The Christmas decorations are up in Birmingham, my children are clearly learning Christmas songs in school given that they keep singing those songs around the house, in the car, wherever we go. All in all, as the song goes, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.
Now, if you are like me and feel like it is far too early to start thinking about Christmas any time before November, you might also now be thinking that you want to take the family to a Christmas show, but don’t know where to start looking. Well, I am here to the rescue. Here are some Christmas shows on in and around Birmingham, UK, that at the time of writing still have tickets available. One of them is on this coming Saturday, so you can get into the festive spirit this very weekend! I will break them down by venue rather than date, and give you a link to each of the events so you can click through to book tickets if you like the sound of any of these concerts, shows and events. I’d book tickets for all of them personally if we had the money and the time, they all sound fantastic.
- City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO)
- Birmingham Hippodrome
- Midland Arts Centre (MAC)
- Ex Cathedra at St Paul’s Church
- Warwick Arts Centre
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO)
The CBSO is a world class orchestra, right on our doorstep. They have performed all over the world, and are absolutely fantastic. The orchestra performs regularly at both the Town Hall and Symphony Hall in Birmingham and in their own home just down the road and nearer the canal, there CBSO Centre. There are two events on that the CBSO still has tickets for, one is part of their Notelets series of concerts – concerts aimed specifically at toddlers and young children under 5 years old (though older siblings are welcome) and there are free craft activities to do before the concert starts, and often musicians from the orchestra on hand in the front of house area so children can see and hear the instruments up close. We have been to Notelets concerts before and thoroughly enjoyed them.
Notelets: Christmas Party at the CBSO Centre on 9 and 10 December at 11am, 1.30pm or 3.30pm
It’s a magical time of year and you are invited to a Christmas Party with extra sparkle! Join Charlotte and Bryony’s Sleighbell Orchestra for musical stories and festive party games based on ‘The Christmas Department Store’! Party hats at the ready – this is going to be a day to remember!
Family Concert: A Winter Party at Birmingham Town Hall on 26 November at 2.30pm
Wrap up warm and join us as we transform the Town Hall into a musical winter wonderland!
Featuring music from Frozen, The Polar Express, The Nutcracker, The Four Seasons, Jessie Montgomery’s Starburst and more, join our amazing orchestra alongside conductor Michael Seal and presenter Lucy Driver to dance, sing along and even join in with the music-making at this seasonal celebration of all things wintry!
Home to Birmingham Royal Ballet and the Welsh National Opera, the Hippodrome is a large venue that hosts touring arts companies who put on big shows like musicals and, of course, a Christmas Pantomime.
Tales from the Acorn Wood at Christmas on 13 to 31 December in the Patrick Studio, various times
Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler‘s beloved Tales from the Acorn Wood stories are brought to life on stage for the first time in an enchanting lift-the-flap experience.
Poor old Fox has lost his socks! Are they in the kitchen or inside the clock? And Rat-a-tat-tat! Who’s that keeping tired Rabbit awake? You can also join in with Pig and Hen’s game of hide-and-seek and discover the special surprise Postman Bear is planning for his friends.
This special Christmas show also features Squirrel’s Snowman – can you help her find everything she needs to build a snowman?
Packed full of toe-tapping songs, puppetry and all the friends from the team that brought you Dear Zoo Live and Dear Santa promises to be the perfect festive treat for children of all ages.
Dick Whittington on 17 December to 29 January, various times
Birmingham Hippodrome’s panto will be paved with gold!
Marti Pellow returns to Birmingham as The Ratman in the ultimate pantomime adventure, Dick Whittington. Martin joins Birmingham panto legend Matt Slack, TV celebrity Dr Ranj and actress, singer and television personality Suzanne Shaw in this star-studded, action-packed adventure full of laughter, music and dance.
The UK’s biggest regional panto will also see the return of Hippodrome favourites Doreen Tipton and Andrew Ryan.
Featuring sets and costumes from The London Palladium, spectacular special effects and plenty of audience participation, this is the perfect chance for audiences to come together and share the magic of live theatre.
Midland Arts Centre (MAC)
I live within walking distance of MAC and love this venue. It’s a multi-purpose venue, meaning that there is an art gallery both a separate gallery space and one around the cafe areas, workshop spaces, a theatre, a cinema, and other performance spaces. It is also in Canon Hill Park making it a great place for a day out.
Pins and Needles: The Bear on 17 November to 30 December at various times
This festive season enjoy Pins and Needles’ heart-warming live stage show of the classic children’s book by Raymond Briggs, The Bear, featuring dazzling puppetry, delicious music and dozens of laughs.
Ever wondered what it would be like to sit on a polar bear’s lap? Or ride on its back? Have you ever tried to give a polar bear a bath, or clear up its poo?
One night when she’s fast asleep, Tilly is visited by an enormous bear. It has a big black tongue and a yawn as big as your head. But Tilly is not scared.
The story of a little girl who befriends a mischievous polar bear, this playful, funny and heart-warming tale is one of imagination and growing up.
The Bear is an unforgettable experience for the whole family – So bring a bear, and join Tilly and her great big white friend on a wild and magical adventure.
Ex Cathedra at St Paul’s Church
Ex Cathedra is a leading UK choir and Early Music ensemble (Early Music is generally medieval or baroque music, so music composed before about 1750) who also perform music composed right up to the present day. A visit to a candelit Christmas concert was a regular Christmas highlight for me growing up, and in fact the concert I am recommending is one I have tickets for to take my children to.
Angels, Stars & Kings: family Christmas Concert on 21 December at 4pm at St Paul’s Church, Jewellery Quarter
The whole family can enjoy the magic of our Christmas concerts. The young people in our Academy choirs join in performing this hour-long sequence of seasonal music and readings specially created for younger audiences.
This concert is particularly recommended for children aged 4-13 but all ages are welcome and you are invited to come dressed as an angel, star or king.
Warwick Arts Centre
Warwick Arts Centre is a multi-purpose arts centre based at the University off Warwick, that is actually based in Coventry rather than Warwick. It hosts music, drama, comedy, dance performances and more along with a number of different workshops and arts classes for the local community. They have recently re-opened after a very big refurbishment.
Festive Family Christmas Countdown on 4 December at 3pm in the Butterworth Hall
The University of Warwick Music Centre presents the ultimate Christmas Countdown for all the family!
Magical music, sensational songs and festive fun are guaranteed to make even the grinches of people want to join in and enjoy the most wonderful time of the year! Crazy Christmas costumes are encouraged.
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