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Best Kids' Theatre In London

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 or toddlers 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 book tickets for London theatre in July and August, and enjoy a day out that your children will never forget - whether you’re looking for the best theatre shows for toddlers, musicals for families or plays for pre-teens.

Check below for children’s theatre in London right now, along with a few tips to help you book the perfect West End show for you and your little ones.

11 Shows in London

Matilda the Musical

Matilda the Musical

Tim Minchin's mischievous musical adaptation is a hilarious, heart-warming modern classic for the whole family. Best for age 6+.

Frozen the Musical

Frozen the Musical

Experience Disney's modern classic on stage in this spectacular musical, featuring hit song “Let It Go”. Best for age 6+.

Shrek The Musical

Shrek The Musical

Enjoy ogre-sized family fun this summer as blockbuster musical Shrek returns to London, for a hilarious adventure Far Far Away.

The Tiger Who Came To Tea

The Tiger Who Came To Tea

Join the tea-guzzling tiger in this delightful family show that is now a West End favourite! Best for age 3+, babes in arms under 18 months.

My First Ballet: Swan Lake

My First Ballet: Swan Lake

Introduce your little ones to the joys of ballet with this child-friendly version of Tchaikovsky’s dazzling fairytale. Best for age 3+.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

J. K. Rowling's Wizarding World is transformed on stage, offering fans a unique return to their favourite fantasy world. Best for age 10+.

My Neighbour Totoro

My Neighbour Totoro

The Olivier Award-winning stage adaptation of Studio Ghibli’s beloved film returns to London for a limited season. Best for age 6+.

Bear Snores On

Bear Snores On

Join Regent’s Park as it comes out of hibernation with this heartwarming family show, based on the beloved picture book. Best for age 4+.

The Secret Garden

The Secret Garden

Discover Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classic in a new adaptation, performed amidst the burgeoning nature of Regent’s Park.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I take my toddler to see a West End show?

There are shows suitable for all ages in the West End, including those aimed at toddlers and pre-school aged children. These are shorter than a standard play or musical and feature lots of interaction, puppetry and songs. 

Popular children’s picture books such as The Tiger Who Came to Tea and Julia Donaldson's The Smeds and The Smoos are regularly adapted for the stage and are an excellent way to introduce your little one to theatre.

There are several theatres in London which produce work especially for children up to the age of 11, including Unicorn Theatre and Little Angel Theatre.

When booking, always check the minimum age requirements and content warnings to ensure the show is suitable for your child, whatever their age. Across the West End, children aged 16 and under must be accompanied by, and sat with, an adult.

We update our listings regularly, so keep an eye on this page throughout the year to see some of the best theatre shows for toddlers in 2024.

What are the best West End shows for families?

Musicals can make for great family theatre shows, with songs and choreography making their stories engaging for a wide audience. Long-running family musicals like Matilda, The Lion King and Frozen the Musical are particularly popular for families with children aged 6 - 11.

For slightly older children heading into secondary school, Six is a pop-musical with more complex themes presented in an accessible format. Many other West End plays and musicals are suitable for ages 8+ as long as they are accompanied by an adult. It is best to check guidance and content warnings on a case-by-case basis.

Are booster seats available at West End theatres?

Booster seats are a great way to ensure your child can see the stage clearly. Most children’s and family shows will offer booster seats, including Disney’s Frozen and The Lion King. These can be collected at the theatre when you arrive and may be limited to first-come, first-serve.

How can I prepare my child for a trip to the theatre?

It’s a good idea to talk to children about the show they are going to see, especially if they have not attended a live performance before. If it is based on a book or television programme, try to watch this before attending so they recognise the characters on stage. 

Parent blogger Cardiff Mummy Says suggests talking to children about what they will see and hear inside a theatre, including the architecture and conventions such as the curtains rising and clapping at the end of the performance. 

Very young children and toddlers will never be expected to sit completely still in the theatre, but it is always best to prepare them so they do not get upset or confused. Parenting site Kidadl has further suggestions for engaging your children both before and during a trip to the theatre in their theatre guide.

What facilities are available at the theatre for families?

Many shows specifically for toddlers are at theatres with pushchair storage in the cloakroom, such as Theatre Royal Haymarket and Leicester Square Theatre. Space is limited and operates on a first-come, first-serve basis and all pushchairs, prams and buggies must be collapsible. 

Most West End theatres do not have baby changing facilities, and most shows which allow babes-in-arms run for 45 minutes to one hour in length.

Queues for the toilet can get quite long, so it’s best to make sure your child goes before the performance starts, or is sat on an aisle for easy access in and out of the auditorium.

Are concession tickets available for children’s shows in London?

Tickets for shows aimed at younger children are usually cheaper than tickets for other West End plays and musicals. Some shows offer different prices for child and adult tickets, such as Stick Man.

Babes-in-arms are admitted to shows aimed at pre-school aged children. Babes-in-arms are usually up to 12 or 18 months depending on the venue, and they will not need a ticket. 

Some productions have concessions and family ticket prices available at the box office. Details of this and how to book are noted on the production page.

How can I book tickets for relaxed performances?

Many West End shows have dedicated access and relaxed performances for audiences of all ages.  

Relaxed performances may have quieter music, softer lighting or no strobe lighting, reduced sound effects, and the house lights may remain up. You are able to leave your seat and the auditorium as you wish, and some venues also offer a visual story online to prepare for your visit. 

For more information about upcoming relaxed performances and how to book, contact us at help@seatplan.com.
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