Nutcracker House – Seattle, Washington - Atlas Obscura

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Nutcracker House

Old 'Nutcracker' sculptures from 'Where the Wild Things Are' author found new life as a seasonal attraction. 


Every Christmas season, the owner of this house, a harpist for the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra in Seattle, hauls these figures over from a storage facility and carefully installs them in the yard. After a few days, they are ready to entertain local neighbors, offering them the most enchanting, cheerful, and, of course, wild, holiday experience ever created in a garden lawn.

These figures were originally designed by none other than Maurice Sendak, the author who is known for his whimsical children’s books, such as Where the Wild Things Are. They were used as lobby displays for the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker, which was performed from 1983 to 2014, and of which the sets and costumes were designed by Sendak himself. Since 2015, PNB has done George Balanchine’s version, with art by another children’s author, Ian Falconer.

Besides the iconic Sendak sculptures, this display is sure to please you during the holidays. From the enormous 15-foot Nutcracker to the lovely ornaments on the tree, this is a unique holiday experience unlike any other in the Seattle suburbs. If you look closely at the house’s roof, you can even see a cutout of the Wild Thing from Sendak’s iconic book. And, of course, the house even features the original stage props that were used onstage prior to their retirement.

Even though this Nutcracker production no longer performs, its spirit lives on in this magical holiday wild rumpus, preserving a large part of Seattle’s own holiday history.

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Only open in late November - December.

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