Nutcracker in the Castle - Paine Art Center and Gardens

Nutcracker in the Castle

November 20, 2020 to January 11, 2021

The beloved Nutcracker fairy tale returns to the Paine "castle" with a mesmerizing array of sights, sounds, and surprises! This holiday season guests are invited to journey through the settings of the story on self-guided tours. Along the way, the tale will be revealed within each elaborately decorated room of the historic Paine mansion. From the opening party scene to the Land of Sweets and beyond, follow the adventure of Clara and the Nutcracker Prince.

On the first floor, each setting features a large storybook with illustrations that depict a portion of the fairy tale. On the second floor, the rooms portray the home of Clara's family and the workshop of her mysterious godfather, Drosselmeyer, along with a fascinating variety of his finely crafted wooden Nutcrackers. Throughout both floors, more than sixty mischievous mice are hidden within the settings. What surprises will you find? The adventure awaits you within the castle!

Dining room with Christmas tree and decorated cakes on table
Photo by Weston Imaging Group
Room with pink Christmas decorations and a large storybook
Photo by Weston Imaging Group
Three large Christmas trees
Photo by Weston Imaging Group

Self-guided Tours

Monday–Thursday, 10:00 AM–4:00 PM
Friday–Sunday, 10:00 AM–8:00 PM

Open New Year's Eve & Day, 10:00 AM–4:00 PM

$14 Adult, $10 Youth (ages 5–17)
Free for children ages 4 and under
Free for Members

Join as a New Member Now and Receive Free Admission for 15 Months!

Reservations are required for Self-guided Tours.

For questions and assistance with reservations, please call (920) 235-6903.

Make Reservation

Changes for Nutcracker This Year

Due to the risks of the ongoing pandemic, the Paine is only offering Self-guided Tours, which do not feature live performers. No Guided Tours with live performances or Candlelight Tours are being offered, and the Cupcake Café is not operating this season. Reservations are now required for Self-guided Tours. For more information about visiting this year, please read our answers to frequently asked questions.

Frequently Asked Questions >


Safety Measures and Guidelines

The Paine has implemented new safety and cleaning protocols to address the risk of the coronavirus. All staff wear face masks and frequently touched surfaces are routinely disinfected. In addition, we request that all guests wear a face mask or covering and maintain social distance from visitors not in your group. If you are unable to wear a mask, we ask that you delay your visit until the next holiday season. We encourage you to review all of our safety guidelines before visiting this year.

Review Safety Guidelines >

Become a Member!

Reservations for Self-guided Tours of Nutcracker in the Castle are free for Members! Plus, if you join as a new Member now, the annual membership will be extended by an extra three months, giving you free admission and benefits with the Paine for the next 15 months. Enjoy free admission to Nutcracker this holiday season and the next one, too!

Join as a Member >


Stay Safe Shop Local

Spend $100 at Oshkosh shops, destinations or restaurants from now until Thursday, 12/24 to earn a free beanie or pom hat, while supplies last. To create safe shopping experiences, participating businesses adhere to safety guidelines, such as social distancing, mask-wearing, online ordering, reservations, curbside pickup and sanitizing stations. 

Learn More >

Lead Sponsor

Banner photo by Weston Imaging Group

Open by Reservation

11:00 AM–4:00 PM

Make Reservation >

Admission is free on May 9 for Mother's Day and May 22 for the Festival of Spring, 9:00 AM-4:00 PM, and reservations are not required.