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Best West End theatre shows for kids in London 2024

The London West End is known for its world class theatre productions, and brings classics as well as innovative shows to many theatre and musical fans, making it the perfect place to introduce children to this art form.
Written by Carole Rocton Edited by Carole Rocton 08 April 2024

Discover the magic of the theatre scene with your children at these enchanting London theatre shows tailored just for kids. London's vibrant theatre scene offers a wide range of captivating  plays, child-friendly toe-tapping musicals and magical pantomimes sure to keep your little ones entertained, promising an unforgettable experience for the whole family.

Immerse yourselves in the wonder of live performances, firing up a passion for theatre that will last a lifetime. From timeless classics to child-friendly musicals and pantomimes, there's something for every young theatre enthusiast to enjoy.

While some West End theatres may not accommodate toddlers or infants, there are plenty of family theatre shows in London to choose from.

Best Theatre shows for toddlers in London

Take a look below for our pick of some of the very best family-friendly shows. Plus, check out the top children's London theatres or more things to do in London with kids.

The Lion King on the West End

Journey the African savannah and meet your favourite Lion King characters at the Lyceum Theatre in London. Image courtesy of SEE Tickets/ Photo credit Brinkoff and Mogenburg.

The Lion King London dazzles all ages with the evocative rhythms of Africa set against the majesty of the Serengeti Plains. This award-winning adaptation of the Disney film features music by Elton John, outstanding costumes and astonishing special effects. Join Simba on an enchanting journey alongside the lovable duo Timon and Pumbaa as he embarks on a series of adventures and discovers what it means to be King.


When:
Booking until Oct 2024

Where: Lyceum Theatre (21 Wellington Street, WC2E 7RQ)

Age recommendation: For ages six and above. Children under the age of three are not admitted.

 

Prices from £45.22 Book now

Wicked The Musical London

See the spell binding West End sensation, Wicked, at the Apollo Victoria Theatre. Image courtesy of SEE Tickets.

Based on the acclaimed novel by Gregory Maguire, Wicked tells the untold story of the Witches of Oz and how one came to be called Glinda the Good and the other, Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West. Watch their extraordinary journey and friendship unfold on stage and let yourself be swept away by the mesmerising performances and dazzling spectacle of Wicked, an award-winning musical that explores the hidden story of Oz. Experience the magic of "Defying Gravity" and be dazzled by the magnificent dragon and sets that transport you to the magical world of Wicked.

 

When: Booking until Dec 2024

Where: Apollo Victoria Theatre (17 Wilton Road, SW1V 1LG)

Age recommendation: For ages seven and above. Children under the age of three are not admitted.

Prices from £30.75 Book now

Matilda The Musical at the Cambridge Theatre

Matilda The Musical performs on the London West End this season. Image courtesy of See Tickets.

Be wowed by the Royal Shakespeare Company's multi-award-winning production of Matilda The MusicalRoald Dahl's celebrated story bursts into life in this West End musical by Dennis Kelly and Tim Minchin. Children and adults alike will be delighted by the little girl with an extraordinary imagination. Follow Matilda as she leads a revolt against the grown-ups when she realises that things are not supposed to be this way, and embark on an unforgettable journey of laughter, wonder and pure magic!

 

When: Booking until May 2025

Where: Cambridge Theatre (Earlham Street, WC2H 9HU)

Age recommendation: For ages six and above. Children under the age of four are not admitted.

Prices from £24.60 Book now

Frozen at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Watch in awe as the iconic Disney production of Frozen the Musical brings its frozen touch to London's West End. Image courtesy of Disney - Photo credit: Johan Persson.

Embark on a magical journey with Anna and Elsa in the captivating adaptation of Disney's beloved film, Frozen. A story of two sisters fighting to save their kingdom of Arendelle after Elsa's powers bring about an endless winter. Experience the power of love and friendship as these two sisters navigate through challenges, self-discovery, and redemption. Sing along to beloved songs from the Disney film, including Let It Go and Do You Wanna Build a Snowman?, and be enchanted by dazzling costumes, spectacular sets and snowy landscapes, and dazzling special effects.


When:
Booking until Sep 2024

Where: Theatre Royal Drury Lane (Catherine Street, WC2B 5JF)

Age recommendation: For ages six and above. Children under the age of four not admitted.

Prices from £36.29 Book now

Mrs Doubtfire at the Shaftesbury Theatre

Remember fond childhood memories as you laugh at Mrs Doubtfire's hilarious adventures in the new London hit musical. Image courtesy of Dewynters.

Mrs Doubtfire makes a triumphant debut in London's West End, a play based on the acclaimed film of the same name starring Robin Williams. Follow the story of Daniel Hillard, a father caught up in a messy divorce who tries to stay in his children's lives by creating the character of a Scottish housekeeper and nanny. Expect to fall off your seat laughing endlessly at Mrs Doubtfire's antics, from juggling two roles and endless wardrobe changes to voice swaps and disasters in the kitchen.

 

When: Booking until Feb 2025

Where: Shaftesbury Theatre (210 Shaftesbury Avenue, WC2H 8DP)

Age recommendation: For ages six and above.

 

Prices from £27.68 Book now

Shrek the Musical at the Eventim Apollo

Follow the adventures of the most famous ogre as he tries to save Princess Fiona from the dragon in Shrek the Musical. Image courtesy of About Grace PR.

Based on the popular DreamWorks movie, Shrek The Musical makes its come back to the London West End this summer. Join Shrek and his side-kick Donkey and make your way to Far Far Away for an unforgettable quest to save Princess Fiona. Prepare for ogre-sized and musical extravaganza as your favourite characters take the stage, dancing to the tunes of I’m A Believer.


When:
Booking until Aug 2024

Where: Eventim Apollo (45 Queen Caroline St, W6 9QH)

Age recommendation: For ages three and above.

 
Prices from £24.00 Book now

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre

Find out what Harry Potter and his friends are up to 19 years after they defeated Voldemort in the outstanding West End play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. © Dewynters/ Photo credit Manuel Harlan

See the return of your favourite wizard to the Muggle world 19 years after Harry Potter and his loyal friends triumphed over Voldemort. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, based on an original story by J.K Rowling, follows the new generation heading to Hogwarts where Albus Potter struggles with his family legacy. Prepare to be spellbound as the Wizarding World is brought to life on the West End stage with an armada of special effects that would make you wonder if magic does really exist.


When:
Booking until Mar 2025

Where: Palace Theatre (113 Shaftesbury Ave, W1D 5AY)

Age recommendation: For ages ten and above.

 
Prices from £17.85 Book now

The Tiger Who Came to Tea at the Theatre Royal Haymarket

Delight in the return of The Tiger Who Came to Tea this summer at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. Image courtesy of SEE Tickets.

You are in for a treat this summer! The Tiger Who Came to Tea makes its long-awaited return to London's West End to delight all children. Based on Judith Kerr's beloved picture book, this award-winning London show sees Sophie and her mum sitting down for tea. When someone rings at the door, the last thing they expect is a big striped tiger inviting himself in for tea. See your children delight in this purrfect family show, a mayhem of a theatre show sure to provoke belly laughs.

 

When: Booking until Sep 2024
Where: Theatre Royal Haymarket (Haymarket, SW1Y 4HT)
Age recommendation: For ages three and above. 

 
Prices from £12.30 Book now

What theatre shows are on in London for kids?

London has an exciting kids theatre scene, jam-packed with best-selling musicals and family-friendly favourites for for parents and children alike to enjoy.

Help your little ones to boost their imagination and creativity by booking to see popular kids theatre shows including Frozen, Mrs Doubtfire and Wicked (to name just a few!)

Christmas is the perfect time for seasonal specials including children's Christmas theatre and pantomime. The 2023 Christmas season included The Gruffalo's Child at the Garrick Theatre, ELF! The Musical at the Dominion Theatre and Peppa Pig's Fun Day Out at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. Check back later to see what London shows best for families have been confirmed for the 2024 season.

What is the best stage show in London for kids?

With heart-warming music, fantastic costumes and stunning visuals to captivate children of all ages, The Lion King is regarded as one of the best stage shows in London for kids. Captivate their imagination with the theatrical adaptation of a Disney classic where kids can expect to see their favourite characters on stage, from Simba and Nala to the hilarious Timon and Pumba. 

There are so many West End shows for kids – the difficult part is choosing which one to see first!

What is the best musical for kids in London?

With so many family shows to see in London, one not to be missed is award-winning Matilda the Musical. Based on the beloved book by Roald Dahl, the theatre adaptation is a popular musical for kids. Featuring a selection of entertaining songs that many children know from the recent film starring Emma Thompson as Mrs Trunchbull, including "When I Grow Up" and "Naughty".  

With an extraordinary cast of characters, amazing sets and lots of laughs, Matilda is a guaranteed feel-good children's theatre show that's been praised by critics and audiences alike.

How to introduce toddlers to the magic of London Theatre?

Prepare your little ones for an unforgettable experience as they embark on their first theatre adventure in the heart of London. With carefully selected shows designed to captivate young children, our London theatre offers for children promise a magical blend of colourful visuals, vibrant music and engaging storytelling.

Disney favourites such as The Lion King and Frozen are family favourites in London, introducing characters beloved by children and parents alike, choreographed to catchy songs.

Introducing children to the story beforehand with books and film adaptations is a great way to familiarise them with the story and make it a great first theatre experience. Plan the day in advance and make sure you arrive early to explore the theatre and get to your seat in time for the curtain to rise.

Is there any facilities available for toddlers at London theatres?

Some kids theatres in London have space in the cloakroom for the storage of pushchairs or buggies. It is however preferable to check with the theatre to see if they offer this service. If there is no space for prams or other bulky items, it is recommended that you use the baggage facilities at various train stations such as Charing Cross.

Some theatres in the West End have booster seats available for their younger audiences, so that you can make sure your little ones don't miss a thing on stage. Please note that not all theatres have booster seats available, it is recommended to check with the theatre prior to making your booking and those are usually available on a first come first served basis. Booster seats are not required if you are booked into the Dress or Upper Circle as these seats are in an elevated area.

For example, at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, booster seats are only available for children sitting in the Stalls and Royal Circle.

Where can I see relaxed theatre performances in London?

Selected shows offer family-friendly performances where the usual age restrictions are relaxed, making it the perfect first theatre experience with young children.
Relaxed performances are adapted for younger children and special needs, with light and sound adjusted and a more relaxed approach to noise. 

Some theatres, including productions of The Lion King, Frozen and Matilda the Musical, send in advance videos, called social stories, about what to expect from the show and what the experience will be like on the day. It is worth contacting the theatre to find out the dates of these particular shows.

Are there family tickets available in London theatres?

Theatre tickets for London West End shows produced for children are usually cheaper than other London productions. Theatre shows aimed at younger children are usually shorter productions, such as The Tiger Came to Tea, and are generally cheaper than other West End musicals. Babies in arms are sometimes allowed into the theatre, but it is essential to check each theatre's policy on infants before booking tickets.

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