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Experience Holiday Magic with Spokane Symphony & The Nutcracker

Experience Holiday Magic with Spokane Symphony & The Nutcracker

This week, families can experience some holiday magic and enjoy a special night out at The Nutcracker Ballet in Spokane, Washington. The Nutcracker music will be performed live by the Spokane Symphony at the Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox. The classic story is brought to life by the Santa Barbara-based State Street Ballet and more than 75 young, local dancers.

This post is written on behalf of the Spokane Symphony. All opinions are our own.

Experiencing the magic of The Nutcracker with the Spokane Symphony and the State Street Ballet is the perfect way to kick off the holiday season! I remember my own childhood feelings of joy and wonder while watching the graceful ballerinas and glittering scenes on stage with my family. It’s no wonder why The Nutcracker ballet has transcended time since its creation in 1892.

Don’t miss the opportunity to take your family to one of The Nutcracker’s five performances in Spokane, Washington! You can see the full event details and purchase tickets through the Spokane Symphony website.

The Nutcracker Show Schedule

  • Thursday, December 5 – 7:30 pm
  • Friday, December 6 – 7:30 pm
  • Saturday, December 7 – 2 pm
  • Saturday, December 7 – 7:30 pm
  • Sunday, December 8 – 2 pm

Spokane Symphony and State Street Ballet Nutcrackerphoto credit: State Street Ballet

Performance Highlights

This is the ninth year of State Street Ballet from Santa Barbara coming to perform with the Spokane Symphony, and it’s the 41st performance of The Nutcracker by the Spokane Symphony!

E.T.A. Hoffman’s story of Clara and the Nutcracker Prince is brought to life by the Santa Barbara-based State Street Ballet and more than 75 local dancers. It’s choreographed by Rodney Gustafson.

Tchaikovsky’s beloved score is performed live by the Spokane Symphony under the direction of conductor Morihiko Nakahara.

The beautiful Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox is dressed in the holiday spirit. Attending The Nutcracker performance live in Spokane, Washington a magical tradition you won’t want to miss.

Spokane Symphony and State Street Ballet Nutcracker soldiersphoto credit: State Street Ballet

Tips for Taking Kids to The Nutcracker Ballet

My girls love ballet, so you can imagine how excited they will be to see their first holiday performance of The Nutcracker. It always helps to be prepared when you plan to take kids to a professional performance! We’ve used these tips to help our family enjoy the show.

Tell your child the story of The Nutcracker Ballet – The Nutcracker story is told through dance and music. Parents can help young children better understand the show by telling them The Nutcracker story before it starts. The Nutcracker story is in the program you’ll get at the theater and you can find it online too. With a little context, even young kids will enjoy watching the magical Nutcracker come to life and take Clara on adventures around the world.

Eat a meal before – Few things make kids antsier than feeling hungry. It’s very helpful to eat a good meal before seeing a live performance, so kids feel settled and content. If we are short on time, we often bring our kids a simple snack to enjoy in the car or lobby right before the show.

Make sure everyone uses the restroom – It’s very common for kids to need to use the restroom… right after they’ve sat down for a performance. You can prevent missing the first few minutes of the show by asking each child, several times, if they need to use the restroom before finding your seats.

Know the theater rules – Some theaters are more family friendly than others. Some venues allow you to get up and come back in during the performance, while others do not. Some theaters allow phones and photography, while others don’t. It’s helpful to ask about the rules before the show starts.

Dress up and have fun – It’s fun to dress up fancy for a night out at the theater and encourage your kids to dress up too! The Spokane Symphony offers a few tips to make The Nutcracker show fun, including:

  • Come early to check out the Nutcracker Gift Shop.
  • Enjoy hot chocolate and treats in the theater’s nostalgic holiday décor
  • You may bring your phone on silent.
  • You may bring drinks to your seats, but not food.
  • Clap when you like what you see or hear!

Spokane Symphony’s performance of The Nutcracker at the Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox is a great opportunity to enjoy a family night out. Choose from 5 performances scheduled for December 5 – 8, 2019 and get your tickets to see the show!

Snow King and Queen Spokane Symphony and State Street Ballet Nutcrackerphoto credit: State Street Ballet

Family Night at the Nutcracker

We took our two girls to see The Nutcracker Ballet on opening night. The Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox was beautifully decorated for the holidays, with snack stands and a Nutcracker Gift Shop. It was fun to see many families also attending the performance with their daughters. Everyone dressed up for the occasion!

Family night Spokane Symphony and State Street Ballet Nutcracker

Before the performance my girls enjoyed a sample box of doughnuts. During intermission, we looked around the Nutcracker Gift Shop set up in the theater lobby.

Spokane Symphony Nutcracker family night out

Spokane Symphony Nutcracker sweet treats

Spokane Symphony Nutcracker Sugar Plum Fairy ornament

My girls enjoyed looking at all the Nutcracker ornaments, figurines, snow globes, even socks! The Nutcracker Gift Shop offered a variety of great gift ideas for everyone who loves the story of The Nutcracker.

Spokane Symphony Nutcracker Gift Shop

The Nutcracker Ballet

The Nutcracker performance by State Street Ballet of Santa Barbara was beautiful, lively and the perfect length for families with kids. The first scene depicted the family Christmas party at Clara’s house and many humorous antics with her cousins, aunts, uncles and grandma. Grandmother, a very colorful character, added a comedic element to the holiday festivities. Grandma teased her family and tottered about, and occasionally thrust aside her cane to breakdance. She later showed up in the performance as Mother Ginger. Uncle Drosselmeyer presented Clara with The Nutcracker and the guests said good-night. The story then whirled into Clara’s fantastic dream world, where the Nutcracker come to life and battled the Mouse Queen and her entourage.

Part 2 of The Nutcracker took place in a regal kingdom styled after foreign places. Clara met the Snow Queen and King, Sugar Plum Fairy and many other exotic characters. I thought the State Street Ballet performance was very artistic, giving the classic tale a modern edge. We all loved the dazzling costumes and amazing choreography performed by the talented dancers. The Spokane Symphony concert was also fantastic, and so special to enjoy both the live music and ballet on stage.

The Nutcracker Ballet is a classic performance to take kids to especially during the holidays. We really appreciated the opportunity to enjoy this experience so close to home. If you can, definitely go see The Nutcracker presented by Spokane Symphony and the State Street Ballet, performing this week December 5 – 8 only! You can also see what’s coming up on Spokane Symphony’s performance schedule.

Spokane Symphony Nutcracker Ballet Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox

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Katie WallaceMelissaLeAnn HarbertTerri SteffesCatherine Recent comment authors
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Katie, what a great write up of The Nutcracker! I loved those donuts, they were so delicious!

LeAnn Harbert
LeAnn Harbert

This looks like a beautiful show. I wish I could take my granddaughters to see The Nutcracker one day.

Terri Steffes

It’s a classic favorite that’s perfect for the season. It’s also something that the younger crowd will appreciate. Thanks for sharing the show schedule!


The nutcracker is such a classic. I play the music throughout the season..what a beautiful experience to see it live!

Shannon Gurnee

That looks like an awesome performance to check out! I would love to see this someday. I used to live in West Seattle and would have totally gone to see this.

Yeah Lifestyle

We love the Nutcracker and I would love to take my daughter to this when it tours the UK. I love all your tips on taking kids to the show and surely will follow it when we do go

Dan "Jay" Reyes
Dan "Jay" Reyes

I like and enjoy going to shows like this. Thank you for sharing this post.

Ashley R

I love going to see the nutcracker. I have found that you really have to sit closer to the stage to get the full effect and its so much more expensive.

Kim Seghers

I love the Nutcracker but, have only seen it on television and at the IMAX theater. I would love to see a live performance one day. I wish this was closer to where I live, I would go!

Cristina Petrini

I have always loved the Nutcracker for the melancholy emotion it causes me!

Liz Cochico

I love the Nutcracker. I wish we were near so I can bring my granddaughters. They’d love this, for sure.