BELFAST Pinocchio Meet some new characters in this musical version of Carlo Collodi’s story, adapted by Paul Boyd ( for ages 5+). Lyric Theatre, 55 Ridgeway St Fri-Thurs various times £13/£10 048-90381081 Peter Pan May McFettridge is joined by Jack Ellis and Aston Merrygold as Peter Pan in this traditional pantomime. Grand Opera House, Great Victoria St Sat-Thurs various times £5.50-£22.50 048-90241919 www.goh.co.uk Aladdin This traditional pantomime stars Sean Kearns as the swanky Widow Twanky, the Wee Aladdins “Wicked Chorus”, and Marty Rea as Aladdin. Waterfront Hall, 2 Lanyon Place Sat 1.30pm & 5pm £10/£14.50 048-90334455 www.waterfront.co.uk CLARE A Christmas Muddle Children must help solve a few seasonal problems before they get to meet Santa. Glór Irish Music Centre, Ennis Sun-Thurs various times ¤12/¤20 065-6843103 www.glor.ie DUBLIN Art Workshops at Dublin City Gallery – The Hugh Lane Art workshop in which 3-6 year olds make winter top hats with artist Kitty Rogers; This week’s Sunday Sketching session will look at art works with mirrors and encourage the making of similar creative images (aged 7+). Dublin City Gallery – The Hugh Lane, Parnell Sq Nth Sat 3-4pm (booking required) Sun 3pm Adm free, no booking required 01-2225550 Sleeping Beauty – A Wicked Fairytale Following their magical production of The Secret Garden last year, Landmark Productions and the Helix have joined forces again this year in this Christmas show (for ages 6+) The Helix, DCU Sat 3pm (preview) Sun 4pm Mon-Thurs 11am ¤18/¤12 or ¤25/¤21 01-7007000 www.thehelix.ie Christmas Workshop at the Chester Beatty Library The children’s Silk Worm Club explores Christmas traditions in this workshop (ages 6 - 11). Chester Beatty Library, Dublin Castle Sat 2pm Adm free but advance booking essential 01-4070750 Hansel and Gretel and Oscar Wilde’s The Selfish Giant The Lambert team bring these two children’s tales to life through puppetry. Lambert Puppet Theatre, Clifton Lane, Monkstown Sat/Sun 3.30pm ¤12.50/¤9.50 01-2800974 Christmas Open Day and Family Tours A day of festive events and activities for all ages; Join a themed tour limited to 20 people. National Museum of Decorative Arts and History, Collins Barracks, Sat 10am-5pm; Sun 2.30pm Adm free 01-6486453 Mother Goose Traditional pantomime starring Mark O’Shaughnessy as Mother Goose, Kate Brennan, Doireann Ní Chorragáin, Michael Grennell, stunt performer Toby Gomme and the Billie Barry Kids. Gaiety Theatre, South King St Sun 1.30pm & 6.30pm (previews) Mon-Thurs 6.30pm ¤16.50 - ¤32 01-6771717 Storytelling at Farmleigh Storytelling with Toby Kinsella. Also check out the Children’s Christmas room and live crib in the stables yard. Old Kitchen, Farmleigh Sat & Sun 1pm, 2.30pm & 4pm Adm free 01-8155900 www.farmleigh.ie Santa and the Present Pirates City Theatre presents this Christmas show for 3-8 year olds. The Mill Theatre, Dundrum Mon 9.55am, 11.15am & 12.35pm ¤10 01-2969340 www.milltheatre.com Sleeping Beauty puppet show Paula Lambert presents this classic children’s tale with her puppets. Airfield Trust, Upr Kilmacud Rd, Dundrum Sun noon & 3pm ¤12 01- 2984301 KILKENNY Little Rudolf Barnstorm Theatre Company’s new Christmas show for 4-6 year olds is a story about a young reindeer who discovers he is different from all the rest. The Barn, Church Lane Fri 10am & 11.30am ¤7 056-7751266 LOUTH The Little Dance Girl Livin Dred Theatre Company presents the story of Molly, a young girl who sets the world alight when she dances (for 5-12 year olds). Droichead Arts Centre, Stockwell St, Drogheda Mon-Thurs 10.30am & 12.30pm ¤8 041-9833946 MONAGHAN Little Rudolf See Kilkenny. Iontas Theatre, Castleblaney Wed/Thurs 10.30am & noon Also 1.30pm Wed ¤7 042-9753400 MAYO The Emperor’s New Clothes Banyan Theatre Company presents a humorous retelling of this classic tale using puppetry, music and storytelling (for aged 3+). Linenhall Arts Centre, Linenhall St, Castlebar Sat 3pm ¤5 094-9023733 Storytelling Eddie Lenihan tells tales of myth, magic and mystery at this storytelling session (aged 7+). Irish Museum of Country Life, Turlough Park, Castlebar Wed 2.30pm Adm free 094-9031751 Children’s listings: Sylvia Thompson email@example.com BALLET IN DECEMBER Ballet Ireland, Irish National Youth Ballet, Perm State Ballet, St Petersburg Ballet (Various venues around Ireland – see listings for details) The ballet season is in full swing this month. Is it because of the Christmas theme of The Nutcracker that December ballet equals Tchaikovsky? Or is it because of the usually sumptuous stage and costume designs, and the fact that we like a seasonal – and traditional – treat this time of year? Whatever the reason, dance lovers can take their pick of productions – or gorge on these holiday sweets. The Perm State Ballet make a very welcome return to Galway and Dublin, bringing their magnificent work to our stages in the form of The Nutcracker (pictured) and Sleeping Beauty. As one of Russia’s most respected dance companies, who specialise in Tchaikovsky (who was born near Perm), they rarely fail to present breathtaking productions of these classics. But should you want more and more, the St Petersburg Ballet also deliver an intoxicating Tchaikovsky fix with their Swan Lake and Nutcracker, and INYB keep their enjoyable Nutcracker fresh from year to year. For something a bit different, Ballet Ireland return home after their UK run with their world premiere of A Christmas Carol. It’s the one time of the year ballet lovers – like sweet lovers – can feel justified in being greedy.