Image Credit: Kilyan Sockalingum
Do you want to go to the theatre in London’s iconic West End, with your kids, but don’t know which shows are suitable for them to see?
Fear not, for here is our guide to what’s on in the West End that can be enjoyed by children and adults alike. These musicals and plays are the ones that all the family will enjoy. From Disney spectaculars such as The Lion King and Frozen, to the spine chilling Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, here is the best of the West End for all the family.
A couple of things that you will need to note: Most West End theatre shows will not allow children under 5 years old into the performances, and as a general rule those under 16 must be accompanied by an adult, who must sit next to them in the auditorium. It is best that you check the theatre’s admission policy before booking.
Let’s dim the lights, switch our mobiles to silent and get on with the show….
The Snowman has been performed every Christmas at the Peacock Theatre since 1997 and has become something of a London Christmas institution - and now it's back for Christmas 2023!
Based on Raymond Briggs iconic book it tells the tale of a boy and the magical night he spends when he is transported around the world with the snowman that he built, which comes to life one snowy Christmas night.
A truly magical experience for children of all ages, you will come out of the theatre “Walking in the Air”! It runs from 18th November until 30th December 2023.
Elf! The Musical is based on the hit Will Ferrell Christmas movie and returns to London’s Dominion Theatre for a limited 8-week season, just in time for Christmas!
When Buddy, a young orphan child, mistakenly crawls into Santa’s sack of toys one Christmas Eve, his life changes forever. Buddy is raised by Santa’s elves at the North Pole and somehow, despite his enormous size and poor toy-making skills, takes a long time to realise just why he doesn’t quite seem to fit in!
Booking until 6th January 2024.
Fans of Disney's smash hit musical animated movie Frozen will be most excited to see this new musical based on the film. For the first time in forever, the magical world of Arendelle comes to life with all of your favourite characters and songs to tell a story of love, hope and knowing yourself.
Showing at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, tickets are onsale and currently booking until October 2023.
All Harry Potter fans will be excited to see this show, which continues Harry's story to adulthood as an employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is in two parts, which you are intended to see in order on the same day (matinee and evening) or on two consecutive evenings.
The play has won multiple Olivier Awards since it opened in the West End, and it is currently booking until September 2024.
Marty McFly is a typical rock ‘n’ roll teenager. Typical, that is until he is accidentally transported back to 1955 by his friend Dr Emmett Brown’s time-travelling DeLorean in Back to the Future the Musical.
Before he can make his way back to 1985, where he belongs, Marty needs to guarantee that his high-school-aged parents fall in love, or he might not have a future to go back to.
Based in the hugely popular 1980's movie, it is showing at the Adelphi Theatre London after its 2020 world premiere in Manchester. Booking until July 2024.
Fans of Roald Dahl will have Matilda at the top of their must-see list. Tim Minchin’s inspired musical version of the story of the girl who loves books has been described as a musical masterpiece. Created by the Royal Shakespeare Company it is a show that that revels in the anarchy of childhood, the power of imagination and the inspiring story of a girl who dares to change her destiny.
Matilda has played to packed houses and been given standing ovations since it opened, and has multiple awards around the world. Now booking at the Cambridge Theatre until December 2024.
The Lion King has been running in the West End for nearly 20 years and is still massively popular with audiences. The show is not just a musical telling the story of Simba the lion cub; it is an experience which uses the whole of the theatre with music, dance, puppets and uniquely inventive props.
Of course it includes all the songs that your kids will know and love from the film, including I Just Can't Wait to Be King and The Circle of Life and includes comedy, tragedy and is everything that great theatre should be. Booking until Mid June 2024.
Wicked has pretty much become a classic musical now. Written as a prequel to The Wizard of Oz it tells the story of how Glinda The Good and Elpheba, the Wicked Witch of the West first met.
Already one of the longest running shows in London theatre history, this spectacular show includes the hit song “Defying Gravity” and has won over 100 theatre awards. Booking until December 2024.
You can’t beat a bit of classic slapstick comedy, and The Play That Goes Wrong will have you breathless with laughter from start to finish
The Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society are putting on a 1920s murder mystery, but everything that can go wrong... does! Will the accident-prone actors battle against all odds to make it through to their final curtain call? You’ll have to find out!
Booking until November 2024.
If you have seen the 2008 film or its recent sequel, you will know that Mamma Mia, with its string of ABBA hits is another of the West End’s most popular and long-running musicals. You probably know the plot; Sophie is about to get married, and wants to discover the father she’s never known.
To find the answer she brings her mother face to face with three men from her distant romantic past on the eve of a wedding they’ll never forget!
With more ABBA songs than you can shake a stick at, this is an evening of fun and magical 70’s music that will leave everyone with a smile on their face and a tear in their eye. Currently booking until September 2024.
Here are a couple of fabulous family shows to look forward to in summer 2024.
Spirited Away is frequently regarded as one of the best movies of the twenty-first century as well as one of the greatest animated movies of all time, and in summer 2024 London's Coliseum sees the European premiere of the stage version of the classic Studio Ghibli anime.
Through an array of wondrous visuals and masterful storytelling, Spirited Away tells the spellbinding story of 10-year-old Chihiro. After moving to the suburbs with her family, Chihiro discovers a fantastical spirit realm ruled by gods, witches and spirits, and the sorceress Yubaba. It is a place where humans can be changed into beasts, even giant pigs.
The Starlight Auditorium at Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre is coming to life with the return of Starlight Express in summer 2024.
One night, as a child lays sleeping, wheels spin and toys come to life, all helped by a touch of magic. Three different engines are set to enter a race for the crown of 'Fastest engine in the World'! This brand new production is sure to be an amazing spectacle, so get your skates on!
Booking until February 2025.
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