Raise the bar this holiday season by starting a family tradition to see The Nutcracker. There are so many venues to behold the magic of this beloved ballet in San Diego. We twirled our way across the city to find 10 performances for you and your troupe. From a North County Nutcracker to the Moscow Ballet, scroll down for where to take your tiny dancers to see this delightful show.

San Diego Ballet

Twirl into this Nutcracker production with an international cast combined with local ballerinas. You'll find dancers from China, Japan, Russia and more. Also, they include young dancers from all over San Diego County. So, put on your best look and jump at a chance to make this ballet a tradition. Even more, they dance to the classic Tchaikovsky score. This show is sure to sparkle.

Dates: Dec. 29-30
Price: $40 to $100/person

Copley Symphony Hall
50 B St.
San Diego, CA 92101
Online: sandiegoballetdancecompany.org

Southern California Ballet

A standing tradition for 25 years at the Poway Center for the Performing Arts, this Nutcracker is on pointe. Ballerinas are from the local Southern California Ballet and the performance features professional guest artists in the principal roles. Watch the toy soldiers and mice battle as you listen to the Tchaikovsky score. Even more, you'll find over 100 dancers that grace this stage.

Dates: Dec. 15-16

Poway Center for the Performing Arts
15498 Espola Rd.
Poway, CA 92064
Online: southerncaliforniaballet.org

California Ballet

A toddler-friendly Nutcracker performance? They have two days of a special half-pint friendly performance (and it costs less too)! Even more, they have a regular show for bigger kids. Plus, there's a cast of over 200 dancers with the youngest one age four. This holiday extravaganza follows Tchaikovsky's score played by both the Classics Philharmonics and the San Diego Symphony. Special toddler-friendly performances are on Dec. 14th and 21st at 2 p.m.

Dates: Dec. 14-16 & 21-23, various show times
Price: $30 and up per person

San Diego Civic Theater
3rd Avenue & B St.
San Diego, CA 92101
Online: san-diego-theater.com

photo: San Diego Civic Youth Ballet

San Diego Civic Youth Ballet

Held at the family-friendly Casa del Prado in Balboa Park, this affordable show will delight your youngest theater-goer. The performers are all part of the San Diego Civic Youth Ballet program and will take you on an extraordinary journey to the magical Land of the Sweets with Clara and her Nutcracker Prince. Enjoy a trip outside to Balboa Park after the performance.

Dates: Dec. 12-23
Cost: $12 to $18 per person

Casa del Prado
1650 El Prado
San Diego, CA 92101
Online: sdcyb.org

Moscow Ballet

Picture stunning costumes and the pure precision of Moscow’s best ballerinas and you’ll understand why this one-night-only event is not to be missed. Pirouette with the Russian dancers who perform over 100 places each year.

Dates: Dec. 20
Cost: $58 and up per person

Copley Symphony Hall
750 B St.
San Diego, CA 92101
Online: san-diego-theater.com

City Ballet

If you enjoy live orchestra music, elaborate stages and costume design, then this is your show. Firstly, the dancers move to the music of the City Ballet Orchestra and Chorus. Even more you'll find this a professional production. Following each matinee show, members of the cast will be in the lobby to greet audience members and pose for photos.

Date: Dec. 7-9, 14-16 & 21-23
Cost: from $20-$89 per person; children 4 and under not permitted

Spreckels Theater
121 Broadway #600
San Diego, CA 92101
Online: cityballet.org/nutcracker

New West Ballet

Waltz with the flowers to this family-friendly local version of the Nutcracker. From colorful costumes and lavish sets you'll find this production both heart-warming and fun. Also, this local dance school has presented the favorite holiday ballet for over 30 years. So, grab the crew and get ready for a holiday feast for the eyes and ears.

Date: Nov. 23-25
Cost: $20-50

Poway Center for the Performing Arts
15498 Espola Road
Poway, CA 92064
Online: powaycenter.com/newwestballet

San Diego Academy of Ballet

Visit the magical land of sweets! This local ballet group performs the show with ballerinas from all levels of their academy. You'll find the story of Clara family-friendly and engaging. Even more, little ones will be thrilled at the battle of the Rat King and Nutcracker. Further, you can enjoy this performance early in the holiday season before it gets too busy.

Dates: Nov. 23, 24 & 25

Joan B. Kroc Theatre
6611 University Ave.
San Diego, CA 92115
Online: sandiegoacademyofballet.org

photo: Scripps Performing Arts

Scripps Performing Arts

Prance to this local ballet school's performance of the Nutcracker at the David and Dorthea Garfield Theatre in La Jolla. You'll enjoy their version of Tchaikovsky’s, The Nutcracker.

Dates: Dec. 7-9
Cost: $25-$40 per person

David and Dorthea Garfield Theatre
4126 Executive Dr.
La Jolla, CA 92037
Online: tututix.com/scripps

Encinitas Ballet

Leap into this local North County ballet Center's presentation of Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker which features award-winning guest dancers. Between the stunning set backgrounds and adorable ballerinas, you'll be glad you took the whole crew.

Date: Dec. 12
Cost: $8-$30 per person

Moonlight Amphitheater
1200 Vale Terrace Dr.
Vista, CA 92084
Online: encinitasballet.com

featured photo: Scott Moore via Flickr

–-Nikki Walsh


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