What’s on for kids this Christmas

xmas for kids

We’re counting down sleeps until the big day and guest blogger Mary Hardie of What’s On For Kids has some great ideas for keeping the youngsters even more excited during this magical time of the year.

Glasgow Loves Christmas as is clear to anyone visiting George Square, home to the ice rink, the Big Wheel, some spectacular lights and live entertainment throughout the run up to Christmas.

Glasgow loves pantos too. Highlights include the King’s Theatre Panto (nearest Subway Cowcaddens) – renowned for its amazing costumes and high production values. This year it is the turn of Peter Pan to get the King’s treatment. The cast includes Scott Fletcher from River City as Peter Pan, Smee is played by the fab Greg McHugh from Gary Tank Commander, and Warren Brown from Hollyoaks takes the role of Captain Hook. The Tron Panto goes from strength to strength – hard to think that its existence was threatened a couple of years ago.  This year’s show is ‘A Miracle on 34 Parnie Street’ and is written and directed by Johnny McKnight. It has a real local flavour and stars Julie Wilson Nimmo. Panto legends The Krankies return to the SECC with John Barrowman for a spectacular Cinderella. This year Melanie Masson, star of the X Factor, joins them as the Fairy Godmother.

For some families, the traditional pantomime is not really their thing, especially for those with younger children. There are some lovely shows especially for kids aged 3 and over.  Wild Heather is at the Scottish Youth Theatre (nearest Subway St Enoch) – the performance space is quite small so the young audience can get close to the action. Elf by Herself is at the Tron (nearest Subway St Enoch) and Eric the Elf’s Chaotic Christmas is at the Citizens Theatre – I see a pattern emerging here! The Arches (nearest Subway St Enoch) family show is ‘The Little Boy that Santa Forgot’.  It is quite good fun walking through the spaces that are normally the preserve of Glasgow’s clubbers and hipsters.

The Citizens Theatre (nearest Subway Bridge Street) has a reputation for putting on family shows with a difference.  This year’s production taps into the Victorian tradition of ghost stories at Christmas with an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Judging by the trailer, it looks great and little bit creepy. Perfect for kids aged 6 and over.

Christmas can be expensive – how about a meet and eat with Santa at Hamleys (nearest Subway St Enoch) for £25.00 – but there are plenty of free things to do – every weekend Scotland Street School Museum (nearest Subway Shields Road) is holding Santa school – a free training workshop for those wishing to be Santa’s stand in. Santa won’t be there himself as it is his busiest month – in fact he’s so busy that his Mrs Claus sets up home in Pollok House for December – not a bad place to spend December.

At Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum)  (nearest Subway Kelvinhall), choirs from Glasgow schools will be entertaining visitors with carols and other festive songs. Back at the Royal Concert Halls (nearest Subway Buchanan Street), Children’s Classic Concerts festive offering, ‘Deck the Halls with Owen and Olly’ takes place on Saturday 6 December. Later on in the month the RSNO return with their annual Christmas concert, featuring the RSNO Junior Chorus and lots of great festive music.  This year, Blythe Duff will narrate Raymond Briggs’ classic Christmas tale, The Snowman. ‘Walking in the Air’ has become one of those ubiquitous Christmas songs but it is powerful when performed live.  Lastly, Disco Ceilidh – Scottish country dancing to pumping dance music – has its Christmas edition at St Silas Church Hall (nearest Subway Kelvinbridge) on Saturday 6 December. A great family night out – bring your own refreshment, including some for the kids, neutralises pester power.  Sure to play some Christmas tunes, wonder what dance they’ll set to “Walking in the Air”?