What’s on in Germany: December 22 – January 4

The highlights over the holidays: Shadow puppets in Hamburg, Bonnie and Clyde in Berlin, and Belarus ballerinas fluff their feathers in Munich.

What's on in Germany:  December 22 – January 4
Pilobolus does Shadowland in Hamubrg. Photo: John Kane



The Giant Mechanical Nativity Scene from the Ore Mountains

The Holy Family, The Three Kings, angels, and shepherds come to life at the Dahlem Museum in a nativity scene from the Ore Mountains (Erzgebirge) near the Czech border. Part of the newly reopened Museum of European Cultures, the nativity scene is made up of over 300 figures who act out events in the life of Christ. Go on Christmas day and salute the new born king.

Price: €6

Location: Museen Dahlem, Lansstrasse 8

Times: Tuesday – Friday, 10am-6pm; Saturday and Sunday, 11am-6pm; Closed Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve

Phone: 030 266 424242

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Children’s Tour – Life in Ancient Egypt

Just because they’re on holiday break doesn’t mean the little ones should stop learning. Take them to the New Museum Christmas Day when a special tour for children shows them what it was like to live in anciet Egypt. Six to twelve-year-olds will delight in details of life along the Nile River Valley during the time of the Pharaohs.

Price: €3 (Tour); €12 (Entrance and Tour)

Location: Neues Museum, Bodestrasse 1

Times: Sunday, December 25, 11am

Registration: 030 266 424242

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Brian Ferry Exhibition

Coolest man alive? Could be. Roxy Music frontman, eighties style icon, woozy songwriter, and Jerry Hall boyfriend (before Mick) is the subject of an exhibition at .HBC Berlin. See rare concert footage, photography from video shoots, and dozens of album imagery from Brian Ferry’s illustrious past.

Price: Free

Location: .HBC, Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse 9

Times: Monday – Saturday from 7pm; through January 8; Closed December 24 – 26

Phone: 030 2434 2920

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Bonnie and Clyde

There’s something so indulgent about the classic cinematic rendition of real life bank robbers Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow. Maybe it’s Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway and all that glamorous late sixties styling that gives it such allure. Take a seat at the midnight showing of Bonnie and Clyde Christmas night in Berlin. Wear your berets and fedoras, but keep the guns at home. Stick ‘em up!

Price: €5

Location: Lichtblick-Kino, Kastanienallee 77

Times: Sunday, December 25, Midnight

Phone: 030 44 05 81 79

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The Christmas Ball Festival

Oh you lovers of the dark side. Slap on your eyeliner, flip up your collars and get your expressionless faces over to Tanzbrunnen Tuesday when Front 242, Combichrist, Hocico, and The Klinik get your warmed up for New Year’s Eve with their fierce industrial beats. Get those bodies moving!

Price: €37.20

Times: Tuesday, December 27, 7pm

Location: Tanzbrunnen Köln, Rheinparkweg 1

More Information:

Children’s Theatre

The Firebird

A musical fairytale based on an old Russian folk story, The Firebird follows the adventures of Ivan Tsarevich on his quest to make the beautiful Vasilisa his bride. Cassiopeia Theatre’s fantastic production features oversized puppets and a sensational set.

Price: €8 (Adults); €6 (Children)

Times: Saturday, December 24, 3pm

Location: Cassiopeia Bühne, Bergisch Gladbacher Strasse 499

Phone: 0221 9 37 87 87

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Cologne Puppet Theatre – The Christmas Gnomes

Fairy tale puppets, Santa Claus, and Christmas stars. What’s not to love? Keep the overexcited tykes focused Friday, December 23, when Cologne’s “Circus Factory” presents this enchanting holiday tale. Go early to enjoy a hot chocolate at the Children’s Café.

Price: €7

Times: Friday, December 23, 4pm and Saturday, December 24, 11am

Location: Die Zirkus Fabrik, Bergisch Gladbacher Strasse 1007a

Phone: 0221 47 18 92 51

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Salsa & Tango XL Party

Did you know there’s a tango academy in Frankfurt complete with a tango and tapas bar? Every fourth Friday, a fiesty Latin flair fills the room as DJs spin salsa and tango rhythms. Those who don’t know their “Ochos” from their “Boleos” can show up early for the intro course. Dance like a star this weekend in Frankfurt.

Price: €6

Times: Friday, December 23, 8:30-9:30 (Dance Course); 9:30 (Party Starts)

Location: Tango y Tapas Bar, Sonnemannstrasse 3 – 5

Phone: 069 8787 6034

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Pilobolus – Shadowland

Extraordinary silhouettes weave an enchanting story in “Shadowland,” the acclaimed show by the American dance troupe Pilobolus. Witness the coming of age of an imaginative young girl as human figures transform into sensational shapes.

Price: €39-65

Location: Kampnagel Hamburg, Jarrestrasse 20

Times: Thursday, December 22 – Sunday, January 8

Phone: 040 40 270 949 49

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Before Gaga, there was Gagoosh. One of Iran’s most beloved pop sensations, the singer and actress became a star in the 1970s, but with the new regime’s ban on female singers after the 1979 revolution, her career came to a halt. The Persian Diva has been back at it for over a decade now, wowing audiences from Dubai to Washington DC. See her in Hamburg.

Price: €38.75-111.20

Location: o2 World Hamburg, Sylvesterallee 10

Times: Friday, December 23, 9pm

Ticket Hotline: 01803 206 060 (9 ct/Min.)

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Hannover Winter Zoo

Each December, Hannover Zoo takes on an enchanting winter ambiance. Snow and ice create a magical atmosphere for outdoor activities like sledding and ice skating, while fairy lights illuminate carnival rides for all ages. Go in the morning to see what lies behind the Advent calender door, or see the animals come out for feeding time between 10am and 4pm. Merry Christmas you silly little seal!

Price: €16 (Adults); €13 (Ages 6-17); €10 (Ages 3-5)

Location: Hannover Zoo, Adenauerallee 3

Times: Daily 10am-6pm; Check the website for special holiday hours.

Phone: 0511 280 74 163

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Festive Music For Christmas Eve

The 6,000 pipes of Gasteig’s Klais organ resound Saturday night with the music of Bach, Handel, Mozart, Boyce, and others for a special Christmas Eve concert. Witness a powerful performance by renowned organist Edgar Krapp, Soprano Katja Stuber, and Munich Philharmonic principal trumpet player Guido Segers.

Price: €17

Location: Gasteig, Rosenheimerstrasse 5

Times: Saturday, December 24, 4pm

Tickets: 0180 54 818181 (.14/min)

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Bolshoi State Ballet Belarus – Swan Lake

One of the most acclaimed ballet companies in the world is performing that most classic of ballets in Munich. Start the year with a dazzling showcase of pirouettes and pliés, and succumb to the romance of Tchaikovsky’s moving score.

Price: €42-66

Location: Gasteig, Rosenheimerstrasse 5

Times: Monday, January 2, 4pm and 8pm

Tickets: 0180 54 818181 (.14/min)

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Jules Chéret – Belle Époque Artist and Poster Pioneer

Gleeful clowns and whimsical ballerinas dance in the colorful posters of the turn-of-the-20th-century artist Jules Chéret. Known as the father of modern poster art, the Frenchman’s work comprises an extenstive exhibition at Munich’s Villa Stuck Museum. Spend an afternoon among the colourful characters of Belle Époque Paris.

Price: €6

Location: Museum Villa Stuck, Prinzregentenstrasse 60

Times: Tuesday – Sunday, 11am-6pm; through

Phone: 089 555 510

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Munich Children’s Museum – In the Jungle

Bring the kids on an expedition into the jungle. A new exhibition at the Munich Children’s Museum offers a fun way to learn about this exciting habitat. Visiting scientists teach the kids about snakes and orangutans Wednesday, December 28, while the first week of January features fairy tale theatre. “A-weema-weh, a-weema-weh.”

Price: €4.50

Location: Munich Children’s Museum, Arnulfstrasse 3

Times: Tuesday – Friday, 2-5:30pm; Saturday and Sunday, 11am-5:30pm; Closed December 24, 25, 26, 31, and January 1 and 2

Phone: 089 54 54 08 80

More Information:


Have your say: How would YOU shape Berlin?

“Berlin enabled me to become the kind of person I want to be,” Canadian Mo Moubarak tells us.

Have your say: How would YOU shape Berlin?
Photo: Getty Images

 Produced by The Local’s Creative Studio in partnership with Berlin Partner for Business and Technology

Have your say: How would YOU shape Berlin?

Have your say: How would YOU shape Berlin?

“Berlin enabled me to become the kind of person I want to be,” says Canadian Mo Moubarak. It’s a sentiment that resonates with many international people who moved to the German capital to work in a vibrant atmosphere of innovation and progress.

From its thriving startup scene to its enviable cultural highlights, Berlin is one of the world’s most exciting cities – and, with the rare sense of freedom and opportunity it offers, the city continues to attract global talent during the pandemic.

Moubarak, one of the founders of the successful digital recruitment firm MoBerries, is effusive about the city he has made his home: “I came here as a 19-year-old with €3,000 in my pocket, and went on to run my own company. You know what makes this city incredible? Your word means everything – that’s what matters. Not your money.”

While living in Berlin is an unforgettable experience, that doesn’t mean it comes without its challenges for internationals, however. That’s why The Local has partnered with Berlin Partner for Business and Technology, the city’s public-private development partnership, to explore the experiences of three international people living and working in the German capital. 

From the level of English to digitalisation, we’re also inviting you to make your voice heard on how Berlin could become even more welcoming to new arrivals. 

Want to make Berlin an even better place for internationals? Take the 5-minute Talent Berlin Survey (one reader who completes it will win two years of free access to The Local Germany)

Photos: Getty Images

Hurdles and challenges

Problems securing accommodation, lack of clarity in regards to visas and long waiting times for appointments were some of the concerns voiced by Claire Waggoner, an American copywriter who moved to Berlin in 2019.

Although she loves life in the capital for its vibrancy and cultural heritage, she states: “Making the choice to move here was pretty much the only ‘easy’ thing about moving from the US to Germany. There were two major challenges: securing an apartment and getting the ‘letters of intent’ required for my freelancer’s visa.

“If I could have spoken with a government employee before my visa appointment, I would have been much more confident going into that initial appointment.”

Priyanka Nair, originally from India, came to Berlin in 2016 to study an MBA, before moving into HR. She says she faced similar challenges. 

“I could manage with the bureaucracy as I spoke German but wondered how those who couldn’t speak the language would manage,” she says. “Getting appointments with different agencies was difficult. I sat up late looking for appointments at government offices like the foreign or registration offices.

“Like for everyone, finding accommodation was the hardest part.”

Having said that, Priyanka is hugely enthusiastic about the city she now calls home and the opportunities to integrate by getting involved with group activities.

“Do you like Improv? There are meetups weekly. Want to stand up for a cause? There are various demonstrations you can participate in. Love sport? You can join any sports club or do a marathon. The point is, there is something for everyone here. You can be whoever you want.”

Create the Berlin you want to live and work in: take the Talent Berlin Survey (for every completed survey, Berlin Partner will plant a tree)

Share your views and experiences

The examples above are some of the hurdles that Berlin Partner – a partnership between the city government and local business – wants to learn more about. To reach out to the many internationals who have made the city their own, Berlin Partner has created the new Talent Berlin Survey.

The short, confidential survey gives you the chance to share your view of life in Berlin, so you can help shape and improve all the important aspects of the relocation and settling in process. It’s a unique opportunity to tell the state government how you think Berlin can become a more welcoming city for international newcomers like yourself.

“Berlin is the most international city in Germany, and it’s changing all the time,” says Burkhard Volbracht, Head of Unit Talent International at Berlin Partner. “From my experience, we’ve seen a lot of people come to Berlin in recent years – and the government thinks that they’re all settling in smoothly.

“We feel that this is the wrong picture. Some people do struggle and have problems, and they do need the right person to speak with, or the right door to open. What we at Berlin Partner want to identify are concrete points where we can be better – for example, language competencies or better digital services. We want to be able to roll out the red carpet, in a sense.

“We think that this is the first opportunity for those coming to Berlin to really tell us how they found moving to the city”.

Mo Moubarak
Claire Waggoner
Priyanka Nair

Shape Berlin’s future (in just five minutes!)

Have you moved to Berlin to work, or are you in the process of moving? Here’s your chance to help build the kind of city that suits both your career and lifestyle needs.

Spending five minutes to complete the survey will not only help build a friendlier, more inclusive German centre of innovation, but for every survey completed, Berlin Partner will plant a tree, contributing to sustainability efforts in the Berlin area.

The Local is also offering a two-year membership for one reader that completes the survey – that’s two years of insider insights, advice and explainers for life in Germany.

Want to help shape Berlin’s future in just 5 minutes? Take the Talent Berlin Survey. One lucky reader who completes the survey will receive two years of free access to The Local Germany