It's one of the world's most beloved ballets, and quite often the first ballet experience for children. It's the Nutcracker - and if you're thinking about taking your kids to see it this year, you've got plenty of options to choose from! Here's a roundup of Chicago Nutcracker productions, in order of show start date. These are the best Nutcrackers in Chicago, so get your tickets now before they're sold out!
November 8 - December 30
The Chopin Theatre Upstairs theatre, 1543 W. Division, Chicago
The House's unique take on this classic story has become an annual tradition for many offering something for everyone during the holiday season. The show is fast-paced, beautifully choreographed, family-friendly and moving for even those who might be on the Grinch’s side from time to time. This fantastical expansion of the holiday classic centers on Clara’s journey to save Christmas in the face of grief. With the help of a magical nutcracker, the brave girl risks the darkness, fights the Rat King and saves her family. Ages 2 and up. Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. Thursdays & Fridays 7:30, Saturdays 3:00 & 7:30, Sundays 3:00 & 7:00. $30-50. Learn more.
Ballet's The Nutcracker
Hinsdale Central Auditorium, 55th and Grant, Hinsdale
Meet the young Clara and her hero, the Nutcracker, as you are transported on a magical journey, encountering toys that come alive, dancing snowflakes, waltzing flowers, and the Sugar Plum Fairy along the way. This year's 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. All ages. See web site for times and ticket prices. Learn more.
Ballet's Art Deco Nutcracker
November 30 - December 2
Studebaker Theater, 410 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago
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. "The Art Deco Nutcracker" will star American Ballet Theatre soloist Katherine Williams as the Sugar Plum Fairy, American Ballet Theatre company member Aran Bell as her Cavalier and BalletMet company member Michael Sayre as the Nutcracker Prince. All ages. Friday 7:00; Saturday 2:00 & 7:00; Sunday 1:00 & 4:30. From $30. Learn more.
Select dates November 30 - December 9
Prairie Center for the Arts, 201 Schaumburg Ct., 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 cost of over 100 area student and adult performers, The Nutcracker brings to life a fantasy world of dancing snowflakes, leaping Russians, and battling mice - all held together by timeless themes of love, family and togetherness. All ages. See web site for schedule. $28 / $18 seniors & students. Learn more.
Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N River Road, Rosemont
A holiday mash-up for the whole family, The Hip Hop Nutcracker re-imagines Tchaikovsky’s classic score through explosive hip hop choreography. A dozen all-star dancers, on-stage DJ and an electric violinist bring the traditional Nutcracker story to life in contemporary New York City. This evening-length show celebrates love, community and the magic of the holiday season. All ages. 7:30pm. From $24. Learn more.
Page Civic Ballet's The Nutcracker
Northeastern Illinois University Auditorium Fine Arts Bldg, 3701 West Bryn Mawr, Chicago
This production recreates Ruth Page’s iconic and beloved original full-length staging. Featuring international guest artists from Cuba's Acosta Danza and the prestigious Ballet Nacional de Cuba, alongside the Ruth Page Civic Ballet's elite company, experience the exquisite dancing, stunning costumes and magical settings in the Land of Snow and the Kingdom of the Sweets like never before. All ages. Saturday 3pm and 7pm; Sunday 1pm and 5pm. $32 Adults $20 Students, Seniors and Children under 12. Learn more.
CBC/Elgin Symphony - The
Hemmens Cultural Center, 45 Symphony Way, Elgin
Chicago Ballet Conservatory presents the holiday favorite "The Nutcracker" featuring the Elgin Symphony Orchestra led by Stephen Squires, Resident Conductor, and professional dancers and actors from around the world. Prepare to be captivated by this re-imagined holiday classic, filled with all of the traditional elements you've come to love embellished with delightful surprises that are sure to enchant. Ages 2 and up. Saturday at 7pm; Sunday at 2pm. From $25. Learn more.
Joffrey Ballet The
Nutcracker by Christopher Wheeldon
Joffrey Ballet, Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress Parkway, Chicago
Journey inside Chicago's 1893 World's Fair with Wheeldon's critically acclaimed holiday masterpiece. When young Marie and her mother, a sculptress who is creating the fair's iconic Statue of the Republic, host a holiday party, a surprise visit from the charming Great Impresario sets off a Christmas Eve dream of whirlwind romance and adventure. A must-see tradition boldly reimagined for a new generation. All ages. See web site for ticket pricing and schedule. Learn more.
Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St., Chicago
Sugar plum fairies and mouse kings of all ages and abilities are invited to point their toes to the familiar music of Tchaikovsky’s holiday classic. 11am and 2pm: Members of Ballet Chicago will teach basic ballet positions and movements at an optional lesson. At Noon and 3pm, Dancers of all ages and abilities are invited to join the dancers of Ballet Chicago. All ages. 11am. FREE. Learn more.
Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker
Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N. River Rd., Rosemont
Experience Moscow Ballet’s Dove of Peace Tour presenting world class ballerinas and dancers in over 100 cities across North America this holiday season. In Act II Masha and her Nutcracker Prince arrive in the “Land of Peace and Harmony” (traditionally called the Land of Sweets) and celebrate the great heritages of the world including African, Asian, European, Hispanic and Slavic. All ages. 1pm and 5pm. From $28. Learn more.
Ballet Chicago The
December 7-9 and 14-16
Athenaeum Main Stage, 2936 N. Southport Ave., Chicago
Through its inspiring story, beautiful music, and charming choreography, The Nutcracker is a celebration of the joyous holiday season. Every year The Nutcracker takes us on an unforgettable journey with young Marie as she travels from her home on Christmas Eve to the Kingdom of Snow and the Land of the Sweets. Performance lasts two hours including a 20-minute intermission. All ages. Fridays 7pm; Saturdays 2pm and 7pm; Sundays 2pm. Tickets from $17. Learn more.
Ballet's The Nutcracker
Governors State University, 1 University Pkwy. Universtiry Park
A magical tale featuring Tchaikovsky’s enchanting score, festive set and costumes. Meet the young Clara and her hero, the Nutcracker, as you are transported on a magical journey, encountering toys that come alive, dancing snowflakes, waltzing flowers, and the Sugar Plum Fairy. All ages. Photos with Santa at 3 p.m. 1 p.m. & 5 p.m. $43/$36/$28. Ages 16 and under $18. Learn more.
It Out Nutcracker
Nichols Concert Hall, 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 Axiom Brass and Music Institute Ensemble-in-Residence Quintet Attacca. The performance is a family-friendly 60 minutes, followed by a festive holiday reception featuring refreshments and a photo booth with the artists. All ages. 2pm. $5. Learn more.
School of Dance Presents The Nutcracker
Mandel Hall, 1131 E. 57th Street, Chicago
Every fall when our students return to the studio, we begin work on one of our largest undertakings of the year. Our annual production of The Nutcracker begins with a placement audition in September, and rehearsals begin shortly thereafter. Tickets will go on sale in early November, and performances take place in beautiful Mandel Hall on the University of Chicago campus. Join us for this heartwarming holiday favorite. All ages. Friday 7pm; Saturday 1 and 6pm; Sunday 2pm. Adults $25; Students 6 and up $10; Seniors 65+ $15. 5 and under free. Learn more.
Chicago Festival Ballet: The Nutcracker
McAninch Arts Center at College of DuPage, Fawell and Park Boulevards, Glen Ellyn
The gorgeous holiday classic returns for four magical performances featuring a growing Christmas tree, a battle between mice and soldiers, a journey through the land of whirling snowflakes, a joyous visit to the Kingdom of the Sugar Plum Fairy and accompaniment by New Philharmonic orchestra. Pre-show opportunities to meet Santa and take photos in the lobby with our life-size nutcracker. This holiday favorite fairytale is perfect for the entire family. All ages. Saturday 2pm and 7pm; Sunday 1pm and 5pm. All ages. $34 youth, $44 adult. Learn more.
Ballet's The Nutcracker
Centre East at North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd, Skokie
Salt Creek Ballet’s The Nutcracker marches back onto the North Shore Center stage with an affordable full-length holiday production performed in the grand Russian style by a professional company with incredible guest soloists. The Nutcracker is the perfect way to introduce young children to the power and beauty of classical dance. All ages. Saturday 1pmand 5pm; Sunday 2pm. Tickets from $20. Learn more.