Where to see ‘The Nutcracker’ in Chicago and the suburbs


“The Nutcracker” is a timeless holiday tradition! We’ve collected the best Nutcracker performances happening in Chicago and the suburbs. Check out the full list below to find a show perfect for your whole family.




The Nutcracker


When: Nov. 7-Dec. 29


Where: Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division St.


The House’s ballet-free version of this holiday classic centers on young Clara’s journey to save Christmas. With the help of a magical nutcracker, this brave little girl will fight the Rat King and save her family! This modern holiday production weaves together riveting dialogue, astonishing puppetry, original song and spellbinding spectacle to tell a heartwarming, darkly moving story of magic and hope.


The Joffrey Ballet’s The Nutcracker


When: Nov. 30-Dec. 29


Where: The Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, 50 Ida B. Wells Drive


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.


Do-It-Yourself Nutcracker


When: Dec. 7


Where: Indian Boundary Park, 2500 W. Lunt Ave.


Wear your tights, slippers and holiday best for this interactive presentation of the holiday classic where the audience joins the dancers on stage.


The Art Deco Nutcracker


When: Dec. 7-8


Where: Studebaker Theater, 410 S. Michigan Ave.


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.


Ruth Page Civic Ballet’s The Nutcracker


When: Dec. 7-8


Where: Northeastern Illinois University, 5500 N. St. Louis Ave.


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, “The Nutcracker” promises holiday joy for children of all ages.


Dance-Along Nutcracker


When: Dec. 8


Where: Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St.


Before the show, Ballet Chicago teaches basic ballet positions and movements. Then audience members are encouraged to wear their tutus and dance alongside professional dancers from Ballet Chicago.


The Nutcracker


When: Dec. 13-22


Where: Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Ave.


Take an unforgettable journey with Ballet Chicago as Marie travels from her home to the Kingdom of Snow and Land of the Sweets.


The Nutcracker and Pre-Ballet Holiday Show


When: Dec. 13-15


Where: Mandel Hall, 1131 E. 57th St.


Hyde Park School of Dance presents its annual performances featuring more than 175 dancers. The 90-minute narrated production follows Clara, Fritz and the mysterious Uncle Drosselmeyer from the family holiday party and the midnight battle with the Mouse Queen and her troops through the Land of Snow to the Kingdom of Sweets. Prior to each performance, the Pre-Ballet Holiday Show showcases 70 of HPSD’s youngest ballet students in performance. The Hyde Park School of Dance Holiday Bazaar offers an opportunity to meet characters from The Nutcracker, finish holiday shopping from the wares of local vendors and indulge in a hot chocolate bar and other treats.

The Nutcracker at Chopin Theatre




The Fox Valley Nutcracker


When: Nov. 30-Dec. 1


Where: Batavia Fine Arts Center, 1201 Main St., Batavia


A Fox Valley holiday tradition that showcases students and families from local dance studios alongside professional dancers, in the beloved holiday classic The Nutcracker. Featuring beautiful dance, lavish sets, festive costumes, and Tchaikovsky’s magical score.


Salt Creek Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” (Hinsdale)


When: Nov. 30-Dec. 1


Where: Hinsdale Central Auditorium, 55th & Grant Streets, Hinsdale


An enchanting holiday tradition, this production of “The Nutcracker” features the 48-piece Chicago West Chamber Orchestra. Sunday’s performance also includes special admission to the “Sugar Plum Party” where audience members can meet characters from “The Nutcracker,” step onto the stage, and enjoy refreshments in an enchanted, winter wonderland.


Chicago Festival Ballet’s The Nutcracker


When: Dec. 1


Where: Rialto Square Theatre, 102 N. Chicago St., Joliet


The magical production features lavish costumes, 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.


The Nutcracker


When: Dec. 6-15


Where: Prairie Center for the Arts, 210 Schaumburg Court, Schaumburg


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. Featuring professional dancers and a cast of more than 100 area student and adult performers, The Nutcracker brings to life a fantasy world of dancing snowflakes, leaping Russians, and battling mice.


Peanut Cracker


When: Dec. 7


Where: Lake Forest Academy, 1500 W. Kennedy Road, Lake Forest


Dance showcase for the pre-classes at the North Shore School of Dance. Routines include dancers of Tapping Soldiers, Baby Snowflakes, Little Mice and more.


Duke It Out Nutcracker


When: Dec. 7


Where: Nichols Concert Hall, Music Institute of Chicago, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston


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.


Salt Creek Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” (University Park)


When: Dec. 7


Where: Center for Performing Arts at Governors State University, 1 University Parkway, University Park


A magical tale featuring Tchaikovsky’s enchanting score, a brand new set & costumes – along with waltzing flowers, giant mice, and the Sugar Plum Fairy. Plus, take photos with Santa at 3 p.m.


The Nutcracker


When: Dec. 7-8


Where: Hemmens Cultural Center, 45 Symphony Way, Elgin


Students from Chicago Ballet Conservatory, along with professional dancers from around the world, perform the classic ballet. Audiences will be transported to a land of magic and mystery as they are treated a new twist on the holiday classic they know and love. Performances include live pre-show entertainment by The Chancel Choir of Chicago. This year will also include the option of a Sugar Plum Tea party on Dec. 7, giving participants the chance to meet cast members, take pictures with characters and dine on sumptuous treats.


Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker


When: Dec. 8


Where: Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N. River Road, Rosemont


Step into a simpler time filled with sweet dreams and Christmas magic. With world-class artists, more than 200 dazzling costumes, stunning sets, towering puppets and soaring birds, don’t miss your chance to ring in the holidays with this acclaimed Christmas extravaganza.


Salt Creek Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” (Glen Ellyn)


When: Dec. 14


Where: McAninch Arts Center at College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn


An enchanting holiday tradition, this production of “The Nutcracker” includes a jaw-dropping Christmas tree that grows nearly 60 feet tall, 125 exquisite costumes, internationally recognized guest soloists and live music by New Philharmonic.


The Nutcracker


When: Dec. 14


Where: Elgin Community College Visual & Performing Arts Center, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin


The holiday performance features Anima Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus, professional dancers and actors from around the world and our inclusive program for children with special needs.


North Shore School of Dance: The Nutcracker


When: Dec. 14-15


Where: Lake Forest Academy, 1500 W. Kennedy Road, Lake Forest


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.


Ballet Makkai Nutcracker


When: Dec. 14-15


Where: Gorton Community Center, 400 E. Illinois Road, Lake Forest


Join Clara at her party where she receives the gift of a lifetime, battles mice, travels through a Winter Wonderland and visits the Land of Sweets.


The Nutcracker


When: Dec. 19-22


Where: Lake Zurich Performing Arts Center, 300 Church St., Lake Zurich


Illinois Youth Dance Theater performs its 20th anniversary production of Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker.” A magical event for the whole family, this captivating ballet sprinkled with holiday fantasy is given its own unique presentation by IYDT’s talented local dancers and professional guest artists, sure to lift spirits, widen eyes, and exceed expectations.


The Nutcracker


When: Dec. 20


Where: Pfeiffer Hall, 310 Benton Ave., Naperville


DanceWest Ballet performs The Nutcracker annually at Pfeiffer Hall on the campus of North Central College in Naperville. This DanceWest Ballet production has become a holiday tradition in Du Page County since 1993.


Salt Creek Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” (Skokie)


When: Dec. 21


Where: North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie


An affordable full-length holiday production performed in the grand Russian style by a professional company with incredible guest soloists.


Beyond the Nutcracker


When: Dec. 21-22


Where: Lincoln-Way West High School, 21701 S. Gougar Road, New Lenox


Beyond the Nutcracker mirrors many aspects of the traditional Nutcracker ballet, including Tchaikovsky’s renowned score. It also invites reflection on the story of the first Christmas, the Nativity and its impact on our world today. The performance features a cast of 100 dancers from Ballet 5:8’s classical ballet training programs.


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This article was originally published Nov. 6, 2018 and has been updated with the most recent information. 


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