Three to see

“A Christmas Carol” at Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St. (, through Dec. 28. $25-$83.

Joffrey Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” at Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress Parkway. (, Dec. 6-28. $31-$132.

“Elf: The Musical” at Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph St. (, Nov. 26-Dec. 15. $18-$90.

Based On:

Charles Dickens’ 1843 novella

E.T.A. Hoffmann’s 1816 story, “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King”

Jon Favreau’s blockbuster 2003 film starring Will Ferrell

Go if you ...

…want to give your kids a quick lesson in Karma 101.

… have kids with visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads.

… eat four basic food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corn and syrup.

Kids will love:

Dickens: When a scaredy-cat Scrooge first takes flight with the Ghost of Christmas Past.

The Nutcracker: The Sugar Plum Fairy’s five “divertissements” — short dances celebrating sweets from around the world — set to Tchaikovsky.

Elf: The musical:  “Nobody Cares About Santa,” a scene where department store Santas break into a Rockettes-style chorus line in a Chinese restaurant.