Where to See the Nutcracker

The Nutcracker is one of the most watched performances, and one that many people make a tradition of seeing year after year. Here’s a list of all the places you can go to see a live performance of The Nutcracker in Chicago and surrounding suburbs.

The Nutcracker Ballet

The Nutcracker is a ballet with music by Tchaikovsky, based on the story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by E.T.A. Hoffmann and adapted by Alexandre Dumas. The story follows a young girl, Clara, whose nutcracker comes to life on Christmas Eve. The Nutcracker Prince takes Clara to a magical land of dolls with music, dancing, the Sugar Plum Fairy, and the Mouse King – part of an enchanting journey that Clara will never forget. Clara awakens the next morning under the Christmas Tree still holding her nutcracker in her arms.

Where to See The Nutcracker

The Joffrey Ballet Nutcracker

Dates: December 2–27, 2023

Where: The Joffrey Ballet

Address: 20 North Wacker Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60606

This annual holiday tradition celebrates the magic of the season and the rich cultural heritage of Chicago.

Ruth Page Civic Ballet Nutcracker


  • Saturday, TBA – 1:00 pm
  • Saturday, TBA – 5:00 pm

Where: College of Lake County – James Lumber Center for the Performing Arts

Address: 19351 W. Washington St., Grayslake, IL

Since 1965, Ruth Page’s The Nutcracker has annually recreated this beloved holiday classic.  The performances recreates Ruth Page’s beloved original full-length staging with dancing, costumes and magical settings in the Land of Snow and the Kingdom of the Sweets.

The Art Deco Nutcracker

Dates/Times: Saturday, December 2, 2023 – 2:00 PM & 7:00 PM

Where: The Athenaeum Theatre

Address: 2936 N Southport Ave, Chicago, IL

With choreography by Alexei Kremnev, the dance rooted in the classics but also pushes the limits.

Athenaeum Center

Dates: Saturday, December 9 – Monday, December 18, 2023

Where: Athenaeum Center

Address: 2936 N Southport Ave, Chicago, IL 60657

Ballet Chicago has been performing The Nutcracker for twenty years and includes local talent.

Chicago Suburbs

The Fox Valley


Saturday, TBA at 2:00pm
Saturday, TBA at 7:00pm
Sunday, TBA at 2:00pm

Where: Batavia Fine Arts Centre

Address: 1250 W Wilson St, Batavia, IL 60510

A Fox Valley holiday tradition that showcases students and families from local dance studios alongside professional dancers, in the beloved holiday classic.

Salt Creek Ballet

Hinsdale Central Auditorium
5500 S Grant St, Hinsdale, IL 60521
Saturday, November 25, 2023 | 1:00 pm & 5:00 pm
Sunday, November 26, 2023 | 1:00 pm

North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie
9501 Skokie Blvd, Skokie, IL 60077
Friday, TBA, 7:00 pm
Saturday, TBA, 1:00 pm & 5:00 pm

McAnnich Art Center, Glen Ellyn
425 Fawell Blvd, Glen Ellyn, IL 60137
Saturday, TBA | 2:00 pm & 7:00 pm
Sunday, TBA | 1:00 pm & 5:00 pm

Salt Creek Ballet’s enchanting production is everything you hope for with stunning costumes and magical effects.

Schaumburg Dance Ensemble

2023 Dates/Times:

Thursday, November 30, at 7 pm
Friday, December 1 at 7 pm
Saturday, December 2 at 1 pm & 5 pm
Sunday, December 3 at 1 pm & 5 pm

Thursday, December 7 at 7 pm
Friday, December 8 at 7 pm
Saturday, December 9 at 1 pm & 5 pm
Sunday, December 10 at 1 pm & 5 pm

Where: Al Larson Prairie Center for the Arts

Address: 201 Schaumburg Court, Schaumburg , Illinois 6019

Featuring live narration, beautiful costumes, and a large cast of professional and student dancers.

 “Duke it Out!” – Nutcracker

Dates/Times: December TBA – 2:00pm

Where: Nichols Concert Hall, Music Institute of Chicago

Address: 1490 Chicago Ave, Evanston, IL 60201

The classical (Tchaikovsky) and jazz (Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn) versions are pitted against each other in a side-by-side showdown.

North Shore School of Dance

Dates/Times: Saturday, December 9 – Sunday, December 10, 2023

Where: Lake Forest Academy

Address: 1500 W Kennedy Rd, Lake Forest, IL 60045

Since 1989, North Shore School of Dance has been presenting its annual December production and includes performing guest artists and dancers from the North Shore and surrounding suburbs. Over 75 dancers are cast, including students, adults, and professional dancers.

Elise Flagg Academy of Dance – “The Naperville Nutcracker”


Thursday, December 7, 2023 – 10 am

Friday, December 8, 2023 – 7 pm

Saturday, December 9, 2023 – 1:00 pm to 3:30pm / 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm

Sunday, December 10, 2023 – 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm

Where: North Central College – Pfeiffer Hall

Address: 310 E. Benton, Naperville, IL 60540

Set to the beloved score by Tchaikovsky, with its beautiful costumes, gorgeous sets and impressive dancing, this production is guaranteed to fill the audience with cheer and delight.

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