One of London’s best attractions for families is the wide choice of theatre, festivals and art shows on offer. Whether your young one is a regular theatre goer or you may want to introduce them to the magical world of performing arts, you should be able to find the perfect show to wow and entertain them. From musicals and puppetry to art galleries and circus through to live music or ballet – we have compiled the best family friendly shows London has to offer.
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The Everywhere Bear
This charming theatre adventure is inspired from Julia Donaldson’s book and follows a bear that falls from a backpack. Poor thing is whooshed out to sea and gets rescued by a fishing boat, then he tries to find his way back home via a lorry and flying with a seagull. This show is an invitation for all 3 to 7 years old to listen, engage and perform. Expect high fives, hugs and lots of dancing from the live mixed music.
When: 27 May – 13 August 2023
Where: Polka Theatre
How much: From £12. More info and bookings here.
Meet the characters of Cutty Sark
Meet the Captain Woodget, Cutty Sark’s longest serving master, to learn about life on board the fastest tea clipper, learn how the ship got its name or find out what the crew had for dinner.
When: Weekends and Fri-Mon in school holidays
Where: Cutty Sark
How much: Free with entry to Cutty Sark. More info and bookings here.
London Clown Festival
This theatre festival is now a fixture of the London comedy scene, the festival brings the best of clown styles and clown comedy. Expect happy and sad clowns, clumsy and agile clowns all aimed at entertaining audiences of all ages through the best of contemporary performances. Ten of the world’s funniest clowns compete for the highly prestigious CLONG award – Who will be crowned the biggest idiot of all? For shows schedule, prices and additional information, checkout their website here.
When: 12 – 17 June 2023
Where: Soho Theatre
How much: From £13. More info and bookings here.
Multi – Story Orchestra
This bunch of incredibly talented young people and musicians return this season with another series of profound performances at Bold Tendencies car park in Peckham for their community and will perform their award winning performance, THE ENDZ show at the Southbank Centre. Following the heartbreaking death of a fellow student in 2019, the young creatives and students came together to create rap, spoken word and other musical compositions that shed light on the impact of social inequality on young people. They are talented, they are loud and they deliver some strong messages.
When: Verified – 6 & 7 July 2023 / Into the Deep – 24 & 25 August 2023/ The Endz – 23 September 2023
Where: Verified & Into the Deep is at Bold Tendencies/Peckham. The Endz is at The Southbank Centre
How much: Between £10 and £25. Info for Bold Tendencies venue is here.
For The Southbank Centre tickets and info here.
Back to the Future Musical
Adapting the iconic story for the stage, Bob Gale (Back to the Future trilogy) and Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump) manage to nod our nostalgia whilst also alluding to the future of the theatrical experience. An immersive, incredible show for the whole family. The production features original music by multi-Grammy winners Alan Silvestri (Avengers: Endgame) and Glen Ballard (Michael Jackson’s Man in the Mirror), alongside hit songs from the movie including The Power of Love, Johnny B. Goode, Earth Angel and Back in Time. Read our full review here.
When: ongoing until February 2023
Where: Adelphi Theatre
How much: from £19.55 more info and bookings here.
I want my hat back trilogy
Following their hit digital series, lockdown sensations Ian Nicholson and Sam Wilde are back with more of their trademark cardboard designs. Jon Klassen’s beloved books, I Want My Hat Back, This is Not My Hat and We Found A Hat, will have a brand new life of their own LIVE on the Little Angel Theatre stage.
When: until 31 July 2022
Where: Little Angel Theatre, Islington
How much: Adult £13.50 and children £11.50 more info and bookings here.
Tiddler & Other Terrific Tales
Under the sea, out on the farm and into the jungle, these terrific tales weave together a whole host of colourful characters from Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s best-loved titles: Tiddler, Monkey Puzzle, The Smartest Giant in Town and A Squash and a Squeeze. From the team behind Zog, Zog and the Flying Doctors and Stick Man, Tiddler and Other Terrific Tales is the perfect hour-long adventure for all ages.
When: 29 July – 21 Aug 2022
Where: Cadogan Hall
How much: from £19.50 more info and bookings here.
The famous acting troupe from A Midsummer Night’s Dream take to the stage this summer in a hilarious new play for families, presented by Shakespeare’s Globe and Splendid Productions. On a beautiful summer’s evening one year ago, a band of craftspeople-turned-actors, led by Nick Bottom, staged their first ever play. It was so bold, so brilliant and so chaotic that it went down in theatre history.
When: 28 July – 21 Aug 2022
Where: Shakespeare Globe
How much: from £25 for an adult and child during August performances with KidsWeek. More info and bookings here.
This powerful love story, set on a South Pacific island during World War ll, is brought to life in an epic new five-star production directed by Chichester Festival Theatre’s Artistic Director Daniel Evans (Me and My Girl and Fiddler on the Roof). A sensational cast of over thirty is led by the leads from the Chichester Festival Theatre production, including Julian Ovenden, Gina Beck, Rob Houchen, Joanna Ampil and Sera Maehara. Featuring a full orchestra, this ravishing musical is set to be the must-see theatrical event of the year.
When: 27 July – 28 August 2022
Where: Sadler’s Wells
How much: from £45 for an adult and child if booked during August with the KidsWeek promotion. More info and bookings here.
Matilda the Musical
Matilda The Musical is the multi-award winning musical from the Royal Shakespeare Company, inspired by the beloved book by the incomparable Roald Dahl. With book by Dennis Kelly and original songs by Tim Minchin, Matilda The Musical is the story of an extraordinary little girl who, armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind, dares to take a stand and change her own destiny.
When: ongoing until May 2023
Where: Cambridge Theatre
How much: from £20 more info and bookings here.
A-Typical Rainbow is the World Premiere debut play by autistic writer JJ Green that asks: could a kinder, more joyful world lie at the end of the rainbow? Most likely suitable for older children.
When: until 7 August 2022
Where: Turbine Theatre
How much: £29.50 more info and bookings here.
Horrible Histories: Terrible Thames
Horrible Histories proudly presents its wicked boat tour of the Terrible Thames! Tremble in terror at the Tower! Sizzle at the Savoy! Give Cleopatra the needle! Be washed away at Westminster! Lose yourself in Lambeth! Get gobsmacked by the Globe! Hold onto your head at London Bridge and escape from Execution Dock! Read our review of the experience here.
When: 2 July until 4 September daily and then weekends only.
Where: Tower Bridge Quay.
How much: £22 for adults and £14 per child with under 3s going free. More info and bookings here.
The Jungle Book
Join Mowgli on her journey through the jungle as she meets the wise Bagheera, the noble Akela and the enthusiastic Baloo. Help Mowgli trick the sneaky grey apes, keep an eye open for Kaa the python, and escape the clutches of the terrible tiger Shere Khan to save the jungle home of her new friends. Based on Rudyard Kipling’s classic tale, adapted by Andrew S. Walsh, with original music by Guy Holden
When: 23 July – 21 Aug Tuesdays through to Sundays.
Where: Kew Gardens
How much: £15.90 per child and £19.90 per adult (ticket includes entry to the garden). More info and bookings here.
Room on the Broom
Jump on board of the broom with the witch and her cat in Tall Stories’ fun-filled adaptation of Room on the Broom, the best-selling picture book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. The witch and her cat are travelling on their broomstick when they pick up some hitch-hikers – a friendly dog, a beautiful green bird and a frantic frog. But this broomstick’s not meant for five and – CRACK – it snaps in two… just as the hungry dragon appears!
When: 21 July – 4 September
Where: Lyric Theatre
How much: from £10 more info and bookings here.
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe
Step through the wardrobe into the magical kingdom of Narnia for the most mystical of adventures in a faraway land. Join Lucy, Edmund, Susan and Peter as they wave goodbye to wartime Britain and say hello to a talking Faun, an unforgettable Lion and the coldest, cruelest White Witch. Voted the nation’s favourite novel, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe now comes to the stage starring Samantha Womack as the White Witch and is guaranteed to delight audiences of all ages.
When: 18 July – 8 Jan 2023
Where: Gillian Lynne Theatre, London
How much: from £15 more info and bookings here.
When infamous Cruella de Vil (Kate Fleetwood) sets her sights on a new Dalmatian fur coat, there’s trouble ahead for Pongo, Perdi and their adorable litter of puppies. Based on the classic story set in the heart of Regent’s Park, this new musical adaptation, packed with puppetry, is a perfect treat for a Summer’s day.
When: 12 July – 28 August 2022
Where: Regents Park Open Air Theatre
How much: from £11.50 for children and £23 for adults. More info and bookings here.
The Tiger Who Came To Tea
Based on Britain’s best-loved picture book by Judith Kerr, the Olivier Award nominated smash hit show The Tiger Who Came to Tea returns to the West End for Summer 2022. The doorbell rings just as Sophie and her mummy are sitting down to tea. Who could it possibly be? What they certainly don’t expect to see at the door is a big, stripy tiger! Check out our full review here.
When: 11 July – 4 September 2022
Where: Theatre Royal, Haymarket
How much: From £16.50 for an adult and child during KidsWeek promotion in August. More info and bookings here.
Life of Pi
After a cargo ship sinks in the middle of the vast Pacific Ocean, a sixteen year-old boy named Pi is stranded on a lifeboat with four other survivors – a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan, and a Royal Bengal tiger. Time is against them, nature is harsh, who will survive? Winner of 5 Olivier Awards, including ‘Best New Play’, Life of Pi is based on one of the most extraordinary and best-loved works of fiction – the smash hit adaptation of an epic journey of endurance and hope.
When: ongoing until 30 October 2022
Where: Wyndham’s Theatre
How much: from £18 more info and bookings here.
Horrible Histories – Terrible Tudors
From the horrible Henries to the end of evil Elizabeth, hear the legends (and the lies!) about the torturing Tudors. Find out the fate of Henry’s headless wives and his punch up with the Pope. Meet Bloody Mary and see Ed fall dead in his bed. Survive the Spanish Armada as they launch their attack! It’s history with the nasty bits left in!
When: 1 – 21 August 2022
Where: Garrick Theatre
How much: From £21 for an adult and child through KidsWeek. More info and bookings here.
As the sun rises and the city reawakens, watch in awe as giraffes strut, gazelles leap and birds swoop bringing the Serengeti, and the story of Simba, to life all around you… Ingenious puppetry, stunning effects and the enchanting music by Elton John, Tim Rice and Lebo M will transport you to the heart of the African Pridelands.
Where: Lyceum Theatre
How much: from £23 more info and bookings here.
When Dorothy famously triumphed over the Wicked Witch of the West, we only ever heard one side of the story. Gregory Maguire‘s acclaimed 1995 novel, ‘Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West’, re-imagines the Land of Oz, creating a parallel universe to the familiar story written by L. Frank Baum and first published as ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’ in 1900
Where: Apollo Theatre
How much: from £19 more info and booking here.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
19 years after Harry, Ron, and Hermione saved the wizarding world, they’re back on a most extraordinary new adventure – this time, joined by a brave new generation that has only just arrived at the legendary Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Prepare for spectacular spells, a mind-blowing race through time, and an epic battle to stop mysterious forces, all while the future hangs in the balance.
Where: Palace Theatre
How much: from £15 more info and bookings here.
Romeo who?! With her bags packed and ready to escape Verona, Juliet recovers from heartbreak in the best way possible… by dancing the night away with her best friends by her side! But when the sparkle fades, the confetti falls and reality catches up, it’s clear that Juliet needs to face her past in order to find her future. Can she reclaim a story that has been written in the stars? Is there really life after Romeo… or could he be worth one more try?
When: ongoing until March 2023
Where: Shaftesbury Theatre
How much: from £22.50 more info and bookings here.
Join Mouse on a daring adventure through the deep, dark wood in Tall Stories’ magical, musical adaptation of the classic picture book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. Searching for hazelnuts, Mouse meets the cunning Fox, the eccentric old Owl and the high-spirited Snake. Will the story of the terrifying Gruffalo save Mouse from ending up as dinner for these hungry woodland creatures? After all, there’s no such thing as a Gruffalo – is there? Songs, laughs and monstrous fun for children aged 3 and up and their grown-ups, in the much-loved show that’s toured Britain and the world!
When: 24 Aug – 3 September 2022
Where: Rose Theatre, Kingston
How much: from £15 more info and bookings here.
This riotously chaotic adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s beloved tale of pirates and buried treasure is full of physical comedy, daft jokes and thrilling adventure, with Jim setting sail on the high seas with Captain Birdseye, Blue Peter, Long-John Silver and the parrot Alexa. Suitable for ages 6 and above.
When: 19 Aug- 3 September 2022
Where: Greenwich Theatre
How much: £25 more info and bookings here..
Blippi the Musical
Blippi The Musical brings the curious and fun character Blippi off the screen and onto the stage with world-class production, audience engagement and amazing music. Blippi encourages learning for children from the ages of 2 to 7 years old through doing, playing and exploring – inspiring a child’s natural curiosity about the world around them. In the live show they will continue to learn about the world around them while singing and dancing along with this one-of-a-kind show.
When: 16 Aug – 4 Sep
Where: Apollo Theatre
How much: from £16.50 more info and bookings here.
West End Family Friendly Musicals
London’s West End Musicals’ season opens in July with much popular shows like Wonderville Magic and Illusion and Horrible Stories Barmy Britain Part 5. We partnered with Theatre Tickets Direct to offer best price tickets to all London’s West End Musicals.
When: Throughout the summer.
Where: Various London theatre venues
How much: check the best ticket price offers here
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Dive into Eric Carle’s bright and colourful world as his beloved stories are transformed from page to stage using a menagerie of 75 lovable puppets and charming music. We saw the show a couple of years back and loved it – a great way to introduce young Londoners to theatre, especially as the show is 50 minutes with no interval. Read our full review here.
When: 16 Aug – 4 September 2022
Where: Lyric Hammersmith
How much: £15 – £21 more info and booking here.