Atlanta Ballet/Kim Kenney

Visions of sugarplums and dancers galore! There are so many ways to enjoy the holiday tradition of “The Nutcracker.”

On the Screen

Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms: This 2018 film explores the magical worlds, Land of Snowflakes, Land of Flowers and Land of Sweets, Clara travels to in this fantasy take on the tale.

The Nutcracker: A little girl named Marie dreams herself into a fantastic world where her beloved Nutcracker comes to life in this 1993 film.

Barbie in the Nutcracker: In this animated film, Barbie and the Nutcracker go on an adventure to find the Sugarplum Princess.

A Crackin’ Good Party

Entertain the kids with these snacks and crafts.

For younger kids:

  • For a cute snack, decorate Nutter Butter cookies to resemble mice. Find full instructions at
  • Make popsicle stick puppets of Clara, the Nutcracker and the Mouse King. Find full instructions at

For older kids:

  • Buy plain wooden nutcrackers at a craft store to have your kids decorate their own toys.
  • Work together to create cute marshmallow pops that resemble the Mouse King. Find full instructions at

See It Live

Southern Ballet Theatre’s The Nutcracker at Aurora Theatre: View this timeless tale of Clara’s journey to a magical land. Dec. 14-17.

Nutcracker! Magical Christmas Ballet at Fox Theatre: This holiday tradition features larger-than-life puppets, breathtaking acrobatics and dazzling costumes and features the stars of Ukraine ballet. Dec. 15.

Nutcracker! Magical Christmas Ballet at Fox Theatre: This holiday tradition features larger-than-life puppets, breathtaking acrobatics and dazzling costumes and features an international cast of stars. Dec. 15-16.

Atlanta Ballet’s The Nutcracker at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre: This innovative production features larger-than-life sets, bold costumes and video projections. Through Dec. 26.

Find more Nutcracker performances in metro Atlanta here.

What Do You Really Know?

You’ve seen the ballet multiple times, so it seems familiar, but did you know…

  • Alexandre Dumas Père’s adaptation of the story by E.T.A. Hoffmann was commissioned by the director of Moscow’s Imperial Theatres in 1891 and premiered a week before Christmas 1892.
  • “The Nutcracker” was first performed outside Russia in England in 1934. Its first performance in the United States was in 1944 by the San Francisco Ballet.
  • In Hoffmann’s tale, the girl’s name is Marie or Maria, while Clara is the name of one of her dolls.
  • The Atlanta Ballet first performed The Nutcracker in 1959, 62 years ago, and was the only regional company granted permission at the time to perform the New York City Ballet’s choreographed version.
  • Hoffman’s “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” was written in 1816.
  • According to German folklore, nutcrackers are given as good luck charms and help to ward off evil.
  • “The Nutcracker” has enjoyed enormous popularity since George Balanchine’s 1954 production in New York.
  • Tchaikovsky’s original manuscript of the Nutcracker Suite was found on December 9, 1946, in wastepaper bought to cover the walls of a flat in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Macaulay Culkin, the star of the “Home Alone” movie series, had a role in the 1993 movie version of “The Nutcracker,” as Drosselmeier’s nephew.


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