With Christmas just around the corner, Manchester Santa has more than festive markets in his bag. We’ve rounded up three alternatives to your traditional panto for the young Christmas fan in your life.

Moominland Midwinter at Sale’s Waterside Arts Centre (pictured)
Tove Jansson’s magical Moomins are live on stage this Christmas. Waking up a bit early from his winter hibernation, Moomintroll finds the world he knows completely changed and sets off to explore snowy Moominland. Written by Finnish author, Tove Jansson, the books see the characters of Moomintroll, Little My, Moominmamma, Snork Maiden and many more coming to life through beautifully hand-crafted, full-sized puppets. Aged 4+.
Tue 8 Dec 2015 – Sat 2 Jan 2016, Waterside Arts Centre, 1 Waterside, Sale, Manchester M33 7ZF, tel: 0161 912 5616, times vary, from £10, www.watersideartscentre.co.uk

Premiere: Inkheart at HOME
This new adaptation for the stage is a must for fans of Cornelia Funke’s worldwide best selling children’s novel, Inkheart. As the title suggests, the story transports the audience into a new world, full of dark magic and ferocious villains where secrets are revealed and nothing is impossible. Twelve-year-old Meggie takes the children on an adventure and the production team includes acclaimed designer Stéphane Laimé, Home’s artistic director, Walter Meierjohann, and writer Stephen Sharkey. Ages 8 – 14.
Fri 4 Dec 2015 – Sat 9 Jan 2016, HOME, 2 Tony Wilson Place, 2 First Street, Manchester M15 4FN. Tel: 0161 200 1500, times vary, tickets from £10, www.homemcr.org

The Snowman screening with live musical accompaniment at the Bridgewater Hall
A family favourite for over 30 years, the film of The Snowman is being projected at the Bridgewater Hall with live musical accompaniment by Manchester’s own symphony orchestra, The Hallé. Howard Blake’s beautiful score, including the magical song Walking in the Air, sets the scene as a young boy sets off on an adventure over oceans and through forests, hand-in-hand with his friend, the Snowman. Prior to the film and there are two additonal pieces of music, Alasdair Malloy’s Fantasy (inspired by the film, Frozen), and a new composition called Dinosaurumpus, which will see dinosaurs joining the orchestra on stage… Suitable for all ages but keep your eye peeled for the T-Rex.
Tue 22 Dec 2015 – Wed 23 Dec 2015, The Bridgewater Hall, Lower Mosley Street, Manchester M2 3WS. Tel: 0161 907 9000, 1.30pm, 4pm, tickets from £16 (everyone must have a ticket, but there are limited ‘babes in arms’ tickets for the under 2s) family tickets available by calling the box office.

Fri 4 Dec - Sat 9 Jan
Anna Georgieva
Published on:
Mon 21 Dec 2015