Share magical memories

On Christmas Eve 1944, the audience at San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House experienced the American premiere of Nutcracker. An instant sensation, the ballet launched a national holiday tradition.

This holiday season, join us as the lights dim, the music soars, snowflakes swirl, flowers dance, and a little girl dreams about a whole new world in a Nutcracker that is as unique as it is magical. And it's only at SF Ballet. 

Family Viewing Area

Families who need to step outside the auditorium during a Nutcracker performance can still catch the magic in a viewing area on the Dress Circle level. The performance will stream from a monitor during all 2018 performances, so you don’t have to miss a moment.


"S.F. Ballet’s opening night of ‘Nutcracker’ is a plum."
– SF Gate


Please note: No children under age 3, including babes in arms. Everyone entering the Opera House, regardless of age, must have a ticket, and children must be seated with an accompanying adult. No lap sitting.
Handy Guide to Taking Kids to the Ballet.

Runtime: 2 hours including a 20-minute intermission

Explore Nutcracker

Interested in learning more about Nutcracker? Whether you’re coming for the first time or as part of longtime holiday traditions—with family, friends, a first date, or flying solo—you’ll find all you need to know here to help you make the most out of going to this magical holiday ballet.

Continue Reading

Enhance Your Experience

Want to make Nutcracker even more magical?

  • VIP Box Experience offers the best seats in the house, plus a private reception at intermission with sweets, beverages, and special gifts for the children in your party. 
  • Passport Performances feature fun activities throughout the opera house, costumed characters, giveaways, and special refreshments.

Group Discounts

Groups of 20+ can save 20% and get access to tickets before they go on sale to the general public. Contact Group Sales now to receive info about pricing and availability. Your family, friends, and coworkers will enjoy this uniquely San Francisco Nutcracker

Learn More

Send a Family in Need to Nutcracker

Our Children’s Enchantment Fund (CHEF) brings joyful new faces to our Nutcracker performances by distributing tickets to children who otherwise couldn’t attend. Through our partnership with Community Access Ticket Service, which identifies families served by nearly 400 social service agencies throughout the Bay Area, the Children's Enchantment Fund has helped more than 27,000 children and their families to attend San Francisco Ballet’s Nutcracker at no cost.  

Learn More

Nutcracker Benefit Luncheon

Return to the Land of Dreams! Building on the immense success of the last two years sold out events, the Nutcracker Luncheon returns to San Francisco City Hall’s North Light Court for a lovely lunch followed by a delicious array of sweets.

Learn More

Scenic Design: Michael Yeargan
Costume Design: Martin Pakledinaz
Lighting Design: James F. Ingalls
Projection Design: Wendall K. Harrington

The 2004 premiere of Helgi Tomasson’s Nutcracker was made possible by Lead Sponsors The Herbert Family and The Swanson Foundation, and Sponsors Yurie and Carl Pascarella, Kathleen Scutchfield, and The Smelick Family.