Is your child having visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads? They’re about to materialize on stage—through jazz, hip hop and ballet. Choose from a range of creative takes and kid appropriate renditions or indulge in the full length classic, and discover your favorite local production featuring dedicated young dancers, special events and photo ops with the Sugar Plum Fairy herself. Read on for the best performances of The Nutcracker in the DMV.

photo: Atlanta Ballet via The Kennedy Center


Nov. 27 -Dec. 1 Atlanta Ballet

Visit the Kennedy Center’s Opera House, for a performance promising visually inventive staging set against a fantastical starry night, dominated by oversized storybooks, clocks, and constellations. Complemented by Russian choreography and a story deemed closer to the 1816 original, this one looks to be a sure treat.

Where: The Kennedy Center, 2700 F St NW
Tickets: $49 – 249

Nov. 30 – Dec 1 Ballet Nova

Ballet Nova’s 2019 extravaganza features new choreography, costumes and characters and a Nutcracker Tea at the Pentagon City Ritz Carlton. Their pre-school aged production, Nutcracker Petites is already sold out, but the company encourages families at the full-length show.

Where: Kenmore Middle School Theatre, 200 South Carlin Springs Rd, Arlington, VA
Tickets: $23 – 47

Nov. 30 – Dec. 1 Fairfax Ballet Company

Featuring students from its Russell School of Ballet. Fairfax Ballet Company’s Nutcracker is family friendly and focuses on getting audiences in the mood for the most festive season of the year.

Where: WT Woodson HS, 9525 Main St., Fairfax, VA
Tickets: $15 – 30

Dec. 6 – 8 Jazz Hip Hop Nutcracker

Come see Momentum Jazz professionals along with their Jazz Hip Hop Academy students put their own spin on the classic story with a score by jazz great Duke Ellington who wrote his own version of The Nutcracker along with classic pop, funk and even salsa!

Where: Publick Playhouse, 5445 Landover Rd., Cheverly, MD
Tickets: $16 – 26

photo: Loudoun Ballet Theatre 

Dec. 6 -8 Loudoun Ballet Theatre

Don’t miss extras offered by this company including the Nutcracker boutique and an on-stage photo-op with select cast members. I’d like one with the Mouse King, please!

Where: Loudoun Valley HS, 340 N Maple Ave., Purcellville, VA
Tickets: $20 -28

Dec. 6 -15 Metropolitan Ballet Theatre

Celebrating their 30th season this year, Metropolitan Ballet features area celebrities who don Mother Ginger’s skirts, and this year is sponsoring Day at the Ballet events in support of causes like Make A Wish Foundation. A shorter-length version, The Nutcracker Suite, is offered on Dec. 8, 9, 14 & 15. A sensory-friendly performance is offered December 8.

Where: Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center, Montgomery College, 51 Manakee St. Rockville, MD
Tickets: $24 – 31

Dec. 7 -8 Maryland Youth Ballet: Mini-Nut

The perfect production for your wiggly toddler’s first ballet performance, The Mini Nut’s 30 minute run time is a sweet dream come true. Also featuring photo ops with the Sugar Plum Fairy, the full-length version December 20 -26 by this internationally respected school is also a winner.

Where: Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center, 7995 Georgia Ave, Silver Spring, MD
Tickets: $19 – 27

photo: Mena Brunette via Washington Ballet

Dec. 8 Washington Ballet’s Nutcracker Tea

Indulge in petite cakes and cucumber sandwiches while you cozy up to the cast of The Nutcracker. Tickets include admission to the Washington Ballet’s performance at Warner Theatre.

Where: The Willard InterContinental Hotel, 1401 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Tickets: $285

Dec. 7 -15 Rockville Civic Ballet

The best value on our list at just $13 for children’s tickets, this production is truly a Rockville tradition performed at a historic theatre in Rockville’s Civic Center Park, adjacent to Glenview Mansion, a great backdrop for a holiday photo of your little ballerina.

Where: F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre, 603 Edmonston Dr., Rockville, MD
Tickets: $13 -17

December 10 – 11 The Great Russian Nutcracker

George Mason University hosts the Moscow Ballet for two performances featuring over 200 dazzling costumes, stunning sets, towering puppets and soaring birds.

Where: George Mason Center for the Arts, 4373 Mason Pond Dr, Fairfax, VA
Tickets: $29 – 175

December 12 – 24 Olney Ballet Theatre

With another classic rendition, Olney Ballet Theatre has performances of The Nutcracker right through a Christmas Eve matinee. Students along with professional performers demonstrate tremendous dedication to dance and the tradition of The Nutcracker.

Where: Olney Ballet Theatre, 9264 Gaither Rd., Gaithersburg, MD
Tickets: $27 -42

Dec. 15 Ritz-Carlton Nutcracker Tea

There are sweets, treats and even a Nutcracker-themed craft at this tea featuring the ensemble of Ballet Nova’s The Nutcracker.

Where: Ritz-Carlton, 1250 South Hayes St., Arlington, VA
Tickets: $48-78; $330/table of four

December 17 – 19 Hip Hop Nutcracker

Strathmore presents the popular Hip Hop Nutcracker Dec. 17-19. As serious as he may appear sitting idly on many a store shelf each Winter season, this Nutcracker really kicks it up with hi jinx dance and sword play every kid will love.

Where: Strathmore Performing Arts Center, 5301 Tuckerman Ln, North Bethesda, MD
Tickets: $33 – 68

December 18 -23 Manassas Ballet Theatre

MBT’s production befits the fact that they are Northern Virginia’s largest professional ballet company with an awe inspiring tree and live orchestra music.

Where: Hylton Performing Arts Center, 10960 George Mason Cir, City of Manassas, VA
Tickets: $40 – 80

—Carolyn Ross


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