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Words by Kaylee Dugan, Photos by Jeff Martin

If you’re not already in the holiday mood, ARTECHOUSE’s new exhibition is sure to change that. While we’re sad to see Kingdom of Colors go, Imaginary World of The Nutcracker is a slice of holiday heaven that will transport you right into the center of the famous ballet.

Once again, the ARTECHOUSE team is putting their 270 degree projection system to use, but instead of projecting trippy liquids in motion, they’ve recreated the parlor of the Stahlbaum house (Rat King and all). Each wall has an interactive element, including a nutcracker that copies your dance movies and a spotlight that pops up when you point your hand at the wall. Even when you’re not directly interacting with the piece, there are little secrets to discover like a chessboard that moves on its own or a chest that lights up when you find the magic button.

Step into the right or the left hallway and you’ll discover some more holiday themed magic, including a snowstorm that follows your every move and an enchanted dining room table that utilizes ARTECHOUSE’s AR in delightful ways. Speaking of augmented reality, the AR cocktails are back! Our favorites were the Clockmaker and the Mistletoe, but most of the drinks are AR compatible, so feel free to go wild.

All of ARTECHOUSE’s exhibits have been knockouts, but this one feels especially delightful and homey. Take your parents, take your friends, take your dates. Either way, you’re going to have a magical time.

Imaginary World of The Nutcracker is on display from December 7 – January 7. Daytime admission (10 a.m. – 5 p.m.) is all ages. Evening admission (5:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.) are 21+.