My First Nutcracker

Performance Dates: December 2 - December 21, 2023
Run Time: 45 Minutes
Best for Ages: 3–8, but fun for the whole family!
Year(s) Produced: 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019
An interactive dance theater piece that invites families to join Clara Marie and the Prince as they travel to a magical kingdom filled with sparkling skies, dancing flowers, and a pesky mouse king!

About My First Nutcracker

You’re invited to Clara-Marie’s holiday party! Join Clara-Marie and the Prince as they travel to a magical kingdom filled with sparkling skies, dancing flowers, and a pesky mouse king in this interactive holiday classic reimagined for your youngest theatergoers!

Adapted for young audiences by Barbara Zinn Krieger and directed and choreographed by Melissa Riker, NYCCT’s hit dance theater production invites the audience to join in the fun and will have the whole family dancing along! This must-see holiday show returns to Theatre Row this holiday season!

My First Nutcracker celebrates and explores imagination, family, tradition, and female empowerment.

Playing live at Theatre Row
410 West 42nd Street, NYC 10036 – Get Directions

What Grownups Need to Know
  • My First Nutcracker is a 45-minute dance-theater piece best for ages 3-8.
  • Clara Marie, The Mouse King, and other characters walk through the audience in the aisles during the show. 
  • Audience members will be invited to dance with the performers during the show. 
  • Tickets are required for all guests. Guests under the age of 2 may purchase a lap seat for $5 (cash only) from the box office on the performance day. 
  • My First Nutcracker is performed in Theatre 3 at Theatre Row. Theatre 3 is on the upper level of the Theatre Row complex and is accessible by stairs and an elevator. Stroller parking is available.
  • NYCCT is proud to offer an open caption performance of My First Nutcracker on Saturday, December 9th at 11am. 
    • Open Caption performances use a text display to provide a simultaneous translation of dialogue during a live performance, as well as a description of any sound effects on stage.
  • NYCCT is proud to offer sensory friendly performances of My First Nutcracker on Sunday, December 10th at 2:30pm and Saturday, December 16th at 11am. 
    • Sensory friendly performances are designed to create a welcoming environment for all families with children on the autism spectrum and related conditions. Some changes to the performance include the house lights staying on at a low level, lowering the sound levels, and acknowledging that audience members might verbalize throughout the performance.
    • Download our Visual Stories – My Trip to the Theater and What Happens in the Show!

Show Credits

Directed and Choreographed by Melissa Riker
Adapted for young audiences by Barbara Zinn Krieger
Featuring the Music of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Have Questions?

For ticketing questions, please contact the Theatre Row box office at 212-714-2442 x45 from 12pm – 5pm est. daily or via email at

For all other questions, please email and an NYCCT representative will get back to you as soon as possible.

Grab lunch or dinner after the show at Schnipper’s!

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Save 10% on your meal when you show your My First Nutcracker ticket stub or program at the Times Square location after your performance! Learn more about Schnipper’s!

NYCCT is committed to making theater accessible for all families. If you or a member of your family requires a specific accommodation or if you have questions about accommodations already put in place, please email

What Audiences are Saying about My First Nutcracker

My First Nutcracker is on the list of 12 Holiday Shows for New York City Families!

The classic Nutcracker isn’t perfect for all age groups, but this rendition at New York City Children’s Theater is a fantastic first introduction. A 50-minute, kid-friendly show (best for ages 3 to 8), this ballet follows Clara and the Prince as they travel to a magical Christmas wonderland complete with whimsical decorations, sweet treats, dancing flowers and one pesky mouse.

— Mommy Nearest
A Memory Little Ones will Cherish for Years to Come!

My 6-year-old, 4-year-old and 1-year-old, all loved the production and were mesmerized from beginning to end. The show was the perfect amount of time to let them experience a quintessential NYC holiday experience with the freedom to wiggle around and even interact with the performers. Whether your kids have never stepped foot in a theater or are seasoned veterans, this unique rendition will surely be a memory that little ones will cherish for years to come.

— FiDi Families
“Delight in the Magic of the Holiday Season” at My First Nutcracker!

My kids love ballet, so I knew they’d love the New YorK City Children’s Theater’s My First Nutcracker, a children’s production of the holiday classic. In 50 minutes we traveled to far off lands and celebrated the magic of dance during this riveting interactive performance. If you live in the NYC area come delight in the magic of the holiday season with your little ones at My First Nutcracker.

— Lullabies and Louboutins
My First Nutcracker is One of the Best Nutcracker Shows in NY!

New York City Children’s Theater presents the classic holiday story adapted especially for young audiences. In this 50-minute production, audiences will travel with Clara and the Prince to a magical kingdom filled with delicious treats, dancing flowers, and a pesky mouse king.

— Red Tricycle
NYCCT Makes Mommy Poppins’ List of Family Nutcrackers in NYC!

If your tot’s too young to sit through the full-length ballet, New York City Children’s Theater is presenting a 50-minute version that serves as an age-appropriate introduction to this seasonal staple. Watch as Clara and her Prince journey to a fantastical kingdom filled with scrumptious treats, dancing flowers and a meddling Mouse King. All the highlights of The Nutcracker, including Tchaikovsky’s breathtaking music, are there, and Clara narrates the whole thing so young audiences won’t lose their way.

— Mommy Poppins
An Absolutely Delightful Introductory Ballet Performance!

My First Nutcracker is an absolutely delightful introductory ballet performance geared to young children. My 5 year-old granddaughter enjoyed it all: the crafts, the story, the “cozy” theater, and the Mouse King tip-toeing up the aisle! The dancers are wonderful! The audience participation component was perfect for young children, including getting up out of their seats to practice ballet steps! I highly recommend My First Nutcracker for young children and their parents and grandparents!

— NYC Mom
It was Magical!

Thank you so much for this wonderful experience. The kids loved the performance. When I asked what was their favorite part, some of them said that they loved flying with the dancers. Thank you for this wonderful gift of art and culture. It was magical!

— NYC Mom
My First Nutcracker in Chelsea Community News

Playing now through Dec. 22 at W. 42nd St.’s Theater Row is My First Nutcracker, a NYC Children’s Theater production. Aptly titled, it’s a place to bring kids ages 3-8 for their first time seeing this story. We spoke to Barbara Zinn Krieger, the Founder and Artistic Director of NYC Children’s Theater, who explained that it has a running time of under an hour, plus dialogue to help kids better understand the story. It also has audience participation, so “kids can have the thrill of doing some steps and arm movements themselves.” Krieger also explained that the audience will be able to interact with Clara-Marie and the rest of the cast, and will learn the significance of the various dances in the show. There are also a few “Sensory-Friendly Performances” for children on the autism spectrum, or with ADHD.

— Chelsea Community News

Perfection! A wonderful primer for a young theater-goer. Every detail – from small to large – was thoughtful and imagined for little eyes. The actors are phenomenal. Facial expressions and all! The costumes are eye catching and imaginative. And, although I (as a parent) was bummed when it ended, it was just the right run time for the target audience.

— NYC Mom
Delightful and Gentle

My First Nutcracker is a very engaging, delightful and gentle introduction to The Nutcracker! Even the warm up act before the performance is charming.

— NYC Parent
My Girls Loved It!

My girls loved it! What a great, inviting energy from the cast. I admired the interactivity and the condensing of the original piece. Clara’s dancing was especially beautiful! She sparkles. My girls were just upset they couldn’t stay in their seats and watch the whole thing again.

— NYC Parent
Truly a Treat!

Truly an immersive experience from start to finish! The theater staff and cast tease all the senses and keep the audience on their toes (literally)! The audience ‘flies’ to new lands with Clara and her family to party with nutcrackers, royalty, fairies and more! Kids (of all ages) and adults alike will revel in this well-timed holiday fun! Truly a treat!

— NYC Parent
My Daughter Had the Time of Her Life

My daughter was enthralled by the performance and had the time of her life with the interactive bits of the show. She was so immersed in the experience! Thank you for a great theatrical and dance experience!

— NYC Parent
Highly Recommend It for Families with Little Kids

My daughter who is 17 months old was very intrigued and thoroughly enjoyed the show! It was her first theater experience and it was the perfect length. We have a tradition of going to The Nutcracker every year so it’s great there is an age-appropriate show for my child. Would highly recommend it for families with little kids. We will definitely see it again next year!

— NYC Parent

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