Top 5 shows for under-5s in Yorkshire this December

800 600 Hoglets Theatre

I love Christmas time, the decorations, the lights, the Mulled wine, the frisson of anticipation in the air. And this love has grown and grown since becoming a Mother, the excitement and unbridled joy in those little faces is just everything. I love it so much that one day is not enough.

So a few years ago we decided to lessen the number of toys we bought and give our children experiences and memories for Christmas instead. This always starts at the beginning of December and runs until school returns again. Being the family that we are the majority of these experiences are theatrical.

Over the past few weeks, a number of Mummies who attend my Storytelling sessions have asked which Christmas shows we’ve booked this year. So I thought I’d list my top picks in Yorkshire for under 5’s this festive season.

Tabby McTat- Freckle Productions – Northallerton Forum

Here in York, we are no strangers to theatrical adaptations of the works of Julia Donaldson and Freckle’s wonderful “Tiddler and Other Terrific Tales” wowed audiences a few years ago at the Great Yorkshire fringe.

This time they are performing a little north of our city walls and for one day only (Sunday 9th December) they will be setting up camp and delighting the little folks of Northallerton at The Forum.

Tabby McTat is a story of lost and found, love, friendship, loyalty and cats. With the use of puppetry, live music and audience interaction I’m sure this show will be the purr-fect Christmas treat.



Sleepyhead – Little Angels Theatre- The Carriageworks Theatre Leeds

For those of you who haven’t heard of them, Little Angels are the benchmark in beautiful puppet theatre for children and adults alike. Since opening their own theatre in 1961 in Islington they have been pioneers in both puppet theatre and puppetry training. Their latest touring show sleepy head is on a topic all parents can relate to – Sleep or lack of it. This absolutely gorgeous looking show is aimed at a slightly younger audience 2-5’s and looks to be an imagination-inspiring delight for all.


Jack Frost - Fidget Theatre

Jack Frost- Fidget Theatre- Barnsley Civic

This show is aimed at Children 4+ but I couldn’t miss it out as Fidget are fantastic. We were lucky enough to catch their first show ‘Molly’s Marvelous Moustache’ last year in Harrogate. They have a great talent for drawing in their young audiences with immersive storytelling and frenetic interaction. This show looks to be on a bigger scale than the last as it incorporates a community band, but I’m sure they will keep those personal touches that have previously worked so well.


Sprout Image with doodles (1).jpg

The Princess and the Sprout -Wrongsemble- Leeds Library

Now Wrongsemble is a company I know by reputation alone, added to that the presence of fantastic York-based actor Edith Kirkwood (Macbeth – The Rose Theatre, The Mystery Plays – York Theatre Royal) in the cast and a giant talking Sprout puppet, that’s enough to sell me a ticket.

Nestled in the between the bookshelves of Leeds Library festive tales spring from the pages and are brought to life. There is also an interactive stay and play session with the cast afterwards, what more could you ask for?


The Elves & The Shoemakers

The Elves and the Shoemaker- York Theatre Royal

You may be thinking “York Theatre Royal? Surely she means their record-breaking Panto?” The only reason I have omitted this show is that it’s a list for 5 and under, but if your little one will sit still for the duration go enjoy a piece of Theatre history and a Wagon Wheel.

Every year Theatre Royal add an alternate children’s show aimed at younger audiences to their program and this year is no exception. The Elves and the Shoemaker promises to be an exciting twist on an old Grimm tale. Penned by Mike Kenny whose name is now synonymous with quality theatre for Children and Juliet Forster (who brought us last year’s fantastic Book of Dragons) at the helm, there is no doubt in my mind that this will be a truly magical experience


Whilst researching this not only did I spend a fortune in tickets but got a sneak peek at what’s showing across the region next year, The return of Engine House’s beautiful adaptation of Grandad’s Island, Fidget’s Billy Birds Nest and of course our own Yorkshire tour of Sea Storm in a Teacup! So I will endeavour to give you my top picks for next season too.

Mama Hoglet. x