When the holiday season descends on Chicago, there are few must-dos more important than a trip to Joffrey Ballet’s “The Nutcracker.” But if you thought there was no way to top the tradition of seeing the holiday classic, the JW Marriott Chicago ups the ante with its ‘Night at the Nutcracker Ballet’ package.
Upon arrival and check-in at the downtown luxury hotel — whose expansive lobby is decked out in holiday cheer — you’ll receive a Joffrey Nutcracker gift bag filled with keepsakes: a commemorative program detailing the new version of the show (now in its second season), with behind-the-scenes peeks at set designs, dance rehearsals, costumes and more; a hand painted, wooden nutcracker doll; and, perhaps coolest of all, a real pointe shoe that was worn and signed by one of the dancers in the show.
Before the 7 p.m. show, order a quick bite to eat from the in-room dining menu; nosh on mini macaroons and chocolate sweets — a treat from the hotel — while you wait. Or, if time allows, grab an early dinner at The Florentine, the hotel’s on-site Italian restaurant. The namesake wood-fired pizza comes topped with lamb sausage, broccoli, ricotta and garlic confit, and has just the right balance of familiar and new ingredients for even the pickiest of eaters to enjoy.
Make your way to the Auditorium Theatre by cab or Uber and allow yourself to fall deep into whimsical world of “The Nutcracker.” The dancers are breathtaking, delicate yet powerful in their movements; the costumes are stunning; and Tchaikovsky’s score played by a live orchestra is always goosebump-inducing. Best of all though, is the story, which is set in Chicago in 1893, and showcases, at its core, the need for the comfort of family. Who can’t relate to that, during the holiday season especially?
The following morning, enjoy breakfast for two in your room. If possible, request a late check out and stay cozy in bed with your loved ones. The outside hustle and bustle of the city can wait just a bit longer.
If you go:
JW Marriott Chicago
151 W. Adams St., Chicago