It’s finally December! Which means that we can officially start celebrating Christmas and look forward to all the family-friendly festive fun on offer across Big Imaginations. Here are some highlights:


The Lost Present 

When is it? Saturday 18th December
Where is it? Parish Church Hall, St Helens Town Centre 

Citadel Arts are calling all children aged 2 – 7 and their grown-ups to get stuck into some festive, family fun with Christmas crafts and a brilliant show called The Lost Present. 

It’s Christmas Eve, and having tumbled to earth through the night sky, Elva sets out on a journey to find her best friend – a little girl she hasn’t even met yet.  Has the lost present got what it takes to find her way through the cold winter night?  Will she arrive in time for Christmas morning?  Will Elva be everything the little girl wished for? 

Written especially for children and brought to life using handmade puppets, original music and delightful storytelling, The Lost Present is an enchanting tale about true friendship.  It really is the perfect gift for Christmas.


Beauty and the Beast 

When is it? Friday 3rd – Friday 31st December
Where is it? The Dukes, Lancaster 

The Dukes are bringing Beauty & The Beast to their Round theatre this Christmas! This brand-new production is a thoroughly festive adventure that all the family will love.  

Bella and her mother live alone in the countryside, scrimping and saving to make ends meet. But, not far from their farm, in the forest, there is a terrible secret waiting to be uncovered that has made the land barren.  

Kidnapped by the fearsome Beast, Bella discovers that he might not be the mean-spirited creature that she has been told about – and that the curse he is under can be broken.  

Filled with magic, dancing and songs that you’ll love to sing along to, this is Beauty & The Beast done Dukes-style! 


The Not So Ugly Sisters 

When is it? Wednesday 24th November – Saturday 1st January
Where is it? Waterside, Sale. 

You’ve heard the fairytale, now here’s the whole hair-raising truth! 

Dolly rests on her broom counting the passers-by outside the salon window, whilst her sister Barb watches the phone that never rings. It’s the morning of Cindy and Prince Smarming’s big royal wedding – but Dolly and Barb are not invited! But hell hath no fury like a hairdresser scorned!  

A brand new musical re-telling of Cinderella from the perspective of the ‘Not So’ Ugly Sisters, reimagined for the stage in this magical adventure for the whole family by Wrongsemble. 

Wrongsemble are a Yorkshire based theatre company famed for creating fantastic family theatre for all ages, packed full of original music, puppetry, magic and adventure. The Not So Ugly Sisters promises to be a theatrical treat not to be missed! 


Christmas in the Whirligig Woods

When is it? Saturday 18th December
Where is it? The Whirligig Woods

Over at Wild Rumpus HQ, head to the Whirligig Woods for a day of family festivities. With a live performance from The String Beans, a Christmassy sing-a-long around the campfire, and even a visit from Father Christmas – this will be a Christmas event to keep the whole family feeling merry & bright!

They will also have a sustainable present wrapping workshop for you to get stuck into (feel free to bring pressies along to wrap on the day), followed by a big bowl of joyful food from Feastable UK (available to buy).

There will be hot drinks, mince pies & sausage rolls for sale – and their bar will be open too for those who fancy a festive tipple.

The event takes place in their woodland, so please wear sturdy shoes and clothing which is suitable for all weathers.


Make a Festive Table Decoration

When is it? Sunday 19th December
Where is it? The Whirligig

Create a unique & sustainable centre piece for your Christmas table!

Join us for a relaxed session in the beautiful woods, as Becky Burns Plantswoman guides you through making your own festive table decorations.

We will be using found and natural materials which will all be provided. No wire is used, and your creation can be composted or the willow frame re-used year after year.

Enjoy a hot drink and a mince pie whilst we create! (Included in ticket price).


The Rockin’ Rhinos Christmas Cracker 

When is it? Saturday 4th December (The Old Courts), Saturday 11th December (Z-arts) & Saturday 18th December (Unity Theatre), Wednesday 22nd December (Square Chapel)
Where is it? The Old Courts, Wigan, Z-arts, Manchester, Unity Theatre, Liverpool & Square Chapel, Halifax.  

Fronted by John Cooper Cat, The Rockin’ Rhinos are Manchester’s foremost family animal band.  This is music for the under-7’s that grown ups will love too as they mix ska, punk and rock classics with their own songs.  If you like the idea of a real gig – played with guts and soul – where your children will bop with you, and where there’s a bar, then this is for you! 


Meet Me A Tree 

When is it? Wednesday 1st December (Square Chapel), Tuesday 21st December (Unity Theatre)
Where is it? Square Chapel, Halifax & Unity Theatre, Liverpool. 

For newborns, little ones and their families, Meet me a Tree is an interactive first opera for 0–2-year-olds and their carers. Audiences are invited to go on a multisensory journey through a year in the life of a tree: singing with blackbirds, marching through fallen leaves, smelling new blossom and feeling the wind on cheeks.  Meet Me a Tree features music by Schumann, Delibes and Handel as well as words and music created by Hurly Burly. 

With beautiful singing and relaxing music at its core Meet me a Tree will be an opportunity to unwind and have fun for new parents, carers and babies. Following the 40-minute interactive show, there will also be a chance for little ones to play amongst the set. 


The Gift 

When is it? Thursday 16-Sunday 19th, Tuesday 21st-Friday 24th & Tuesday 28th-Friday 31st December
Where is it? Z-arts, Manchester. 

At Christmas-time the magic will find you anywhere – even in space!   

Count down in the Z-arts foyer, then blast off into the stars in this beautiful new production created especially by award-winning Early Years practitioners for our youngest audiences.   

There you’ll Join grumpy astronaut Noli, as they embark on their biggest adventure yet – making a very special new friend!   

Highly visual story telling with immersive sounds and light bring you right into the heart of Noli’s story, where puppet robot Zee, brought to life by an acclaimed puppetry team, is sure to win your heart. This will be an unforgettable, and fully Covid-secure, Christmas theatre treat.   

Because Christmas is a time for giving, and friendship is the very best gift of all! 

To book any of these shows, please visit the venue’s website. You can find a list of Big Imaginations venues here.


From all of us here at Big Imaginations, we wish you a lovely festive season and all the best for 2022!