Family friendly theatre, shows and panto in London for winter 2023

Production Photos The Bolds -Taken at The Unicorn Theatre on 13th November 2021

Oh no you didn’t. Oh yes we did. As far as we’re concered it is winter already and to celebrate we’ve compiled our annual round-up of family friendly shows, theatre and pantomimes throughout London and the surrounding areas. Enjoy. And if you want to keep up to date with us follow us on Instagram.

Big Bad Me

Think you know Red Riding Hood’s story? Think again! The gentle wolf with a broken heart has a tale to tell. Uncover the untold story of the kind and hungry wolf who lost his way, and you’ll find he’s neither big nor bad, just a shy, gentle soul. It’s a fresh spin on the fairy tale, a reminder not to judge by appearances.
When: 5 November – 19 November 2023
Where: Little Angel Theatre
How much: £14 adults and £12 per child more info and bookings here.


Forget the old clichés about witches. In this musical adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic tale, they’re the most dangerous creatures on Earth. Luke and his Gran, with just one chance, stand against their wicked plan to squallop children. “The Witches” is a lively musical with a sharp wit, heart, and daring, featuring book and lyrics by Lucy Kirkwood, music and lyrics by Dave Malloy, and directed by Lyndsey Turner.
When: 7 November 2023 – 27 January 2024
Where: National Theatre
How much: from £20 more info and bookings here.

The Lightbulb Princess

Experience a sparkling new show for ages 4 and up! Join an unusual princess on a quest to save the holiday season without fairy lights. Tutti Frutti Productions and One Tenth Human (‘Curious Investigators’) have teamed up to explore the science of electricity in a fun-filled extravaganza. With catchy songs and electrifying storytelling, “The Lightbulb Princess” will ignite young imaginations and inspire curiosity about the world. Researched with input from children and scientists in Morecambe Bay and Northumberland.
When: 8 – 12 November 2023
Where: Polks Theatre
How much: £14 more info and bookings here.

The Snow Queen

Embark on Gerda’s magical quest to rescue her friend Kai from the Snow Queen’s icy grip. Join us for an unforgettable adventure where friendship’s strength is tested, and reality blurs in the enchanting world of “The Snow Queen.” Jude Christian’s new adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic tale features songs, captivating storytelling, and mythical magic. Step into a wintry wonderland of imagination for the entire family at Polka this Christmas.
When: 11 November 2023 – 21 January 2024
Where: Polka Theatre
How much: £10 more info and bookings here.

The Bolds

This Christmas, Julian Clary’s adaptation of “The Bolds” is back after its 2021 success. Meet the Bolds, an ordinary family with a not-so-ordinary secret—they’re hyenas! Join their hilarious adventures as they juggle work, school, and friends while maintaining their disguise. With live music and songs by Julian Clary and Simon Wallace, “The Bolds” will have you laughing like a pack of hyenas, celebrating the joy of being extraordinary. Julian Clary’s bestselling children’s book series has captivated readers worldwide.
When: 11 November – 31 December 2023
Where: Unicorn Theatre
How much: from £10.50 more info and bookings here.

The Star Seekers

Ever dreamt of flying to the moon, visiting a space station, or becoming an astronaut? Join the Star Seekers Alph, Betty, and Gammo in their quest to save the space station, collect orbs, and uncover the mysteries of astronaut meals. This interactive show by The Wardrobe Ensemble and The Wardrobe Theatre celebrates the wonder of the universe, taking kids on a journey through galaxies, the solar system, and more with songs, fun, and anti-gravity fun.
When: 12 November
Where: Arts Depot
How much: from £10 more info and bookings here.

Elf Musical

“ELF” is a funny and charming tale of Buddy, who mistakenly ended up at the North Pole as a baby and was raised as an elf. Being too tall and not great at his elf duties, Buddy feels like the North Pole’s biggest misfit. When he learns the truth from Santa, Buddy sets off for New York to find his birth father, who happens to be on the Naughty List. After causing a joyful ruckus in the city, Buddy discovers the value of family and love. When Santa’s sleigh crashes in Central Park, it’s Buddy who finds a way to save Christmas for good!
When: 15 November 2023 – 6 January 2024
Where: Dominion Theatre
How much: from £27 more info and bookings here.

Zippos Christmas Circus at Winter Wonderland

Zippos Christmas Circus at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland offers a spectacular show with acrobatics, aerial stunts, and comedic characters. Held in the UK’s largest tent structure, it’s a 45-minute extravaganza perfect for entertaining kids of all ages. And, when you’re done, there’s plenty more to explore and enjoy at Winter Wonderland for a full day of fun.
When: 17 November – 1 January 2024
Where: Winter Wonderland
How much: from £11.50 more info and bookings here.

The Wolf, the Duck and the Mouse

This absoltely brillian show returns to the Unicorn after a sold-out 2019 run – check out our review here. Inside the wolf’s belly, Mouse and Duck find an unlikely friendship, while the wolf faces danger outside. Directed by Rachel Bagshaw, this darkly humorous fable explores the idea that friendship can emerge in unexpected places.
When: 17 November – 31 December
Where: Unicorn Theatre
How much: from £14 more info and bookings here.

The Crocodogopig

A fresh, fun-filled family show that combines live music, puppetry, comedy and beatboxing to tell the story of a mixed-up creature who has lost his Happy.
When: 17 – 18 November 2023
Where: Half Moon Theatre
How much: £7 more info and bookings here.

The Snowman

Now in its 26th yea, this beloved winter family classic brings the timeless tale of the Snowman to life. Based on Raymond Briggs’ cherished book and Dianne Jackson’s film it is an incredible experience – we go every year and love it. Directed by Bill Alexander, with Howard Blake’s enchanting music, and the iconic ‘Walking in the Air’ song. Don’t miss the magical design, lighting, choreography, costumes and live orchestra.
When: 18 November – 30 December 2023
Where: Peacock Theatre
How much: from £18 more info and bookings here.

Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book

A musical adaptation of the best-selling book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. Charlie adores reading, especially pirate books. His sister finds it boring. Can he show her how fun reading can be? Join them on an adventure through different books with Charlie Cook. With puppetry and songs, explore the magic of storytelling and help his sister discover the enchanting world within a book.Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book
When: 18 November 2023 – 4 Feb 2024
Where: Little Angel Theatre
How much: £16 adults and £14 for children more info and bookings here.


Vikki Stone, the Queen of Panto, presents her sassy and magical adaptation of Cinderella, featuring live music and comedy. Cinderella, a market-savvy boss, catches Prince Henry’s eye. However, romance isn’t straightforward when step-sisters and a step-mother intervene. Join the hilarious journey to the ball in Hammersmith – everyone’s invited!
When: 18 November 2023 – 6 January 2024
Where: Lyric Hammersmith
How much: from £10 more info and bookings here.

The Night Before Christmas

Meet Amber, a six-year-old with a love for reindeer! On Christmas Eve, Grandad is tired, her beloved snow-globe shatters, but a surprise visitor changes everything. Join Amber on an unforgettable festive adventure, where the night before Christmas promises unexpected magic. This original production, inspired by ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,’ weaves music, skillful puppetry, and holiday enchantment into a heartwarming tale.
When: 18 November 2023 – 14 January 2024
Where: Polka Theatre
How much: from £16 more info and bookings here.

The Museum of Marvellous Things

Step into The Museum of Marvellous Things, where the impossible comes to life! Explore stars in jars, play with moons like balloons, and join the fun with Doo-Dahs and Noo-Nahs. This unique museum is brought to life by your imagination. With giant puppets, interactive storytelling, live music, and the chance to make your special puppet, this family show, based on Kristina Stephenson’s picture book, promises a magical experience. Meet Norbert Norris and Tilly T. Pott as they invite you to fill their museum with magic.
When: 19 November 2023
Where: Arts Depot
How much: from £10 more info and bookings here.

Raymond Briggs’ Father Christmas

Join Santa on Christmas Eve, as he goes from a dream of sun and sand to his busiest day of the year. See him get ready for his deliveries, tend to his reindeer, and take flight into the snowy night. Don’t miss this Lyric family favorite, co-produced with Olivier Award-nominated Pins & Needles Productions. Book early for the best prices as they increase with demand. Please contact the Box Office for access tickets, and remember that seating is unreserved, and buggies cannot be taken into the Studio auditorium. Check out our visit last year.
When: 22 November – 30 December 2023
Where: Lyric Hammersmith
How much: from £14 more info and bookings here.

The Toymaker’s Child 

The toymaker, living a quiet life, worries about his lonely child. To remedy this, he creates a mischievous AI child with a magical 3D printer. However, things take an unexpected turn with AI child PIN:0Cch10! The Toymaker’s Child promises a spellbinding theatrical experience with a colorful cast, big laughs, and stunning sets, featuring over 200 talented performers, delivering a journey filled with wonder, beauty, and delightful chaos.
When: 22 November 2023- 13 January 2024
Where: Chickenshed Theatre
How much: from £10 more info and bookings here.

Peter Pan Goes Wrong

Mischief, known for “The Play That Goes Wrong” and “The Comedy About A Bank Robbery,” presents the West End cast of “Peter Pan Goes Wrong.” Catch this hilarious show at the Lyric Theatre this Christmas. It features the “Cornley Drama Society” battling mishaps while attempting to present J.M. Barrie’s classic tale. Directed by Adam Meggido, it’s a highly physical comedy filled with farce and slapstick. Don’t miss the uproarious fun!
When: 23 November 2023 – 14 January 2024
Where: Lyric Theatre,
How much: from £14 more info and bookings here.

The Lightbulb Princess

A fun-filled, sparkling extravaganza exploring the sensational science behind electricity. Featuring catchy original songs from Ziad Jabero and electrifying storytelling, The Lightbulb Princess will light up children’s imaginations and inspire them to learn more about the world around them.
When: 23 – 25 November 2023
Where: Half Moon Theatre
How much: £7 more info and bookings here.

Snow White

Mirror, mirror on the wall, where is the fairest pantomime of all?! Snow White is gracing the stage at Greenwich Theatre for 2023. Get your tickets early for the season’s theatrical highlight, written by the beloved villain, Anthony Spargo!
When: 23 November 2023 – 7 January 2024
Where: Greenwich Theatre
How much: from £33 more info and bookings here.

WOW! It’s Night-time

Experience the enchantment of twilight with the stage adaptation of Tim Hopgood’s “WOW! It’s Night-time.” Join the curious little owl on a journey through the mysteries of the night, from the shining moon to bats and foxes. Discover where the other owls have gone as the wind rustles the leaves from her tree.
When: 25 November 2023 – 27 January 2024
Where: Little Angel Theatre
How much: £16 adults and £14 for kids more info and bookings here.

Peppa Pig’s Fun Day Out

Peppa Pig returns in her oinktastic new live show, “Fun Day Out!” Join Peppa, her family, and friends for a thrilling day at the zoo and a beach party. Sing and dance with scarecrows, feed penguins, build sandcastles, and swim in the sea. With songs, dance, and muddy puddles, it’s a guaranteed source of giggles and snorts for Peppa fans and a perfect theater introduction.
When: 30 November – 31 December 2023
Where: Theatre Royal Haymarket
How much: from £10 more info and bookings here.

The Gruffalo’s Child

Join the Gruffalo’s Child on her daring adventure in Tall Stories’ enchanting adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s beloved picture book. On a wild, windy night, she defies her father’s warnings about the Big Bad Mouse and ventures into the deep, dark wood. Along the way, she encounters mysterious creatures, but does the Big Bad Mouse truly exist? Let your imagination run wild with songs, laughs, and thrilling fun for ages 3 to 103.
When: 1 December 2023- 7 January 2024
Where: The Garrick Theatre
How much: from £12 more info and bookings here.

Peter Pan

Award-winning writer Evan Placey adapts J.M. Barrie’s classic in a new version, featuring music and lyrics by Olivier Award-winner Vikki Stone. Directed by Lucy Morrell, the show is packed with song, dance, and magic, with the talented Rose Youth Theatre members.
When: 1 December 2023 – 7 January 2024
Where: Rose Theatre, Kingston
How much: from £15 more info and bookings here.

Dear Santa

Santa’s determined to find the perfect gift for Sarah, with a little help from his cheeky Elf. Join the live show “Dear Santa” by Rod Campbell, author of “Dear Zoo,” for kids aged two and up. Meet Santa in his grotto after the performance, and every child receives a special gift. A Christmas treat for both children and parents, making it a memorable family experience this festive season!
When: 2 – 24 December 2023
Where: Arts Depot
How much: from £12 more info and bookings here.

The Smartest Giant in Town

Don’t miss the musical adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s bestselling book. George, the scruffiest giant in town, decides to upgrade his look with smart clothes. But when he encounters animals in need, his kindness shines brighter than his attire. This heartwarming story of friendship and helping others comes to life in a musical, puppet-filled adventure, brought to you by Little Angel Theatre, known for their successful adaptations of Julia Donaldson’s picture books like The Singing Mermaid and The Everywhere Bear.
When: 2 December 2023 – 7 January 2024
Where: St Martin’s Theatre
How much: from £10 more info and bookings here.

Jack and the Beans Talk

Did I dream of a talking bean? Join Jack on a winter farm adventure as he trades his cow for magic beans and hears mysterious whispers in the breeze. This December, enjoy “Jack and the Beans Talk,” a fresh, funny, and festive puppetry show that’s perfect for all ages. It’s a cautionary tale with an enormous beanstalk, bags of gold, and a smelly old giant.
When: 3, 9 & 10 December 2023
Where: Omunibus Theatre, Clapham
How much: £9 standard £7 concessions more info and bookings here.

Comedy Club 4 Kids

Starring Comedy Club 4 Kids’ regular host Ternan Douieb hims-elf, Howard Read of ‘Little Howard’ and CBBC fame, and hilarious Helen Duff –– this show will be jam-packed with a whole heap of Christmas Comedy Fun to get you in the mood for the BIG DAY (you know, when the big red jolly guy comes down the chimney). 
When: 3 December 2023
Where: Arts Depot
How much: from £10 more info and bookings here.

A Christmas Carol

Two of Dickens’ dearest theatrical partners are thrust into the limelight. As the rest of the cast remains stranded on a train, actress Frances Ternan and Dickens’ loyal tour manager George Dolby face the daunting task of embodying more than 30 characters. The question remains: who will step into the role of Scrooge?
When: 4 – 9 December 2023
Where: New Wimbledon Theatre
How much: from £20 more info and bookings here.

Hansel and Gretel

This beautifully epic new version of The Brothers Grimm’s fairy tale, Hansel and Gretel, by Poet Laureate Simon Armitage, transforms the Globe Theatre this winter. The boy, Hansel, and the girl, Gretel, had a woodcutting dad and a breadmaking mom. In their war-ravaged village, the parents decide to leave their children in the woods, hoping for a safer life. Lost in the forest, the siblings get distracted by tempting treats and encounter a mysterious old lady with her own plans. This stage premiere of Simon Armitage’s poem, directed by Nick Bagnall, combines music, magic, and hope, making it a delightful experience for ages 5+. “A road made of bits of bread, says she? Yes, a road, and a road we can eat – follow me!”
When: 8 December 2023 – 7 January 2024
Where: Shakespeare Globe
How much: from £5 more info and bookings here.

Finding Santa

This Christmas join in a magical choose-your-own-adventure tale by children’s author Sean Taylor. Discover how letters for Santa reach the North Pole, what happens when things go awry, and how Santa’s elves ensure on-time delivery. With quirky characters and puppets, this comical adventure invites the audience to shape the story’s path.
When: 7 – 24 December 2023
Where: Bloomsbury Theatre
How much: from £10 more info and bookings here.

Peter Pan on Ice

This annual spectacular will transport you to Neverland with beloved characters from J.M. Barrie’s classic tale. Our creative team has infused imagination and make-believe into the story, promising dazzling skating, theatrical aerial feats, and an abundance of pixie dust.
When: 8 -11 December 2023
Where: Alexandra Palace
How much: from £15 more info and bookings here.

The Elves and the Magic Bear

Join Santa’s Elves on a heartwarming adventure to rescue Christmas, with help from Mrs. Claus and the audience. This interactive family production is a festive delight, featuring singing, dancing, magic, and a surprise guest. Don’t miss the chance for photos with the performers and a special certificate from Mrs. Claus!
When: 9 – 21 December 2023
Where: Old Royal Naval College
How much: £14 more info and bookings here.

Peter Pan Panto

Featuring Jennifer Saunders as Captain Hook, Julian Clary as Smee, and a stellar cast. Returning for its eighth season, this show offers spectacular sets, jaw-dropping effects, and the magic of the UK’s biggest panto. Secure your seats early!
When: 9 December 2023 – 14 January 2024
Where: The Palladium
How much: from £25 more info and bookings here.

My Christmas Orchestral Adventure

Returning in December 2023 with a fresh story. Conductor Tim has lost his Christmas spirit just before Father Christmas’s arrival at the world’s biggest Christmas concert. Join Tom, Albert’s Orchestra, and special guests as they guide Tim through past, present, and future Christmases to restore his cheer in time for Father Christmas!
When: 10 December 2023
Where: Royal Albert Hall
How much: from £23 more info and bookings here.

Wolf Witch Giant Fairy

Do not miss the return of this ‘enchantingly staged’ family folk opera, following the triumphant, Olivier Award-winning run in 2021.Red Riding Hood is tasked with delivering bread to her Grandmother, deep in the heart of the fairy-tale forest. But en route, Red meets a cunning Wolf who tricks her into taking a different path. Along the way, Red stumbles into a colourful cast of characters, including a scary witch, a talking cat and a rather persuasive Peddler. Join our ragtag band of wild musicians as they guide all the family through this famous tale with new twists, turns, magic and song.
When: 11 December 2023 – 6 January 2024
Where: Royal Opera House
How much: from £3 more info and bookings here.

The House With Chicken Legs

Marinka longs for a normal life, but her house has chicken legs and roams unpredictably. Adapted from Sophie Anderson’s beloved novel, it’s the tale of Marinka, a girl struggling when her home is uprooted. This show, co-produced by Les Enfants Terribles and HOME Manchester, offers a funny, thought-provoking perspective on the complexities of loss. Presented in association with Les Enfants Terribles.
When: 13 – 31 December 2023
Where: Southbank Centre
How much: from £20 more info and bookings here.

I Want My Hat Back

A bear loses his hat, but he spots it again. Meanwhile, a fish has taken a hat and may get away with it. Two turtles discover a hat that looks good on both but realize there’s only one hat. Join the cardboard design masters Ian Nicholson and Sam Wilde on the first-ever tour of the “I Want My Hat Back Trilogy,” based on Jon Klassen’s beloved books.
When: 13 – 31 December 2023
Where: Little Angel Theatre
How much: from £10 more info and bookings here.

Here Comes Santa Claus

As Woody and Milly drift off on Christmas Eve, the enchantment unfolds. Could that be an Elf they spot? Do the jingling bells belong to reindeer? Is it truly Santa leaving gifts? Prepare for an extraordinary journey filled with magic, playfulness, and holiday delight!
When: 13 – 24 December 2023
Where: New Wimbledon Theatre
How much: from £17 more info and bookings here.

Can Bears Ski?

Little Bear may not hear, but they sense love in the vibrations of heavy steps and the crunch of snow. Join Little Bear and Dad Bear as they discover diverse ways to communicate and belong in the world. “Can Bears Ski?” is inspired by poet Raymond Antrobus, a Ted Hughes award-winner who draws from his own life as a deaf child in a hearing world.
When: 16 December 2023
Where: Half Moon Theatre
How much: £7 more info and bookings here.

Bluey’s Big Play

When Dad craves Sunday relaxation, Bluey and Bingo have other ideas! Witness their imaginative antics to lure Dad from his bean bag. Join the Heelers in their first live theater show designed just for you. With wonderfully crafted puppets, experience Bluey like never before in this UK premiere. “Bluey’s Big Play” is a fresh theatrical adaptation of the Emmy Award-winning children’s TV series, featuring an original story by creator Joe Brumm and new music by composer Joff Bush. Produced by Andrew Kay and Cuffe & Taylor in collaboration with Windmill Theatre Co for BBC Studios.
When: 20 December 2023 – 6 January 2024
Where: Southbank Centre
How much: from £20 more info and bookings here.

The Revel Puck Circus: The Wing Scuffle Spectacular

Witness courageous feats atop a giant wheel, daring dives from 15ft, and incredible acrobatics. This alternative circus showcases the brightest young talents of London’s circus scene, delivering heartwarming and hilarious performances. The action-packed show is a must-see for thrill-seekers young and old, held in the fully heated and welcoming Revel Puck Big Top at Victoria Park, Finchley Central.
When: 21 December – 7 January 2024
Where: Victoria Park, Finchley Central
How much: from £12 more indo and bookings here.

There’s a Monster in Your Christmas Show

Tom Fletcher’s beloved “Who’s in Your Book?” series transforms into a brand-new musical show. On stage, a group of performers find unexpected company in Little Monster, who invites friends like Dragon, Alien, Elf, and Unicorn to join the fun. This high-energy, 50-minute adventure with original music introduces kids to live theater, offering playful interactive moments with their favorite characters. Get ready for a delightful introduction to the joy of books and friendship! “There’s a Monster in Your Show,” and he’s eager to meet you!
When: 27 December 2023 – 7 January 2024
Where: Arts Depot
How much: from £12 more info and bookings here.