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With less than three weeks to go to Christmas Day, the little people in our families are getting more excited than Santa’s elves as they load up his sleigh.
And why not? It’s a fab time for all of us and this year we’re ready to rock around the Christmas tree and enjoy the festivities more than ever.
There’s tons going on in Merseyside and here’s 12 things you can take the kids to…
Get ready for custard pies, a sing song and plenty of laughter because it’s panto season across the city region and there are few things guaranteed to get you feeling more festive than a bit of ‘of no he isn’t’ action.
You can take you pick from a host of shows including:
Beauty and the Beast at the Epstein Theatre Liverpool from December 16 to January 9, starring Hollyoaks and Holby City actor Ben Richards.
Also, Beauty and the Beast at the Floral Pavilion, New Brighton – this time with Gavin and Stacey’s Melanie Walters. It’s on from now until January 2.
Radio City and Guide presenter Leanne Campbell is starring as The Godmother in Cinderella at The Auditorium at Liverpool M&S Arena, from December 18-28.
Cinderella is on at the Atkinson Theatre, Southport with singer and actress Claire Sweeney as the Fairy Godmother, from December 10 to January 2.
The Rock ‘n’ Roll panto is back at Everyman Liverpool with Robin Hood: Tights in White Satin, from November 27 to January 15.
And, at Theatre Royal St Helens, there’s Goldilocks and the Three Bears with Hollyoaks’ David Tag, and it’s on from December 10 to January 9.
Celebrate with a seasonal safari at Knowsley as its popular magical light trail returns on selected dates from now until December 30, between 4pm-8pm. The night-time adventure includes the enchanted forest Christmas lights, animal light trail, and toasted marshmallows for perfect festive fun, and prices start at £8.
It’s never been more fun to be ‘frozen’ as the Ice festival returns to Liverpool’s Waterfront. It’s here until January 3 and has seen the Pier Head transformed into a winter wonderland with stalls and bars serving food and drinks, Christmas market stalls and – especially for the kids but not only for the kids! – a daredevil ice slide and the UK’s only Ice Jet ride!
Bundle up, put on your wellies and bring your family on a festive and fully accessible trail around Calderstones Park, based on John Burningham’s classic Walker Books story.
Sessions cost £12.99 for a family, and you will receive a gift-wrapped copy of the picture book to take home, share and enjoy for many Christmases to come.
Last year’s winter trail sold out, so please do book in advance.
Book here before it sells out
Otterspool Adventure has been turned into a Christmas Wonderland with tons of things for families and kids to do for the festive season. There’s a cracker of a Christmas Experience from £12.50 with three hours of activities and skating on the ice rink, a Jack and the Beanstalk panto, a visit to the Make A Bear workshop, the chance to see Santa and Gingerbread Decorating with Mrs Claus.
Percy the Park Keeper is leading the fun at Speke Hall this Christmas, with a wonderful winter trail, and there’s much more going on including a Tudor Yuletide celebration in the Hall’s courtyard. From December 17-22 at 9am, there’ll be Breakfast with Santa and you can take your little ones to enjoy a delicious breakfast, post your Christmas list and sit for a special story with Father Christmas (booking is essential for this).
We all love a White Christmas and it’s guaranteed at Imagine That! The children’s science and discovery centre in Liverpool has been transformed for the Christmas season with festive activities and workshops to keep everyone entertained for hours.
Kids can create their own pot of ‘snow’ before heading outside for a flurry of magical snowflakes (weather permitting!); in the Slime Factory they can make snowman slime, and in the Christmas Chocolate Factory they make chocolate reindeer cones (and for every cone made, Imagine That! will donate to Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice). You can even play holiday bingo, make magic reindeer food and create a light-up snowman decoration.
Light up your Christmas with this spectacular, illuminated light trail set to music at Victoria Park. The kids’ll love it and it runs from now until Thursday, December 23. Tickets – which must be pre-booked online in advance – start from £11 and £48 for a family ticket.
It’s Chrrrissssstmasss! And the city’s Christmas Market is back around St George’s Hall. It’s open until Thursday, December 23, with 40 stalls selling fabulous food and drink, gifts galore, and festive rides that are perfect for little kids (and big ones) like the big wheel and a giant Bavarian snow slide in Santa’s Village.
Prescot’s Imaginarium Theatre has persuaded professional Storyteller Gav Cross to bring his famous cousin, Father Christmas (yes, we’re told, the REAL one!) to the Imaginarium Roundhouse for a special storytelling event for children (and adults) of all ages, every Saturday and Sunday from now until Christmas Eve. It’s £10, or £15 with a bowl of scouse and bread.
Alasdair Molloy presents a Christmas party that children of all ages can enjoy, with songs to sing, tunes to enjoy and a stocking full of festive surprises in this hour-long family concert featuring the Orchestra, the Phil’s fabulous Children’s Choirs – and who knows, maybe even a visit from Santa himself?!
You can meet Santa himself and party with the team at Hotel Anfield on Sunday 19th December, from 2-4pm.
There will two hours of children’s entertainment and circus skills, face painting, hot dogs, popcorn and slushies. You’ll get the chance to meet Santa and even get a small gift from him too.
Tickets cost just £5 per child, including food and slushies.
From Home Alone to Elf and The Polar Express Liverpool’s cinemas have got you and the kids sorted for your Christmas film fix this year. Check out screenings at the Plaza in Crosby, the Everyman Cinema in MetQuarter and FACT.
The Unity is squeezing every last drop out of the festive season with a brand-new two-week Christmas festival which runs until Wednesday, December 22. For the younger members of the family it includes an interactive sensory experience, Meet Me A Tree, on December 22, where 0 – 2-year-olds can enjoy a journey through all four seasons, or you can gather the whole family and party on down with The Rockin’ Rhinos Christmas Cracker on December 18.
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