Clara is our heroine—a kind-hearted child on the cusp of adulthood, with an affection for her Uncle Drosselmeyer and her nutcracker doll.
Favorite holiday treat: Walnuts, cracked by her nutcracker.
Clara’s kid brother, Fritz is noisy, rowdy, and often in a little bit of trouble.
Favorite holiday treat: Anything with chocolate.
Drosselmeyer—known as “Uncle Drosselmeyer” to the Stahlbaum children—is a magical toy- and clockmaker. His shop is a major destination for last-minute holiday gifts.
Favorite holiday treat: A well-aged port.
GRANDMOTHER AND GRANDFATHER STAHLBAUM
Grandmother and Grandfather Stahlbaum may be getting up in years, but they’re still ready to dance at the party.
Favorite holiday treat: Champagne.
THE NUTCRACKER PRINCE
After several years of living life as a nutcracker, he’s thrilled when Drosselmeyer transforms him into a Prince. He’s a big favorite of both Clara and the Sugar Plum Fairy.
Favorite holiday treat: Anything without nuts.
KING OF THE MICE
A brutal dictator or a meek mouse with a Napolean complex? We’ll let you decide.
Favorite holiday treat: Cheese. Preferably from Marin County dairy cows.
SNOW QUEEN AND KING
The monarchs of the Land of the Snow, these two rule a brisk community of dancing snowflakes.
Favorite holiday treat: Coconut cupcakes.
THE SUGAR PLUM FAIRY
As ruler of the Crystal Palace, the Sugar Plum Fairy commands a platoon of dancing flowers, ladybugs, dragonflies, and butterflies. She’s best friends with Drosselmeyer, and has a soft spot for the Nutcracker Prince and Clara.
Favorite holiday treat: Sugarplums, a hard candy made of sugar.
These five dancers from Madrid like to dance with Spanish flair.
Favorite holiday treat: Churros dipped in hot chocolate.
Perhaps the most magical of the Crystal Palace residents are the Arabian Genie and her two Magicians.
Favorite holiday treat: Arabic coffee and ma’amoul.
CHINESE DANCER AND HIS DRAGON
The Chinese dancer hails from San Francisco’s Chinatown, where he trained in traditional Chinese dance.
Favorite holiday treat: Tea with egg tarts.
These three French dancers come to the Crystal Palace by way of Parisian cabarets: talented at both dancing the can-can and twirling ribbons, they bring a bit of flirtatious fun to the celebration.
Favorite holiday treat: Marzipan candies and Miette macarons.
Peter Carl Fabergé has nothing on these Russian dancers, whose giant eggs are nine feet tall.
Favorite holiday treat: Pastila (Пастила), a confection made of fruit paste.
MADAME DU CIRQUE
Madame du Cirque is kept busy with her many little buffoons. A total ham, she lives for the roar of the crowd.
Favorite holiday treat: Gingerbread.
This friendly bear loves to be the star of the show and can often be found with his favorite friend, Madame du Cirque.
Favorite holiday treat: Russian honey cake (Медовик) from Hayes Valley’s 20th Century Café, which he was introduced to by the Russian dancers.