2 Love It
Save it

Children's theatre in London

Keep the kids quiet with a bit of culture at one of London's family-friendly shows

'Grandad Me and Teddy Too'

Even the smallest members of the family enjoy the odd stage show. Here are the Time Out theatre team's recommendations for kids' theatre and which performances will suit the very little ones, the nearly big ones, and the grown ups too. If you're planning ahead for the school holidays, check out top 10 children's theatre shows this half-term and our 101 things to do in London with kids. Or for treats the whole family can enjoy, have a look at our favourite West End theatre shows.

Theatre for children (5+)

The Tin Soldier

This endearing dance show for kids tells the classic story of 'The Tin Soldier', a toy who falls in love with a ballerina. Peut-etre use an international cast and primary colour design to bring this romance to life.

Read more
Artsdepot , North Finchley Wednesday February 15 2017 - Sunday February 19 2017

Babe, The Sheep-Pig

David Wood, who's famed for a 40-year strong career adapting kids' classics, has written this new version of Dick King Smith's 'Babe' for the Polka Theatre. It's the story of an adorable piglet who discovers a rare talent for sheep-herding, and leads his gruff farmer to an unlikely kind of celebrity. This farmyard tale will be adapted using original songs and puppetry, in a show suitable for the whole family.

Read more
Polka Theatre , South Wimbledon Saturday January 28 2017 - Sunday February 5 2017

Dinosaur Detectives

Puppets get prehistoric in this kids show by Clydebuilt Puppet Theatre. 'Dinosaur Detectives' is inspired by the fossil-hunting adventures of Mary Anning, William Buckland and Gideon Mantel, and uses shadow puppetry and music to bring their finds to life. Ages five-11.

Read more
Little Angel Theatre , Islington Thursday February 9 2017 - Sunday February 12 2017
See more kids theatre recommendations

Theatre for young children (0-4)

How To Hide A Lion

Iris has a brand new friend, but she knows her family and friends won't love him quite as much as she does. This story of a girl trying to hide a lion in all sorts of devious ways is adapted by Peter Glanville from Helen Stephen's children's story, and will feature songs by singer-songwriter Barb Jungr. There are two versions: one for todders ages 1-2, and another for kids ages 3-6. Check the Polka Theatre website for full details. 

Read more
Polka Theatre , South Wimbledon Wednesday January 25 2017 - Sunday February 26 2017


The Little Angel's winter spectacular for toddlers is the story of a tiny penguin in a huge snowy world. As storms come, she tries to find her feet. 'Me...' is an adaptation of Emma Dodd's picture book, which is a cosy story of family love. Ages two to six.

Read more
Little Angel Theatre , Islington Until Sunday January 29 2017
See more of the best London shows for little ones

Theatre for all the family

The Lion King

The posters have been plastered around the London Underground for years – long enough for this show to become the most successful musical of all time – but nothing prepares you for the sheer impact of 'The Lion King's opening sequence. With the surge of 'Circle Of Life' reverberating through your chest, Julie Taymor's animal creations march on, species by species. Gazelles spring, birds swoop and an elephant and her child lumber through the stalls. It's a cacophonous cavalcade that genuinely stops you breathing.

Book now Read more
Lyceum Theatre , Covent Garden Until Saturday June 3 2017
See more recommended family shows


Lucy Limon
Lucy Limon

Which play does that top photo show, the one with the train steaming down the middle of the theatre?? That looks amazing. Thanks

Lucy Limon
Lucy Limon

Which play does that top photo show, the one with the train steaming down the middle of the theatre?? That looks amazing. Thanks


Re: Elaine: the smaller theatres tend to be represented more by the 'for children' and 'for young children' tabs at the top of the screen - if you click on them you'll see shows at the Little Angel et al, it's just that the genuinely 'family friendly' shows (ie anyone of any age could see them) tend to gravitate towards the West End while the specialist children's theatre tend to put on shows that are actively aimed at children only. Might rethink this one if it's not clear!

elaine turner
elaine turner

this sight is too west end based- what is needed is some information regarding small theatres that we can take our kids to without getting a new mortgage

Book theatre tickets