Sensory-friendly performances are designed to create a welcoming environment for families with children who are on the autism spectrum or may have sensory sensitivities. They are also for anyone who may benefit from being in a more relaxed environment.


  • Adjusted lighting and sound
  • Lower sound levels throughout the performance
  • House lights will remain on (at a low level) in the theatre auditorium during the performance
  • Guests are invited to bring your own noise-cancelling headphones and fidgets, and there will also be a limited number of headphones and fidget toys available to borrow from the theater
  • Trained staff and volunteers will be available throughout the theater to answer questions and to help make your experience as accessible as possible
  • Pre-visit materials are available to help guests prepare for the experience of attending the Ballet
  • Guests are free to talk, leave their seats, and move freely during the performance.
  • A designated safe/quiet area within the theatre (Canteen located on the lower level of the Academy of Music).
  • Gluten-free concession options.

Check out our pre-visit materials (prepared by Professor Roger Ideshi, JD, OT/L, FAOTA and Christina Smith, OTR/L).

Pre-Show Materials for George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker®

Going to the Theater

The Story of The Nutcracker

The Nutcracker Characters

Philadelphia Ballet is grateful to The Bergman Foundation for their support of these sensory-friendly performances.

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Ballet isn’t just for grownups! It can open doorways to imagination and cast a spell that excites the kid in all of us.