SF Ballet: The Nutcracker / by Kate Brightbill

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I’m a person who loves and thrives on traditions and experiences. There isn’t much more that excites me than to travel to new places, have new experiences, and create memories.

I haven’t been to the ballet since I was a child on a field trip. Several friends go to The Nutcracker every year, but I’ve only briefly considered it until this year. We were SO honored to be invited to opening night at the SF Ballet and share about our experience, and now I want to attend every.single.year.

Though I never was a ballerina as a child, our girls were enrolled in Tutu School for years while preschool age. They adore ballet and all dance, really. When I told them we would be going, their eyes widened and they squealed. I didn’t even have to fight to get them out of bed on the day of the performance, which is saying something. ;)

SF Ballet #ballet #nutcracker #sanfrancisco #stylesmaller

The performance we attended was a Passport Performance, which means that there are additional activities for children. The first 500 children receive a darling stuffed bear upon arrival, then are treated to SmashMallow snacks before the performance, and Miette shortbread cookies at intermission (both favorites!). They receive a passport book with stamps to acquire through visiting activities throughout the Opera House. As my girls ran up the stairs, I was able to see the incredible Opera House adorned in lights and garland and stunning Christmas trees on every level. They took photos at photo booths, learned history, and had the opportunity to see ballet pieces up close.

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The highlight of the Passport experience was having the privilege of holding authentic ballet slippers (much heavier than they look!), and trying on the REAL tutus the ballerinas wear.

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There are booster seats for children to use during the performance, and both of mine needed them (shorties!). The views from our seats were perfection, and the show was magic. I had no idea what I have been missing all these years not attending. The elegance of movement, and the stunning costume design was absolutely breathtaking.

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We stayed the entire time. I wasn’t sure how my Maggie would do since it was wayyy past her bedtime. The show started at 7:30 (also past her bedtime!) and lasted until 9:30. I wouldn’t recommend it for children younger than six because it IS long and late, and I even had to shhh my little talker when she made some observations. She loved it so much that even when her eyes were heavy and her head started resting on the back of her chair, she said she definitely did not want to leave early. Sophie was engaged and enthralled the entire time (so was I!).

We could not recommend the experience more. I am already looking forward to taking the girls in 2019 to experience the magic again.

The Nutcracker runs from now until December 29!

Buy tickets HERE.

*Tickets were complimentary in exchange for a review.

All opinions are my own. We LOVED the entire experiences.