The Nutcracker | Atlanta

Seeing the Nutcracker each Christmas season was a tradition Max and I started as newlyweds in Scottsdale before Parker ever came along. We skipped going Parker's first Christmas (as he was just a baby) and by Parker's second Christmas, we found ourselves living in Huntsville, Alabama. We took a chance and brought our then almost-two-year-old to the show (which was done on a much smaller scale than the Phoenix production), fully expecting to have to duck out at some point. But, he actually did amazingly well, lasted the entire performance and was the best little audience member (read more about that first show here).

We attribute his behavior in part due to the fact that he was 100% off screens of any kind at that point, and partly because he was just born a little old man (he's always been an old soul). The next year, our almost-three-year-old did even better (read about our second year at the Huntsville Ballet's production of the Nutcracker here)! Again, we really think not having a television in the house helps with his attention span - a live production to him was (and still is) just captivating! The next year, we joined our Nashville friends for the Nashville Ballet's production of the Nutcracker, and last year we saw the ballet in London!

Since we really enjoyed seeing The Nutcracker in different cities, we decided to add Atlanta this year! Atlanta is a three-and-a-half hour drive from Huntsville, and I had never been (though Max has driven there quite a bit for work). We purchased tickets for the ballet way back in July, but when the actual weekend rolled around I ended up (still) being super sick. We decided to go anyway but do a modified "take it easy" weekend and not pack in all the things. We drove up Saturday afternoon and headed straight to their botanical garden for their holiday lights. My friend who has visited before tipped us to go right at the 5pm opening to get a parking spot (and I'm so glad that we did).

The sun had just set when we arrived, so by the time we were actually in the park it was getting nice and dark. It was a chilly night but just perfect for viewing the lights!

After we viewed the lights, we headed from midtown to downtown to check into our hotel (easier said than done as the valet was full, as was the hotel's parking garage 😳 - it's what happens when you're staying at the fourth tallest hotel in the western hemisphere, and there are only 100 valet spots for 1,000+ rooms). 

Anyway, we finally found parking and stopped by our room - floor 61! Max and Parker selected the hotel for this trip specifically because it was a high-rise. Parker was super stoked and checked out the view right away (like literally plastered across the window - no fear of heights for that one). We had dinner reservations right across the street at Alma Cocina (a fun eclectic Mexican restaurant I'd totally recommend).

Since I was still most definitely ill, we took it easy the next morning with room service breakfast before packing up our things. We had lunch reservations at The Sundial at the top of the hotel. Parker was stoked about riding the glass elevator up!

The view from and table was so much fun. The food was delicious, and it was a perfect choice given that I wasn't feeling well because we never had to leave the hotel!

Max snuck in the following photos on a trip to the restroom - I had no idea he was taking any of them, but I just adore their candidness.

And then, it was Nutcracker time! The Fox Theatre was about a mile away so we Ubered there (and then back to the hotel afterward - Parker's first ride sharing experiences). The actual theatre is very old and restored to look the exact way it did years ago.

This season, the Atlanta ballet premiered a new production of The Nutcracker and I think it might be my favorite one ever! They incorporated incredible set pieces and technology without making it feel too modern - and I always adore listening to the symphony! Looking back, I missed out on a lot this Christmas season being so ill, but I'm so happy we got this festive weekend in 🎄


  1. How fun! And you were near our neck of the woods! B and I just stayed at that Westin a few weeks ago and the views were incredible!!

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