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Nutcracker-Symphony Hall, Phoenix

There are many places to see the Nutcracker during the holiday season in Phoenix. We were lovingly taken to Ballet Arizona’s Nutcracker by our family this holiday season. Our daughter, Giggles, has been dancing for a few years and is obsessed with everything dance.

Symphony Hall is tucked into the Convention Center area in Phoenix.

We watched the 2019 performance, but this information can apply to future Nutcracker performances as well.

Parking for the performance can be found around the area at the Convention Center lots, but the lots do fill up quickly. Expect to pay anywhere between $10-$20 for parking. It is adviseable to arrive at last 30 minutes early to get to park, but 45 minutes is better!

I know many people will want to bring little ones to this performance for a holiday tradition, but before you purchase your tickets I would suggest you take your child’s attention span and patience into account. My kids at this posting are 10, 7 and 6 and they did very well for this performance. We did do the matinee performance at 2pm, and I made sure that they got out lots of energy before going to the performance!

The performance is 2 hours long with intermission, and it is a long performance for some children. If your child doesn’t do well sitting still for a 30 minute television program, this isn’t a good idea for them. The performers do a great job with a little bit of audience involvement, but I do believe the audience involvement was geared more towards upper elementary to adult. The younger children (younger elementary and preschool/toddler) wouldn’t catch on to what was happening.

The lobby was beautiful and huge. There were many different decorations everywhere making it extremely festive!

There were fun photo ops with nutcrackers! There were also picture opportunities with some of the ballerinas for an extra price, but we didn’t have enough time before the show!

Each are to enter is called a “portal” instead of a section. I’m not sure if they are trying to get a into a Star Wars theme or if this is just the way that the Symphony Hall describes their entryways. But, I didn’t really like “portal”. It sounds strange.

And, I had to make a joke about the restrooms. If this is a portal, than are the bathrooms “portal potties?” Ha!

Anyhow, the bathrooms were very scarce and not enough of them. So, expect on breaks and the beginning of shows to have a lot of long lines if you are a woman!

The orchestra (symphony) sits below the stage so you can often just see the conductor. If you go up close to the stage during intermission you can see the pit, as it is called. The dancers are up on the stage. It is prohibited to take photography or video during the performance, so there is no video from me! You have to go see it to enjoy it. And, it is very enjoyable!

If you do have a child that is shorter, I suggest sitting on an aisle seat. There are also booster seats for children.

Age Suggestion

I will reiterate my age suggestion for my lovely readers out there. I know so many families try to get the tradition rolling very early with the Nutcracker, but I suggest watching it at home to see if there is an interest at first (there are many versions you can watch). I suggest minimum age of 6 to watch see the Nutcracker for a few different reasons.

  • It is a live performance and getting up and down during the performance is heavily frowned upon. You will not be allowed to reenter until the end of an performance
  • There is no eating or drinking inside of the hall (other than water)
  • It is extremely quiet!
  • The seats are at a very slight angle, so seeing around others who may be taller than your child, even with a booster may be hard
  • Bathroom situation is not very child friendly-very few stalls!

It is an absolutely gorgeous performance and worth the wait! My kids had an amazing time and I am really glad we waited until they were old enough to see it and enjoy it. I think they made memories that will last a lifetime!

The Basics

Ballet Arizona’s The Nutcracker

Symphony Hall Phoenix

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