For many, Christmas is all about catching up with your family and enjoying seasonal fun together. While some families want to jump headfirst into traditional Christmas events, others may prefer to avoid the usual yuletide festivities, in favour of something less seasonal.
Today I have Andrew Bishop, Managing Director of Family Tickets, an award-winning ticketing platform powered by recommendations from parents – to share with us THE must-see family Christmas family events – both the festive and some not-so-festive – as recommended by parents.
If you’re looking to enjoy the latest renditions of some classic Christmas stories your family knows and loves, then there’s plenty to choose from this year.
For a show designed solely for the stage, why not enjoy The Nutcracker performed by 100 dancers and musicians of English National Ballet at London’s Coliseum. This spectacle has understandably sold out for the last three years, so book early to make sure you don’t miss out.
A Christmas Carol
For an event that truly epitomises Christmas, look no further than the incredible stage adaption of A Christmas Carol. You can trust that Jack Thorne, the man behind it. knows how to put on a good show. He did write Harry Potter and the Cursed Child play with JK Rowling, after all.
Take the family down to The Old Vic Theatre to see this 175 year-old festive tale brought to life on stage.
If you have little ones, the above shows may not be suitable. Luckily for younger showgoers, there’s still many brilliant festivities made just for them. One such example is Dear Santa, the impressive stage adaption of the much-loved children’s book Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell.
If your kids like the idea of joining Santa and his hilarious elf companion on a mission to deliver the perfect present, then this is the show for them. Santa may even ask for the audience’s help and is known for sticking around to thank them all after the show!
The Snowman Tour
If your family feels that Christmas simply wouldn’t be the same without The Snowman, then don’t miss out on the big-screen version of the animated classic, soundtracked live by a wonderful orchestra.
The Snowman Tour is too good to miss, so make sure you catch one of the many dates as it touches down in cathedrals from Liverpool to Buxton, Chester to Derby.
There a few better Christmas spectacles than The Nutcracker, an ever-enchanting performance that has become a Christmas staple. Around 100 talented dancers and musicians from the English National Ballet make this magical event one to remember.
So loved is this magical rendition that it has sold out for the last three years. So, grab a ticket while you still can!
For many, there’s no Christmas show than a classic pantomime. If your family loves a thrilling, interactive show that’ll have them shouting from their seats, then you should certainly catch the cinderella panto.
Watch as all the elements that made it such a beloved children’s tale spring to life on stage, glass slippers, pumpkins, fairy godmothers and all.
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
If you go down to the London Palladium this Christmas, you’re sure of a big surprise. The incredible Goldilocks and the Three Bears panto mixes up all the elements of the original story, while adding thrilling circus stunts and stunning special effects to boot.
No longer a tale of porridge and the likes, this panto extravaganza sees Goldilocks and her mother fight to save their circus from a horrible rival. They’re even helped by, you guessed it, three marvelous bears.
You might even spot some familiar faces (or hear some familiar voices) – Paul O’Grady, Julian Clary and Matt Baker from The One Show all star in this unique show.
The Art of the Brick
You can build pretty much anything out of LEGO bricks and artist Nathan Sawaya has provided the ultimate proof in stunning exhibition form at Manchester’s Great Northern Warehouse courtesy of The Art of the Brick.
The wonderful creations Sawaya has made out of these little bricks are nothing short of awesome and will surely provide inspiration to kids and adults alike. Trust me, you’ve never seen contemporary art quite like this.
Whether your kids are four, 14 or any age in-between, KidZania London offers an exciting day out in the form of a spectacular 75,000 square-foot indoor city, built just for kids.
As well as being hugely fun, KidZania helps kids learn many key skills, like financial literacy, teamwork and independence, as well as helping them think about their future careers.
Whether they hope to be a pilot, firefighter or professional dancer, they can follow their heart throughout this action-packed four-hour experience.
Now just where has Shrek gotten to? Join the search with this interactive walkthrough experience, beginning with a 4D bus to Far Far Away. You’ll enjoy 12 hilarious fairytale-themed live shows that cater to sight, touch and even smell at Shrek’s Adventure! Oh, and you may even meet a certain wisecracking donkey along the way.
ZSL London Zoo
If your family would rather not sit in a theatre, you can always grab a ticket to the ZSL London Zoo for a wild family day out. You’ll get the chance to meet over 19,000 animals spanning 36 acres.
You don’t need to worry about the winter weather either – you can bask in the tropical heat of a living rainforest amongst Emperor tamarins and sloths, or gaze at exotic fish as they navigate through a living coral reef.
Even some of the greatest animal titans, such as lions, tigers and gorillas are housed indoor enclosures. As London Zoo is one of the world’s leading conservation charities, this unforgettable day out will also help save endangered animals. And what’s more, you can even get 20% off standard gate entry prices via Family Tickets.
Behind The Scenes Tour of London Sea Life Centre
How does the Sea Life Centre look after their 600 marine and fresh-water species? To get a rare glimpse into the inner-workings of this magical underwater world and their more than 7,000 marine creatures, don’t miss out on this special behind the scenes tour.
From the deep blue of the Pacific to the tall canopies of the Amazon Rainforest and the frosty Polar Adventure, there’s plenty to dive into.
Warner Bros. Studio Tour – The Making of Harry Potter
There are few kids out there who don’t love Harry Potter. If your kids enjoyed the blockbuster movies, then don’t pass on the chance to embark on the Warner Bros. Studios Tour for an epic 4-hour journey that includes a luxury coach trip from central London.
Are you planning to take in any of the above Christmas family events over the festive season? Do leave a comment and share.