Family Five

Family Five: Jack and the Beanstalk at The Garrick, Father Christmas at Dunham Massey and more

By David Prior at

Steph Smith, who manages the Hale, Altrincham and Sale area for Mums in the Know, chooses five great things to do with the kids over the next week.

1. Carols at Goose Green, Reindeer Trail & Christmas Story Telling in Altrincham


With less than a week to go until the ‘big day’, Altrincham has some fantastically festive free events! Children can still take part in the Reindeer Trail (collect an entry form from Altrincham Library) and if you’d like to soak up the Christmas atmosphere, head to the last of the Christmas Markets on Saturday and Sunday for live music, mulled wine, tasty food and lots of stalls. Also, there will be carols at Goose Green between 3 and 4pm on Saturday 20th December – guaranteed to make you feel Christmassy! On Tuesday 23rd, Altrincham Library will be hosting a free Christmas Story Telling at 11am.

2. Santa’s Grotto at Silver Blades Ice Rink (Saturday 20th December)


An authentically chilly place to visit Santa! The grotto will be open between 11am and 12.30pm this weekend on both Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are £4 and each child will receive a special Christmas gift from Santa. For more information, call 08700 852929.

Times: 11am-12.30pm. Oakfield Road, Altrincham WA15 8EW

3. Christmas Movies at Manchester Drive in Cinema (Friday 19th to Wednesday 24th December)


Try something different this Christmas and head to the Magical Drive In Movie Spectacular in Manchester. From the 19th to the 24th December there will be a variety of family Christmas films playing across the dates at various times too. The fun kicks off with a Frozen Sing-a-long today, and will also be shown on Sunday and Wednesday. It’s advisable to arrive 45 minutes before the show begins to enjoy live entertainment and a karaoke singalong. To find out more and book your tickets, click here.

4. Father Christmas at Dunham Massey (Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st December)


Enjoy a bracing walk through Dunham and then head indoors to the dining room of the mansion to meet Father Christmas and let him know what’s on your Christmas list! Take home a small gift to remind you of the day. Limited availability, timed tickets apply. 15 family places per half hour – collect a token from visitor reception on the event day for a time slot. Members free entry. Non-members child £4.00, accompanying adults free. Wrap up, the house can be cold in winter! For more information, call 0161 941 1025.

Times: 1200-1545. Dunham Massey, Altrincham, Cheshire, WA14 4SJ

5. Jack & the Beanstalk at The Garrick (December 19th to January 4th)


The Garrick has built up a reputation over the years for its sell-out traditional family pantomime, and this year will be no exception with plenty of laughs, songs and audience participation in this GIANT of a favourite adventure packed story. Jack, the cow, the beans, the stalk and a glamorous wedding are all here in this wonderful new version of the popular tale. Matinees 1:30pm / Early Evenings 5:30pm / Evenings 7:30pm. Adults/Full Price £15.00 / Concessions £13.00 / Children under 16 (including babies & infants) £10.00. There is an additional £2.00 transaction fee for each individual payment made by telephone 0161 928 1677 or you can book online. Please note that the panto is almost sold out but tickets are still available for 2nd and 4th January.

The Altrincham Garrick Playhouse, Barrington Rd, WA14 1HZ