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I am taking my 75 year old mother and two children to the
Nutcracker to a 7pm showing on December 22. It has been a few
years since I've been there, and I cannot remember the best
places to park so that we won't have far to walk. I'm also
looking for a great place to eat prior to the show. I seem to
recall our eating experience as dissapointing and I want to
make sure that it's better this time. Somewhere in keeping with
the style of the Opera House--for foodies--(don't like that
word; is there another?) but also a place where children are
made feel welcome. I will admit to being partial to very fine
restaurants and have no qualms about taking my kids to them, so
long as the staff are friendly to us. (I have not been to Zuni;
I've heard it's great; don't know if it fits with plan? It
might also be best if I could park easily--don't mind paying--
and close by. I don't like Max's Opera Plaza, and have not yet
eaten at a restaurant I liked near the opera house, however,
I've only tried four or five and it's been a few years. Do not
like an overly stuffy and pretensious atmosphere. Would like to
make it a really memorable evening of wonderful food and
atmosphere before we go on to the Nutcracker--after which my 7
year old will be almost asleep, so parking I can carry her to--
if I have to--would be great. Thank you!
My family has been going to the 7 p.m. Nutcracker for years. We park in the garage on the north side of Hayes just west of Franklin and have dinner at Jardinaire on Hayes just across from the Opera House. You should make reservations ASAP.
We go to the matinee Nutcracker show every year (my kids are 5
and 7). We drive, park in the lot across the street (Civic Center
Parking, I think it's called -- entrance is on Mc Allister), and
eat at Max's Opera Cafe before the show. They have a kid's menu
and they're always really nice. They are very used to the
Nutcracker crowd! Make sure to give yourself plenty of time if
you choose to go there because I believe they do not take
reservations. You have to wait in line. The food's not that
special but at least it is close to the theater and fun for the
Our 3-year-old daughter is smitten by the ballet bug, so
we're looking into Nutcracker performances this winter as
her first major ballet performance. We're trying to figure out
which Nutcracker to go to--we'd like a family friendly
atmosphere, and probably a fairly traditional interpretation
(i.e. nothing too abstract for the little one.) Evidently the San
Francisco Ballet has done a major overhaul this season to
their production--does anyone know anything about the new
version? What about the Berkeley Ballet production at the
Julia Morgan? Does anyone know about Ballet San Jose's
production? Any other good Bay Area productions I should
consider (now that Oakland Ballet is no more)? I've looked
at the archives but would like some current input. Also,
suggestions for any other ballet/dance performances
suitable for young audiences would be welcome. Thanks
for your suggestions.
Little Ballerina's Mommy
We went to the one at the Dean Lesher Center in Walnut Creek
some years ago when our daughter was about that age. VERY kid
friendly. Dancing not the quality of some the others, perhaps,
but heck, we're talking a 3-year-old, right? And, Walnut Creek
is a lot easier to get to in the busy holiday season than SF.
Enjoy -- wherever you go!
The Dean Lesher Regional Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek
has a very child-friendly, approachable Nutcracker. It's
performed by local ballet companies, and checking their website
just now (http://dlrca.org/rca.december.04.html) I see there
will be two Nutcrackers put on by different companies this
December. The staging is nowhere as opulent as say the SF
Ballet's version, but it's a great intro. Our daughter was
especially thrilled and inspired by all the kids that perform
in the show.
I took my daugther to her first ''Nutcracker'' when she just
turned 3, and we went to the Berkley Ballet Theater at the Julia
Morgan Theater. It was ideal -- the theater itself is small and
ticket prices are reasonable. I figured that if she couldn't
make it all the way through the performance, I wouldn't have
spent so much money on tickets that I'd regret leaving early. I
got seats fairly close to the stage so my daughter could see
well. It turned out that she was enchanted -- the littlest
dancers were only a few years older than she and that delighted
her -- and we stayed for the whole performance. But it's not
just great for preschoolers: my daughter will be 9 this
coming ''Nutcracker'' season, and we've gone to the Berkeley
Ballet Theater's production ever year but one ever since the
first. I highly recommend it!
I would appreciate comments on Oakland Nutcracker vrs. San
Francisco Nutcracker. Is San Francisco worth the extra travel time
and $$? Thank you in advance.
The SF Nutcracker is incredible! I would consider it a VERY special
treat. But, very expensive when considering taking small children.
The good seats which will allow them to see are prohibitive for most
at $42-$95 and the affordable seats (balcony) would have trouble
capturing a small child, I think. The Oakland Ballet's version is
very good also (different, a bit more abstract than the SF). The
tickets are so much cheaper and you're much more likely to get seats
up close. I took my daughter when she was 2 1/2 and she loved it!
I would highly recommend it. The Julia Morgan Theatre also hosts a
version and the tickets are fairly cheap for it. I haven't seen it
Berkeley actually has two ballet companies. I can specifically and
enthusiastically recommend the Berkeley Ballet Theater's production of
"The Nutcracker," at the charming and intimate Julia Morgan Theatre on
College Avenue. It's an especially good venue for a young child's Nutcracker
experience. I took my just-turned-three year old daughter last year:
we got great seats about eight rows from the stage at a reasonable price.
She had a terrific view, and sat enrapt for both acts. The box office
number is 843-4687.
this page was last updated: Feb 24, 2007
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