Family days out this December 2015
Magical theatre and fluttering snowflakes - Nifa McLaughlin has lots of ideas to kick off a little one's Christmas
The extravaganza that is Winter Wonderland is back in London's Hyde Park. It includes a magical ice kingdom, fairground rides, Christmas markets, ice skating and, of course, Santa Land. It's free to enter if you just want to soak up the atmosphere, but you might want to book tickets in advance for the actual attractions.
20 November - 3 January
Shine a light
Take a journey to a tiny kingdom where the folk need your help to find the lights that used to illuminate their world. You actually sit on the stage for this production of Land of Lights at the North Finchley Arts Depot, so there’s lots of interaction to delight tots aged three to five.
15 December - 3 January 2016
At The National Sea Life Centre in Birmingham, the brilliantly named Merry Fishmas brings the magic of Lapland to a subaquatic world. Meet Father Christmas in his Antarctic grotto surrounded by the Centre’s charming Gentoo penguins, see an underwater Christmas tree, and find out which sea creatures enjoy Brussels sprouts...
Santa’s wee problem
Oh dear – as he distributes presents on Christmas Eve, Father Christmas has been enjoying all the delicious treats left out for him... until he suddenly realises he really, really needs a wee – whoops! Can he manage to finish delivering all the presents? Find out what happens in this bouncy, fun-filled musical adaptation of Nicholas Allan’s much-loved book.
Touring the UK from Jersey to Wakefield
Fed up with all the good cheer? Escape with the tots to Horrible Christmas at the Corn Exchange, Cambridge. This crazy caper through the history of Christmas, including medieval monks, Puritan parties, Tudor treats and Victorian villains, takes you on an adventure with St Nicholas, Henry VIII, Oliver Cromwell, Charles Dickens, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer – you could hardly leave him out.
14 December - 9 January
Seeing The Snowman at London's Peacock Theatre is a great Christmas ritual, with dancing penguins, magical reindeer, a snow princess, the wicked Jack Frost, Father Christmas – and of course everyone's favourite snowman too. Perfect for the very young, and we challenge you not to cry when the Snowman and the boy lift off.
25 November - 3 January
Mr Popper dreams of travelling to Antarctica to meet penguins. Then one day a packing crate arrives, out of which waddles... a penguin, and soon there are more. With songs and puppets, this delightful version of Mr Popper’s Penguins is the perfect feel-good Christmas treat for three-year-olds and up.
4-5 December, Cadogan Hall, London; 10 December-10 January, The Lowry, Salford Quays
Happy Bloomin’ Christmas
Christmas isn’t Christmas without Raymond Briggs’ charmingly grumpy Father Christmas. At the Lyric in Hammersmith, watch as the man in red wakes from dreams of a holiday in the sun to discover it’s Christmas Eve – his busiest day of the year. This production features actors and puppets, and is perfect for children under six.
20 November - 24 December
Bringing up baby
If you think your tot gives you a hard time now and then, just see what happens to three people trying to bring up a very lovable but mischievous, grizzly and gorgeous child in Beastly Baby. Puppetry, music and a little bit of magic is used in this tale specially created for three- to six-year-olds at the Polka Theatre, Wimbledon.
Until 3 January