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'The Paper Dolls'
Ellie Kuttz 'The Paper Dolls'

Children's theatre in London - the best shows for kids of all ages

From tiny tots to older kids, we've got your next family theatre trip covered.

By Time Out London Theatre

London children’s theatre hasn’t had the best 2020, with none of its dedicated venues scheduled to reopen at time of writing, and the Christmas season a shadow of its usual self. However, a few favourites are back, and shows are generally being announced at much shorter notice than usual, so stay tuned.

It's never to early to introduce kids to the magic of theatre, and London's bursting with shows that'll delight junior audiences. There are gentle puppet shows for babies and toddlers. Rainbow bright, song-stuffed adventures for young kids. Smart dramas that are sure to hold teenagers rapt. And spectacular musicals that'll get the whole family on side.

Our kids’ theatre page normally contains information for children’s shows running in London theatres this month and next month, and is broken down into three categories.

Theatre for all the family is suitable for any age, including adults without children.

Theatre for older children is specifically aimed at school-age children and teenagers.

Theatre for babies, pre-schoolers and younger children does what the title suggests, and also includes shows suitable for younger school-age children.


Theatre for all the family

A Christmas Carol, Bridge Theatre, 2020
Photo by Bridge Theatre

A Christmas Carol (Bridge)

Theatre Drama Bridge Theatre, Tower Bridge

The Bridge Theatre’s three-hander ‘A Christmas Carol’ starring Simon Russell Beale, Patsy Ferran and Eben Figueiredo is suitable for ages six-plus.

 Christmas Carol, Dominion Theatre, 2020
Photo by A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol (Dominion)

Theatre Musicals Dominion Theatre, Bloomsbury

This musical version of ‘A Christmas Carol’ starring Brian Conley is suitable for ages five-plus. The morning matinees skip the interval and run at 90 minutes only.

'The Gruffalo's Child' at Lyric Theatre
© Toby Mitchell

The Gruffalo's Child

Theatre Children's Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Palace

Tall Stories' musical adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's award-winning sequel to 'The Gruffalo' is packed with inventive storytelling, energy and furry jumpsuits from the cast of three. It winters at a socially-distanced Ally Pally for 2020. Ages three-plus.

The Nutcracker, Royal Opera House, 2020
Photo by Tristram Kenton

The Nutcracker(s)

Tchaikovsky’s classic ballet is the definition of family-friendly entertainment and London’s getting three major versions this Christmas: the Royal Ballet (Royal Opera House), Birmingham Royal Ballet (Royal Albert Hall) and English National Ballet (London Coliseum).

'Stick Man'
© Steve Ullathorne

Stick Man

Theatre Off-West End Rose Theatre Kingston, Kingston

This popular and long-running adaptation of Julia Donaldson's book returns for a socially-distanced Christmas run in 2020.

See more recommended family shows

New theatre this month

Top 10 theatre openings this month


London's theatre calendars are flooded with acclaimed shows, big names and hotshot directors, and there's no way anyone can see them all. As a starting point, the Time Out theatre team have picked ten shows opening in London this month that you won't regret booking for.


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