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Holiday Shows and Performances for Seattle Families

ParentMap’s annual December arts guide is here

Published on: November 29, 2023

Holiday Shows and Performances for Seattle Families

Ballerinas dancing in white costumes
International Ballet Theatre’s “The Nutcracker.” Credit: Rex Tranter


“George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker”
Pacific Northwest Ballet presents one of the area’s most extravagant and beloved holiday art traditions: George Balanchine’s definitive 1952 choreography for “The Nutcracker,” together with quirky set designs by the late children’s book author Ian Falconer. Every family should go at least once, but many families make it an annual tradition. Guests who want to make an already special occasion even more so may spring for a themed gift box, VIP seats or access to the Nutcracker Suite’s intermission dessert. But even if you stick to the basics, you can still look forward to roaming entertainers, crafts and photo ops in the lobby. Arrive early to explore it all, and be on the lookout for an exciting Easter egg on the set — a nod to Falconer’s most recognizable character, Olivia. Nov. 24–Dec. 27. Digital-only tickets are also available (streaming Dec. 18–27). $29–$195. McCaw Hall, Seattle.

“The Nutcracker” – Vashon Center for Dance
Vashon Island has its own decades-long Nutcracker tradition. Vashon Center for Dance kicks off the holiday season early with its all-ages “The Nutcracker” at the Vashon Center for the Arts. Weekend performances are matinees — perfect for island families with young children. Nov. 30–Dec. 3. $18. Vashon Center for the Arts, Vashon Island.

“Seattle City Nutcracker”
With only two performances, and those taking place before many people are even thinking about holiday shows, it would be easy to miss the one-of-a-kind “Seattle City Nutcracker” from DASSdance. Since 2019, “Seattle City Nutcracker” has given this classic ballet a contemporary and local twist. Clara and Maria travel from their uncles’ Fix-It shop in the Central District to the Land of Sweets, where ballet meets jazz, modern, tap, acrobatics and even aerial performance. The Mini-Nutcracker matinee on Dec. 2 includes a continental breakfast, door prizes, balloon twisting, and pictures with Santa and the Nutcracker characters. Dec. 2–3. $32. Broadway Performance Hall, Seattle.

“Nutcracker Sweets”
ARC Dance is a ballet school and performance company whose students and professional dancers unite each year to create Nutcracker magic in a 90-minute, kid-friendly “Nutcracker Sweets” showcase. Performances begin Dec. 2 at Cornish Playhouse and will be held on successive weekends in Ballard and Shorewood. $18–$48. Cornish Playhouse, Seattle: Dec. 2. ARC Performance Space, Seattle: Dec. 8–-10. Shorewood Performing Arts Center, Shoreline: Dec. 16.

“The Nutcracker” by Emerald Ballet Theatre
Emerald Ballet Theatre presents four matinee performances of “The Nutcracker” with a combination of youth and professional performers, and gorgeous costumes and sets. This is one of a handful of “Nutcrackers” accompanied by live music, in this case performed by the Emerald Ballet Theatre Orchestra, conducted by David Waltman. The orchestra will be joined by Columbia Choirs of Metropolitan Seattle for the first weekend. Dec. 2–10. $21–$49. Northshore Performing Arts Center, Bothell.

“Wade Walthall’s The Nutcracker”
Evergreen City Ballet celebrates its 30th anniversary with “Wade Walthall’s The Nutcracker,” in two productions of different lengths and at two venues: Auburn Performing Arts Center and Renton Ikea Performing Arts Center. Students and guest dancers perform together in this South Sound classic, with one performance at each venue presented as an abbreviated, one-hour show perfect for the littlest ballet fans. Auburn Performing Arts Center: $39; Dec. 8–10. Renton Ikea Performing Arts Center: $44; Dec. 15–17.

“The Nutcracker” by International Ballet Theatre
International Ballet Theatre’s “The Nutcracker” has been an Eastside tradition for decades. International Ballet Theatre performs the beloved ballet with choreography created by Vera Altunina in the style of the traditional Russian version, featuring Arabian dancers and a fierce battle scene. Dec. 8–23. $62 ($31, kids younger than 12). Meydenbauer Theatre, Bellevue.

Ballet Northwest’s “The Nutcracker”
With its professional sets and costumes, Ballet Northwest’s large-scale South Sound production is one of the region’s longest-running “Nutcrackers.” This year’s guest artist is James Kirby Rogers, principal dancer with Pacific Northwest Ballet. Dec. 8–17. $17–$38. Washington Center for the Performing Arts, Olympia.

Tacoma City Ballet presents “The Nutcracker”
Families can enjoy a holiday classic and still get the youngest ballet fans to bed on time with Tacoma City Ballet’s all-matinee run of the original Russian version of “The Nutcracker.” Like Emerald Ballet Theatre’s production, this “Nutcracker” is presented with live orchestral accompaniment. Dec. 9–23. $27–$127. Pantages Theater, Tacoma.

“The Nutcracker” by Olympic Ballet Theatre
Olympic Ballet Theatre has its own version of the holiday favorite ballet, but the choreography by OBT artistic directors Oleg Gorboulev and Mara Vinson still includes your favorite scenes from the original – snowflakes, mouse battle, flowers and all. There’s a full length, 2-hour version and a slightly abbreviated morning matinee, each performed in two venues. Everett Performing Arts Center: Dec. 8–10; $27–$55. Edmonds Center for the Arts: Dec. 14–20; $10–$55. .

Up next: Carols and Nights Before

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