Nutcracker Performances in Lake County

The 2018 Guide to Nutcracker Performances is presented by Dance Academy of Libertyville. See DAL dancers perform the Nutcracker at the Prairie Center for the Arts December 1 - 10

Music. Magic. Mystery. Mesmerizing dancers. Along with Santa, the Sugar Plum Fairy is also coming to town. In our house of ballerinas, The Nutcracker is our favorite family holiday tradition. My kids love getting dressed up and having a girls’ day enjoying one of the most beautiful performances of the season. With some of the country’s most accomplished dance studios right in our area, there are plenty of opportunities for your family to enjoy this time-honored, traditional performance. Read on to find out where to see The Nutcracker in Lake County and the surrounding areas this holiday season.

nutcracker perrformances in lake county

2018 Nutcracker Performances in Lake County

Schaumburg Dance Ensemble – The Nutcracker
Al Larson Prairie Center for the Arts, 201 Schaumburg Court, Schaumburg | (847) 895-3600
November 30, December 7 & 8 at 7:30 p.m., December 1, 2, & 9 at 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m., December 8 at 2:00 p.m.
Schaumburg’s dazzling production of Tchaikovsky’s magical ballet continues to fill the house and delight audiences of all ages while featuring live narration and a cast of over 40 dancers from all over the Lake County area.  The Nutcracker follows the adventures of young Clara, who visits a dream world of beautifully costumed characters, including leaping Russians, waltzing flowers, and of course, the graceful Sugar Plum Fairy. Younger children will appreciate the narrator telling the story as it progresses.

Barrington Youth Dance Ensemble – The Nutcracker
Barrington High School Auditorium, 616 W. Main Street, Barrington | (847) 382-6333
November 30 at 7:00 p.m., December 1 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., and December 2 at 7:00 p.m.
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.

LoMastro Performing Arts Company – Clara’s Dream
John & Nancy Hughes Theater at Gorton Center, 400 E. Illinois, Lake Forest | Tickets: 1-800-838-3006
December 1 2:00 p.m. & 5:00 p.m. and December 2 11:00 a.m.  & 2:00 p.m.,
Cost : $20-24 reserved seating
LoMastro Performing Arts Academy’s production of The Nutcracker: Clara’s Dream is a one-act version of the ballet which takes place in the dreams of Clara in the Kingdom of the Sweets.  This abridged version of the classic tale is performed by dancers ages 6-18 alongside professional dancers in principle roles.

The Nutcracker
Photo Credit: Schaumburg Dance Ensemble

North Shore School of Dance The Nutcracker
505 Laurel Avenue, Highland Park | (847) 432-2060
December 8 at 1:00 & 4:00 p.m. and December 9 at 3:00 p.m.
Each year, this sold-out production 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.

Dancenter North – Clara’s Dream
Butler Auditorium at Libertyville High School, 708 W. Park Avenue, Libertyville | (847) 367-7970
Saturday December 15, 10:30 a.m.
Enjoy 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 over-sized 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!  Tickets (additional cost) are also available for 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. Learn More at Clara’s Dream the Nutcracker for Preschoolers.

Dancenter North – The Magic of the Nutcracker
Butler Auditorium at Libertyville High School, 708 W. Park Avenue, Libertyville | (847) 367-7970
December 15 & 16 at 3:00 p.m.
Genesee Theater, 203 N. Genesee St., Waukegan |  1-800-982-2787
December 8, 1:00 p.m. & 5:00 p.m.,
Cost: $15-$36
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 30 years, The Magic of the Nutcracker has been Lake County’s favorite version of the classic holiday ballet.

The Magic of the Nutcracker Dancenter North
Photo Source: The Magic of the Nutcracker on Facebook

Ballet MakkaiThe Nutcracker
Gorton Community Center, Center, 400 E. Illinois, Lake Forest
December 15 & 16, 4:00 p.m.
Tickets: $20
The Ballet Makkai Youth Company and students from the Irina Makkai Classical Ballet School perform The Nutcracker. Let your visions of Sugar Plums become reality with this family holiday favorite. Join Clara at her party where she receives the gift of a lifetime, battles giant mice, and travels through a Winter Wonderland to visit the Land of Sweets. See your favorites candies come to life and dance, full of colorful costumes and exciting choreography, the Ballet Makkai Nutcracker is fun for the whole family.

Illinois Youth Dance Theater – The Nutcracker
Lake Zurich Performing Arts Center, 300 Church Street, Lake Zurich | (847) 438-4500
December 20, 21, & 22 7:00 p.m., December 22 at 1:00 p.m., and December 23 at 3:00 p.m.
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!  With local dancers, and professional guest dancers, this show will light up your holiday season.

Irina Makkai Classical Ballet and Dance SchoolThe Nutcracker
Elm Place Middle School, 2031 Sheridan Road, Highland Park | (847) 433-1449
December 15 & 16 at 4:00 p.m.
Join the Irina Makkai and her classically trained ballerinas for their production of the Nutcracker in Highland Park.

Find McHenry County Nutcracker performances at Little McHenry County.

Worth the Trip:

Joffrey Ballet – Christopher Wheeldon’s Nutcracker
Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, 50 E. Congress Parkway, Chicago | (312) 386-8905
December 1 – December 30 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00.p.m. 
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. The Prairie Center for the Arts version of the Nutcaker is wonderful for all ages. A live narrator helps the story truly come alive.

Dance Academy of Libertyville’s faculty has been providing quality training for dancers ages 2 thru adult, for over 20 years. With careful attention to detail and encouragement, dancers learn the skills to excel not just in dance but in all areas they choose to pursue. Dance Academy of Libertyville is also proud to house two pre-professional companies;  Ballet Theatre of Illinois and Jazz Theatre of Illinois.

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

Dance academy of Libertyville
About Jessica Gebbink 90 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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