We love a classic Nutcracker, but appreciate variety in the Christmas standard, too. This season the holiday ballet can be seen in trademarked virtuosic style at Lincoln Center; adapted for family audiences in venues across the city; for free at the World Financial Center; in a gay, Latino theatrical version in the Bronx; and a grown-up version by the American Ballet Theatre in a Brooklyn.

The original Nutcracker—Marius Petipa’s ballet based on an E.T.A. Hoffman story with music by Tchaikovsky—first premiered at the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, Russia, on December 17, 1892. The Sugar Plum Fairy, the dancing rodents led by a mouse soldier, the young heroine Clara (sometimes called Marie) and Tchaikovsky’s score have become a holiday favorite in New York, drawing hundreds of thousands of people to the ballet.

From late November through early January, die-hard fans and first-timers can take their pick of Nutcrackers, or choose to chew them all up.

Angela Harriell’s Nutcracker: Rated R

"Nutcracker: Rated R" cracks open the heart of the classic children’s ballet to uncover drugs, sex, family secrets and all ...

Ballet for Young Audiences: The Nutcracker

Tchaikovsky’s classic music comes to life and introduces children to the story of Clara’s Nutcracker. Visit the Enchanted Forest with ...

Brighton Ballet Theater: The Nutcracker

Brighton Ballet Theater revives a holiday classic featuring lavish costumes, splendid scenery, and a junior company of 80 young dancers. ...

The Colonial Nutcracker

Created especially for families with children ages 4-10, "The Colonial Nutcracker" sets Tchaikovsky's classic ballet in wintry colonial Yorktown during ...

Joffrey Ballet School: The Nutcracker

A two-act production of "The Nutcracker" ballet performed by children and Joffrey Ballet company dancers.

Valentina Kozlova’s The Nutcracker

The technically and artistically stunning dancers of Valentina Kozlova's Dance Conservatory bring the classic holiday story to life.