Tips for Hosting a Nutcracker Tea Party

Promote your upcoming performance with this fun event!

The Nutcracker Tea Party is a popular event to hold a week or two prior to Nutcracker Ballet Performances. This is a great way for the younger students at your dance school and community get excited about going to The Nutcracker! It also gives the more experienced dancers an opportunity to inspire young dancers (or non-dancers) to continue with (or begin) dance lessons. Hold a Nutcracker Tea Party event for young children and a parent, or have volunteer chaperones ready to assist and give Moms (and Dads) the morning off! Serve fun dance and holiday-themed teas and cakes. Have several performing dancers dressed in costume mingle with the guests and perform excerpts from the ballet as the story of The Nutcracker is read to the children. Play games like Nutcracker Bingo, and offer guests the chance to have their picture taken with the Nutcracker cast. This fun event is the perfect promotional event for your dance company’s upcoming performances! 
    1. Hold the event at a location that is low-cost or free such as:
      • Your Dance Studio
      • Local Community Center
      • Public Library Conference Room
      • Retirement Community Dining Room
    2. Invite young dancers to attend with a parent, or have volunteer chaperones lined up to give Moms the morning off.
    3. Send out invitations to the dancers in your Company’s school (ages 4-10). Sell tickets to the event at local dancewear stores and at your studio. Price the tickets at about $25 per person.
    4. Decorate the room with a festive Nutcracker Ballet theme:
      • Set up different themes in each corner of the room – Party Scene in one corner, Battle Scene in another, Snow Scene in another area, and the Land of Sweets in another.
      • Use Nutcrackers in a variety of sizes
      • Christmas and Winter colored streamers help add that special touch
      • Decorate a white Christmas tree with brightly colored Ornaments
      • Hang posters from past Nutcracker performances
      • Make colorful centerpieces for each table with evergreen sprigs, red and gold ribbon, and christmas ornaments or figurines (avoid glass ones!)
      • Hang paper cut-outs of Nutcracker characters on the walls or from the ceiling
    5. Some of your Nutcracker’s Soldiers can greet guests at the door.
    6. Have a brief "Program of Events" card at each table – Printing one program per table helps save money and paper as opposed to printing a program for each guest.
      • Have a talented visual artist decorate programs and tickets created in Microsoft Word or other computer program and make Black & White photo copies (cheaper than full color copies)
      • Ask a local professional printing company if they would donate the cost of printing programs, posters, and tickets in exchange for ad space.
    7. Give each attendee a Nutcracker or Ballet themed activity book as a party favor they can enjoy while the tea is beginning and guests are arriving.
    8. Serve different teas (hot or cold) with dance or Holiday names.
      • i.e. Arabian Spice, Peppermint, Nutcracker Sweet®, Sugar Plum Spice™, Marzipan Magic
      • Give the teas your own fun dance or Holiday-related names if they don’t have them already.
    9. Serve simple festive sweets with dance-themed names
      • Ask a few mothers to make cookies in ballet or Nutcracker Character shapes.
      • Decorate cupcakes with ballet-themed and Nutcracker-themed toppers
      • Christmas or dance-themed chocolates & cakes are a fun way to spice up snacks!
    10. Use borrowed china and silverware or stylish disposable dinnerware. There are a number of elegant disposable dinnerware designed for weddings and other special occasions. Look for American-made, recycled and/or biodegradable options.
    11. Have a few Mice sneak (or squeak!) through the tea while guests are enjoying their tea and treats. Have other costumed characters mingle.
    12. The host, one of the costumed characters, or an animated storyteller can invite all of the children to come sit nearby as he or she reads the story of The Nutcracker Ballet to them.
    13. Put on some dance excerpts from your Nutcracker Program. This is a great way to illustrate what is happening as the storyteller is reading the Nutcracker story to the children!
    14. Play Nutcracker Ballet Bingo and give fun prizes to the winner(s).
    15. Set up an area for each child to have their picture taken with their favorite costumed character or the entire cast of attending Nutcracker characters! Use a digital camera and photo printer to print the best photos on the spot. You can charge extra for these or consider them to be included with the ticket price.
    16. This event is also a perfect opportunity to have Nutcracker Merchandise for sale. Be sure someone is available to take orders or make sales at this event. Some Nutcracker fundraising items include:


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