Where to See The Nutcracker in Chicago and the Suburbs

This holiday classic offers something for everyone.

“The Nutcracker” is a timeless holiday tradition! Whether it’s your child’s first Nutcracker performance or an annual family outing, we’ve collected the best performances happening in Chicago and the suburbs.

Read on below for our full list to find a show perfect for your whole family.


The Immersive Nutcracker: A Winter Miracle

Nov. 18, 2023-Jan. 7, 2024

Enjoy this immersive event about the most beloved family holiday tale. You’ll see immersive projections and special effects, meet a life-sized Nutcracker, have photo ops and more.

Ruth Page Civic Ballet’s “The Nutcracker”

Dec. 2-3, 2023

  • Address: Northeastern Illinois University Auditorium, Steinberg Fine Arts Center, 3701 W. Bryn Mawr, Chicago
  • Cost: $42.50/adults, $25/seniors, students and children under 12

See Chicago’s longest-running Nutcracker seen by thousands of fans featuring original choreography by Ruth Page. Exquisite dancing, stunning costumes and magical settings in the Land of Snow and the Kingdom of the Sweets, “The Nutcracker” promises holiday joy for children of all ages. 

The Art Deco Nutcracker

Dec. 2, 2023

Set in 1920s America, Kremnev’s “The Art Deco Nutcracker,” featuring Tchaikovsky’s beloved score, is a fresh, yet traditional take on the beloved holiday favorite with costume and set design inspired by the unique sophistication of the Art Deco era.

The Joffrey Ballet’s “The Nutcracker”

Dec. 2-27, 2023

Journey to Chicago’s 1893 World’s Fair with Christopher Wheeldon’s holiday masterpiece. Magic is on the horizon for young Marie and her mother, a sculptress creating the iconic Statue of the Republic. As they prepare for their annual holiday celebration, a visit from the charming but mysterious Great Impresario sets off a Christmas Eve dream of whirlwind romance and adventure.

North/Northwest Suburbs

The Nutcracker

Nov. 30; Dec. 1-3, 7-10, 2023

Schaumburg Dance Ensemble’s vibrantly costumed and staged production of Tchaikovsky’s magical holiday ballet has enchanted audiences of all ages for nearly a quarter of a century. “The Nutcracker” brings to life a fantasy world of dancing snowflakes, waltzing flowers and battling mice.  

Salt Creek Ballet: “The Nutcracker” 

Dec. 1-2, 2023

This magical full-scale production at the MAC features more than 50 dancers, including guest artists. You will see this magnificent ballet performed to live music. 

NUTCRACKER! Magical Christmas Ballet

Dec. 3, 2023

Experience the extraordinary international cast and Ukrainian Principal Artists performing at the peak of classical European Ballet. NUTCRACKER! Magical Christmas Ballet features jaw-dropping acrobatics, larger-than-life puppets and stunning hand-crafted sets and costumes.

Duke It Out Nutcracker

Dec. 9, 2023

This Nutcracker performance, curated by Dance Chicago, pairs the classical (Tchaikovsky) and jazz (Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn) versions of the holiday favorite, performed by professional brass and woodwind quintets. 

North Shore School of Dance: “The Nutcracker”

Dec. 9-10, 2023

The story of Clara and her Nutcracker prince as they fight the Mice King and journey through the snow to the Land of Sweets, told by ballet dancers. A portion of the proceeds are donated to organizations and charity groups.

Ruth Page Civic Ballet’s “The Nutcracker”

Dec. 16-17, 2023

  • Address: College of Lake County James Lumber Center for the Performing Arts, 19351 W. Washington St., Grayslake
  • Cost: $26/adult, $23/seniors and military, $15/students

The Ruth Page Civic Ballet recreates Ruth Page’s beloved original full-length staging. Exquisite dancing, stunning costumes and magical settings in the Land of Snow and the Kingdom of the Sweets make it great for all ages.

South Suburbs

Von Heidecke’s Chicago Festival Ballet’s The Nutcracker

Nov. 26, 2023

The magical production features lavish costumes and exquisite sets, including a Christmas tree that grows before your eyes, and choreography that takes the audience through the land of whirling snowflakes and a visit to the kingdom of the Sugar Plum Fairy.

Beyond the Nutcracker by School of Ballet 5:8

Dec. 16-17, 2023

Beyond the Nutcracker features dancers from the School of Ballet 5:8 and guest artists from Ballet 5:8. It’s set to the renowned Tchaikovsky score.

Western Suburbs

Salt Creek Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” 

Nov. 25-26, 2023

Enjoy a special presentation of “The Nutcracker,” including many celebrated guest artists. The Saturday performances will have Santa available for pictures. Sunday’s performance also includes special admission to the Sugar Plum Party. Also, the Nutcracker Boutique will have themed holiday décor and ornaments. 

The Naperville Nutcracker

Dec. 7-10, 2023

This holiday performance is set to the beloved score by Tchaikovsky. With its beautiful costumes, gorgeous sets and impressive dancing, this production is guaranteed to fill the audience with cheer.

Salt Creek Ballet: “The Nutcracker” With New Philharmonic

Dec. 16-17, 2023

See Salt Creek Ballet’s performance as it marches back onto the North Shore Center stage with an affordable full-length holiday production. It will be performed by a professional company with exceptional guest soloists. 

This post is updated annually. 

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Kari Zaffarano
Kari Zaffarano
Kari Zaffarano is a mom of one and Chicago Parent's Audience Development Coordinator. She tracks down the best events every week and shares the inside scoop with families in print and online. She enjoys reading, traveling and exploring new places with her son.
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