Christmas is the perfect time to introduce your children to the true magic of the theatre.
While panto is a great festive tradition, there are plenty of other wonderful shows to take the family to this Christmas, from animal adventures to musical sing-alongs…
CHURCHILL THEATRE, Bromley
Meet the world’s most adventurous cat in this festive tale of Puss in Boots. When Puss finds himself alone at Christmas, he decides to find friends, both new and old, to celebrate the season with. There’s original music and lots of audience interaction included in the show, which comes from the team behind the sell-out production the Chronicles of Buster Bunny.
Details: Saturday, December 9 to Saturday, December 23 at the Churchill Theatre in Bromley. Tickets start from £12.50 and can be booked online here.
MARLOWE THEATRE, Canterbury
Based on the children’s book by Lu Fraser and Kate Hindley, The Littlest Yak is a fun-filled journey into the snowy Himalayas. The musical adaptation, produced by Kent-based theatre company LAS Theatre and the Marlowe Theatre, includes catchy songs, cute puppets and a heart-warming tale of self-acceptance.
Details: Saturday, December 9 to New Year’s Eve at the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury. Tickets cost £16 and can be booked online here.
EASTGATE HOUSE, Rochester
There’s no better place to enjoy the classic story A Christmas Carol than the former home of its author, Charles Dickens. The Medway writer’s best-loved festive book is being turned into a live performance inside the historic Eastgate House, which inspired Dickens during his time writing in the town. There will be actors performing among the audience to create a truly immersive experience.
Details: Sunday, December 10, Saturday, December 16 and Sunday, December 17 at Eastgate House in Rochester. Tickets cost £12 and can be booked online here.
STAG THEATRE, Sevenoaks
Join a cast of West End actors for an all-singing, all-dancing show this Christmas. The Baby Broadway show is ideal for families and includes seasonal tunes from musicals and films such as Elf, Frozen, The Snowman and White Christmas as well as fancy dress, bubbles, dancing and more.
Details: Sunday, December 10 and Saturday, December 23 at the Stag Theatre in Sevenoaks. Tickets cost £14 and can be booked online here.
TRINITY THEATRE, Tunbridge Wells
When a fire-breathing dragon threatens to ruin the Kingdom of Yule’s Festival of Ice, it’s up to Princess Noelle to bring back the town’s snowy blizzard. Children’s play the Princess and the Winter Dragon includes captivating rhymes, lively music and a magical dragon puppet, and you can also download a free crafts worksheet when you purchase your ticket.
Details: Tuesday, December 12 to Christmas Eve at the Trinity Theatre in Tunbridge Wells. Tickets cost £5 and can be booked online here.
ST GEORGE'S ARTS CENTRE, Gravesend
Enjoy lots of enchanting Christmas stories filled with mythical creatures, from goblins to fairies. Once Upon a Story Time includes live storytelling with all sorts of different tales to suit a range of ages.
Details: Select dates from Saturday, December 16 to Christmas Eve at St George’s Arts Centre in Gravesend. Tickets cost £2 and can be booked online here.
MALTHOUSE THEATRE, Canterbury
It’s not like the theatres are short of nutcrackers at this time of year, but the world-famous ballet has become something of a Christmas tradition. The Nutcracker, performed by the Let’s All Dance Ballet Company, features Tchaikovsky’s breathtaking score, beautiful costumes and, of course, dazzling dance routines.
Details: Monday, December 18 at the Malthouse Theatre in Canterbury. Tickets cost £18.25 and can be booked online here.
ALEXANDER CENTRE, Faversham
While panto season is in full swing and there are plenty of fairytales you can catch across the county, this one-off show is definitely one to add to your list. The modern retelling of Cinderella includes comedy, sing-along music and audience participation.
Details: Tuesday, December 19 at the Alexander Centre in Faversham. Tickets cost £10 and can be booked online here.
MICK JAGGER CENTRE, Dartford
Santa is ready to spill all of his festive secrets this year, including the thing he loves most in the world. Will it be the fairy on top of the tree or his Christmas elves? Or perhaps it will be something you would never expect. To find out, you will have to catch this musical show full of seasonal songs and games. There’s also a chance to meet Santa himself at the end of the show and get a present to take home.
Details: Tuesday, December 19 to Christmas Eve at the Mick Jagger Centre in Dartford. Tickets cost £12.50 and can be booked online here.
HAZLITT THEATRE, Maidstone
Arthur Christmas is heading out on a festive adventure and wants to take Maidstone audiences with him. This family-friendly story follows a young boy as he helps Santa deliver the one present he forgot and makes sure that Christmas Day goes off without a hitch. The show is adapted and performed by local talent from the Hazlitt Institute for Performing Arts.
Details: Thursday, December 21 to Christmas Eve at the Hazlitt Theatre in Maidstone. Tickets cost £15 and can be booked online.