The Nutcracker on Ice

Theatre, Drama
4 out of 5 stars
(25user reviews)
'The Nutcracker on Ice'
'The Nutcracker on Ice'
'The Nutcracker on Ice'
'The Nutcracker on Ice'
'The Nutcracker on Ice'
'The Nutcracker on Ice'

The Imperial Ice Stars' 'Nutcracker On Ice' returns to London, this time to the Winter Palace Theatre at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland. The performers tell the tale of Marie, who gets a special Christmas gift when her favourite doll comes to life on Christmas Eve. It's classic seasonal stuff and likely to delight the kids.

RECOMMENDED: More Christmas shows in London 

Find more festive fun with our guide to Christmas in London


Average User Rating

3.7 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:14
  • 3 star:9
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
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The setting for this version of the Nutcracker is quite small and intimate but I found that added to the ambience and created a wonderful atmosphere.

The skating was very intricate and impressive in places which you can see in great detail if you are close to the front.

If you're looking for a sophisticated production then this probably isn't for you but if your aim is some Christmas fun (whilst the season lasts) then this is an enjoyable experience.


As a way to get in the Christmas spirit and as a show. I liked it, in a camp slightly awful funny way. I will say the ice skating was really good. As a show I was entertained throughout. 

But there were some laughable moments, for example the costume of the rat king was very camp. The mask of the "beau" as the nutcracker reminded me of something from the saw movies. The main female lead seemed very young and her love interest did not seem to be of the same age bracket which gave the whole show some questionable undertones. As for the projected scenes at the back... Let's just say the entryway of the gingerbread house- which was meant to be Arabic in style- was extremely phallic. 

Note do not sit on the front row- the girl sitting next to me ended with ice in her eye. Also the pictures above are not of this show, they are probably from the one in another venue, as this was very small. 


Lovely show, with good ice skating. I was expecting more intense moves, for the amount we paid, but it was still good. There was only one fall, right near the end, with two of the main characters, but it had a lovely Christmassy feel, and it was good fun!


Such a magical and Christmassy experience :) I was thoroughly impressed with the tricks they managed on such a small stage and the ice skaters themselves were amazing! There were tonnes of gasps and winces as they flipped, spun and pranced around the ice. It was extraordinary and for the most part executed very well.

It is definitely suitable for adults and kids, set under a twinkling stage with comfy seats and good views all round - the only negative was that some of the costumes and the background set looked a rather tacky and cheap.

It truly got me in the festive spirit though :)


Winter Wonderland. Like sprouts, Christmas jumpers or Will Ferrell’s ‘Elf’, you either love it or hate it. What began a decade ago as a fairly small gathering of festive fun has mutated into a market-stall-shopping, fun-fair-riding, frozen-ice-skating beast of Goliath proportions. You may not be overly swayed by the idea of spending hours muddling along in a mulled wine stupor with what feels like the entire population of the capital but you’d have to be the hardest-hearted of grinches not to enjoy the timeless charm of ‘The Nutcracker’ which in this production, is streamlined down to an hour and set atop the flashing blades of ice-skates.

Located in the new & mercifully well heated Winter Palace Theatre, this version of the classic ballet has been created to mark Winter Wonderland’s 10th anniversary and is brought to life by the Imperial Ice Stars, a company of skaters who have performed both internationally and in closer-to-home venues like the Royal Albert Hall.

The space itself is impressive with a canopy of fairy lights twinkling overhead and a digital screen at the back of the ice rink depicting a variety of scenes throughout the performance that took us from the Christmas party to a snowy forest to a candy cane pillared, gingerbread house. It’s a nice idea – especially to keep the story moving in its brief telling – but there were a couple of moments when it felt a little cheap to me and personally, I’d rather have had one ‘real’ set that remained constant throughout. Costumes were gorgeous though especially the Sugar Plum Fairies whose twinkly lit tulle skirts gave me a serious case of outfit envy!

The cast were excellent. Clara was a sweet little blonde dolly of a skater and her Nutcracker Prince beau was strapping & strong – although somewhat disturbing during his first appearance under a toy soldier mask that brought to mind creepy home invasion horror films rather than the delightful traditions of a Russian fairy-tale. For my money however, the physically deft & full of life Mouse King was by far the best character with his troop of hot pink tailed rodent soldiers the most stylish mice I’ve ever seen.

Although I understood what the director was trying to do with his incorporation of both an aerial act and fire eaters, those were two of the show’s segments that I actually enjoyed the least; whilst the performers themselves were capable, I felt totally pulled out of the story and it seemed a clunky way of adding excitement to the show as a whole.

As a way to spend an hour getting into the festive spirit, this is an engaging addition to the park and one which I hope, for the sake of the cast who gave it their all in a half-full space the night I went, will be well received as December 25th draws closer. At up to £60 for a family of four ticket though, it’s definitely not cheap and whilst it’s fair to say that not much in the Wonderland is, I fear this may be a hefty chunk of change too far for most people in the run-up to what is arguably the most expensive time of year.


Not entirely convinced…

Loosely based on the ballet, this version of the Nutcracker lacks in awe and magic. If the costumes are fun and the ice-skaters professional, the choreography is very very repetitive. I’m not sure if it’s because the ring is too small to do crazy jumps and twirls, but it gets boring really fast. And the addition of circus acts, such as the fire performer’s or aerial hoop moment, add to the kitsch and don’t really help the storyline at all.

Having said that, kids love the show. I think this is more of a treat for families – to get into the Christmas spirit. If you’re ready to spend that much for only an hour-long show.


The Nutcracker on Ice was totally enchanting and is bound to put anyone in the Christmassy mood. Right by the Marble Arch entrance it's covered and heated so don’t worry about being too cold. There is a bar outside and the performance isn’t too long with no interval so provides ideal entertainment away from the hustle and bustle from the busy outside crowds if you happen to be visiting Winter Wonderland. Everyone will be instantly familiar with the classic music themes by Tchaikovsky which are surprisingly catchy.

The costumes are colourful and vibrant. The talented skaters seamlessly recreate the dance moves so effortlessly with such precision that you almost forget they are on ice. The ceiling of theatre is interspersed with a canopy of twinkling lights whilst a screen at the back helps to set the atmosphere and help with the storytelling. I absolutely adored the gorgeous Angels scene where the skaters danced amongst a magical woodland backdrop with snow falling and skirts that lit up!! Also very impressed by the fire dancing and aerial hoop artist too. The ticket prices are very reasonable and this is a perfect show for all the family. 

The Nutcracker on Ice is brilliantly enthralling in every step of the way. It's a beautiful, captivating and a heart-warming show for all to see, especially the children who will adore it.

It's presented at the Winter Palace Theatre in Winter Wonderland Hyde Park. It's not at all difficult to find as it's probably the first attraction you'll see.

It's no mistake to say that Winter Wonderland is one of the best venues for the Christmas season and it's the best place to spend time with your family and friends.

The Nutcracker has always been a very personal favourite Christmas story of mine. It reminds me of warm nights, a luxurious Christmas with your family, the extraordinary Nutcracker toy which I adore, and let's not forget the infamous Tchaikovsky's brilliant music. I remember his music inspiring my work when I was at college. It's a classical beauty that always warms me up during Christmas.

To see The Imperial Ice Stars bringing The Nutcracker to ice is just an astounding, exhilarating way of experiencing the story.

It comes to life on ice and the snow that beautifully lands exactly on the middle of the rink gives the touch of Christmas it needs.

To see the extraordinary pixie lights scattered all around us really felt like we were also part of the story.

The acrobatic tricks, the mind-blowing skating sequences on ice and the illusions were immaculately executed. I had to hold my breath just experiencing a live show on ice. The cast brought an hour long of pure excitement, joy and enthusiasm. I just can't wait for Christmas now.

One thing I must mention is that prices are a little expensive as it's just a one hour long show, but then again thinking about it carefully it probably does compensate. It can be difficult for these stars to skate during a long period of time.

Experience this ice spectacular for yourself at the Winter Wonderland.


Love MD.


I think children will be mesmerised! The skating was excellent and very professional.

Couple of tips: come early because even if your ticket has a seat number, it is first come first seat. Spring for the £3 flashing lights etc...that's what this is all about. If you sit near the edge, it's intense so be careful with little ones. The mouse king was my favourite! Relax and enjoy.


I wasn’t sure what to expect, but just entering the tent that is filled with hundreds of magical fairy lights made me filled with anticipation and excitement.

Costumes was the main thing that caught my eye and all the performers were good. There were a few times that I thought one of their skates might end up flying in my head or they will fall down and hurt themselves but ice-skaters were all talented and managed to survive the pirouettes on ice.

It can be a romantic night out to add some Christmas excitement in your life or a great evening to take your children. Either way, a nice detour from busy stands of Winter Wonderland.


I have to admit, I spent a lot of the time on the edge of my seat and clenching my teeth because I was scared for the performers; what they can do on ice is unbelievable. On top of the amazing ice skating was fire spinning and an aerial act with ice skates! I was completely blown away by the incredible talent. The acting wasn't too bad either, I even laughed a few times, especially because of one of the guys dressed as a rat just looked so ridiculous. Overall I really enjoyed The Nutcracker On Ice. However, the story is told in such a way that makes it more suitable for kids.


A nice show to get you into the Christmas spirit. The music and costumes are wonderful. The skaters are very good although not as breathtakingly amazing as I maybe expected them to be. To be honest, I couldn’t really tell you what was going on most of the time but it didn’t actually matter. This is all about the music and Christmassy scenes – toy soldiers, giant wrapped presents and festive parties!

I would definitely recommend this shows to families with young children. Our daughter was absolutely spellbound and as soon as it finished, asked if we could see it again the next day!


This show is fun for the family. Very straight forward and easy to follow. I went with an 11 year old boy and he thoroughly enjoyed it. The skating is good, although despite the show only being 1 hr the choreography begins to feel slightly repetitive towards the end. The starlit canopy which you sit under to watch the show is a lovely festive extra. I wouldn’t recommend the show for a group of adults, however, if you have the kids in tow, it’s a festive safe bet.


I have never seen any kind of show on ice so I was excited to attend this one down at Winter Wonderland. I had no idea what to expect. First of all, it's inside and it's cosy and warm - unexpected for an ice show! The seating which is in a usual theatre style and you can see the stage clearly from all seats. 

The skaters were brilliant and performed many a death-defying act. I particularly enjoyed the trapeze artist on ice - something a little different and she was very good. The set was a bit lacklustre and I thought the backdrop looked a little like it was drawn on microsoft Paint - I think a more talented graphic designer is required! 

I didn't 100 percent follow the story line but we did enjoy it immensely and at just an hour long, it's perfect for a quiet interlude from the madness outside at Winter Wonderland. 

Tip - seats are first come first served, so if you want good seats - get there a little early for your performance time. 


I love a show on ice - one of the best things I have ever seen was a snow white on ice a few years ago. My eldest daughter (13) and I were very pleased to get along to this - my only regret is that we only got given two ticket so I, Solomon like, had to choose between my children.

Hyde Park Winterwonderland itself looked very tempting and wasn't too busy so it seemed very pleasant. I had no idea you could just walk in and browse - so will definitely plan a visit next year.

The show is in a marquee style affair with fairly decent raked seating. There weren't that many people there so the whole thing suffered from a lack of atmosphere. The production itself seemed to take a while to get going and whilst pleasant for a long time wasn't particularly striking - then at some point around half way it really got going and became really breathtaking.

It is by no means the best show on ice I have ever seen but I think mostly it is because the setting isn't very dramatic or atmospheric - the lighting, sound etc all needed improving.

All that said clearly it takes enormous skill and effort to produce a show on ice, we did overall enjoy it so would recommend it.


I’ve only seen one revue on ice when I was nine and I’ve always remembered it as a great spectacle, so I’ve been really looking forward to the Nutcracker On Ice to see if this kind of entertainment can still have the same impact in the adult age.

Situated in a starry tent, it is a beautiful and entertaining production. The costumes are spectacular and Tchaikovsky's classical score, although not performed by live orchestra, enchanting.

However, I felt that despite scenes and costumes changes, the choreography was quite repetitive. But I guess, this only as much you can do on ice.

We all know the story very well, but watching it on ice is a lovely alternative for this year’s festive season.  


This take on the classic Nutcracker is a slow burner, an underwhelming introduction with a crowded set and amateur skating. Be prepared to sit through an uneventful 10 minutes before the skating, costumes and choreography start to improve. This classic story comes to life with enchanted woodlands, faries and exotic dancers, if you are patient you will get to experience some great pieces of choreography, breathtaking skating and beautiful staging and the magic of snow under a canopy of stars.


What a wonderful show!

I think placing this in Hyde park (winter wonderland) was a great idea and adds to the magical theme!

The performance itself took place on a small stage which had me worried but damn was it spectacular!! The size of the rink had 0 impact on the skill and beauty of the performance! It was fantastic!!

Such Beautiful costumes and elegant dancing !!! An absolute bargain considering the ticket prices!! Couldn't recommend it enough.... Alsoooooo the bar menu us beyond cheap! What a bonus considering most places charge £5 for just a bottled beer.


The Nutcracker is a timeless classic, reinvented to some extent in this new ice show at Winter Wonderland.

The temporary staging has a magical quality, and the starry lighting effect is rather lovely as you enter, giving truth to the 'winter wonderland' name.

The dancers are fantastic, and there are some wonderful displays of movement, from individual acrobatics to beautiful paired skating. Tchaikovsky's music is timeless and buoyant, lulling you into a rather lovely state of relaxation.

The production is not without its faults. For those unfamiliar with the plot (what little of it there is), this shortened version may be rather difficult to follow. The lack of differentiation between the characters' ages and costumes often led to confusion, and often scenes were added to showcase a performer's skill, rather than to add to the plot. Meanwhile, the animated screen in the background does little to add clarity. In fact, it's a shame the screen was present at all, as it's rather tacky.

Largely because of this, I'm not sure how enthralling or understandable it will be for children. If your family is unfamiliar with the Nutcracker, you may be better off starting with the ballet.

However, for an add-on to Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland, it's a lovely way to experience some impressive showmanship and while away an hour.


What a treat! I really wasn't sure what to expect - having never seen anything 'on ice' before -but this really impressed me. I love the nutcracker anyway but at an hour long this performance perfectly captured the highlights. Performing on ice instead of standard ballet was thrilling to watch. So many lifts and moments that made me go wow! The set was simple but effective and the theatre ceiling covered in little twinkly lights was a magical touch. My only real criticism is the costumes - I spent a lot of time distracted trying to figure out who people were meant to be. It's not the cheapest option but presuming most people spend a fortune at Winter Wonderland I think this is a much more festive way to spend an hour rather than going on the rides. If your children are as excitable as me they'll love it.


This production of The Nutcracker on Ice at the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park is about as wholesome, family-friendly and festive as you can get. It’s a short show – running at 60 minutes – and replete with axels, twirls and the occasional toss, it’s a charming and mesmerising feat. A large cast tell the classic tale of The Nutcracker, who spring to life in the mind of a little girl (Clara) on Christmas Eve. This is a traditional production to see around the festive season in North America, usually as a ballet. This version is a great introduction for those who aren’t familiar with the story, being both succinct and engaging. The Rat King and his army of rodents offer some dastardly tricks on ice and the excitement of the first half is subdued as Clara is whisked away to the Land of Sweets, were dancers take the ice and effortlessly glide around to the most famous elements of the production’s score.

The tent is warm and cosy, making it a worthwhile break from the chill and chaos outside in Winter Wonderland. Relaxing and beguiling, the show is a nice, delightful way to spend an hour and will get spectators into the Christmas spirit. With the colourful costumes and digitally-imposed scenery, audiences are kept engaged as they watch the skaters glide to and fro under the occasional dusting of snow.

Frankly, it’s pleasant to have a calming production like this rather than the usual schizophrenic, gaudy fare!

Amazing show, magical dancing and a lovely environment. Feeling very Christmas-y and would love to learn how to ice skate!

We loved it. It was my first time seeing dancing on ice and we really had fun. The venue is really nice. It was so relaxing to spend the time watching this show. It takes also like an hour so is not too long. I will definitely recommend this show to my friends.

Disappointed. Costumes could have been a lot better and not obvious what or who some of them were. More like a skating competition than something for children. The kids near us were fidgety as nothing to absorb their attention on. The ballet is much better.

I bought the tickets to take my boyfriend. He's never seen dancing on ice and absolutely loved it. It had the story and well acted while dancing and the amazing acrobats which were fabulous. Our eyes were glued to the stage as it was fast pace and we didn't want to missed a thing. It was a Wonderful show and we loved, loved and loved it