We have been on the go these past few days!
I declared last Wednesday Wyatt’s last day of school until the first week of January, and since then we have been just doing all the Christmas.
Thursday afternoon my dad, Wyatt, and I went to the Nutcracker Immersive Experience in Detroit. My dad and I are “get there early” people so we left at like 11:50 for a show that started at 1 and was an easy 20 minute drive. I was all parked in the parking garage at 12:10 and we both looked at each other and were like, “Well, we have some time before it starts”. I wandered to the street to see how far we were from the venue – which ended up being 250 feet so good on me for choosing a close parking garage. (The Detroit Opera House garage was a good choice but pricey at $20. There is also a lot on the other side of the venue that is gated and $10) So we listened to some Christmas music for a bit then decided to walk down and see if we could get in early. I was guessing we could because it was a Thursday afternoon before school was out for the day or for the holidays. And we could! It was in an old Detroit building with stairs up to the door, but they had a clearly visible sign pointing to where we could access ADA entry. It was a little old elevator that my dad told Wyatt had been around since the time of Lincoln but it did the job.
The doors opened, and we were the first people there! Or only people? We could hear the music all around us as soon as the doors opened and Wyatt was getting pretty excited! We got all checked in – Wyatt had a premium ticket where he received an ornament and my dad and I had basic tickets, because we wanted Wyatt to get the special treatment. There were four ornaments to choose from, and Wyatt picked the Mouse King. This was not surprising to me – Wyatt always picks the animal choice if there is one.
It looks pretty cute hanging on our tree!
Once checked in we were scooted across the hall, the source of the music. There were drapes across the doorway and the staff held them open for us as we entered the room (which was completely empty!). We were all awestruck. Seriously. We walked in at the perfect time – the projections and VR and the music were at a crescendo, a blizzard was swirling all around us, and we were absolutely immersed in the scene. It was pretty amazing honestly. Wyatt kept exclaiming “Whoa! Whoa!!” and laughing. Exactly what I wanted!
We spent about 20 minutes alone in that first room which was awesome. Then we decided to check out the ballroom upstairs.
This room was huge! And still very empty as you can see. It was actually so big that Wyatt wanted to wheel around everywhere and explore the space more than watch the show, but that is exactly why I chose this immersive version. He loves the music of the Nutcracker but there is no way he would ever sit through a full production of it. A 30 minute immersive was perfect.
We were in the ballroom for the end of the show, and we weren’t quite ready to leave. As there were not tons of people and no one waiting, we chose to go back down to the first room to see the snowstorm again before leaving. It was still just as magical!
Best photo of the three of us of the bunch that were taken. Lol. Oh well. We had a fantastic time, and would for sure do it again. It was a a great day of music and magical memory making, a very special day spent with my dad and my child.
The Immersive Nutcracker in Detroit is at the Lighthouse ArtSpace on Grand River, right by the Opera House. They have a few different ticket packages to choose from, with the most basic ticket starting at $29.99. Parking was easy during the day, but it did look like there were multiple lots scattered all around. This area services Comerica Park, The Opera House, and Ford Field so it is a pretty main area of Detroit.
There are a few benches scattered around the rooms for seating, but I think if you go during a busy time, it might be difficult to grab one. I am not sure how close they pack people in, so if you have the ability to go during a less busy time like we did I would suggest it. Also, this could be very overstimulating and cause sensory overload for those who are sensitive to it. It is immersive, and they don’t kid around with that claim. There are even sensory warning signs on display. Wyatt and my dad are both sensory seeker type people, where I am..not. I was find with it but afterwards I definitely felt the need to decompress in a quiet space. So keep that in mind.
I was happy with the accommodations made for wheelchairs and those with mobility issues. The clearly visible sign directing us to the elevator entrance, the staff was also very friendly and made a point to tell us that the ballroom had tons of space to move about. I don’t know how it would be if it were crowded but with a light attendance it was perfect. I also would ask about epilepsy warnings if photosensitive epilepsy is an issue, at least for the Nutcracker Experience, as the scenes moved quick and there was some flashing. And of course the sensory warnings as well. Overall though, this was a very easy and fun trip out for us all! I would 100% go again!