As folks rush about to do some frantic last-minute Christmas shopping, remember that it’s not all about the material.

While supporting local artists and artisans is great (which I hope you’re doing), consider taking the family to see a show to celebrate the holiday season.

‘Hansel and Gretel’

The Charleston Symphony Orchestra is putting on the perfect play to go along with the gingerbread house you and your kids just made.

Bring the whole family to see the semi-staged version of Engelbert Humperdinck’s “Hansel and Gretel,” performed by the CSO at the Dock Street Theatre, 135 Church St.

This classic fairy tale of lost children, candy and, of course, a wicked witch is a great way to get the young ones to appreciate classical music, too.

And if the story itself isn’t enough to get everyone excited, the Charleston Symphony Orchestra League is doing something really neat and different with this particular production: They are having an Instrument Petting Zoo before most of the performances.

This is a hands-on opportunity for children to play with all kinds of orchestral instruments for an hour before the show, and it’s included in the ticket price.

There will be performances at 11 a.m. Friday and at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday. There will be an Instrument Petting Zoo before each of these shows with the exception of the 7 p.m. one.

Tickets are $10 for all ages and can be purchased by calling 723-7528, ext. 110, or at

Classical Kids Concert

Another great opportunity to get the kids excited about classical music is to take them to see Chamber Music Charleston’s “The Night Before Christmas: A Classical Kids Concert.”

Specifically created with young audiences in mind, this interactive 45-minute concert will have the kids singing along and making them part of the show, along with some very special holiday guests.

There will be only one performance at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Sottile Theatre, 44 George St.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 4 to 16, and free for children 3 and under. Purchase tickets by calling 763-4941 or at

‘Christmas in Wales’

Chamber Music Charleston has yet another show: “A Dylan Thomas Christmas in Wales.”

This promises to be a great combination of live chamber music with high-caliber acting from Broadway, film and TV star Clarence Felder playing the role of famous Welsh poet Dylan Thomas. The production will be of Thomas’ Christmas memoir.

“A Dylan Thomas Christmas in Wales” will take place at 3:30 p.m. and again at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the Dock Street Theatre, 135 Church St.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors, $10 for students.

To purchase tickets, call 763-4941 or go to