The iconic Nutcracker Ballet is a family friendly show that is a holiday tradition for many families. The Mouse King. Clara. The Sugar Plum Fairy. Drosselmeyer. And, of course, the magical Nutcracker himself. If you want to start this holiday tradition, here are some of our favorite and unique Nutcracker shows around the USA.
For the last few years, my family has made it a holiday tradition to spend a long weekend together before the holidays actually get started. It was a great way to focus on the magic of the holiday season without the rushing and busyness at home of sending out cards or putting up the Christmas tree.
This year I’m looking for a new experience. I want to experience a more upscale event and have looked at the various Nutcracker shows around the USA. I’m planning to build a long weekend around a true holiday classic. When it comes to where to see the Nutcracker, you have plenty of options. From the traditional touring favorites with the Moscow Ballet or Hip Hop Nutcracker to the local ballet company favorites in Miami or Houston, these are magical Nutcracker ballet shows that your whole family will want to add to their Christmas traditions; even the guys who don’t love ballerinas.
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George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, Miami City Ballet – Los Angeles, CA & Miami, FL
Miami’s version of the family friendly ballet combines local culture with the timeless story of The Nutcracker Ballet. This version retains the magic of George Balanchine’s choreography and power of Tchaikovsky’s timeless score while bringing the artistic influence of Isabel and Ruben Toledo. The Toledos are Cuban American artists; she is a fashion designer and he is an illustrator. The production will take inspiration from the vibrancy and culture of the Miami area. According to Ruben Toledo, “The story’s links between the mystical human imagination, the language of dreams and the 2 power of transformation influenced our designs, and allowed us to imagine worlds of moonlit landscapes, frozen wonders, and a light-filled Caribbean paradise, reflecting our Cuban heritage.”
Performance Dates: The performances will run at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts from December 13 – 22 before running at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach from December 27 – 29.
TravelingMom Tip: If we do make a trip to Miami, the InterContinental Miami is on my list of places to check out. Also on my list, I’m certainly going to see more of the culture at Calle Ocho. It’s not only TravelingMom recommended but a hot spot that the Toledo’s have been spotted at.
The Hip Hop Nutcracker, Touring Nationwide
Hip Hop Nutcracker is a new spin on the classic Nutcracker ballet with hip-hop choreography, an on-stage DJ, an electric violin AND the well-loved traditional Tchaikovsky score. Its story is set on Broadway in the streets of New York City. Maria-Clara is still rescued by the Nutcracker (a vendor selling nuts) before waking up in a dream state on New Year’s Day 1984.
Performance Dates: This is truly a touring event. The show will visit California, Washington, Oregon, and Arizona on the West Coast; Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, and Louisiana in the Southeast; Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Texas in the central US, and Maryland, New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts in the Northeast.
TravelingMom Tip: One of our favorite things to do when taking a vacation is to hire a photographer for family photos. This is a special gift and souvenir that we cherish. We use Flytographer to book a local photographer located in the area that we're traveling to. Use this link and you will get $25 off your photo session.
TravelingMom Tip: With so many places to see the Hip Hop Nutcracker, I’m using the TravelingMom rules on how to find the best airline tickets: Let price be my guide. The city with the best airline ticket prices — or the quickest drive time — wins. Check our fly or drive guide to figure out which would be best for you.
The Russian Nutcracker Ballet, Moscow Ballet – Touring the United States and Canada
The Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker opens with the Moscow city skyline as a backdrop. Masha and her brother Fritz eagerly await the gifts presented by Uncle Drosselmeyer with the help of a great Russian nutcracker in the form of a super-sized Matrushka Doll. The classic Tchaikovsky score continues with the story as the Nutcracker Prince takes Masha to the Snow Forrest where the Russian folk figures, Ded Moroz (Father Christmas) and Snegurochka (Snow Maiden) escort Masha to the Land of Peace and Harmony.
Performance Dates: The ballet will touch most of the US population with dates in 42 states and 4 Canadian provinces. Check here for ticket dates in your city.
The Nutcracker, Houston Ballet – Houston, TX
The Houston Ballet presents Stanton Welch’s choreography in its version of the Nutcracker. Children are a central focus of the performance as the story opens with Clara addressing her toys; a change from the traditional party on Christmas Eve of most stories. The performance has a mix of traditional and contemporary elements. The Sugar Plum Fairy & Nutcracker Prince are present along with a trip to the Kingdom of Sweets.
Performance Dates: The performances will be held at the Smart Financial Centre in Sugar Land, TX December 10 – 23 and The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts December 30 – January 6, 2020.
TravelingMom Tip: Once you’re in Houston, there are so many places to visit and things to see. I’m all about checking out this extreme Houston adventure.
Do you have a favorite Christmas tradition or Nutcracker ballet experience? Where is your favorite place to see the Nutcracker? Tell us more about your favorite experiences.