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Circus 1903, Royal Festival Hall, 2018

Family Christmas shows in London 2021

Make Christmas even more magical with these all-ages shows that the whole family can enjoy

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Time Out London Theatre
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As the wintry nights draw in, get a cosy festive glow at one of London’s many joyful kid-friendly Christmas shows, whether you’ve got your inner child or actual children in tow. Traditionally, the first port of call for anyone who wants to keep grannies, dads and toddlers on side is visit to the pantomime: if that’s what you're after, check out our comprehensive guide to the best pantos across London. But there plenty of other ways to keep everyone aged one to 101 entertained with a Christmassy theatre trip.

From the fringe to the West End, London’s theatre scene is bursting with family-friendly shows that are bright and silly enough to delight kids, while offering enough wit, subtlety and festive nostalgia to satisfy adults too. Whether you’re after an all-singing, all-dancing musical spectacular, an adaptation of a much-loved children’s classic, or a thrilling circus adventure, London’s theatres have got you (and your family) covered. Here’s our guide to planning the perfect family theatre trip this festive season.   

We’ll be updating this page as more shows are announced. 

Are you after a show that's squarely aimed at kids? Check out our full guide to children’s Christmas shows in London.

Family Christmas shows in London

  • Theatre
  • Drama
  • Tower Bridge

Bryony Lavery adapts Philip Pullman’s ‘La Belle Sauvage’, which serves as a prequel to ‘His Dark Materials’, and follows the very early adventures of a six-month-old Lyra Belacqua, as two young people – Malcolm and Alice – find themselves tasked with keeping the infant safe as they flee the malevolent forces of the Magisterium on the eponymous boat.

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  • Theatre
  • Drama
  • Finsbury Park

If you’re looking for an alternative to endless productions of ‘A Christmas Carol’ this season – but not too alternative – then how about Alexander Knott’s reworking of the Dickens classic, which sees Ebeneezer Scrooge’s put upon clerk Bob Cratchit take his turn to be visited by a trio of spirits. 

  • Theatre
  • Drama
  • Wapping

Kids’ author Piers Torday continues his recent tradition of penning the Wilton’s Christmas show with the first-ever stage version of Elizabeth Gaskell’s classic Victorian ghost story ‘The Old Nurse’s Tale’. 

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Circus 1903
  • Theatre
  • Circuses
  • South Bank

We’re in a mini golden age of contemporary circus, with companies like Circa and Gandini Juggling injecting wit, ice-cool aesthetics and even (gasp!) feminism into a centuries-old genre. There’s none of that nonsense in this uber-trad homage to Barnum & Bailey-era,‘The Greatest Showman’-style spectacle…

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  • Theatre
  • Drama
  • Finsbury Park

If you’re looking for an alternative to endless productions of ‘A Christmas Carol’ this season – but not too alternative – then how about Alexander Knott’s reworking of the Dickens classic, which sees Ebeneezer Scrooge’s put upon clerk Bob Cratchit take his turn to be visited by a trio of spirits.

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  • Theatre
  • Children's
  • South Bank

Wrap up warm! The sole outdoor show in the Globe’s winter season is Hannah Khalil’s ‘The Fir Tree’, a stage adaptation of Han Christian Andersen’s fairy tale, which tells the story of a family’s festive season from the perspective of their Christmas tree.

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  • Theatre
  • Musicals
  • South Bank

The National Theatre’s first big musical of the pandemic era is ‘Hex’, an all-singing adaptation of the Sleeping Beauty myth.

  • Theatre
  • Drama
  • Charing Cross Road

This spectacular puppet-driven stage adaptation of Yann Martel’s bestselling novel was a massive success when it premiered in Sheffield in 2019…

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The Snowman
  • Theatre
  • Children's
  • Holborn

Enchanting long-running stage version of the Raymond Briggs festive classic.

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