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Best London Christmas Shows & Pantomimes

The West End has a long history of providing the best Christmas entertainment in London for the whole family, from side-splitting pantomimes to uplifting plays.

December shows in London are a fantastic treat to enjoy, whether it's classics like The Snowman spreading holiday cheer, or warming new family favourites to greet the festive season. Keep your eyes peeled below for the best Christmas theatre in London this year.

5 Shows in London

A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol

The Old Vic’s hit show returns for its eighth year. Immerse yourself in the warmth, cheer, and charity of a Christmas classic this winter.

The Snowman

The Snowman

Now in its 27th year, this Christmas ballet is a true staple of the festive season for London theatregoers. Suitable for all ages.

Robin Hood

Robin Hood

The Palladium Panto is back for another thrilling adventure this Christmas, with Julian Clary and Jane McDonald. Under 4s not permitted.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which pantomimes are in London this year?

The Palladium pantomime returns annually at the London Palladium, featuring big stars and lots of special effects. It is a popular choice for families and theatregoers of all ages. 2024's pantomime sees audiences venture into Sherwood Forest with Robin Hood.  

The Lyric Hammersmith in West London also produces a panto every year. It is highly regarded for being both affordable and offering a contemporary twist on classic stories. Alternatively, try Hackney Empire's popular panto offering, starring and directed by panto Dame legend Clive Rowe.

Other London pantomimes in 2024 include Jack and the Beanstalk at New Wimbledon Theatre and Beauty and the Beast at Richmond Theatre.

Who is starring in the Palladium pantomime this year?

The Palladium Panto cast in 2024 is led by Julian Clary, Paul Zerdin, Nigel Havers, Rob Madge, Charlie Stemp and pantomime Dame Gary Wilmot. They are joined by Marisha Wallace, Tosh Wanogho-Maud and Jane McDonald as Maid Marion.

What are the best Christmas shows for kids?

Many Christmas shows in London are perfect for children, such as The Nutcracker. Best for ages 5+, the ballet has become a traditional festive show for many families. The Snowman is a fun and accessible dance show suitable for all ages, and Stick Man is aimed at toddlers and pre-school aged kids who will enjoy a familiar story on their first trip to the theatre. 

Many other West End shows for kids play over Christmas. Visit our Kids' theatre page to see what's on and book ahead.

What is there to do in London over Christmas?

There are a huge number of events and sights to see in London at Christmas. Tourist attractions are transformed, with Hyde Park becoming Winter Wonderland and Christmas at Kew Gardens delighting crowds with after-dark light displays.   

In central London, visitors can enjoy incredible Christmas lights. Carnaby Street’s are a particular highlight, with a different theme each year. The Southbank Centre Christmas Market and department stores such as Harrods and Fortnum & Mason offer very different but equally exciting opportunities for gift buying, and you can spend an afternoon ice skating at locations across the city including Somerset House.   

Catching a show in the West End is the perfect addition to a day of festive celebrations. There are lots of Christmas shows in London from late November through to early January, including the Old Vic’s acclaimed A Christmas Carol, the hugely popular Palladium Panto, and traditional ballets such as The Nutcracker.

Check out our rundown of the best past and present West End Christmas musicals to see more shows that truly celebrate the festive season.

Where can I see The Nutcracker in London?

The English National Ballet’s classic production of The Nutcracker opens at the London Coliseum for an annual season. It has been an unmissable feature of London’s Christmas theatre schedule for over 50 years, with more than 100 world-class dancers and musicians in its company. To find out more about how this wonderful show became the world's most famous Christmas ballet, visit our complete guide to The Nutcracker.
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