Families with young children are spoiled for choice in terms of festive entertainment in Swindon this year - with the traditional Panto starring Louie Spence at the Wyvern, and the Ho Ho Ho Christmas Show at Swindon Arts Centre. 

While the Jack and the Beanstalk panto offers Christmas cheese, recognisable pop clasics to sing along to and barrels of laughs, the Ho Ho Ho Christmas show offers a calmer experience full of captivating warmth and magic - perfect for young children. 

It's an extremely well put together show that truly aims to bewilder and surprise its young audience as we follow Steve the head elf as he makes his preparations for Santa Claus ahead of Christmas Eve. 

What follows is a story based on the true spirit of Christmas - being kind to others in need, as Steve meets Rusty the Cook, Rudolph and mouse Tiny Tina.

It employs plenty of crowd interactivity with children pressing buttons, finding carrots and even meeting Santa himself to get a present, as well as some truly well-done examples of theatre magic. 

A gingerbread man making machine blows bubbles that fill the auditorium, a mouse theatre tells classic fairytale stories with moving pictures and an empty container that was supposed to be ful of carrots for the reindeer magically exploding open to reveal it's full of carrots. 

The small cast, are patient, attentive and excellent at guiding the children in the audience as they traverse through the simple, yet effective story. 

By the time Santa has arrived and the auditorium has become a star-induced winter wonderland complete with snow, the children in the audience were in awe. 

I'd thoroughly recommend this show to anyone looking for a quieter and less-busy theatre experience this Christmas. 

There are performances between now and December 24 and people can book online here or by calling 0343 310 0040