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Christmas is a great time to go and see a ballet at one of the many beautiful venues around the country. As ballet lovers watching ballet at Christmas has become somewhat of a tradition, there are plenty to choose from, but some have a greater connection with the festive season than others.

Here is our list of some of the best ballets to see at Christmas Time

The Nutcracker

The Nutcracker is one of the classic ballets of Christmas time because it is based during the holidays. With its dancing snowflakes and the Sugar Plum Fairy, it is a brilliant Christmas ballet for first time ballet visitors as well as for long-time fans. Productions are lavish affairs often with a full orchestra, amazing sets and lots of festive cheer.

The Snowman

Many of us will remember reading The Snowman at Christmas as kids or reading it to the kids. The classic winter tale has been reborn into a stunning ballet that is the perfect show to see at Christmas. It is definitely one to take the children but also has plenty to entertain and amuse the adults – the slightly well-rounded Santa trying to climb the stairs quietly is a perfect example!

The Little Match Girl

The dance adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen story is another set at Christmas, the sad story of a little girl trying to sell matches on Christmas Eve to cruel neighbours. The result is a heart-warming take on the story that is great for a family activity. The stage show is impressive, and music includes an eclectic range of instruments not normally heard at the ballet.


For those who know dance, Matthew Bourne is a well-known name and his adaptation of the classic Cinderella story is showing again this Christmas. This is a new version of the story, placing events in the time of the Blitz on London with bomb blasts and Pathe newsreels in the background. You can still see the original story in the show, but it is also something completely new and therefore very enjoyable for everyone.

The Sleeping Beauty

While The Sleeping Beauty isn’t set at Christmas, it is a great show to see at Christmas with the family. The story is well known – the wicked fairy puts a curse on the newly born princess after being snubbed at the christening. But another fairy softens the curse to a deep sleep rather than death – that can only be broken by the prince’s kiss. The Royal Opera House stages the play blending original 19th century choreography with modern touches.

Il trovatore

This is a ballet written by Verdi following Rigoletto and just before La Traviata. It is best known for the music – ‘gypsy’ music, chorus numbers and more. The ballet has a theme of jealousy and revenge set against a war backdrop with just enough romance and love to make the story. The current showing is directed by David Bosch.

These are just a few of the most famous ballets associated with Christmas or that are available to see over the festive period. Many of these are also available on DVD on online streaming so if you can’t see them live then watch them in your own home instead!