Kids are often intrigued with the fabulous ballet, “The Nutcracker,” especially if they take ballet as an activity and happen to have a role in the performance. Even if they don’t dance, attending the ballet during the holiday season is often a true treat that kids enjoy — some on an annual basis. Even if your kids have never been, they still may have read the book and twirled around to the splendid Suite. Given the popularity, a Nutcracker Party — whether to celebrate a birthday in December or as a holiday party — is an excellent theme.
Nutcracker Suite Invitation:
Send a Nutcracker as the invitation. Place either Nutcracker printables or stickers on heavy card stock, and write the party details on the back. Attach this card to the Nutcracker using tulle ribbon.
Nutcracker Suite Decorations:
Your regular home holiday decorations will suit the theme well, especially if you have some Nutcrackers displayed in the party area.
Use twinkle lights and tulle throughout the party area that you can transform into the “Ballroom.” Decorate a tree for the party room as well using silver and gold ornaments to make it fancy.
As the guests arrive, have a face painter decorate the kids’ faces with glitter and rosy cheeks and lip gloss. If you have boys attending, they may or may not want this. If they do, how about bright red rosy cheeks?
You can often find tutus at second hand stores or on sale at costume stores after Halloween. Purchase enough for each guest and have them dress in their Ballerina Dress costumes. Again, you will not want to give the boys these costumes, but the Nutcracker has his sword, and so you may want to have them make swords as they arrive and/or hand these out to the boys.
Nutcracker Suite Activities:
When the kids arrive, have them make their very own Nutcracker.
Have a Nutcracker Treasure Hunt. Purchase a large inflatable Nutcracker and hide him somewhere in your home. Make up clues for the kids to find a missing Nutcracker.
Certainly, it will be fun when the kids find the Nutcracker … even better if you have a real person dressed up as a Sugarplum Fairy for the kids to find! Their surprise would be fabulous.
Dance to the The Nutcracker Suite. If you have a real Sugar Plum Fairy at your party, have the guests take turns dancing with the fairy, who can also teach the kids some steps. Giving them time to dance, to coordinate a dance together, and freely enjoy this time will be both creative and fun.
If it is warm enough to run around outdoors, play Nutcracker Tag. Buy or make a Nutcracker Mask and have one kid wear it while the other kids are the mice — just like Clara’s Dream. Make it freeze tag and have the Nutcracker use a play sword to tag the mice.
Nutcracker Suite Menu:
Make finger sandwiches filled with cream cheese and jam, other salads (chicken and/or tuna), cream cheese and cucumbers, etc.
Chocolate dipped fruit, marshmallows, cheesecake, pretzels, Shortbread cookies (using a chocolate fountain would be quite a fun addition.)
Make popcorn for snowflakes.
Make Sugar Plums: 1 can almond paste, 1 egg white, 24 moist-pack pitted prunes, water, and sugar
In medium-sized bowl, with an electric mixer, beat almond paste and egg whites at medium speed until smooth. Pat about 1/2 tablespoon almond mixture around each prune to cover; slightly moisten fingers with water if needed to keep paste from sticking. Roll each coated prune in sugar and place slightly apart in an ungreased 10- by 15-inch rimmed baking pan.
Bake at 350 until confections are brown on the bottom, about 20 minutes. Let cool, then remove with a metal spatula. Serve, or store airtight up to 1 week. Makes 2 dozen; allow 3 or 4 for a serving.
Make Noel Sugar Plums: 1/2 cup oleo, 5 cups powdered sugar, 1/4 cup whipping cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla colored plain or powdered sugar for rolling the sugarplums
1. Cream oleo in a large mixing bowl, add sugar slowly, then the whipping cream and vanilla.
2. Mix until well blended then form with your hands into small balls and roll in the sugar.
3. Place on platter to set.
Serve chocolate kisses and candy canes.
Serve a fruit tea such as raspberry or strawberry. Egg nog or hot cocoa are also splendid choices for the drinks.