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Best kids' theatre in London 2021

We know it can be daunting to choose the best West End show for your kids, especially when some just aren’t suitable for children at all. However, a trip to the theatre is a fantastic opportunity to create memories and encourage creativity, which makes picking a musical or play that your kids love hugely rewarding.

A one-size-fits-all approach might leave you and your family feeling disappointed or overwhelmed. But with the right information, you can discover the perfect show to provide a day out that your children will never forget, whether they’re toddlers or pre-teens.

Below, we’ve put together a list of our favourite children’s theatre in London, along with a few tips, to help you plan a winning West End experience for the whole family.

Don’t forget to check…

We've included some important information to help you plan your trip to the West End - keep an eye out for:

Age recommendations
Every West End show releases information about recommended ages to help you decide if it's appropriate for your children. In addition to "best for" guidance, we've also noted minimum age requirements and exclusions. These must be adhered to as children who are too young won't be allowed to watch the show.

Although some shows - often those for very young children - allow babes in arms up to 18 months, children aged 3+ are usually expected to sit in their own seat and have a ticket. Under 16s often need to be sitting with an adult.

Content warnings and special notices
Extra information about themes and language, along with the synopsis, can help you decide whether a show is appropriate for your family.

Special notices also provide information about loud noises and flashing or strobe lighting to ensure all audience members are comfortable.

Running time
If your child finds it difficult to sit through a long performance, a shorter play or musical would be a great, low-pressure introduction to theatre.

Matinee days
Evening performances can challenge even the most grown-up audience members after a long day. Family-friendly shows often have at least two matinees available to book, including on weekends.
The Lion King London
The Lion King London

The Lion King

Best for age 6+ - Under 3s not permitted - 2 hours 45 minutes (including an interval)

Disney's theatrical landmark production is the perfect introduction to the magic of theatre for families. The well-loved story is combined with stunning puppetry - including animals walking down the aisles - and incredible music that will captivate audiences of all ages.
from £30.00
945 seat views
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child London
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child London

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Best for age 10+ - Part 1: 2 hours 40 minutes (including an interval) - Part 2: 2 hours 35 minutes (including an interval)

The magical world of Harry Potter is back in this fantastic two-part family show, which follows Harry, Ron, Hermione and their teenage children as they grapple with the weight of the past and dark forces threaten to return. Featuring dazzling special effects that will completely enchant old and new fans of the franchise, remember to #KeepTheSecrets of this landmark production!
from £36.00
1253 seat views
Matilda the Musical London
Matilda the Musical London

Matilda the Musical

Best for age 6+ - Babes in arms not permitted - 2 hours 40 minutes (including an interval)

Children who love mischief, magic and plenty of catchy songs will adore Matilda, one of London's most popular family shows. The delightful adaptation of Roald Dahl's children’s book features mischievous lyrics by Tim Minchin and an incredible cast of young actors who are more than a match for the terrifying Miss Trunchbull.
from £24.00
1277 seat views
Stick Man London
Stick Man London

Stick Man

Suitable for all ages - Babes in arms up to 18 months - 55 minutes (without an interval)

Julia Donaldson's mini-epic returns to London this Christmas with songs, puppetry and an exciting story perfect for the youngest theatregoers. This delightful show invites you to join Stick Man on his morning jog, which is soon taken over by an unexpected adventure involving playful dogs, curious swans and even a few humans. Will Stick Man make it back to the family tree?

Child tickets are available for this production, and children under 18 months go free. To book Stick Man tickets for the whole family, visit this link.
Opens October 2021
Peppa Pig's Best Day Ever London
Peppa Pig's Best Day Ever London

Peppa Pig's Best Day Ever

Best for age 3+ - Babes in arms up to 12 months - 1 hour 20 minutes (including an interval)

Join Peppa Pig and her family on an exciting road trip full of castle and caves, dragons and dinosaurs, and of course... ice cream! Featuring songs, games and an engaging story for young children, Peppa Pig's Best Day Ever is the perfect introduction to theatre for little ones who love following her adventures in picture books and on television.
from £14.40
Opens December 2021
Mary Poppins London
Mary Poppins London

Mary Poppins

Best for age 7+ - Under 5s not permitted - 2 hours 50 minutes (including an interval)

The original super-nanny has been delighting audiences in this practically perfect musical since returning to London on her floating umbrella in 2019. Packing in “A Spoonful of Sugar”, “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" and more hummable tunes from the classic Disney film, the show also features some exciting additional material - making it the perfect theatrical treat for older children and families.
from £24.00
533 seat views
Operation Ouch! Live on Stage London
Operation Ouch! Live on Stage London

Operation Ouch! Live on Stage

Best for age 3+ - 70 minutes (without an interval)

TV medical brothers, Dr Chris and Dr Xand, bring their hit CBBC show to the West End. Exploring the wonders of the human body, the show features jaw-dropping facts and exciting experiments in a fun, informative and accessible format - perfect for children between 3 and 12 who might have a budding interest in biology.
from £18.00
Opens December 2021
Circus 1903 London
Circus 1903 London

Circus 1903

Best for age 3+ - Babes in arms not permitted

Enjoy all the fun of the circus with strongmen, acrobats, trapeze artists, and incredible puppetry in this spectacular family show. Combining modern effects with nostalgic, vintage delights, come prepared to be transported back to the Golden Age of Circus at the Southbank Centre.
from £30.00
Opens December 2021
Aladdin London
Aladdin London

Aladdin

Best for age 6+ - 2 hours 25 minutes (including an interval)

Looking ahead to panto season, all your wishes will come at once with the Lyric Hammersmith's annual show. This year's Aladdin adds a special, refreshing twist to the well-trodden story, packed with plenty of laughs and surprises. If you're thinking of giving the West End a miss, this West London show is the perfect choice for your festive family theatre trip.
from £18.00
Opens November 2021
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