The Nutcracker - One Of Austin’s Favorite Ways To Celebrate The Season

A magical show to be enjoyed by all ages, presented by Ballet Austin

Listen up, parents of established or future prima ballerinas and ballet dancers: The Nutcracker, one of Austin’s favorite ways to celebrate the season, is back!

Ballet Austin’s annual production of The Nutcracker, presented by the Georgia B. Lucas Foundation Fund, returns to the Long Center for the Performing Arts, December 7-23, with hundreds of dancers, beautiful sets and costumes, choreography by Stephen Mills, and Tchaikovsky’s delicious score performed live by the Austin Symphony Orchestra. From a festive holiday party to an exotic court of sweets, watch as our young heroine, Clara, faces her fears, rescues her prince, and dreams big during the journey of a lifetime! Make memories to last a lifetime when you share this special holiday tradition with family and friends!

The story of The Nutcracker

It is Christmas Eve at the Silberhaus residence as daughter Clara and her brother Fritz anxiously await their holiday party. Gifts are distributed. Clara receives a doll’s cradle and Fritz a trumpet. Clara's mysterious Godfather, Drosselmeyer, presents Clara with a wooden nutcracker in the shape of a soldier. As midnight approaches the guests depart and Clara and Fritz are sent to bed. The evening is seemingly over.

Clara returns to the parlor to see her nutcracker once more. Suddenly she is surrounded by rats. A transformation takes place. The room begins to disappear and the tree begins to grow. A regiment of soldiers appears and a battle between the rats and the soldiers ensues. Clara's nutcracker magically appears in human size and leads the battle. The nutcracker is suddenly overpowered by the Rat King. Clara stabs the Rat King with the nutcracker's sword, sending him crashing to the ground. Because of Clara’s bravery, the nutcracker is transformed, revealing himself to be Drosselmeyer's nephew, now a handsome Prince. The Prince takes her through the enchanting Land of Snow. 

Magically, Clara and the Nutcracker Prince find themselves in a land filled with dancing snowflakes and a glistening Snow Queen and King. Clara is honored with their beautiful dancing. Wrapped up in a magnificent coil of never-ending snow, Clara and the Nutcracker Prince bid farewell to the Snow Queen and King and continue their journey to the Court of the Sugar Plum Fairy. 

Clara and the Nutcracker Prince arrive at a majestic castle. They are greeted by the Sugar Plum Fairy and her entire court. Clara tells of her encounter with the evil Rat King. In celebration, the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Court dance for Clara. As the festivities draw to a close, Clara suddenly awakens to find herself back in her own home, with her nutcracker, once again a wooden doll, safely at her side. We are left to wonder if Clara's adventure was real or simply a dream.

Dates & Times

There will be 14 Nutcracker performances:

  • Friday, December 7, 7:30 p.m. | Featuring football star VINCE YOUNG as "Mother Ginger"
  • Saturday, December 8, 2 p.m. | Featuring Austin Police CHIEF BRIAN MANLEY as "Mother Ginger"
  • Saturday, December 8 ,7:30 p.m. | Featuring fashion designer KENDRA SCOTT as "Mother Ginger"
  • Sunday, December 9, 2 p.m. | Featuring confectionery queen TIFFANY CHEN (Tiff's Treats) as "Mother Ginger"
  • Friday, December 14, 7:30 p.m.:
  • Saturday, December 15, 2 p.m. and  7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, December 16, 2 p.m.
  • Wednesday, December 19, 7:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, December 20, 7:30 p.m.
  • Friday, December 21, 2 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 22, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, December 23, 2 p.m.

Attending with Children

Before the performance begins, please remind children not to talk or ask questions during the performance and to remain seated without touching or kicking the seat in front of them. Remember, when the lights dim and the music which is part of the performance begins, it is quiet time.

Parents know best if their child is able to quietly enjoy a full-length performance. The following questions will help you decide if your child is ready:

  • Is your child able to enjoy a two-hour movie without talking, eating, moving around, or asking for explanations about what is happening or who the characters are?
  • Is your child happy sitting in her or his own seat or on your lap without kicking adjacent seats and without getting up and down?
  • Is your child able to hold a question for later?

Please be courteous of other guests and step outside the theater into the lobby if your child is crying or being disruptive. Please note that there are no refunds, credits, or exchanges if you must leave the theater because your child was unhappy or disruptive.


The Long Center
701 W Riverside Dr
Austin, TX 78704


Palmer Events Center Garage, located behind and to the east of the Long Center. This structure has two entrances—the South Entrance on Barton Springs Road and North Entrance on Riverside Drive. There is an $8 charge per vehicle to park in this structure.

Paid valet parking is available for $18 per car. For valet parking drop-off by driving eastbound on Riverside Drive and entering the first drive on your right past the Long Center (please stay in the right hand lane of the Keller Williams Circular Drive).

Overflow Parking for the Long Center is located at The One Texas Center.


Balcony tickets: $33-$64

Mezzanine tickets: $63-$78

Parterre tickets: $72-$84

Orchestra tickets: $83-$89

Student Rush tickets: $15

Lap Seat Tickets for Children Under Age 3: Lap seating is available for children under the age of 3 free of charge. A lap seat ticket is required for entry and may be picked up at the box office prior to the performance.

Visit to reserve seats online, or contact Ballet Austin’s Audience Services Team at 512.476.2163, weekdays from noon. to 6 p.m. for personalized assistance.

Photo credit: Tony Spielberg.

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