London’s top summer shows for children

With a mass exodus from London, there are some lovely treats on offer for those families staying put this August. Here’s our pick of what’s on at the theatre including savings on shows and pre-theatre bites:

Best for a bargain on Big Shows: Kids Week

Confusingly called Kids ‘Week’ despite running for the whole of August, this brilliant scheme is back. Children under 16 can go to the theatre for free when accompanied by a full paying adult this August, and you can also buy up to two extra children’s tickets for half price. Our top tips are as follows; for under 5’s there’s the musical puppet show Where is Peter Rabbit? at Haymarket, Theatre Royal. For slightly older children there’s the fourth part in the sell-out Horrible Histories series, Barmy Britain at the Apollo. For ages 8+ Agatha Christie’s classic whodunnit, Mousetrap is at St Martin’s Lane theatre, and teens will jump out of their seats at the West End classic, The Woman in Black. Book here.

Best for a magical experience: Puppet Theatre Barge

The puppet theatre barge has been going for donkey’s years but remains one of London’s most magical experiences for small children. Walk down the gangplank and board the old barge which moors in Little Venice during the winter and Richmond in the summer months. There’s The Three Little Pigs (30 July – 11 August) for ages 3-8 and then The Insect Circus arrives on 14 August, where visiting company, Sting Theatre will perform an immersive show with their beautiful beetle, grasshopper, wasp and dragonfly marionettes. Ages 3+ the show runs until October. £13 adults, £9 children.

Best for little ones: The Very Hungry Caterpillar at the Troubadour White City

Who doesn’t love The Very Hungry Caterpillar? First published in 1969, Eric Carle’s children’s book is beloved by all, so catch this special 50th anniversary show as it arrives in Shepherd’s Bush for a limited 4-week run at the newly-opened Troubadour Theatre in White City. The show includes a new line up of stories for 2019 brought to life with colourful puppets. 7 August – 1 September, tickets from £17 at

Best for school-age children: Braniac Live at the Garrick

Credit: Anna Kucera

Expect exploding dustbins, combusting microwaves, spinning chairs, stunts and mad experiments at this live science show that’s based on the hit TV program. For ages 6+ the show will be at the Garrick for August only so snap up tickets whilst you can, tickets from £17.

Best for Teens: Adrian Mole the musical at the Ambassadors Theatre

Wind back the clock to the 1980’s where Adrian Mole (aged 13 and ¾) sits on his bed in Ashby-de-la-Zouch scribbling teenage angst into his diary. The scene has changed – enter iPhones, Love Island and Instagram – but there’s the timeless teenage troubles of spots, the state of the world and spats with girlfriend, Pandora that make this story endlessly appealing – both for a new generation as well as for nostalgic parents. Until 28 September, tickets from £15

Best for pre-theatre dining: Kids eat free at Café Murano, Covent Garden

From 1st August children eat free at Angela Hartnett’s Café Murano in Covent Garden. Running just for the holidays, the menu includes chicken Milanese, fresh pastas and sauces, and ice cream for pud. Mon-Sat only, book ahead.

London's top summer shows for children
Summer 2019
— Daisy Allsup
30th July 2019

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