Best London Musicals for Children

Despite a plethora of amazing musicals and plays taking residence in London’s West End, it can sometimes be difficult to pinpoint the productions that will appeal to both you and your youngsters! It is also worth noting that babies and toddlers may not even be admitted into some theatres, with a general age limit of 5+ for every West End musical. Holidays such as half terms, Christmas, summer and Easter may throw up the option of a day out in London; below, we pick out our favourite six musicals that will strike the perfect balance between being fun for the little ones and for you!

Booking in advance can often guarantee the best seats for the best prices.

Age Restrictions

Whilst some shows such as The Gruffalo and The Secret Garden allow children of all ages to attend, including babes-in-arms, some theatres operate strict age restrictions that will not permit those under 5 into the auditorium. In all cases, every family member must hold their own ticket. Examples of shows for children with age restrictions include Matilda the Musical (6+) and Aladdin (6+).

Age Recommendations

On the other hand, there are certain productions which provide age recommendations, which are loose guidelines that may help you to decide whether a show is appropriate for your child. Musicals that fit into this bracket include Wicked, Mamma Mia! and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Top 6 Shows to See with Children

Below are our list of London’s top 6 musicals, which are guaranteed to entertain the whole family.

6. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory the Musical

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Sam Mendes’ Olivier Award-winning adaptation of Roald Dahl’s beloved children’s book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory closes early 2017 after a spectacular few years in the West End. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to see this deliciously tasty treat, which makes a transfer to Broadway in the New Year. Following the story of young Charlie Bucket, who wins a golden ticket to attend a tour of Willy Wonka’s magical chocolate factory, this musical has been hailed for its imaginative book, spectacular sets and mesmerising music. Entirely child-friendly, Mendes’ musical will delight both adults and children with its zany humour and toe-tapping routines.

Where: Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Recommended for: Ages 7 and up. Children under the age of 5 will not be admitted.

5. Wicked

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Now playing its 10th year in the West End, Wicked has been entertaining audiences with its spell-binding score and heart-warming story of Elphaba and Glinda. Loosely based on the backstory of The Wizard of Oz, Wicked sees how the two girls go from bitter enemies to best friends, on a journey that changes them both forever. As they discover the dark secrets of Oz, Elphaba and Glinda are forced to confront their deepest fears and embrace who they truly are. With songs that have no doubt been heard in your car, house and all over town, Wicked features the show-stopping “Defying Gravity” and “For Good”.

Where: Apollo Victoria Theatre

Recommended for: Ages 8 and up. Children under the age of 4 will not be admitted.

4. The Lion King

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Running at the Lyceum Theatre since 1999, Disney’s The Lion King remains one of London’s top shows. An electrifying combination of eye-catching costumes, enchanting puppetry and a well-known musical score, this stage adaptation of the classic tale brings to life the beloved characters of Simba, Timon and Pumbaa. Following the same story as the film, the musical includes the famous songs “Circle of Life”, “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”, “Hakuna Matata” and many, many more that will have the whole family dancing in their seats! With a wide range of matinee performances available, The Lion King is the perfect choice for those looking to fill out a day in the big city.

Where: Lyceum Theatre

Recommended for: Ages 6 and up. Children under the age of 3 will not be admitted.

3. Matilda the Musical

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Another Roald Dahl classic that has received a stellar adaptation to the stage, Matilda the Musical is the beloved story of a very little girl with very large powers. Adapted by Dennis Kelly and Tim Minchin, the musical includes an astoundingly memorable score, featuring hit songs such as “When I Grow Up”, “Naughty” and “Revolting Children”. Following little Matilda, who adores to read and tell stories, the musical sees her and her friends attend school with the chokey-loving Miss Trunchbull and the sweet and delicate Miss Honey. Those who loved the 1996 film will find many parallels here, but the Olivier Award-winning set and hugely talented youngsters will have your little ones clamouring to join their nearest amateur theatre group!

Where: Cambridge Theatre

Recommended for: Ages 6 and up. Children under the age of 5 will not be admitted.

2. School of Rock the Musical

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After a smash-hit opening on Broadway, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s adaptation of the 2003 film starring Jack Black wowed audiences and critics alike! School of Rock the Musical is the jaw-dropping new show that follows wannabe rock-star Dewey Finn as he parades as a substitute teacher and discovers he has a very talented cast. Featuring an immensely talented cast of children, School of Rock the Musical includes rebellious numbers such as “You’re in the Band” and “Stick it to the Man”. Don’t be surprised if your children start showing an interest in musical instruments afterwards!

Where: New London Theatre

Recommended for: Ages 7 and up. Children under the age of 5 will not be admitted.

1. Aladdin

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Our first choice musical for your young ones and you is Disney’s mesmerising Aladdin at London’s Prince Edward Theatre. Following the well-known story of a street urchin who discovers a magic lamp and the even more magical Genie inside, this glittering show has been dazzling audiences on the West End since summer began! Guaranteed to capture the hearts of the whole family, Aladdin includes Disney hits such as “One Jump Ahead”, “Friend Like Me” and “A Whole New World”. See the beloved characters of Aladdin, Princess Jasmine and Genie come to life with a bang in this hugely fun musical. Guaranteed to get those toes tapping and smiles all round!

Where: Prince Edward Theatre

Recommended for: Ages 6 and up. Children under the age of 5 will not be admitted.

If you need some handy tips on taking young children to the theatre, make sure you check out our helpful guide, which is sure to answer any questions – from booster seats, age recommendations and the perfect place to sit.

Have you been to any musicals with children and want to recommend a fabulous show? Do you agree with our family-friendly choices? Have your say by using the comment box below!

What do you think?

6 thoughts on “Best London Musicals for Children

  1. Claire says:

    I’m visiting London with my young daughter in October & had hoped to bring her to see ‘Shrek’, as she loves the movie 🙂

    Do you think, if I asked for seats near the rear of the stalls, she would be granted access? She’s almost 4 … &, what’s in a year?! 😉

    She’s quite advanced & knows when she should & shouldn’t be talking (or shouting, as the case may sometimes be!!) so I have full confidence in her ability to sit through the show & enjoy it.

    I understand that there must be age restrictions, but surely the rules can be bent when a Mother is taking full responsibility for her child (not letting him/ her run down the aisles like I’ve often seen, in children much older than 5!!!)

    1. Olivia says:

      Hi Claire – for Shrek the Musical it appears that children under the age of 5 are not allowed into the theatre, so if your daughter is 4 it will probably be a problem! I would call the box office before booking!!

  2. Christine W says:

    “Although there is no particularly strong language or violence in any of
    these shows, it is left to your discretion as to whether you would be
    comfortable taking young children along.”

    I have to disagree with the above statement with regard to Jersey Boys, there is indeed a lot of strong language.

    1. Superdupersally says:

      I don’t think anyone was recommending Jersey Boys as a children’s show at all. I agree that Matilda is a great show for kids. 

  3. Leona says:

    Oh! Great thanks! Coming to London with my 12 year old daughter in half term in a few weeks. It sounds like she will love it! 

  4. lola says:

    it sounds great thanks i will take my 43 bro to these

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