Dust off your dancing shoes, put on your party dress and get ready to kick off the Christmas season with the Nutcracker. In the DMV there is no shortage of performances to choose from. But when it comes to adding little ones to the audience mix, duration becomes an important factor. We’ve cultivated a list of shows just right for the younger set that is sure to entertain the whole family.

Photo: Washington Ballet

Washington Ballet
For tykes ready for the full show there is no better offering than the Washington Ballet’s perennial favorite. Running two hours with one intermission the holiday classic also has value shows that are perfect for groups of friends and families.

When: Nov. 30-Dec. 24
Washington Ballet-Warner Theatre
513 13th St., NW
Online: washingtonballet.org

Momentum Dance Theatre Jazz Hip Hop Nutcracker
Want a contemporary take on this classic fare? Look no further than Momentum’s original show featuring music by Duke Ellington. Since 2000 the JHHN has transported audiences with the tale of Nutcracker told with not menacing mice but ninjas and rats with a mix of funk, classic pop and salsa to tell the story that showcases dancers from New York and D.C. alike.

When: Dec. 15-17
Wilson High School
3950 Chesapeake St., NW
Online: momentumdancetheatre.com

The Puppet Company
Head over to Glen Echo Park and experience the Nutcracker in colorful, fun and family-oriented way. Perfect for the preschool set and younger this non-threatening show offers tiny tots daytime showings that you can hit up before or after naptime. Telling the holiday classic through puppets creates an excellent way to introduce theatre and may create a new family tradition.

When: Nov. 25-Dec. 30
Glen Echo Park
7300 MacArthur Blvd. (Glen Echo, Md)
Online: thepuppetcompany.org

Mini Nut at Maryland Youth Ballet
The Maryland Mini Nut gives parents the opportunity to take in the award-winning classic show in an abbreviated way. For kids not old enough to see the full ballet the Maryland Youth Ballet performs this mini treat it in under an hour. Little ones will love the sounds, sights and colors as they swirl to life in this delightful version of a classic show.

When: Dec. 9-10
Cultural Arts Center-Montgomery College Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus
7995 Georgia Ave. (Silver Spring, Md)
Online: marylandyouthballet.org

Nutcracker Petites at Ballet NOVA
Parents of preschool age little ones can check out the Nutcracker Petites. It is a great first ballet experience. The show has a running time of 45 minutes guaranteed to capture their imagination and send them off with dreams of sugar plums dancing in their heads. The meet and greet with dancers after the show is a sweet send-off that creates a lasting impression.

When: Dec. 9-10
Ballet NOVA Center for Dance
3443 Carlin Springs Rd. (Falls Church, Va)
Online: balletnova.org

 

Has your kid seen (and loved) a Nutcracker performance? Tell us about it in the comments below. 

–Victoria Mason