12 Ways To See The Nutcracker in NJ with Kids

Where to see The Nutcracker ballets in New Jersey with kids in 2016

You don't have to go to New York City to see The Nutcracker this holiday seasonthere are at least a dozen productions of the beloved ballet happening right here in New Jersey. We've looked into all of them to help you figure out which one is right for you and your kids, whether it's a full-length, traditional production featuring swirling snowflakes and waltzing flowers; a hip-hop retelling led by a rap legend; or an abridged version designed with little ones in mind. You'll even find one starring kids' book faves Max and Ruby. If ballet isn't your thing but you'd still like to see a holiday performance, be sure to check out our roundup of non-Nutcracker shows. And look to our holiday guide for even more ways to celebrate the season. 

Note that "full-length" means about two hours plus an intermission, while abridged versions run about one hour. Use your judgment to figure out what would be most appropriate for your child. Some companies will be performing at multiple venues; all are listed below. Click on each listing for more information, including prices and show times.

The soldiers prepare for battle in American Repertory Ballet's production of The Nutcracker. Photo by Leighton Chen.

American Repertory Ballet

The company celebrates its 53rd year of Tchiakovsky’s classic with a cast of more than 100 dancers, including students from Princeton Ballet School, as well as stunning new sets. American Repertory Ballet's Nutcracker is one of the longest continuously running productions of the ballet in the U.S. The company will perform its full-length production at the following venues: 

Union County Performing Arts Center – Rahway
November 19–20
*An abridged, sensory-friendly performance will take place on November 20. The hour-long performance is geared toward children and adults with special needs. 

McCarter Theatre – Princeton 
November 23, 25–26

Patriots Theater at the War Memorial – Trenton 
December 3

South Orange Performing Arts Center – South Orange
December 9–10

The State Theater of New Jersey – New Brunswick
December 16–18

New Jersey Ballet

Like American Repertory Ballet, New Jersey Ballet presents a traditional, large-scale production that brings top-quality dancers together with spectacular costumes, set, and special effects. The runtime is two hours, with one intermission. There will be performances throughout New Jersey as follows:

Middle Township Performing Arts Center – Cape May Courthouse
November 20 
*Online ticketing not available; tickets can be purchased by phone or in person at the box office. 

Levoy Theater – Millville
November 27 

Bergen Performing Arts Center – Englewood
December 3–4
*Audio described performance at 1pm on December 4.

Mayo Performing Arts Center – Morristown
December 9–11, 16–18, 22–24
*Performances feature live accompaniment by the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. 

Roxey Ballet 

Kendall Main Stage​, College of New Jersey – Ewing
​November 26–27, December 3–5
The Roxey Ballet presents its 22nd annual Nutcracker, a kid-friendly production that features more than 150 performers, from local dancers to international ballet stars. This year's production also will include appearances by community leaders, as well as a visit from Santa. A sensory-friendly performance will take place at 2pm on December 3. 

Ballet NJ Theater Company of New Jersey 

Voorhees Middle School Community Theater​ – Voorhees
November 26–27, December 2–4
This full-length production features dancers from Ballet X and Pennsylvania ballet, as well as an array of international guest artists. 

Max and Ruby in The Nutcracker Suite 

Wellmont Theatre – Montclair
December 3 
Beloved bunny siblings Max and Ruby become characters in The Nutcracker in this musical production. The 90-minute performance is geared toward ages 3–8. 

Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker

Moscow Ballet makes two stops in New Jersey – in Wayne and Somerville – during its annual North American tour. The lavish, full-length production features the company of 40 dancers plus local New Jersey students, as well as Russian touches such as life-size matryoshka dolls and and a troika sleigh ride through the magical snow forest. 

William Paterson University – Wayne
December 8 

Raritan Valley Community College – Somerville 
December 9 

Atlantic City Ballet

For its 34th annual Nutcracker season, AC Ballet presents a full-length production featuring members of its classically trained, international company. 

Stockton Performing Arts Center – Galloway
December 9–10

Circus Maximus Theater at Caesars – Atlantic City
December 16–17 

The Strand – Lakewood
December 18 
*Features live accompaniment by the Garden State Philharmonic. 

Company of Dance Arts

Count Basie Theatre – Red Bank
December 10–11
Soloists from New York City Ballet join local pre-professional dancers in this full-length production, now in its 24th year. 

New Jersey Dance Theatre Ensemble in the Snow Forest scene. Photo by Tony Turner.

New Jersey Dance Theatre Ensemble 

Memorial Auditorium, Montclair State University – Montclair
December 10–11
New Jersey Dance Theatre Ensemble brings its acclaimed full-length production of The Nutcracker to Montclair for its 47th anniversary season. The production features 55 dancers ages 7–18 from across New Jersey, as well as guest artists from San Francisco Ballet, Metropolitan Opera Ballet, Ballet Hispanico, and more. 

NJ Civic Youth Ballet 

The Lackland Center's Sitnik Theater – Hackettstown
December 16–18
This narrated production helps younger children follow along as Clara travels to the Land of the Sweets with her Nutcracker Prince. Children under 3 not permitted. 

New Jersey Youth Ballet 

Kelsey Theater, Mercer County College – West Windsor
December 16–18
This abridged, family-friendly version of The Nutcracker is fully narrated and and danced almost entirely by children and teens. All shows are followed by a meet-and-greet with the dancers. 

The Hip-Hop Nutcracker Featuring Kurtis Blow 

NJPAC – Newark 
December 17 
The Sugar Plum Fairy ditches her pointe shoes in this urban twist on The Nutcracker at New Jersey Performing Arts Center. The performance features rap legend Kurtis Blow as special guest MC, along with a dozen all-star dancers, a DJ, electric violinist, and digital scenery. 

Top image: American Repertory Ballet's production of The Nutcracker. Photo by Leighton Chen.

Updated November 2016.

Levoy Theater
126-130 N. High Street
08332 Millville , NJ
Phone: 856-327-6400
39° 23' 49.092" N, 75° 2' 19.7952" W
New Jersey
Mayo Performing Arts Center
100 South Street
07960 Morristown , NJ
Phone: 973-539-8008
40° 47' 39.3756" N, 74° 28' 40.656" W
New Jersey
Bergen Performing Arts Center
30 N Van Brunt Street
07631 Englewood , NJ
Phone: 201-227-1030
40° 53' 43.2924" N, 73° 58' 30.4032" W
New Jersey
Patriots Theater at the War Memorial
Memorial Drive
08608 Trenton , NJ
Phone: 800-955-5566
40° 13' 5.25" N, 74° 46' 8.9076" W
New Jersey
State Theater
15 Livingston Avenue
08907 New Brunswick , NJ
Phone: 732-246-7469
40° 29' 35.7288" N, 74° 26' 40.5924" W
New Jersey
Kelsey Theater
1200 Old Trenton Road
08550 West Windsor , NJ
Phone: 609-570-3333
40° 15' 9.0936" N, 74° 39' 11.6388" W
New Jersey
Count Basie Theater
99 Monmouth Street
07701 Red Bank , NJ
Phone: 732-224-8778
40° 20' 56.022" N, 74° 4' 12.7128" W
New Jersey
McCarter Theater
91 University Place
08540 Princeton , NJ
Phone: 609-258-2787
40° 20' 38.886" N, 74° 39' 38.0844" W
New Jersey
1 Center Street
07102 Newark , NJ
Phone: 973-642-8989
40° 44' 24.5364" N, 74° 10' 2.4204" W
New Jersey
College of New Jersey
2000 Pennington Road
08618 Ewing Township , NJ 40° 16' 16.968" N, 74° 46' 58.6848" W
New Jersey
Wellmont Theater
5 Seymour Street
07042 Montclair , NJ 40° 48' 45.1692" N, 74° 12' 59.5692" W
New Jersey
Stockton Performing Arts Center
101 Vera King Farris Dr
08205 Galloway , NJ 39° 29' 31.3188" N, 74° 31' 52.284" W
New Jersey
Circus Maximus Theater
2100 Pacific Avenue
08401 Atlantic City , NJ 39° 21' 22.8636" N, 74° 26' 8.5488" W
New Jersey
The Strand Theater
400 Clifton Avenue
08701 Lakewood , NJ 40° 5' 38.7456" N, 74° 12' 54.0396" W
New Jersey
Middle Township Performing Arts Center
212 Bayberry Drive
08210 Cape May Court House , NJ 39° 4' 48.3492" N, 74° 48' 58.8816" W
New Jersey
Lackland Center
715 Grand Avenue
07840 Hackettstown , NJ 40° 50' 46.8276" N, 74° 50' 4.9344" W
New Jersey
Union County Performing Arts Center
360 Hamilton Street
07065 Rahway , NJ 40° 36' 41.7456" N, 74° 16' 47.748" W
New Jersey
South Orange Performing Arts Center
07079 South Orange , NJ 40° 44' 46.284" N, 74° 15' 39.0096" W
New Jersey
Ballet NJ Theater
1000 Holly Oak Drive
08043 Voorhees Township , NJ 39° 51' 40.7232" N, 74° 57' 48.4164" W
New Jersey
Shea Center for Performing Arts
300 Pompton Road
07470 Wayne , NJ 40° 56' 45.2904" N, 74° 11' 54.6936" W
New Jersey
118 Lamington Road
08876 Branchburg , NJ 40° 37' 1.0128" N, 74° 41' 42.2376" W
New Jersey
Montclair State University's Memorial Auditorium
Hibben Place
07043 Montclair , NJ 40° 51' 36.1476" N, 74° 11' 41.5536" W
New Jersey
Scottish Rite Auditorium
315 White Horse Pike
08107 Collingswood , NJ 39° 54' 52.0812" N, 75° 5' 4.6608" W
New Jersey