make christmas story paper mill playhouse

Make Your Own Christmas Story at the Paper Mill Playhouse

Do you have any fun family outings planned for this holiday season? I have a couple of parties and the usual looking at lights and watching Christmas movies and specials with my Hubby and daughter. Last week I heard about “A Christmas Story – The Musical” being performed just an hour away at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, NJ. A Christmas Story is one of my all-time favorite movies, I’d never been to Paper Mill before and thought it might be another fun family activity to do this time of year.

The Paper Mill Playhouse

The Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, NJ

My first thought upon arriving at the Paper Mill Playhouse was that I couldn’t believe I’ve lived at the Jersey Shore my whole life and never gone there. It’s only an hour away from home and is one of the more charming places I’ve visited in New Jersey. Turns out the Paper Mill Playhouse is a non-profit organization that has been putting on theater productions since 1938.

Broadway in Your Backyard

My daughter and I, getting excited to see the show

Shortly after we arrived at the theater it’s easy to see why the Paper Mill is known as “Broadway in your backyard”. Without having to travel into the city you can get a true theater experience here. The building is lovely and the experience from the box office to the final curtain was a good one.

“A Christmas Story – The Musical”

“A Christmas Story” is a movie I’ve loved for years, so I was interested to see how they made it a musical and what, if anything is different from my beloved movie. Does Ralphie ever get his Red Ryder BB Gun? Does he shoot his eye out? Is the Leg Lamp prominently displayed in the family’s front window?

To my surprise, the music actually added another dimension to my old favorite. The play included just about everything in the movie and then some.  The story was still as funny as ever, but the cast was able to make some moments poignant as well.

The actors were all super talented, including the kids and the dogs. There are two beautiful bloodhounds who play the Bumpus’ hounds – they were one of my favorite parts of the show! Other highlights for me were song and dance numbers by Ralphie’s teacher, Miss Shields played by Danette Holden and The Old Man, played by Chris Hoch. The boys who played Ralphie (Colton Maurer) and Randy (Hudson Loverro) were wonderful.

Hubby and Kid clowning around after the show. These cutouts were so fun!

The show was a hit with the whole family. We had a lot of good laughs, and we’re still talking about it days later. We’ve decided that we want to make a show at the Paper Mill Playhouse part of our holiday tradition every year from now on – part of our Christmas story. I can’t recommend this play enough if you live in NJ or NY or are going to be in the area visiting family over the holiday. The show runs until January 3rd and you can see a list of showings here, including a special autism-friendly performance for autistic and developmentally disabled family members.

I also noticed signs at the theater entrance about giving tickets as a gift. What a great idea, especially for the people who seem to have everything, or the families you’d like to give a special treat to this holiday season. Some upcoming plays on the Paper Mill roster are “A Bronx Tale”, “Pumpboys and Dinettes” and “West Side Story”, so there will be plenty of opportunities to use tickets in the coming year.

A great idea for a unique holiday gift!

Speaking of giving…

Not only does this gem of New Jersey entertain audiences with great performances for the whole family like “A Christmas Story- The Musical”, the Paper Mill Playhouse also gives back to the community. Check out this video to see what they’ve done for some lucky neighbors this year, then enter to win two tickets to see  “A Christmas Story – The Musical” with your family!


The good folks at the Paper Mill Playhouse want to give one of my readers two tickets to this wonderful family play! Enter here to win now through Sunday


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