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London theatre for toddlers and young children

Let a trained professional do the entertaining at these theatre shows for toddlers and little ones

Dog Don't Do Ballet, Little Angel Theatre
There's no way they can sit still for two hours, but that doesn't mean we can't treat them to a trip to the theatre. Here are London's best shows for the very young ones. If yours are a bit bigger try our kids theatre page instead, or read our family theatre suggestions.

Theatre for young children

Aliens Love Underpants

Forget crop-circles and abductions – according to ‘Aliens Love Underpants’, extraterrestrials travel to us from lightyears away solely to steal our precious undergarments. Adam Bampton-Smith’s adaptation of Claire Freedman’s bestselling children’s book tells the story of Timmy, a whimsical boy, whose dreams of becoming a spaceman come true when he journeys to Planet Janet.

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Dominion Theatre Saturday August 1 2015 - Saturday September 5 2015

Dot, Squiggle and Rest

‘I don’t like the man,’ announced my two-year-old daughter, as bearded cellist Sergio Serra loomed out of the darkness in his movable chair, like some musical Davros, to play his scratches and squeaks. He was soon joined by Sarah Dacey singing a series of complimentary pitches, further contributing to this exercise in extended technique. Meanwhile, dancer Jasmilina Sipilä limbered around the tiny stage, doing tentative cartwheels and holding 3D cardboard shapes.

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Polka Theatre Until Sunday August 16 2015

Dinosaur Zoo

As a rule, Australians are brilliant just so long as you can make sure the topic of Australia never, ever comes up in conversation. But in this puppet-tastic kids’ show, our Antipodean cousins’ dewy-eyed patriotism is a definite plus. While it would take a jaded parent – let alone a child – to sigh at a stegosaur or tut at a triceratops, the fact is that the dinosaurs we learn about as kids tend to come from a fairly narrow selection of creatures dug up in the northern hemisphere.

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King's Cross Theatre Until Sunday August 30 2015

I Want My Hat Back

A Christmas kids adventure over at the Temporary Theatre at the National is taking place with this adaptation of Jon Klassen's 'I Want My Hat Back'. Joel Horwood writes the book and lyrics for the show, while 'Doctor Who's Arthur Darvill pens the songs for the tale of Bear, whose hat has gone and who goes on a mission through the forest to find it. Ages 3-plus.  

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National Theatre Thursday November 12 2015 - Saturday January 2 2016

Tiddler & Other Terrific Tales

A quartet of children's tales from Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler ('Tiddler', 'Monkey Puzzle', 'The Smartest Giant in Town' and 'A Squash and a Squeeze'), adapted by Scamp Theatre. The show returns to London over the summer.  Ages 3+.

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Leicester Square Theatre Until Sunday August 30 2015

The Gruffalo

This summer brings with it a return for the huge hairy monster that is the Gruffalo, the horned beast from Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's kids books. Tall Stories's loved production pitches up in the West End over the holidays. Follow mouse as he heads through the forest outwitting foxes, owls, snakes and more until he bumps into the Gruffalo. Ages 3-plus.

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Lyric Theatre Until Sunday September 6 2015

Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom

The Bafta-winning animation about a fairy princess in training and her best friend, Ben the Elf, is brought to the stage by the same people who adapted 'Peppa Pig'. Ladybird Gaston's cave gets a makeover and there's a surprise party for King Thistle, with songs and games along the way. Ages 2+.

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Orchard Theatre Tuesday August 11 2015 - Wednesday August 12 2015

The Three Little Pigs

Here's a new family musical with some pop star names to delight the clan. Gareth Gates (remember him?) stars alongside Simon Webbe of Blue and West End musical actors Leanne Jones and Alison Jiear in this show by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe about those three pigs from the fairy tale. In an updating of the huff, puff story, here it's three porkers who become celebrities and have to outwit the big bad wolf. Ages 3-plus.

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Palace Theatre Wednesday August 5 2015 - Sunday September 6 2015
Find more children's theatre in London


Russell M
Russell M

'The English National Ballet School's attempting to get the kids into ballet with this production of 'Swan Lake' - and failing by the looks of it. Having just left my wife and 3 year old son, who travelled 2 hours across London standing at the door having been told the shows cancelled, no email notice, no extra performance being put on, and him asking 'why wont that man let us see the show?'.

A refund has been offered but it's not about the money. As an entry level experience to the ballet for my son this has left a bitter taste for him, and they wonder why kids would rather sit on an xbox or read about Kim Kardashian's hair colour. 

Very very disappointing.