The Nutcracker Ballet first debuted 125 years ago in Moscow. Today, for many, it just wouldn’t be the holidays without seeing a performance of it. Whether you’re going for the first or fiftieth time, it’s a delight for all ages.
There are many opportunities to see the Nutcracker Ballet in and around Chicago starting Thanksgiving weekend and lasting throughout December. We’ve rounded up 12 of them for you, as well as some reasons we love them.
The Salt Creek Ballet
Nov. 25, 26 – Hinsdale Central Auditorium, 55th and Grant St., Hinsdale
Dec. 9 – Center for Performing Arts Governors State University, 1 University Pkwy., University Park
Dec. 16, 17 – North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie
Tickets start at $20.
The Sugar Plum Party following the 1 p.m. performance in Hinsdale on Nov. 26 is always a fun time for little ones.
Fox Valley Nutcracker
Nov. 25, 26 – Batavia Fine Arts Centre, 1201 Main St., Batavia
Tickets start at $20 for kids, $25 for adults.
VIP seats in the first few rows are only a few dollars more and include a chance for a post-show peek backstage and photo opportunities with a few cast members.
Von Hedicke’s Chicago Festival Ballet
Nov. 26 at Rialto Square Theatre, 15 E. Van Buren St., JolietDec. 16, 17 at McAninch Arts Center (MAC) at the College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn
Tickets start at $22.50 for kids, $30.50 for adults.
You can meet Santa in the lobby prior to the shows at the McAnnich Arts Center.
Dec. 1-30 at The Auditorium Theatre, 50 E Congress Pkwy, Chicago
Tickets start at $35.
No matter how many times you’ve seen the Sugar Plum Fairy, this production, which is set in Chicago during the 1893 World’s Fair and choreographed by Tony Award-winning choreographer Christopher Wheeldon, feels brand new and unique to our city.
Schaumburg Dance Ensemble’s The Nutcracker
Dec. 1-3, 8-10 at Prairie Center for the Arts, 201 Schaumburg Ct., Schaumburg
Tickets start at $18 for students, $28 for adults.
A live narrator makes it easy to follow along.
A&A Ballet and The School of the Performing Arts
Dec. 1-3 at Studebaker Theater, 410 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago
Tickets start at $30.
This is a world premiere of a reimagined Nutcracker with choreography by Alexei Kremnev who began his career in Moscow at the world-famous Bolshoi Ballet Academy and was the founding Artistic Director of The Joffrey Academy of Dance and the Joffrey Studio Company.
Ruth Page Civic Ballet
Dec. 2, 3 at Northeastern Illinois University Auditorium, 3701 West Bryn Mawr, Chicago
Tickets start at $20.
On Sunday, you can also purchase a ticket for Tea with Clara. Enjoy delicious treats and the chance to visit with favorite Nutcracker characters.
Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker
Dec. 3 at Rosemont Theater, 5400 North River Road, Rosemont
Tickets start at $28.
This is the 25th Anniversary tour of the Great Russian Nutcracker and it’s even bigger than ever before.
Dec. 8-17 at Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Ave., Chicago
Tickets start at $17 for children, $32 for adults.
At 90 minutes (including a 15-minute intermission), this production is a bit shorter than some others. American Girl is hosting an event that combines dinner at the American Girl Café and transportation to the ballet on Dec. 15.
Hyde Park School of Dance
Dec. 8-10 at Mandel Hall, 1137 East 57th St., Chicago
Tickets start at $10 for kids 6 and older (children 5 and under are free), $25 for adults.
This performance includes a new number with remixed music and choreography featuring the students enrolled in hip hop and modern dance classes. Instead of the traditional production’s violent fight between the Mouse King and the Nutcracker Prince, the characters work out their disagreement with a breakdance battle instead.
North Central College’s Pfeiffer Hall, 310 E. Benton St., Naperville
Tickets start at $25 for students, $33 for adults.
A special Sugar Plum Fairy Tea will be held prior to the Sunday, December 10th performance and is $15 per person.
Dec. 9,10 at Dominican University Performing Arts Center, Lund Auditorium, 7900 West Division, River Forest
Tickets start at $22 for children, $27 for adults.
You can take a backstage tour for $6 following the Saturday matinee performance. This year’s performance features Marcus Romeo and Bella Ureta of The Cincinnati Ballet.
Click here to see Nutcracker performances and Nutcracker events in Lake County.