Get in the Holiday Spirit With Nutcracker-inspired Treats and Events

Visions of sugar plum fairies, nutcrackers, and nutcracker cupcakes are dancing through my head, and for good reason. 'Tis the season for all things merry and gay, chief among them the Joffrey Ballet's Nutcracker production, running December 6 through December 28. It's a holiday essential right up there with Santa's lap and an overindulgence in eggnog. Helping us all get into the spirit this season is Magnolia Bakery and the JW Marriott Chicago, each casting merry spells of their own this week to inaugurate The Nutcracker's 2013 run.

Nutcracker cupcake
(Nutcracker cupcake at Magnolia Bakery)

The only way Magnolia Bakery could get any sweeter is with live-action Sugar Plum Fairies. Holiday-loving sugar fiends should make their way to the Loop bakery on Saturday, December 7, to partake in a meet-and-greet with The Nutcracker's Sugar Plum Fairy. That's right. It's happening. Sample Magnolia's seasonal delights, get your photo taken with the magical sprite, and learn how to ice your very own cupcakes! It's a holiday miracle! The bakery has specially designed a Nutcracker cupcake for the holidays, consisting of a red velvet cupcake topped with cream cheese icing, and a chocolate disc emblazoned with The Nutcracker. The jolly frivolity takes place from noon until 1:00 p.m.

The JW Marriott Chicago gets even more animated with its Ballerina hot chocolate happy hour on Tuesday, December 3, from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Ballerinas and hot chocolate? Happy indeed. The first-ever holiday event is of course in honor of The Nutcracker, and the hotel will host two tutu-clad ballerinas while guests peruse the Lobby Lounge for complimentary treats such as cider, holiday-spiced almonds, and five flavors of hot chocolate. Attendees will also admire the hotel's Nutcracker-themed window displays.