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Where to See ‘The Nutcracker’ This Season

Need your holiday sugar plum fix? There are lots of choices in the area.

Where to See the Nutcracker on the Main Line and Philadelphia

The Nutcracker is celebrating its 127th season in 2019 with a beloved storyline that is remembered throughout history as the holiday season’s ballet. Originally performed in St. Petersburg, Russia, accompanied by the music of Tchaikovsky, the story of a little girl named Clara on Christmas Eve unfolds into a whirlwind adventure, eventually culminating in a battle with the Mouse King. Here are some local performances of The Nutcracker this holiday season.

Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet

November 22—24

Upper Darby Performing Arts Center, 601 N. Lansdowne Ave., Drexel Hill


Kick off the holiday season with the Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet’s performance of the classic ballet that will transport you to the Land of Sweets! Audience members are invited to take pictures with the cast members after the Saturday performance. Ninety-minute performances are appropriate for children four years old and up. Before and after the show the lobby is a winter wonderland filled with nutcracker gifts ideal for holiday shopping. Tickets available online.

Philadelphia Dance Theatre

Kurtz Center for the Performing Arts, William Penn Charter School, 3000 W. School House Lane, Philadelphia
November 29, 7 pm; November 30, 1 and 4 pm
Tickets are $22 for kids, seniors, and students, and $25 for adults


“A Philadelphia Nutcracker” has a local flair, with scenes set in the Northwest Philly neighborhoods many of the school’s dancers call home. It’s become a weekend-after-Thanksgiving tradition for local families.

Valley Forge Dance Theatre

Upper Merion Middle School Theater, 450 Keebler Raod, King of Prussia
November 30, 2 pm (Santa Tea Party from noon — 2 pm)


This 60-minute, no-intermission performance is in a small theater, so it’s a close-up experience for kids. Tickets are $20 and include a tea party with Santa.

Academy of International Ballet

Upper Merion High School, 450 Keebler Rd., King of Prussia
November 30, 12 pm and 4 pm


KleinLife. 10100 Jamison Ave., Philadelphia

December 7, noon

Tickets are $25


A combination of students and professional dancers makes this a “hidden gem,” according to one of our readers.

The Pennsylvania Ballet

Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad St., Philadelphia
Runs December 6 — 31
Tickets range from $35 to $159


This performance by the Pennsylvania Ballet is a Philadelphia classic and includes more than just a ballet performance. December 14 and 15 are “Tea with the Sugarplum Fairy” days with photos and brunch buffets. The sensory-friendly performance is December 30 at noon.

Nutcracker Sweets: A Swinging Sugarplum Treat

Fugett Middle School, 500 Ellis Ln., West Chester
December 7, 10:30 am and 2 pm
Tickets are $22 if purchased in advance online. Tickets at the door are $3 more. Children under 3 are free if seated on a lap.


Join the Sugarplum fairy on her journey to the Land of the Sweets in this fresh take on The Nutcracker. Featuring Ballet 180 School students alongside professional dancers, the show blends a wide variety of dance into an entertaining mix of everything from classical ballet to tap dancing soldiers and hip-hopping tea dancers.

Upper Merion Dance and Gymnastics Center

Colonial Elementary School Auditorium, 230 Flourtown Road, Plymouth Meeting

December 7, 3 pm and 7 pm


The Nutcracker performances will feature dancers of Upper Merion Dance and Gymnastics many dance classes. The performance is child-friendly and kids 10 and under are free. Call 610-731-0022 to reserve tickets in advance or pay at the door.

‘Nutcracker 1776’

The Rock School

December 6, 7 pm; and December 7, 1 pm and 4 pm

Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 3680 Walnut Street, Philadelphia

Tickets are $40-$70


The Rock School West
December 14, 1 and 4 pm; and December 15, 2 pm
The Haverford School, Centennial Hall, 450 W. Lancaster Ave., Haverford

Tickets are $25 for adults; $15 for kids and students


Each 70-minute performance is an adaptation of the original Nutcracker involves the history of the city of Philadelphia into the plot, but is still sure to entertain with Ben Franklin and General Mouse Howe leading the story. 

Children’s Tea in Paris at the Bercy

December 7 and 14, 11 am–12:30 pm

7 E. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore

Tickets are $55 and include tea service


Formal tea, finger sandwiches, pastries, and a ballet performance of scenes from The Nutcracker by the Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet. Tickets available online.

Pages to Pirouettes

December 8, 2 pm
Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Branch, 1901 Vine St., Philadelphia


See a kid-friendly production of the beloved ballet, then try it yourself during a post-show ballet lesson for the audience. This event is free.

The Philadelphia Dance Academy

Mandell Theater, Drexel University, 3220 Chestnut St., Philadelphia
Runs December 14 and 15
Tickets range from $15 to $20


Each two-hour performance will feature students of the Philadelphia Youth Ballet, Philadelphia Dance Academy, and professional guest artists. Most mezzanine seats are $15 and orchestra seats are $20.

The Settlement Music School presents ‘The Nutcracker’

December 14 and 15, 3 pm

Mary Louise Curtis Branch, 416 Queen Street, Philadelphia

(See also: December 14, 11 am at the Kardon-Northeast Branch)


Settlement shares a classic holiday tradition, featuring the students of their dance program.

Brandywine Ballet

Emilie K. Asplundh Hall, West Chester University, University Avenue and High Street, West Chester
Runs December 13 – 22
Tickets range from $25 to $45


This eight-performance production, featuring original choreography from David Kloss and Donna L. Muzio, promises “a tour de force of beauty and elegance.”

International Ballet Classique

Fred T. Meagher Theater, Neumann University, 1 Neumann Drive, Aston
December 14, 10:30 am (sensory-friendly) and 2 pm; December 15, 2 pm
Tickets $24 for adults; seniors and children $16


This is the 28th year of IBC’s Nutcracker, and features European dance artists as well as original set pieces from Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre. Tickets are $16 for children, seniors, and students, and $24 for adults. Tickets may be purchased by credit card on their website, or reserved by phone at 610-986-2474.

Moscow Ballet’s ‘Great Russian Nutcracker’

December 19, 7 pm

The Met, 858 N. Broad St.


With world-class artists, over 200 dazzling costumes, stunning sets, towering puppets, and even soaring birds, this one-night-only Nutcracker production is quite an extravaganza!

International Ballet Exchange

Plymouth Whitemarsh High School, 201 E. Germantown Pike, Plymouth Meeting
December 21, 6:30 pm; and December 22, 2 pm
Tickets $30 for adults, $20 for seniors and students


The Donetsk Ballet of Ukraine troupe travels the world and this performance is sponsored by the International Ballet Exchange, bringing high-quality ballet performances to aspiring dancers. The award-winning cast invites 50 local students to be a part of the performance. Tickets are $17 for children, seniors, and students, and $27 for adults. 


Photographs by Alexander Iziliaev and courtesy of the Pennsylvania Ballet. 


  • Gwyneth K. Shaw November 17, 2017

    Added! Thank you!


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