It’s that time of year – to pull together Christmas wish lists, deck the halls, try a new eggnog recipe, and hang the mistletoe. The holiday season isn’t in full swing, however, without The Nutcracker ballet – and the Denver area is home to three performances of professional caliber.

The Boulder Ballet will treat audiences to an intimate viewing at the Macky Auditorium on the CU Boulder campus. The Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra will provide a live rendition of Tchaikovsky’s famous score starting Friday, November 25 at 4pm, and continuing throughout the weekend in Boulder with shows on Saturday, November 26 at 2PM and 7PM, as well as Sunday, November 27 at 2PM. Tickets range in price from $15 – $25, and can be obtained through the Boulder Ballet Nutcracker website, or by calling 303-449-1342 extension 2.

Boulder Ballet continues with performances the following weekend in Longmont, accompanied by the Longmont Symphony Orchestra. Ticket prices range from $15 – $25, and can be obtained by calling the box office at 303-772-5769. The Christmas magic takes place at the Vance Brand Civic Auditorium in Longmont on Saturday, December 3 at 7PM, and Sunday, December 4 at 2PM.

Ballet Nouveau Colorado has the following two weekends covered, with performances on Friday, December 9 at 7:30PM, Saturday, December 10 at 2PM and 7:30PM, and Sunday, December 11 at 2PM. This schedule repeats the following weekend (Dec 16-18), with tickets ranging from $21-$49. All performances take place at the Performing Arts Complex at PCS in North Denver, and take on a modern feel as is customary of BNC.

Colorado Ballet has the most extensive schedule of all three companies, with tickets ranging in price from $20 – $140, and performances that begin on Saturday, November 26, and run continuously until Christmas Eve. For a complete schedule, visit the Colorado Ballet website, where you can purchase tickets as well. The Colorado Symphony Orchestra will accompany the dancers of the Colorado Ballet. The sets and costumes are always sumptuous – Clara even flies away in a sleigh at the end of Act One – it never stops being an absolute treat.

Whichever Nutcracker you choose to attend, you won’t be disappointed. If this family-friendly ballet isn’t a staple of your holiday tradition, you have an entire month and three incredible companies to assist you in your merry making. You won’t be able to help but have visions of Sugar Plums dancing in your head.