My First Nutcracker

Performance Dates: December 3 - December 23, 2022
Run Time: 50 Minutes
Best for Ages: 3–8
Year(s) Produced: 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 delicious treats, dancing flowers, and a pesky mouse king!

About My First Nutcracker

You’ve been invited to Clara-Marie’s holiday party! Join Clara-Marie and the Prince as they travel to a magical kingdom filled with delicious treats, 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 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 Before Purchasing Tickets

  • My First Nutcracker is a 50-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.
  • The performances on Sunday, December 11th at 2pm and Saturday, December 17th at 11am are sensory friendly performances.
    • Sensory friendly performances are designed to create a welcoming environment for all families with children on the autism spectrum and related conditions. Modifications include the house lights staying on at a low level, lowering the sound levels, and acknowledging that audience members might verbalize throughout the performance.

Show Credits

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

COVID Safety Measures

The health and safety of our audience members, cast, and crew are our top priority as we head back to the theater. Currently:

  • All guests 2 and older must wear a mask at all times.
  • Effective immediately, proof of vaccination is no longer required for entry to Theatre Row.
  • If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please stay home and contact the Theatre Row Box Office at or by phone at (212) 714-2442 ext. 45 (12pm-5pm daily).

All guidelines are subject to change. Please visit Theatre Row’s COVID-19 Information page for the most up to date information.

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.

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

If you cannot afford to pay for your tickets, please fill out this form to request tickets for your family. Please note, tickets are limited and submitting this form is not a confirmation of tickets.

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

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