Sensory Christmas Shows, Santas and Pantos this Holiday Season


October 11, 2021

sensory christmas shows and santa

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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

Helix Christmas Panto – Little Red Riding Hood

Pantos in Dublin 2021

Dates: November 26th 2021 to January 9th 2022; sensory night on December 21st

Join Red on her adventures through the magical pantosphere. Will she finally realise her true destiny and save Fairy tale Land from the clutches of the darkness?

With panto favourites Buddy (Colin Hughes), Laurel (Aidan Mannion),the wicked warlock (Paul Byrom), and the outrageous Dame Lola (Chris Corroon).

There will be a special performance with some adjustments for the sensory-friendly show, including:

  • House lights are left on
  • Sound levels compressed
  • Performers will be aware to contain any shouts or sudden movements
  • Any strobe lights removed

For more information and booking details, click here.

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Sleeping Beauty at Draiocht, Blanchardstown

Draiocht panto 2021

Dates: January 6th to 23rd 2022; sensory show on January 13th

Panto is Back! Oh yes it is!

Once again Coolmine Panto Group will be back in Draíocht in January 2022 with Sleeping Beauty, written by Karl Harper.

For more information and booking details, click here.

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Cinderella at glór

Pantos 2021

Dates: December 23rd 2021 to January 1st 2022; sensory show on December 23rd

Pantaloons return to the glór stage this December with the enchanting tale of Cinderella, told Pantaloons-style!

Cinderella is treated as a servant by her Wicked Stepmother and her two Ugly Sisters. She can only dream of going to the Ball and falling in love…until her Fairy Godmother appears to make her wish come true! Can Buttons help her? Will her Prince find her? All will  be revealed at Pantaloons’ Christmas Panto this December.

For more information and booking details, click here.

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Sleeping Beauty at Theatre Royal, Waterford

best pantos in ireland

Dates: December 8th to 30th 2021; sensory show on December 2nd

Waterford Panto Society are delighted to return to the Theatre Royal Stage with ‘Sleeping Beauty’ – the Panto of your Dreams, this December.

All the familiar faces are back, along with dancers, chorus and a full live band. Expect laugh out loud moments along with up to date pop and musical numbers.

The sensory performance provides a supportive and welcoming environment for children and families who may have sensory issues. This will include:

  • Reduced or eliminated loud and jarring sounds or sound effects
  • Reduced sound levels from both musicians and the in-house sound system
  • Brighter house lights in the auditorium during the performance
  • Elimination of flashing and strobe lighting
  • Extra staff support
  • A slightly longer interval between each act

For more information and booking details, click here.

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Sensory Christmas Santa Experiences

Sensory Santa at Westport House, County Mayo

sensory santa visit

Dates: December 3rd 2021

Westport House will host an annual Sensory Santa session at Winter Wonderland for children with autism and sensory disorders, allowing families to enjoy a magical Christmas experience.

The lights will be turned up and the Christmas tunes will be toned down. Santa will meet with families individually and numbers will be reduced to make for a more peaceful experience.

Aside from meeting the big man, there’s lots to do! Say hello to Mrs Claus, visit Tinsel Town where you will see the elves village, real snow, live crib and more.

For more information and booking details, click here.

Silent Santa Portlaoise

Dates: December 11th, 12th, 18th and 19th

This year, the Silent Santa Experience will be a Santa Drive Through experience at St Francis Special School, Portlaoise in order to keep everyone as safe as possible.

Bring a present for the children as usual and Santa can “magic” it into the boot of the car! Mrs Claus will take a photo of Santa by the car, with your phone, sanitizing her hands before and after. No one has to get out of the car to have a big chat with Santa!

For more information and to book a place, check the Facebook page.

Visit Santa at Winterval Festival, Waterford

Winterval Festival Waterford will be an amazing Christmas experience with markets, workshops, amusements, lights and entertainment for all. Santa will be in his Medieval Chambers beneath City Hall, The Mall on dates from Saturday November 23rd to Monday December 23rd.

For details of sensory santa visits, email

Visit The Santa Express at Wicklow Christmas Market

Dates: November 27th to December 21st 2021

A day at the Wicklow Christmas Market would not be complete without a visit to see the big man himself, Santa Claus! Get ready for a fun ride on The Santa Express with Santa’s favourite mischievous (but fun!) elf, Oribel, as your train conductor.

After your train ride you’ll be met by a team of elves, led by the notoriously naughty Elf and Safety, who will be eagerly awaiting your arrival. Then visit Mrs. Claus for a favourite Christmas tale.  Then of course, it’s time for a visit with Santa! He will be there to meet all of the girls and boys who will get to personally tell him what’s on their Christmas list. Families will visit Santa as a group, and each child will receive a special Christmas gift from Santa Claus himself.

For more information and to book the sensory Santa experience, email

Santa’s Magical Autism-Friendly Day and Night at The Clanard Court Hotel, Kildare

Join Santa’s elves on a wonderful journey through Santa’s Magical Trail – a fun filled and action-packed experience for children young and old held at the Clanard Court Hotel, Kildare.

The award-winning, leading Kildare Santa experience (TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Award for Families) is for anyone who really loves all things Santa and believe in lots of fun, magic and smiles along the way!

For 2021, Sleep Over and Magical Trail will again be different to previous years to keep everyone safe.

The autism-friendly day and night will differ with:

  • Staff autism-friendly trained elves & hotel staff – patient, calm, quiet (trained via
  • Minimised queuing time
  • Less numbers going through in groups
  • Autism-friendly/suitable Sensory Trail Experience (calm, non-flashing & brighter lighting, festive music on low volume setting, elves & hotel staff trained how to interact with children, sensory toy box at each station, more time spent with Santa + unwrapped appropriate gifts that can be chosen from during Santa visit)
  • A quiet room is available for sleep overs

Keep up to date on their Facebook page.

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Sensory Santa Workshop, Clare

santas sensory christmas workshop at Aillwee Cave

NOTE: 2021 info TBC

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.

Sensory Ice Skating Wexford

Sensory Ice Skating at Wexford on Ice

NOTE: 2021 info TBC

Wexford on Ice will be on the Quays in Wexford, from November 27th 2021 to January 5th 2022 with family tickets available. For those who aren’t feeling confident, there are stability aids to help you glide across the ice.

Sensory and wheelchair friendly skate sessions take place with music & lighting turned down and wheelchair users able to take their wheels directly onto the ice.

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Sensory Christmas Shows, Santas and Pantos this Holiday Season - Mykidstime

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