27 Ways to See The Nutcracker Ballet in Chicago this Holiday Season

The Art Deco Nutcracker photo by Dan Swinton Imagery, courtesy of the A & A Ballet
The Art Deco Nutcracker photo by Dan Swinton Imagery, courtesy of the A & A Ballet

Taking kids to "The Nutcracker" in Chicago this holiday season? We have a list of over two dozen performances of "The Nutcracker" in the Chicago area.

Do you have little ballerinas or danseurs with visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads? Then it might be time to pirouette to a production of "The Nutcracker" ballet near Chicago this holiday season. Presented by students and professionals all across Chicagoland, the holiday classic of "The Nutcracker" ballet tells the story of a little girl who dreams that her toy nutcracker comes to life. Ballet companies and schools throughout the world each have their own twist on the story, many with elaborate sets and costumes that give kids and grown-ups the decadent feeling of the holidays. Tchaikovsky's score is one that many parents who once took dance lessons can still hum from memory.

As Chicago families return to theaters, we've increased this list from 16 performances last year to 27 this year. "The Nutcracker" in Chicago is presented at many venues downtown, in the neighborhoods, and in the suburbs. Some dance companies perform at multiple venues, and some venues host multiple dance companies. The show usually runs around two hours with one intermission. Maybe your kids will be inspired to learn to play an instrument or dance after seeing a performance. You can also pick from some unique ways to experience "The Nutcracker," including The Immersive Nutcracker at the Lighthouse Art Space, Do-It-Yourself Nutcracker at Indian Boundary Park, or The Nutcracker on Ice in Woodridge.

Looking for more to do this holiday season in Chicago? Check out our Guide to Holiday and Christmas Activities for Chicago Families.

Places featured in this article:


Lighthouse ArtSpace Chicago

Batavia Fine Arts Centre

Al Larson Prairie Center for the Arts

Northshore Center for the Performing Arts

Dominican University Performing Arts Center

Northeastern Illinois University Auditorium

Mandel Hall, University of Chicago

Seven Bridges Ice Arena
Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light
Museum of Science and Industry - 9:30 AM Pick
ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo
Lincoln Park Zoo - 4:00 PM Pick
Let It Shine Light Show
Northbrook Court - various times Pick
Let It Shine Light Show
Wintrust Field - various times Pick
Holiday Flower Show
Wilder Park - 8:00 AM
Neighborhood Guides
Activity Guides