Nutcracker Ballet Productions Near You {2016}

The Little Lake County Guide to Lake County’s Nutcracker Performances is brought to you by the Dance Academy of Libertyville.

For my ballet loving ladies, the holidays are all about the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Snow Queen. If you haven’t been to a production of the The Nutcracker, it’s pure magic! Gorgeous dainty ballerinas in sparkly tutus balancing effortlessly on their toes, falling snow, dancing children, candy that comes to life, and all set to the familiar strains by Tchaikovsky. Little Lake County has the list of The Nutcracker production nearest you. This year, sugar plums won’t just be dancing in your children’s heads–they’ll be on stage in front of you!

nutcracker performances lake county

Lake County Nutcracker Performances

Dancenter North – Clara’s Dream
Butler Auditorium at Libertyville High School, 708 W. Park Avenue, Libertyville | 847-367-7970
Saturday December 3, 10:30 a.m., $12-$15
A shortened presentation of The Magic of the Nutcracker designed specifically for a young audience, with all the same cast, choreography, and grandeur of the full-length performances.  Children will be delighted by Clara’s adventures, beginning with her family’s annual Christmas party and her mysterious Godfather Drosselmeyer. Excitement builds in a spectacular battle scene with life-size mice and soldier dolls.  Finally, Clara travels to the Kingdom of Sweets where she is greeted by the Sugar Plum Fairy and her friends from all around the world!  For an additional ticket of $20 per child you can attend Clara’s Special Party on stage following the performance. Enjoy a meet and greet with the dancers, photos, autographs, and goody bags! Tickets are limited for this event.

Dancenter North – The Magic of the Nutcracker
Butler Auditorium at Libertyville High School, 708 W. Park Avenue, Libertyville | 847-367-7970
Saturday December 3 and Sunday December 4 at 3:00 p.m., $15-$33
Genesee Theather, 203 N. Genesee St., Waukegan |  1-800-982-2787
Saturday December 10, 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.
The largest and most lavish version of the holiday ballet in Lake County! Clara’s dream is brought to life in a beautiful production by Dancenter North that features over 100 performers, including internationally renowned guests artists.  For 28 years, The Magic of the Nutcracker has been Lake County’s favorite version of the classic holiday ballet.

Nutcracker Ballet Productions Near You
Photo Credit: Marriott Theatre

Marriott Theatre – The Nutcracker
Ten Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire |847-634-0200
November 11-December 30 at 10:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., depending on the date, $17.23 (See for discounted tickets!)
A new musical of this classic tale comes to life for children of all ages when Marie receives a beautiful nutcracker for Christmas from her mysterious Uncle Drosselmeyer. When the Nutcracker comes to life, it’s a magical journey to reach the Sugar Plum fairy before the wicked Mouse King. A special one-hour presentation for kids of all ages, featuring Tchaikovsky’s beautiful dance music! Our writer Chad went to go see this play, check out his review.

Illinois Youth Dance Theater – The Nutcracker
Lake Zurich Performing Arts Center, 300 Church Street, Lake Zurich | 847-438-4500
December 8 and 9 at 7:00 p.m., December 10 at 1:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., and December 11 at 3:00 p.m.
Celebrate Illinois Youth Dance Theater’s 17th production of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker. This holiday tradition is sure to please the whole family with the battle scene for the boys and the land of sweets for the girls!

North Shore School of Dance – The Nutcracker
505 Laurel Avenue, Highland Park | 847-432-2060
December 3 and 4 (please see website for additional details)
Each year, this sold-out productions includes performing guest artists and dancers from the North Shore and surrounding suburbs. Over 75 dancers are cast, including students, adults, and professional dancers. This hour long ballet is appropriate for children of all ages and continues to be a family tradition on the North Shore.

Barrington Youth Dance Ensemble – The Nutcracker
Barrington High School Auditorium, 616 W. Main St., Barrington | 847-382-6333
December 2, 3, and 4 , 7:00pm $15-30
This year’s performance will feature breathtaking new set pieces, including the magical sleigh that transports Clara from the Land of Snow into the enchanting Land of Sweets, underwritten by Barrington Area Community Foundation as well as individual donors. Guest artists from National and Chicago regional dance companies, including Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Giordano Dance Chicago, and the Carolina Ballet, perform lead soloist roles and are joined by more than 80 student dancers from the Northwest Chicago suburbs.

Round Lake Area Park District Studio of Dance – Nutcracker in Toyland
Park School, 400 W Townline Rd., Round Lake | 847-546-8558
December 9 – 11 , December 9 :  7:30pm, December 10 : 4:00 and 7:30pm,December 11: 2pm | $5 per ticket
The Round Lake Area Park District Studio of Dance presents The Nutcracker in Toyland. Bring the whole family out for this holiday classic. Dancers of all ages will grace the stage in this timeless company performance of Clara and her magical Nutcracker.

Barrington Dance Academy – Clara’s Tea
758 W. Northwest Hwy, Barrington |847-382-6333
December 16, 6:00pm, $20
Join Clara and her friends for an evening sure to delight! Clara’s Tea will be held at Barrington Dance Academy on December 16 th from 6:00-7:30, for ages 3-8. Children will meet Clara, take photos with Clara and her friends, hear the timeless tale, play Nutcracker dance games, enjoy crafts, and feast on tea time treats. RSVP requested

Schaumburg Nutcracker
Photo Credit: Schaumburg Dance Ensemble

Schaumburg Dance Ensemble – The Nutcracker
Maggie Atcher Theatre, 201 Schaumburg Ct., Schaumburg|847-895-3600
December 2 at 7:30pm,3 and 4 at 1:00pm and 5:00pm, 9 at 7:30pm, 10 at 2:00pm and 7:30pm, 11 at 1:00pm and 5:00pm, $28 for adults and $18 for seniors and students
The Schaumburg Dance Ensemble returns for its 22nd annual production of Tchaikovsky’s grand ballet. Live narration sets the scene as a young girl’s vivid imagination whisks her away to a land of dancing snowflakes, waltzing flowers, and leaping Russians. With a cast of nearly 150, inventive choreography, beautiful costumes, colorful scenery, and some new twists, it’s no wonder that performances sell out quickly — so order now!

Irina Makkai Classical Ballet and Dance School – The Nutcracker
Elm Place Middle School, 2031 Sheridan Rd., Highland Park | (847) 433-1449
December 3 and 4 at 4:00pm $20
Join the Irina Makkai and her classically trained ballerinas for their 6th production of the Nutcracker in Highland Park.

Buffalo Grove Studio of Dance – The Nutcracker: Rhythm and Grace
Buffalo Grove Community Arts Center, 225 McHenry Rd, Buffalo Grove | 847-850-2105
December December 16 and 17 at 7:30 pm, and on December 17 and 18 at 2:00 p.m., $10 in advance or $12 at the door
The Buffalo Grove Studio of Dance is pleased to present the Nutcracker: Rhythm & Grace. This new twist on a beloved classic will feature not only ballet, but incorporate tap, jazz and contemporary as well.

Round Lake Area Park District Dance Theatre – The Nutcracker in Toyland
Park School Campus, 400 W. Townline Rd., Round Lake | (847) 546-8558
December 9 at 7:30 pm, December 10 at 4:00 and 7:30 pm,and December 11 at 2:00 pm, $5
The Round Lake Area Park District Studio of Dance presents The Nutcracker in Toyland. Bring the whole family out for this holiday classic. Dancers of all ages will grace the stage in this timeless company performance of Clara and her magical Nutcracker.


Worth the Trip

Nutcracker Ballet Productions Near You
Photo Credit: Moscow Ballet

Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker
Rosemont Theatre,  5400 N. River Rd., Rosemont
December 4 and 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. $25-$125 (discounted tickets available on Goldstar)
World renown Russian ballerinas join with local dancers to present the highly acclaimed Great Russian Nutcracker. You will revisit your favorite holiday numbers and be dazzled by some new ones, including the Dove of Peace. 

Ruth Page Civic Ballet- The Nutcracker
Northeastern Illinois University Auditorium, Steinberg Fine Arts Center, Enter at 3701 West Bryn Mawr, Chicago | 312-337-6543
December 3 and 7:00pm, 4 at 1:00pm and 5:00pm $25 Adults/$20 Seniors and Children Under 12/$10 NEIU Faculty and Students with ID
The Ruth Page Civic Ballet’s popular re-creation of this holiday classic is back for three performances ONLY. Order your tickets early as all previous performances have sold out each year! Originally presented in the Arie Crown Theatre from 1965 until 1997, this production recreates highlights from Ruth Page’s beloved original full-length staging. Exquisite dancing, world-renown guest artists, stunning costumes and magical settings in the Land of Snow and the Kingdom of the Sweets, The Nutcracker promises holiday joy for children of all ages! Also, the Sunday shows offer the opportunity to have Tea with Clara. Performance and Afternoon Tea $85 for adults and $50 for children under 12. Cost includes premiere seating ticket. There will be plenty of sumptuous treats to eat and the chance to visit with some of your favorite Nutcracker characters! 

Woodstock Opera House
121 W. Van Buren St., Woodstock |(815) 338-5300
December 10 and 17 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., December 11 and 18 at 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., December 16 at 8:00 p.m. $25 for adults, $18 for students.
Come enjoy the magic of the holiday season as the Judith Svalander Dance Theatre transforms the Opera House stage into a realm of fantasy.  Experience Clara’s magical and enchanting journey as Tchaikovsky’s world renowned music is brought to life through the talent and grace of Svalander’s ballet company

Joffrey Ballet – Christopher Wheeldon’s Nutcracker
Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, 50 E. Congress Pkwy., Chicago | 312-386-8905
December 10-December 30
at 2:oo p.m. and 7:00.p.m., $40-$110
Discover the magic of Chicago’s mysterious 1893 World’s Fair through the eyes of a child in the Joffrey’s astounding new Nutcracker — brilliantly re-imagined by Tony Award®-winning choreographer Wheeldon. Be part of dance history as we celebrate our beloved city and unlock a world of wonder for the 21st century. An electrifying holiday tale that will leave you breathless.

Where will you take your children to see The Nutcracker this year?

See dancers from Dance Academy of Libertyville perform with the Schaumburg Dance Ensemble. This version of The Nutcracker is very approachable for children with live narration so children understand what is happening.

nutcracker performances
Photo Credit: Schaumburg Dance Ensemble


Dance Academy of Libertyville has a faculty of highly experienced teachers, performers, and choreographers. They understand that dance must be taught to children carefully and with encouragement. They provide high quality training for dancers ages 2 to adult and house two companies in residence, Ballet Theatre of Illinois and Jazz Theatre of Illinois.

Disclosure: Dance Academy f Libertyville is a paid advertising sponsor of the Nuntcracker guide.



Dance academy of Libertyville
About Jessica Gebbink 74 Articles
Jessica is a mom of 3 girls from Spring Grove, IL. Next to her relationship with the Lord, her other passions include cooking, playing the violin, photography, and helping other moms to realize their true potential.

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