Operation Save Santa at The Garage, Norwich

Festive entertainment often focuses on panto, but the bold and busy nature of it can be a bit much for younger or more sensitive children – but there alternatives.

The Garage in Norwich is hosting a series of activities aimed at younger children, including several free events.

It’s Imagitorium strand features festive crafts, comedy for kids, silent discos and more.

My First: Into the Snow Globe runs until December 31 and is a 45 minute show aimed at children up to five years old. Kids will have the chance to sing, dance and play amid the snow, wind and stars in a sensory studio space as they help explorer Lucy look for the lost world of the snow globe. Tickets are £5.50 for children, £10.50 for adults.

The show transfers to The Workshop in King’s Lynn from January 3 to 7, with relaxed performances and BSL interpreted performances on January 5.

Operation: Save Santa is aimed at older children up to 10 years, with a 60 minute show in which naughty and nice twins Seb and Flick race against the sunrise to save Santa. The show runs until January 8, with relaxed performances and BSL interpreted performances on January 4 and 5. Tickets at £8.50 for children, £15.50 for adults.

The Garage also has several free activities, though booking is required. The line up for kids aged two to five includes a Nutcracker experience on December 19, Festive Storytime on December 22, and a visit to Santa’s Workshop on December 23. Children aged up to 10 can try out a free Comedy Club on December 19.

While billed as an all-ages show, Cinderella at Norwich Puppet Theatre also offers a more intimate experience than some of the big theatre shows due to the venue’s cosy auditorium.

The puppet pantomime features traditional marionette puppetry, with music and songs, and narration by Classic FM presenter Zeb Soanes. The 55-minute show runs until December 31, with relaxed performances on December 20 and 27, and a BSL interpreted performance on December 28. Tickets are £10, or £34 for a family ticket.

The venue also has several Christmas themed workshops where children and families can create their own puppets, including Mischievous Mice on December 21, Once Upon A Time on December 22, and Santa’s Workshop on December 23 and 24.