The month of December is one of the most daunting for parents. Not only do they have to work from a letter to Santa but they also have to find affordable and fun ways to entertain the kids while they’re off school for the festivities. Let’s face it, one of the best parts of Christmas is snuggling up on the couch with a bundle of family-friendly films – but, with our top 5 picks of the best festive family theatre in Manchester this Christmas, you and your young ones can partake in a joyous experience outside of the house.

The Slightly Annoying Elephant | HOME | 5 Dec - 29 Dec | Various Times | From £7.50

What’s big, blue, bossy and turns up uninvited? A slightly annoying elephant of course! If your little ones are a lover of the hilarious books of author an TV star David Walliams, they’re going to love the Slightly Annoying Elephant. This light-hearted tale tells the story of Sam, a young boy who finds a bright blue, tired and hungry, recycling and antique-loving elephant on his doorstep. This adaptation which is brought to HOME by Little Angel Theatre will have both you and your little ones laughing out loud as the comedic elephant is brought to life by realist puppeteers which will leave you amazed. This production is recommended for children aged between 3 and 8 and has a running time of 50 minutes, without an interval. The shows will run between Thursday 5 December – Sunday 29 December 2019. Tickets are priced at £11.00 for adults and £7.50 for children.

2 Tony Wilson Place, Manchester, M15 4FN, Tel: 0161 200 1500
The Hallé: The Snowman | The Bridgewater Hall | 20 Dec & 23 Dec | From £17.50

It simply wouldn’t be Christmas without the classic animated adaptation of Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman. Head to The Bridgewater Hall this December and you and your family will be enchanted by a variety of magical live performances that see the Hallé orchestra reinvent Howard Blake’s spellbinding score, featuring festive favourite Walking In The Air sang by a live choir. There’s even some fun scheduled before the film begins, with your little ones invited to take part in a countdown to Christmas with the Hallé and some special guests. This magical experience will take place at various times on Friday 20 and Monday 23 December, with tickets priced at £27.50 for adults and £17.50 for children aged under 17.

The Bridgewater Hall, Lower Mosley St, Manchester M2 3WS, Tel: 0161 907 9000
The Gruffalo’s Child | The Lowry | 6 Dec - 12 Jan | Various Times | From £14

Join the Gruffalo’s Child at The Lowry and let your imagination take over as you witness a magical adventure in theatre troupe Tall Stories’ adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s amazing picture book. This captivating tale sees the Gruffalo’s Child ignore her father’s warnings about the Big Bad Mouse as she tiptoes out into the deep dark woods. She follows snowy tracks and encounters mysterious creatures – but the Big Bad Mouse doesn’t really exist… does he? The Gruffalo’s Child will be performed at Quays Theatre between Friday 6 December and Sunday 12 January 2020. Ticket prices start from £14.00.

The Lowry, Pier 8, The Quays, Salford, M50 3AZ, Tel: 0343 208 6000
Goldilocks The Panto | The Dancehouse | 15 Dec - 31 Dec | Various Times | From £10

With the weather outside getting colder, step inside The Dancehouse this Christmas where it is not too hot, not too cold, but just right… Be amazed by a unique retelling of a favourite fairtale classic as you step into this spellbinding circus, where Goldilocks takes centre stage. Join Goldie, her outrageous mother, bratty sister, the Ring Master and Simple Simon on a never-before-told panto adventure as they fight to save the three bears and the circus from the evil Baron Von Shtinkenfarter. This traditional tale has been spun into a magical and hilarious panto which will have everybody singing along to the catchiest songs. There’s something for everyone at this colourful showing, whether you’re a mum, dad, boy or girl. Roll up! Roll up! This is not one to miss. Find it at The Dancehouse between Sunday 15 December and Tuesday 31 December. Ticket prices vary, please see link below for pricing and show timings:

The Dancehouse, 10A Oxford Road, Manchester, M1 5QA, Tel: 0161 237 9753
Ducklings | The Royal Exchange Theatre | 17 Dec - 5 Jan | Various Times | From £6.50

A co-production between The Herd Theatre and Hull Truck Theatre, this reimagining of the classic tale of The Ugly Duckling is something truly beautiful. It’s the perfect treat for your little ones this Christmas, particularly those aged between 4 and 7 – although even the adults will have glassy eyes after watching this endearing story. Here, you’ll find a touching retelling of Spruce, a young duck who is practicing his flight while the other ducklings put on a glorious display of power, grace and ability. This retooling showcases the magic and occasional hardship of being a youngster in a competitive world. The Duckling will be on at The Royal Exchange Theatre between 17th December 2019 and 5th January 2020.

The Royal Exchange, Old Bank Street, Manchester City Centre, M2 7PE, Tel: Search Results 0161 833 9833
Mon 25 Nov - Tue 31 Dec
Kimberley Booth
Published on:
Tue 26 Nov 2019