Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a pantomime and this year there are plenty to choose from.

Tickets for the best pantos get snapped up early so start planning your family outings now.

Here’s our round-up of the top pantomimes and festive shows this Christmas in Chester and beyond.

Cinderella – Forum Studio Theatre, Chester

The cast includes familiar faces from previous Tip Top pantomimes including Joe Woolford, star of BBC TV series The Voice, as Prince Charming following on from his starring role last year as Jack in Jack and The Beanstalk.

Playing the title role of Cinderella is Jade Pritchard who previously appeared alongside Joe last year.

The show runs from December 8 to January 5.

Tickets are priced from £9 with a family ticket available for just £37. Book now at tiptopproductions.co.uk or call the Box Office on 01244 341296.

The Voice star Joe Woolford, seen here in last year's pantomime Jack and The Beanstalk, will play Prince Charming in Cinderella at The Forum Studio Theatre in Chester
The Voice star Joe Woolford, seen here in last year's pantomime Jack and The Beanstalk, will play Prince Charming in Cinderella at The Forum Studio Theatre in Chester

The Secret Seven – Storyhouse, Chester

The big Christmas show at Chester's new Storyhouse theatre is Enid’s Blyton’s The Secret Seven.

Christmas is coming to Cherrydale but something is wrong. There’s a strange fire burning in a haunted cottage, Santa’s elves aren’t being nice at all – and who’s the little girl who can walk in the air? The Secret Seven must be at their best and brightest to solve this mystery – and with no help at all from Jack’s little sister Susie…

On stage between December 1 to January 14.

Tickets priced at £26 and £19.50 for children are available from www.storyhouse.com.

Peter Pan – Venue Cymru, Llandudno

Coronation Street favourite Ryan Thomas will swap the cobbles for the boards this Christmas as he prepares to play prolific pirate Captain Hook in this year's Peter Pan.

Best known as Jason Grimshaw in the ITV soap, the actor spent 16 years on Corrie before a dramatic departure last year.

This year's production marks the 33-year-old's second panto appearance having made his debut as Prince Charming in the Wyvern Theatre Swindon’s production of Cinderella last Christmas.

Birkenhead-born actress Pauline Daniels will join the cast as Mimi the Magic Mermaid and Llandudno dame-in-residence Andy Jones will star as Mrs Smee.

The shows run from December 9 to December 31.

To 'hook' your tickets (priced from £18) visit venuecymru.co.uk or call the box office on 01492 872000.

Elf – The Lowry, Manchester

The stage adaptation of Will Ferrell's much loved Christmas comedy Elf is headed to The Lowry theatre on Salford Quays.

The show, which debuted with a record-breaking run in the West End, has not previously toured and this will be its first festive season outside the capital.

The story follows an orphan boy called Buddy who crawls into Santa's sack one Christmas and ends up working as an elf at the North Pole.

A Michael Rose production, Elf has been created in association with the Bord Gais Energy Theatre, Dublin and the Theatre Royal Plymouth.

The show features TV and West End star Ben Forster reprising his role as Buddy, alongside Liz McClarnon as Jovie, Louis Emerick as Santa Claus, Joe McGann as Walter and Jessica Martin as Emily Hobbs.

It's running at The Lowry from November 24 to January 14.

Tickets cost from £23.50 and can be booked online.

Nativity the Musical – Palace Theatre, Manchester

Festive family film Nativity is being brought to the stage this Christmas.

The film has become a seasonal favourite since its release in 2009 and follows the pupils of St Bernadette’s School attempting to mount a musical version of a traditional school nativity.

Adapted for the stage by Debbie Isitt, the creator of the much-loved films, Nativity! The Musical is being billed as 'the perfect seasonal comedy for all the family'.

Featuring Mr Maddens' struggle to get Hollywood to come to the school – and the crazy antics of teaching assistant Mr Poppy and his unruly animals – the musical will include all the favourite sing-a-long hits from the films including Sparkle and Shine, Nazareth, One Night One Moment, She’s the Brightest Star and a whole host of new songs 'filled with the spirit of Christmas'.

It runs from November 29 to December 3. Tickets cost from £17.90 plus booking fees. Visit atgtickets.com to book.

Dick Whittington – Manchester Opera House

West End star John Barrowman and comedy legends The Krankies will be the stars of this year’s big Manchester Christmas pantomime.

Doctor Who star Barrowman will star as Dick Whittington in the family panto at the Opera House, with the promise of plenty of laughs alongside duo The Krankies.

Having entertained audiences with their slapstick for over 50 years, Dick Whittington will mark The Krankies' seventh pantomime season playing alongside Barrowman.

Ian and Janette Tough, who last year celebrated their 48th wedding anniversary, have been stalwarts on the cabaret circuit and on television since the 1970s, enjoying a varied career including sold-out residencies at major theatres across the UK, appearances at the Royal Variety Performance and their own television programmes The Krankies Klub and The Krankies Elektronik Komic and released two singles, Fan-Dabi-Dozi, based on their much-loved catchphrase and Wee Jimmy Krankie.

Tickets, from £12, are on sale now for the show, which will be at the Opera House from December 9 to January 7, from atgtickets.com/Manchester.

Sleeping Beauty The Rock ‘n’ Roll Panto – Theatr Clwyd, Mold

Directed by Zoe Waterman and produced by Peter Rowe, Theatr Clwyd's cult rock ‘n’ roll panto promises 'mad gags, shock frocks, beautiful sets, slapstick galore and the return of the panto puppets'.

Featuring classic hits including Superstition, Celebration, Every Breath You Take, Hey Baby and Sex Bomb - the full set will be played live by actor-musicians.

The show runs from November 24 to January 20.

Tickets can be booked online now at theatrclwyd.com or by calling the box office on 01352 701521. Prices start from £11 at off-peak times.

Duncan James as Prince Charming and Jodie Prenger as the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella at the Liverpool Empire

Cinderella – Liverpool Empire Theatre

Join Cinders as she transforms from rags to riches and outwits her very ugly sisters in this magical pantomime starring Hollyoaks, Blue and musical theatre star Duncan James as the handsome Prince Charming, I’d Do Anything winner Jodie Prenger as the Fairy Godmother and comedian John Evans as Buttons.

There is lots of comedy, special effects, stunning scenery and fantastic costumes in the show which runs from Saturday, December 16 to Sunday, January 7.

Book your tickets to the ball today at www.atgtickets.com.

The Everyman Rock ‘n’ Roll panto The Little Mermaid – Everyman Theatre, Liverpool

Everyman rock ‘n’ roll panto is the 'plaice' to be this Christmas as The Little Mermaid swims into town. Regular writers Sarah A Nixon and Mark Chatterton have adapted the well-known 'tail' that never flounders. With a live band, plenty of laughs and more than a few surprises The Little Mermaid is the perfect festive treat.

It's a great show to treat the family to and will get you to your feet as the cast dance and sing away.

The show runs from November 25 to January 20.

Tickets priced £10 - £30 are available from www.everymanplayhouse.com

The Everyman Rock 'n' Roll panto The Little Mermaid

Peter Pan – Floral Pavilion, New Brighton

A Magical Panto Awash With Swash And Buckle! Peter Pan is the ultimate adventure for every child who never wants to grow up and every grown-up who wishes they never had…

Mark Baylis (Rob Donovan in Coronation Street) plays Captain Hook and Dan Wright (Big Cook Little Cook, 4 O'clock Club) is Mr Smee.

Let your imagination fly with Peter Pan and the Darling children all the way to Neverland where they meet the Lost Boys, battle Tiger Lily and escape from the dastardly Captain Hook.

This dazzling production will be spectacularly brought to life with an abundance of comedy, stunning sets, fabulous costumes and pantomime magic from December 9 to January 7.

Tickets cost £13.50-£20.50 and are available from www.floralpavilion.com.

Sleeping Beauty – Pavilion Theatre, Rhyl

Jam packed with smash hit songs, stunning sets and costumes and an all-star cast headed by Vicky Entwistle, perhaps best known as Coronation Streeet’s Janice Batterby who plays the Bad Fairy Cararabosse.

Starring along side her this year is Channel 5’s Milkshake presenter, Amy Thompson, playing Princess Briar Rose, Mold-born Hollyoaks star Sarah-Jane Buckley as the Good Fairy, and panto veteran Charles Burden as Nanny Glucose.

Denbigh’s West End star Sean Jones is back again for his sixth consecutive year at the Pavilion, as Silly Billy.

The show tells the tale of a beautiful princess who was cursed by a wicked fairy. She was destined to spend her life as the Sleeping Beauty, until awakened by true love’s kiss.

The show runs from December 13 to January 6.

Tickets priced from £9.50 to £18.50. Premium family ticket prices start from £62 and are available from rhylpavilion.co.uk or call the Box Office on 01745 330000.

Cannon & Ball star in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at Crewe Lyceum this Christmas

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – Lyceum Theatre , Crewe

Comedy legends Cannon & Ball lead the cast as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is spectacularly brought to life with an abundance of comedy, sensational song, dance numbers, fabulous costumes and special effects.

The show runs from December 16 to January 7.

Tickets priced from £18 are available from crewelyceum.co.uk.