The Yorkville Nutcracker begins on a snowy Christmas Eve in 1895. New York City's newly elected mayor William L. Strong is hosting a party at Gracie Mansion for his children, Mary and Putnam. Among those attending this special holiday celebration are dignitaries and businessmen from foreign nations, the owners of the mansion - the Babcocks - and NYC Police Commissioner Teddy Roosevelt. As a Christmas present from her uncle, Mary receives her beloved Nutcracker, which later at the party her brother breaks. The distraught Mary falls asleep and in her dreams, the Nutcracker is saved. The two of them share an adventure in which they delight in a magical sleigh ride leading them to the frozen lake in Central Park. There the Snow King and Queen ice skate as the lights of the Dakota apartment building shine brightly in the night sky.
Act II commences with Mary and Putnam with the Snow Queen being transported to the Crystal Palace at the Bronx Botanical Gardens where they are presented as heroes to the Sugar Plum Fairy in the Kingdom of the Sweets. Dances are performed to remind the audience of the various nationalities of the guests at Mayor Strong's party - Spanish, Arabian, Chinese, Russian, French and Dutch. The dancing culminates in a Grand Pas de Deux by the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier. On Christmas morning the children awake from their dreams and exchange gifts back at Gracie Mansion.