No matter the age of your little one, you’re sure to find some wonderful Christmas theatre in Manchester this festive season. 

Travel to space with Noli the grumpy astronaut, fight off evil King Rat with Dick Whittington, or learn the truth behind the Cinderella story with a new twist on the classic fairytale. 

Read on for our picks of festive theatre fun sure to delight kids of all ages (and their grown ups!) in Manchester this Christmas. 

The Not So Ugly Sisters | Sale Waterside | 5+ years | Wed 24 Nov 2021 - Sat 1 Jan 2022

You know the fairytale, now get ready to hear the other side of the story. 

The Not So Ugly Sisters is a brand-new musical retelling of Cinderella, told from the perspective of the (not so) ugly sisters. This is an all-singing, all-dancing production with plenty of sparkle and imagination.

With puppetry, original music, and witty writing, this is a festive theatrical treat for all the family. 

Don’t forget to pre-order your milk and cookie packs when you buy your tickets!

For the 6pm performances, kids are invited to watch the show in their pyjamas and bring along a favourite bedtime bear.

Performances at 11am, 2pm, and 6pm. 

Runtime: 55 minutes with no interval


1 Waterside, Sale M33 7ZF
Duckie | HOME Manchester | 3+ years | Wed 15 - Thu 23 Dec

This creative twist on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Ugly Duckling celebrates self-acceptance and the joy of being a bit different. 

Created by cabaret superstar Le Gateau Chocolat, Duckie brings you family-friendly glitz and glamour tied up with a poignant message. 

Set in an animal circus, we join Duckie as he tries to find out where he belongs. 

Walking a bit differently? Sounding a bit strange? Watch Duckie triumph by realising that these are his strengths. 

Thoughtful, original, and fun, this is one show not to be missed this festive season.

Performances at 10:30am and 2pm.

Runtime: 1 hour

2 Tony Wilson Pl, Manchester M15 4FN
Dick Whittington and his Amazing Cat | Contact Theatre | 2+ years | Sat 11 Dec 2021 - Mon 3 Jan 2022

Get your panto fix at Contact this Christmas with an upbeat, modern take on the classic rags-to-riches story. 

Join young Dick Whittington and his loyal cat Scratch on their exciting quest for fame and fortune. Can this dynamic duo overcome shipwrecks, pirates, ghosts, sharks, and evil King Rat and his rat gang to reach their goal?

Featuring a multi-talented cast, this musical extravaganza has been billed as ‘Manchester’s Local Panto’. It promises to be an evening of festive magic and lots of laughs for kids of all ages (even the grown-up ones!). 

Performances at 12pm, 2pm, 4pm, and 7pm. 

Runtime: 2 hours 15 minutes, including a 20 minute interval.

Oxford Rd, Manchester M15 6JA
The Gift | Z-Arts Centre | 2-4 years | Thu 16 - Thu 30 Dec 

A short and sweet Christmas story, perfect for little ones.

Meet grumpy astronaut Noli and join them as they embark on their biggest adventure yet – making a very special new friend. 

Brought to life by an acclaimed puppetry team, puppet robot Zee is sure to win the hearts of audience members young and old. 

This is highly visual storytelling, with immersive sounds and light to make kids feel part of Noli and Zee’s intergalactic world. 

Proving that Christmas magic will find you anywhere, even in space, The Gift reminds us that Christmas is a time for giving – and friendship is the very best gift of all. 

Performances at 10:30am, 12pm and 2pm. 

Runtime: 25 minutes. 

Zion Arts Centre, 335 Stretford Rd, Hulme, Manchester M15 5ZA
Sleeping Beauty | Salford Arts Theatre | Fri 3 - Fri 31 Dec

If you’re after something a bit more traditional, head to Salford Arts Theatre for Sleeping Beauty.

This classic pantomime promises festive fun for all the family, and tickets are selling fast. 

Performances at 11am, 2pm and 7pm. 

Get more details and book your tickets here.

Kemsing Walk, Off Tunbridge Sq, Liverpool St, Salford M5 4BS
Little Penguin’s First Christmas | Lowry Studio | 0-36 months | Sat 18 - Fri 31 Dec

This show is a perfect first theatrical experience for your little one. 

Join Little Penguin in her winter wonderland as she discovers the magic of Christmas for the very first time. 

This immersive, festive experience for babies and toddlers is filled with puppetry, original music and sensory delights to captivate your little one. 

Children will also be given their very own copy of the Little Penguin’s First Christmas book to take home with them after the show. 

Performances at 10am, 12pm and 2pm. 

Get more details and book your tickets here

Pier 8, The Quays, Salford M50 3AZ
Wed 24 Nov - Mon 3 Jan
Rachel Kevern
Published on:
Wed 8 Dec 2021