NYC parents can drive themselves nuts figuring out which seasonal production of The Nutcracker best fits their particular kid’s age, interests, and — most importantly — attention span. Some versions are classical, some modern. Some are too long, others too short, while still others can be a bit scary for the younger set. Complicating things is that by our count, there are at least 12 productions of the ballet being mounted this holiday season! Click through to find the show for your tiny dancer!

For Balanchine purists: New York City Ballet

What’s the Scoop? This 2-hour show is the gold standard, with 90 dancers, 62 musicians, 32 stagehands and two casts of young students (50 per performance) from the School of American Ballet. While all kids probably won’t be able to sit through this ballet, and it's recommended for the elementary school age crowd, the scenery is breathtaking (a Christmas tree grows from 12 feet to 40 feet in front of your eyes), and the costumes are opulent (including one that weighs 85 pounds and still requires the dancer playing Mother Ginger to stay on her toes).

Tickets: From $45 to $285
Nov. 25-Dec. 31, 2016
David H. Koch Theater
20 Lincoln Center
Midtown Manhattan
212-496-0600
Online:  http://www.nycballet.com/

photo: New York City Ballet

photo: New York City Ballet

  • For Balanchine purists: New York City Ballet
  • For Balanchine-lite Fans (and dentists): Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical Ballet
  • For a Fresh Take and Kurtis Blow!: The Hip-Hop Nutcracker
  • For a 1-Hour Nutcracker: NY Theatre Ballet
  • For Lots of Tiny Dancers and a NYC flair: Yorkville Nutcracker
  • For Lovers of Comic Books, Chocolate and Grooviness: The Hard Nut
  • For a Ballet with Kids and Candy: Joffrey Ballet School
  • To See How the Russians Crack the Nut: Moscow Ballet & Brighton Beach Ballet
  • For Proud Native New Yorkers: The Knickerbocker Suite by Manhattan Youth Ballet
  • To See George Washington in Toe-shoes: The Colonial Nutcracker
  • For a Nutcracker Mashup: Ballerina Swan
  • For a Far Out Production: That 70s Nutcracker

Which Nutcracker will you be seeing? Tell us in the comments below!

—Alina Adams