Nutcracker in the Castle

November 17, 2017 to January 8, 2018

The Paine presents the scenes of the beloved Nutcracker story within the historic estate. From the opening Party Scene with a giant Christmas tree to the magical Land of Sweets and the enchanting Sugar Plum Fairy, the tale unfolds throughout elaborately decorated rooms with a mesmerizing array of sights, sounds and surprises. 

There are three different ways to visit and enjoy the fantasy experience of Nutcracker in the Castle. Guests may take Self-Guided Tours, Candlelight Tours, and Guided Tours, with each style of tour offered at separate times. In addition to tours, guests are invited to visit the Sugar Plum Fairy’s Cupcake Café for a scrumptious treat!  See below for more details about the types of tours, their dates and times, and the hours of the café.

Downton Abbey (PBS) Season 1, 2010Shown: Maggie Smith
Nutcracker in the Castle
Nutcracker in the Castle, Paine Art Center and Gardens
Nutcracker in the Castle: Land of Sweets
Downton Abbey (PBS) Season 1, 2010Shown: Maggie Smith
Cupcake Cafe Ken Cravillion
Nutcracker in the Castle, Paine Art Center and Gardens
Nutcracker in the Castle, Paine Art Center and Gardens
Nutcracker in the Castle, Paine Art Center and Gardens

Self-guided Tours

Featuring twenty decorated settings and seventy Christmas trees in the historic Paine mansion

On Self-guided Tours, guests journey through more than twenty rooms and spaces, which are elaborately decorated as the fantastic scenes of the Nutcracker story. On the first floor each setting features a large storybook with illustrations that reveal a portion of the fairy tale. On the second floor the rooms portray the home and lifestyle of the Stahlbaum family–Clara and her parents and brother–as well as the workshop of Godfather Drosselmeyer along with a wide variety of finely crafted wooden Nutcrackers. 

November 17, 2017 through January 8, 2018
Mondays–Saturdays, 11:00 am–4:00 pm
Plus: Sundays, Dec. 24 & 31, 11:00 am–4:00 pm*
Closed Nov. 23 & Dec. 25

$12 Adult, $8 Youth (ages 5–17)
Members FREE
Free for children ages 4 and under 
No reservation necessary

*Please note: On Sundays (except Dec. 24 & 31), the Paine is NOT open for Self-guided Tours. On Sundays, the Paine is only open for Guided Tours, which require reservations.

 

Candlelight Tours

Featuring the decorated settings illuminated by Christmas trees in the evening

Candlelight Tours offer guests an especially entrancing way to take a self-guided tour of the Nutcracker display in the evening. The lights of the “castle” are dimmed and the settings are illuminated by the glow of more than seventy Christmas trees. As guests enter, they are handed electric candles in brass holders to carry as they wander through the glowing rooms. This special self-guided tour experience is popular with people of all ages, especially children and couples. 

November 17, 2017 through January 5, 2018
Fridays Only, 4:30–7:30 pm
Plus: Wednesday, Dec. 27, 4:30–7:30 pm

$12 Adult, $8 Youth (ages 5–17)
Members FREE
Free for children ages 4 and under 
No reservation necessary

 

Guided Tours

Featuring live musical, acting, and dance performances

A Guided Tour of Nutcracker in the Castle brings the characters and scenes of the fairy tale to life. The tour begins with a festive party in the “Ballroom” with a string quartet playing Tchaikovsky’s renowned music. While guests enjoy punch and cookies, Godfather Drosselmeyer joins the party and begins telling the unbelievable story of Clara and the Nutcracker Prince. He then leads guests through the rooms of the Paine mansion, which are elaborately decorated as settings of the tale. His story culminates in the “Lands of Afar” where youth dancers perform selections from the ballet. Guests then tour second-floor rooms which are fancifully decorated as Clara’s family home as well as Drosselmeyer’s workshop. Youth ballet performances are presented by Valley Academy for the Arts.

November 18, 2017 through January 7, 2018
Saturdays, 5:00–8:00 pm 
Sundays, 12:00–3:30 pm*
Plus: Tuesday, Dec. 26 and Thursday, Dec. 28, 5:00-8:00 pm

Tours begin every 30 min. and last 1 hour.

$25 Adult ($20 Member)
$20 Youth (ages 2-17; $16 Member)
Free for children under age 2
Reservations required

Make reservations using the button below or call (920) 235-6903 ext. 30 if you need assistance.

*Please note: No Guided Tours on Dec. 24 & 31; the Paine is open for Self-guided Tours on these days.



Make Reservation

Sugar Plum Fairy’s Cupcake Café

Located in the Conservatory at the back of the Paine property

In addition to tours of Nutcracker in the Castle, guests are invited to visit the Sugar Plum Fairy’s Cupcake Café for a scrumptious treat! With the Sugar Plum Fairy herself as hostess, the café serves cupcakes and hot cocoa in a fairyland setting within the Paine’s conservatory. No reservation is necessary to visit the café; please note the café hours and coordinate visits before or after Nutcracker tours accordingly. Cupcakes are made by Tamara’s the Cake Guru.

November 17, 2017 through January 7, 2018
Fridays, 5:00-7:30 pm
Saturdays, 1:00-3:30 pm & 5:00-7:30 pm
Sundays, 1:00-3:30 pm*
Plus: Tuesday, Dec. 26; Wednesday, Dec. 27; and Thursday, Dec. 28; 5:00-7:30 pm 

No reservation necessary

*Please note: The café is closed Sundays, Dec. 24 & 31; the Paine is open for Self-guided Tours on these days.

 

Holiday Workshops for Families

On select Saturdays, workshops inspired by the Nutcracker story are offered in the Family Discovery Gallery. Children can make puppets, ornaments, masks, and more! Workshops are free with paid admission (free for Members).

Learn More >



Location and Parking

The Paine is located at 1410 Algoma Boulevard in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Visitors may park in the new parking lot on Algoma Boulevard located next to the Paine Mansion, which offers accessible parking spaces and a drop-off area near the entrance gate. (Wheelchairs are available at the Mansion's reception desk, and the Mansion and Conservatory are wheelchair accessible.) Visitors may also park along the street on Algoma Boulevard, Congress Avenue, and Elmwood Avenue. Additional parking is available in the Paine's ancillary lot on Elmwood Avenue.

 

Winter Weather 

The Paine remains open and all tours continue during winter weather conditions. The Paine only closes during the most extreme weather conditions and does not follow school or other closings. In the event of severe weather near the time of a tour, please call (920) 235-6903 or visit the Paine's website or Facebook page to learn about the status of tours. Reservations for Guided Tours will not be refunded due to weather, except in the unlikely event that a tour is cancelled.

 

Frequently Asked Questions


What's the main difference between the types of tours?

Guided Tours feature live performances. Self-guided Tours do not feature live performances. Candlelight Tours are self-guided tours in the evening.


Do I need a reservation?

Reservations are required for Guided Tours. There are no reservations for Self-guided Tours, Candlelight Tours, and the Cupcake Café.


Are you open for walk-ins on Sundays?

The Paine is NOT open for walk-ins on Sundays (except Dec. 24 & 31). The Paine is only open for Guided Tours on Sundays, which require a reservation. Self-guided and Candlelight Tours are offered as "walk-in" times Monday through Saturday, plus Dec. 24 & 31.


What will I do on a Self-guided Tour?

On Self-guided Tours, you will walk through more than twenty elaborately decorated settings with more than seventy Christmas trees. Oversized books depict the story along the tour. A "Mouse Hunt" is also offered for children with 55 mice figurines to find.


When is the Sugar Plum Fairy's Cupcake Café open?

The Cupcake Café is open on Friday evenings, Saturday afternoons and evenings, and Sunday afternoons (except closed Dec. 24 & 31). The café is also open the evenings of Tuesday-Thursday, Dec. 26-28. Please note the café hours and coordinate visits before or after Nutcracker tours accordingly.


Can I take photos when I visit?

Photography is allowed during Self-guided Tours and Candlelight Tours. Photography is not allowed during Guided Tours except within the first foyer and first large room before the tour begins. Photography is allowed in the Sugar Plum Fairy's Cupcake Café.


Is the event wheelchair accessible?

All tours and the Cupcake Café are wheelchair accessible. The mansion has an elevator for the second floor, however, a portion of the second floor is not wheelchair accessible. Please note that large wheelchairs may not fit through some doorways. The Paine has wheelchairs available that fit through all doorways.


Can I bring a stroller?

The Paine encourages visitors with small children to use umbrella strollers, which are available at the entrance. Large strollers are not allowed.

 

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Hours and Tours

The Paine has special hours and tours during the holiday season.
Nutcracker in the Castle is presented November 17, 2017 through January 8, 2018.

Holiday Hours and Tours >

Please note: On Sundays (except Dec. 24 & 31), the Paine is only open for Guided Tours, which require reservations.

Paine Art Center and Gardens

1410 Algoma Blvd
Oshkosh, WI 54901

(920) 235-6903

info@thepaine.org