-Wop Concert on December 13, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s Wild & Swingin’ Holiday Party on December 18, and the It’s a Wonderful Life - Live Radio Play from December 19 to 21. Call the box office at (732)499-8226 for tickets and more information.

Live on Stage
Head to The State Theatre in New Brunswick for an array of great family entertainment. Coming this month are amazing events like The Price is Right Live! on December 6, Celtic Woman - Home for Christmas on December 10, The Vienna Boys Choir on December 11, A Holiday Celebration with the Laurie Berkner Band on December 14, The Nutcracker on December 21 and 22, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat on December 28. For tickets and a full schedule of events, call (732)246-7469 or see www.statetheatrenj.org.

Donald McDermott is the managing editor.