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Avoid Black Friday lines with ‘Nutcracker Extravaganza’

Gotta shop? Gotta dance!

That’s the Black Friday ticket at the Discovery Children’s Museum, where the second annual “Nutcracker Extravaganza” provides a snowflakes-and-sugarplum alternative to mall madness with activities keyed to Nevada Ballet Theatre’s upcoming production of “The Nutcracker.”

From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., six interactive stations will offer holiday diversions for the young (and young at heart), from costume and prop try-ons to dance performances — and lessons.

Visitors may walk a red carpet and explore scenic backdrops from the ballet — including a holiday sleigh and an 8-foot Christmas tree — and settle in for “Nutcracker” storytime.

A cannon marks the spot where little dancers may don costumes for the ballet’s battle scene pitting “The Nutcracker’s” title prince and his soldiers against the Rat King and his troops.

A special snow photo op features snow-blanketed, crystal-bedecked trees, while a flower display — complete with flower and fairy costumes — provides a setting or a place to make origami flowers.

Aspiring dancers may watch video footage of the ballet’s Spanish, Arabian, Russian and Chinese dances, then try their own steps.

At noon, 1 and 2 p.m., students from NBT’s academy will perform for museum visitors — while faculty members demonstrate dance moves for visitors to try. And, at day’s end, the museum’s traditional closing conga line will transform into a “Nutcracker” parade.

Additional “Nutcracker”-related activities continue through Jan. 2 at the Discovery Museum, 360 Promenade Place. The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays; admission is $12. (Children under 1 and museum members are free.) For more information, call 702-382-5437 or visit www.discoverykidslv.org.

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