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.
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 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. Matilda’s tale of one girl’s plucky determination to find a family is the perfect heartwarming West End show for kids and adults alike.
From £24.00
1302 reviews
Wicked London
Wicked London

Wicked

Best for age 7+ - Under 3s not permitted - 2 hours 45 minutes (including interval)

Wicked, which has been enchanting West End audiences since 2003, is the perfect musical for children who love magical tales with a moral heart. This enticing dive behind the curtain of Oz reveals the true story of so-called Wicked Witch Elphaba and her friendship with Glinda the Good, and is packed full of catchy songs, magical creatures, and one of the most immersive sets in the West End. This show is still defying gravity - and is pure escapism for families.
3160 reviews
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat London
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat London

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

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

The London Palladium’s hit 50th-anniversary revival of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat returns in 2021, transporting audiences on a biblical tale of self-discovery. The Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice musical has remained a firm favourite thanks to its endlessly catchy songs and bright costumes, and with Jac Yarrow and Jason Donovan both reprising their roles, this kaleidoscopic delight is a must-see West End show for children.
From £23.50

Opens July 2021

Cinderella London
Cinderella London

Cinderella

Best for age 6+ - Under 3s not permitted

Dust off your glass slippers for a magical journey to the Gillian Lynne Theatre in 2021, as Andrew Lloyd Webber works his magic on Cinderella. This brand new musical sweeps the fairytale into the 21st century, starring Carrie-Hope Fletcher as a thoroughly modern heroine. The show is sure to add some exciting twists to the tale of fairy godmothers, enchanted pumpkins, and true love’s kiss.
From £23.40

Opens June 2021

The Tiger Who Came To Tea London
The Tiger Who Came To Tea London

The Tiger Who Came To Tea

Best for age 3+ - Babes in arms up to 18 months - 55 minutes (no interval)

The Theatre Royal Haymarket is welcoming a very special - and very furry - friend back to the West End in 2021! Join Emily and her mummy as they host a tiger at their table in this charming adaptation of Judith Kerr’s classic picture book. Featuring engaging songs and playful storytelling, The Tiger Who Came to Tea is a bite-sized chunk of children’s theatre in London ideal for a relaxed matinee performance.
From £17.40

Opens July 2021

Horrible Histories - Barmy Britain Part 5 London
Horrible Histories - Barmy Britain Part 5 London

Horrible Histories - Barmy Britain Part 5

Best for age 5+ - Babes in arms up to 18 months - 70 minutes (no interval)

Treat your children to a history lesson with all the nasty bits left in when Horrible Histories - Barmy Britain Part 5 tumbles into the Apollo Theatre. From 1066 to Henry's wives (numbers one to six), this boisterous show proves that kids' theatre in London can be as educational as it is entertaining.
From £23.40

Opens July 2021