While we all love a trip to a Christmas show or a panto or a visit to Santa, for some it can be overwhelming. So we have rounded up a list of some sensory Christmas shows, Santas and pantos for this holiday season that the whole family can enjoy together.
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Sensory Christmas Pantos & Shows
Hansel and Gretel, Clare
Pantaloons are back at glór Ennis for their 16th panto production “Hansel and Gretel“.
Hansel and Gretel live with their father and stepmothe rin the village of Munchin Koffdropp. The story involves a host of colourful characters and comes to nail biting climax in a gingerbread house!
Dates: Saturday 22nd December to Monday 31st December 2018. There will be a relaxed performance during the run.
How to Catch at Star at The Ark, Dublin
Robin Hood Panto, Dublin
The Helix Panto for 2018 is a Theatreworx production of Robin Hood and it promises to be the best panto ever seen!
100% of the proceeds from the show will go to Temple Street Childrens University Hospital.
Dates: November 23rd 2018 to January 20th 2019. There will be a special Sensory Friendly Performance on Tuesday, December 18th at 7pm.
Cinderella Panto, Waterford
The Waterford Panto Society presents Cinderella at The Theatre Royal Waterford this December 2018.
With a live band, spectacular scenery and stunning costumes, this is one panto you won’t want to miss.
Dates: December 1st to 30th 2018. There will be a special Sensory Performance on December 6th. Booking for this show can only be made in person at the Theatre Royal box office from September 25th 2018.
Les Misérables, Dublin
Cameron Mackintosh’s acclaimed Broadway production of Boublil and Schonbers’s musical Les Misérables will be at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre this December.
Dates: December 5th 2018 to January 12th. Special Captioned Performance on January 10th at 7.30pm.
The Wizard of Oz Coolmine Panto Group, Dublin
Join Dorothy and her dog Toto as they are transported from Kansas to the land of Oz where they meet a host of colourful characters, including the Wicked Witch of the West. With Auntie Gertie in hot pursuit you are sure to be entertained!
Dates: January 4th to 19th 2019. Special relaxed performance on Wednesday January 9th 2019. At this performance there will be no loud or sudden noises, the music will be softer, lights will be brighter, you will be able to move around the theatre and there is a chill out zone.
Sensory Christmas Santa Experiences
The Santa Experience at the Ilac Shopping Centre & Kilnamanagh Shopping Centre, Dublin, Jetland Shopping Centre Limerick & Patrick Street Dunnes Stores Cork
The award winning Santa Experience is back at Dunnes Stores from November 23rd to December 23rd 2018. Located in the Ilac Shopping Centre, Dublin 1, Patrick Street, Cork, The Jetland Shopping Centre, Limerick and new for 2018 in The Kilmannagh Shopping Centre, Tallaght, Dublin 24. All locations will have a dedicated Quiet Santa Evening for those with sensory needs taking place on December 3rd from 3pm to 6pm. Book now to secure your place.
The Santa Experience is a tour through: The Elves Post Office, Santa’s Stable, The Sleigh Station and the North Pole where children will learn how Santa and the elves prepare for Christmas and will interact with elves, reindeer, polar bears and may even get to ride in Santa’s Sleigh on their way to meet the big man himself in his authentic log cabin!
Children will be amazed by what Santa knows about them, thanks to the Santa Needs to Know forms, filled in at the time of booking.
Tickets cost €10 per child & €5 per adult and can be booked online in advance to ensure you get your preferred time. Each ticket includes meeting and interacting with Elves and Santa, travelling through 5 fun filled festive rooms, and a beautiful gift to treasure.
For those with ASD who wish to visit on another day, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will advise the best times and dates to book your visit.
A professional photographer will be on hand to capture all magical moments and you can order 8 x 10 framed prints immediately afterwards if you wish. The first print is priced at €12 and subsequent prints will be priced at €6 per print.
ASD Friendly Santa at Airfield, Dublin
Airfield Estate will be offering an ASD friendly Santa Visit on Saturday 8th December at 9:30am, 10:00 and 10:30am and a hearing impaired session at 11:00am with the visit in a sensory friendly and inclusive environment.
The ASD friendly adjustments are designed to make the visit to Santa more inclusive and accessible for people with sensory sensitivities, and others who can benefit from this environment. Staff are trained in ASD awareness and are happy to help make your visit more enjoyable.
Adjustments will include:
- A relaxed environment where people understand the needs of children and families with autism
- Lights left on
- Sound turned down
- Staff trained in autism awareness
- Disabled access
- Chill out zone
- Group visit to Santa in large room so there is freedom to move around and sit where you like
- Smaller group size
- Bring your own food and drink
- ASD friendly map of site emailed out in advance.
We understand ASD is different for everyone and our staff understand some visitors may need different adjustments. You are welcome to contact us before the ASD friendly visit to discuss how they can best accommodate your needs. We will try to accommodate your needs while still taking other visitors into consideration too.
Dates: Santa will be at Airfield from November 24th to December 23rd 2018. The ASD friendly Santa Experience takes place on December 8th.
Sensory Santa Day at Westport House, Mayo
In Mayo, Westport House’s Winter Wonderland is a magical family experience brimming with Christmas cheer that will leave the kids starry-eyed and the whole family believing in fairy-tales!
Kids will adore a special visit to Santa in his grotto, story-time by the fireside with Mrs Claus, sing-a-longs with the Elves and festive face-painting to really get them in the Christmas spirit.
Visit the elves hard at work in their Workshop where kids can make their own yuletide log and decorate their own Ginger Bread Man, and stop by the Christmas Wish Tree for the real spirit of Christmas.
Dates: Santa will be in his Winter Wonderland at Westport House from November 24th to December 23rd 2018. And on December 6th 2018 Westport House have a Sensory Santa Experience from 3pm to 8pm, where the lights and music will be toned down and families with children who have sensory disorders, autism or other special needs can enjoy a relaxed, magical experience.
Sensory Santa Workshop, Clare
Santa will be in his workshop at Aillwee Cave in the Burren, Co Clare again this Christmas. His elves will guide you through the cave singing Christmas Carols and each child will have a personalised visit with Santa and meet Mrs Claus too. You will also get to meet Snowy the Owl in the birds of prey centre and Santa’s train will be hard at work all day giving rides to everyone.
Dates: November 24th to December 22nd 2018. On December 6th the pace will slow down in Santa’s Workshop and children with sensory challenges and autism can enjoy a relaxed day with friends and family.
See Santa at Delta Sensory Gardens in Carlow
Delta hosts its very popular Christmas Fair and Outdoor Lights Display from December 7th to 21st 2018. As well as a colourful display of outdoor lights will be on display in the sensory garden plus Christmas competitions and much more each day, you can visit Santa’s grotto, Elves workshops and festive face painting will be available from 12pm to 6pm on Saturdays and Sundays (online booking essential). Sensory Santa Experiences take place please check with Delta Sensory Gardens for exact dates.
Do you know any other Sensory Christmas Shows, Santas or Pantos taking place? Please share them in the comments box below.