The Brooklyn Nutcracker returns to the Kings Theatre for two performances in 2021. Photo courtesy Kings Theatre
The Brooklyn Nutcracker returns to the Kings Theatre for two performances in 2021. Photo courtesy Kings Theatre

Where to See The Nutcracker in NYC in 2021

The Nutcracker ballet is a classic holiday experience for kids and parents, and we're so thrilled to see many versions of the holiday ballet coming back with in-person shows in 2021! 

While many children love the energy and drama of The Nutcracker—from the sweet Sugar Plum fairy visit to the frantic battle with the Rat King—the full-length ballet can be long for some. So, we've rounded up more than a dozen variations of The Nutcracker playing this season across all five NYC boroughs, from Lincoln Center's iconic classic iteration to abbreviated just-for-kid versions. We've also found one Nutcracker performance featuring stunning marionettes.

Prices range from splurge-worthy to completely FREE. Read on for all our picks for the best Nutcracker ballets in NYC for families, and find more holiday-must do's and Christmas activities in our Guide to the Holidays in NYC.

Click through to check our listings for all the details, including addresses, times, and recommended ages, and check our Family Activity Calendar for more must-see children's shows and holiday theater.

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Places featured in this article:


Winter Garden at Brookfield Place

Ballet Arts Center for Dance

Peter Jay Sharp Theater at Symphony Space

David Koch Theater at Lincoln Theater

Lehman Center for the Performing Arts
Winter Wonderland
Aviator Sports & Events Center - 11:00 AM Pick
Conference House's Annual Grand Illumination
Visitor Center in Conference House Park - 12:00 PM Pick
Girl Tales Celebrates Hanukkah!
New Women Space - 1:00 PM Pick
Neighborhood Guides
Activity Guides