The Nutcracker

Photo by Bob Macklin/courtesy of BalletMet

With Thanksgiving come and gone, the holiday shopping list is now on a lot of minds. But before you hit the mall, consider getting a little more inventive.

Why not give your friends and family members an experience you can enjoy together? Who knows, you might even start a new holiday tradition.

Last Christmas, my boyfriend and I took our moms to see the musical Grease at the Palace Theatre. The day was such a hit that we’re continuing the trend this year. We tossed around several possible places to take them, including Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium , Shadowbox: Holiday Hoopla and the Short North Holiday Hop , which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this weekend.

In the end, we decided on a true holiday classic: The Nutcracker , which BalletMet will perform at the Ohio Theatre. Prices start at $29 and performances run December 11-23, so even the busiest holiday schedule can be accommodated. But don’t wait too long to buy tickets, because they go fast - you can get them online here .

I can’t think of a more perfect excuse to get dressed up, enjoy a night out and truly get into the holiday spirit.