6 Ways to Experience the Nutcracker This Holiday Season

It’s Nutcracker season! Seeing The Nutcracker is one of our favorite Christmas traditions, so we’ve started thinking about ways you can stretch this classic story throughout the holiday season. Whether you’re able to attend the ballet this year or you’re just looking to add some festive elements to your wardrobe, we’ve put together six ways to add a little ‘Nutcracker’ to your holiday season.

See a live performance of The Nutcracker

ways to experience the nutcracker
Boston Ballet in Mikko Nissinen’s The Nutcracker; photo by Liza Voll, courtesy of Boston Ballet.

If your town hosts annual performances of The Nutcracker, or you’re traveling somewhere that does, grab some tickets and enjoy a night out at the ballet! Many towns have ballet companies or dance studios that perform The Nutcracker each year, and some cities even have multiple variations of this classic holiday performance. If you’re visiting Boston this holiday season, you can’t miss Boston Ballet‘s annual presentation of The Nutcrackertickets are available online here and you can read our experience attending The Nutcracker here.

Can’t make it to a live performance? Check your cable offerings or Netflix, a recorded version of The Nutcracker is usually available for free or to rent during the holiday season. (It looks like the movie adaptation, George Balanchine’s ‘The Nutcracker‘ is currently on Netflix). You can also head to your local movie theater to see Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.

Have an impromptu Nutcracker-themed spa night

ways to experience the nutcracker

Make your own sugar scrub (I’ve found plenty of recipes for lip scrubs and moisturizers on Pinterest) or if you’re not into DIY grab some Sugar Plum Fairy pieces from Lush. Their Sugar Plum Fairy scent is one of my favorites, and I’m OBSESSED with the lip scrub! I always have the worst chapped lips in the winter, but their lip scrubs really do help so much.

I’ve also been really into masks lately and Lush’s Rosy Cheeks mask is super calming and can really complete a Nutcracker-themed spa night. If you end up watching The Nutcracker on Netflix, you can easily create a whole girls’ night in around it with inspired products or DIY scents.

Attend or host your own Nutcracker-inspired afternoon tea

ways to experience the nutcracker
Image: Ritz Carlton/Boston Ballet

Plan your Boston travels around seeing Boston Ballet’s production and attending the accompanying tea at the Ritz Carlton. The hotel hosts an annual Holiday Nutcracker Tea which includes hot cocoa, tea, and Nutcracker-inspired pastries and tea sandwiches. Adults can even sip on specialty cocktails while kids meet and pose for photos with Boston Ballet’s Sugar Plum Fairy, Nutcracker Prince, and the Bear from their annual production. This event also supports Catching Joy, which accepts toy donations for the holiday. Each toy donated gets you entered into a raffle for four tickets to Boston Ballet’s Coppelia in the spring! Find complete details and pricing information for Nutcracker Tea at the Ritz here.

If your holiday season doesn’t include a stop in Boston, you can always host your own Nutcracker Tea at home. Celestial Seasons has a sugar plum spice tea blend that can be found in most grocery stores, and with some digging you’re sure to find other themed tea blends perhaps even in a local tea shop. Complete your at-home tea experience with a recording of The Nutcracker from the comfort of your living room and you’re good to go!

Shop for actual nutcrackers

Ways to experience the nutcracker
Macys.com ($60)

I’ve been spending a lot of time at Macy’s lately. (I started there for my first Black Friday shopping experience and then did some online shopping there for Cyber Monday!). I’ve never honestly spent too much time with Macy’s in the past, but I’ve been really into all of their gifts this season. While going through their site for Cyber Monday, I noticed they have TONS of nutcrackers!

If you’re looking to add some classic holiday vibes to your home or if you’re looking for the perfect holiday gift, I would definitely check out the nutcrackers on Macys’ website. I haven’t seen any in the couple of stores I’ve been to, so my guess is these are mostly an online-only item, so if you’re interested be sure to order them with enough time for them to ship before Christmas. (And if you’re seeing The Nutcracker in Boston, there is a Macy’s right in Downtown Crossing near the Boston Opera House!)

Add some Nutcracker pieces to your wardrobe

ways to experience the nutcracker
Modcloth.com ($65)

We could probably write a whole separate post on Nutcracker-inspired fashion we’ve seen this season! The skirt pictured above (from Modcloth/$65) is perfect for holiday parties or to wear when you see a production of The Nutcracker. We’ve also seen lots of glitter and tulle this season that would work well if you’re looking to create a DisneyBound look based on the new movie. (Disney even has new Dooney & Bourke bags designed after The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.)

If you’re looking to create a holiday DisneyBound, Modcloth and Unique Vintage are really great resources, though unless you hit a sale they can be a little on the pricey side. DisneyBounding doesn’t have to be expensive though, so if you’re looking to put together a more budget-friendly look check out this post on how to DisneyBound without breaking the bank and start your shopping at stores like Forever 21 or H&M where you can find some great staple pieces under $20.

Read the book

ways to experience the nutcracker
Barnes and Noble ($3+)

Did you know The Nutcracker story was originally told through a novel? In 1816 The Nutcracker and The Mouse King was published by E.T.A. Hoffman. It’s since been adapted into ballets, movies, and a variety of different theatrical production, but the story started here.

The book is definitely worth a read if you’re a fan of the story, though be warned that like many modern adaptations of fairy tales the original story is much darker than what you’ll see at a ballet. If you’re curious about the differences, check out this spoiler-lite article from NPR on the book. Barnes and Noble has paperbacks of the book for just $3, and it’s readily available on Amazon (and probably your local library too!).

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