Book tickets to summer West End shows suitable for children
Enjoy a family-friendly show in the West End, and introduce little ones to the magic of live theatre all summer long at shows specifically designed for children.
The school summer holidays are fast approaching, and once again London theatre has plenty of exciting options if you’re looking for kid-friendly entertainment. The West End is always a great bet for family shows, whether it's dedicated productions for young audiences or those that work for theatregoers from children up to grandparents, and everyone in between.
London has an exciting range of productions in 2023, including a number of acclaimed long-runners that are back on stage, better than ever, and also lots of enticing new shows. So, you’ve got plenty of choice when it comes to plays or musicals, length of show, subject matter, age suitability, and whether you’re keen to return to a family favourite or try something completely different.
It’s a great way to introduce newcomers to theatre in a way that will fire up their imaginations and smooth the transitions from their familiar books or movies to live entertainment.
Many shows also work brilliantly in tandem with children’s education, illuminating school subjects while aiding comprehension, creativity and a range of social skills. Just don’t tell them that!
A theatre trip is also a wonderful way to spend time together as a family, particularly after the past few years of separation or limited outings. So, here are some of the fantastic child-friendly productions in London this summer that you can book for now.
This summer, there’s brilliant options for fans of the grippingly gruesome Horrible Histories books. Discover everything about the Tudors in this kid-friendly history show. From the horrible Henries to the end of evil Elizabeth, and Mary Queen of Scots to the Spanish Armada, see if you could survive Tudor life.
Book Horrible Histories: Terrible Tudors tickets on London Theatre.
Dive to Bikini Bottom and discover the joys of living in a pineapple under the sea at The Spongebob Musical. The kooky Nickelodeon characters come to life in a colourful musical that sees the residents coming together to save their undersea world. When all hope seems lost, can Spongebob Squarepants save the day? Divina de Campo plays Sheldon J. Plankton in this summer tonic.
Book The Spongebob Musical tickets on London Theatre.
Plan a roar-some adventure and let your little ones experience a prehistoric world. Throughout Dinosaur World Live, meet huge dinosaurs: Triceratops, Microraptor, and Tyrannosaurus Rexes to name a few. Then, once the show is finished, you can meet the creatures on the theatre lawns. It’s the ideal way to spend a sunny summer afternoon.
Book Dinosaur World Live tickets on London Theatre.
Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's The Gruffalo and Room on the Broom changed the face of family-friendly theatre. Now, their outerspace voyage lands in the West End. It’s a Romeo and Juliet-like affair: Smeds and Smoos cannot be friend. So when a young Smed and Smoo fall in love, can they convince their respective folks to see eye to eye?
Book The Smeds and the Smoos tickets on London Theatre.
If your entire household knows every word to “Let It Go”, then this musical is a must-see. Frozen is Disney’s mega-hit movie made flesh, with a gorgeous set design, puppetry and special effects bringing the kingdom of Arendelle, and Elsa’s wayward magic, to a West End stage. Find out more about Frozen in London.
All of Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez’s indelible songs are here, including “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” and “Love is an Open Door”, plus new numbers like the Elsa-Anna duet “I Can’t Lose You”. The age recommendation is six and up.
Book Frozen tickets on London Theatre.
Roald Dahl’s literary heroine is an inspiration for both kids and adults, as she stands up to her bullying headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, outsmarts her mean family, and finds the courage to write her own story.
In fact, this long-running West End musical, which features anarchic songs from Tim Minchin like “Naughty” and “Revolting Children”, is a love letter to storytelling itself – telekinesis isn’t Matilda’s only magical power. No wonder it scored a whopping seven Olivier Awards, and is still as popular as ever. Age recommendation is six and up. Find out more about Matilda in London.
Book Matilda tickets on London Theatre.
There are more animal adventures in this celebrated stage version of Disney’s animated movie. Julie Taymor’s astonishing production plunges us into the African Pride Lands via amazing puppets and special effects, while telling the familiar tale of lion cub Simba, who must learn to embrace his destiny.
The musical features catchy and heartfelt songs from Elton John and Tim Rice, including “The Circle of Life”, “Hakuna Matata” and the Oscar-winning “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”. It’s suitable for audiences aged six and up.
Book The Lion King tickets on London Theatre.
Great Scott! The classic movie is now a blockbuster stage musical, powered by 1.21 gigawatts of zany storytelling and jaw-dropping special effects – including that famous flying DeLorean car. After accidentally time-travelling to the 1950s, cool Eighties teen Marty McFly must get his parents together and save his family, with the help of eccentric scientist Doc Brown.
The show features an original score plus the film’s standout songs, “The Power of Love” and “Johnny B Goode”. Kids aged six and up, plus their parents, will all love this blast from the past. Find out more about Back to the Future in London.
Book Back to the Future: The Musical tickets on London Theatre.
Photo credit: The Spongebob Musical (Photo courtesy of production)
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