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The Countdown to Christmas in Glasgow begins...The Countdown to Christmas in Glasgow begins...
Added: 27 Mar 2014

Glasgow Loves Christmas so the legend goes and the proof is evident to anyone visiting the city centre, in particular George Square, home to the ice rink, the Big Wheel (the Glasgow Aye), some spectacular lights and live entertainment throughout the run up to Christmas. The perfect way to making Christmas shopping fun!

Glasgow loves pantos too. Highlights include the King’s Theatre Panto – 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 Fresh Meat and Warren Brown from Luther and Hollyoaks, where he earned a nomination for best villain in the Soap Awards, takes the role of Captain Hook. Rising star Joanne McGuinness stars as Wendy. 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 – the performance space is quite small so the young audience can get close to the action. Elf by Herself is at the Tron and Eric the Elf’s Chaotic Christmas is at the Citizens - I see a pattern emerging here! The Arches 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 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 – meet and eat with Santa at Hamleys is £25.00 - but there are plenty of free things to do – every weekend Scotland Street School Museum 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, choirs from Glasgow schools will be entertaining visitors with carols and other festive songs. Back at the Royal Concert Halls, Children’s Classic Concerts festive offering, ‘Deck the Halls with Owen and Olly’ takes place with two shows on Saturday 6 December - book your tickets. 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 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”?

Out and about.
If you’re looking for a break from the Christmas crowds, there are plenty of other festive days out for families and children. Santa’s Grotto at Finlaystone is already very popular. Culzean’s The Magical Castle is on Sunday 7 and 14 December - booking essential. This promises to be a wonderful day out. Christmas at The Hill House is back. What’s On For Kids visited The Hill House last year and it was lovely and low key. Santa and his elf spent a lot of time talking to the children, which made it very special. Head to David Livingstone Centre for Elf Training School and Santa’s Family Holiday is at Robert Burns Cottage. Back in Glasgow, Santa’s reindeer return to Holmwood. Over at Snow Factor at Soar Intu Braehead (previously known as Xscape), you can meet Santa on snow.

Congratulations to our competition winners, Joyce Breslin, Adeline Kretz, Helen Morrison, Kieran Gallagher, Lisa Burt, Slawomir Maczynski and Emily Watts and Caren Chang.

Website: http://www.nts.org.uk

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