The Nutcracker is a holiday tradition for many families. If you have young children and want to test the waters on their interest and stamina for a Nutcracker performance, these special storytimes and events are a great place to start.
Storytimes and special appearances
11a.m. on Nov. 18 – Lake Bluff Library
The dancers from LoMastro Performing Arts Academy will get everyone in the spirit with a magical storytime performance of Clara’s Dream.
3:15 p.m. on Nov. 18 – Uncle Dan’s Highland Park
As a part of Downtown Highland Park’s holiday celebration, Uncle Dan’s will be roasting chestnuts and featuring mini performances from the Irina Makkai Classical Ballet and Dance School. Dances start every 20 minutes.
11:30 a.m. on Dec. 3 – Turnberry Country Club, Lakewood
Tickets are $40 per adult and $30 per child
The afternoon starts with a lunch featuring hot chocolate and a dessert platter. Then the Berkshire Ballet Theatre will perform The Nutcracker as the story is read aloud. After the performance there will be autographs and the chance to become an honorary sugarplum fairy or valiant prince. Reservations are required. Call 815-477-0033 to reserve your spot.
Clara’s Dream is an abridged performance of The Nutcracker — usually about an hour long. It is often shared in a storybook format with a narrator so it’s much easier for small children to follow along.
11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Nov. 26 – John & Nancy Hughes Theater at Gorton Center, Lake Forest
Tickets are $20 general admission.
Show is staged by dancers ages 6-18 alongside professional dancers. This one-act performance takes place in the dreams of Clara in the Kingdom of Sweets.
10:30 a.m. on Dec. 2 – Butler Auditorium of Libertyville High School
Tickets are $15 orchestra $12 Main/Balcony
Dancenter North has been putting on the longest running and most lavish Nutcracker performance in Lake County for 30 years. Their Clara’s Dream is specifically designed for a young audience but with the same cast, choreography and grandeur of the full length performance.