Holidays are coming and that means lots more time entertaining the children! Luckily, London’s theatre’s have got you covered. Here are the 10 best Christmas shows for kids in London this festive season, with a little something to make everyone merry.
When Will Ferrel’s Elf came out in 2003, the film rapidly established itself as a Christmas classic. Now you and the children can experience Buddy’s hilarious festive adventure live on stage in Elf: The Musical at the Dominion Theatre. Based on the film’s story with a merry medley of original songs, the show has been described by The Evening Standard as “a charming evening’s entertainment for children of all ages”. “This is truly the Christmas cake of musicals,” says The Times.
Oh, goody! Peppa Pig is going on a road trip and it’s going to be the best day ever! This Christmas, take your littlest Peppa fans to see Peppa Pig’s Best Day Ever! at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. George, Mummy Pig, and silly old Daddy Pig are along for the ride, which sees the family exploring everything from castles to muddy puddles. The Peppa Pig live show is a Christmas stocking filled with games, songs, and all of your tot’s favourite characters.
You know that feeling when you’ve been up and down chimneys all night delivering presents and drinking eggnog but then you realise you really, really need a wee? No? Well, Father Christmas does and he’s here to tell you all about it in Father Christmas Needs a Wee! at the West End’s Arts Theatre. The Stage calls this wacky and wonderful adaptation of Nicholas Allan’s best-selling book “delightfully entertaining” and “a real hit with the youngsters”. “Not to be missed,” says Primary Times. “A very strong contender for the children’s show award this year.”
Do you wanna build a snowman? Anna and Elsa are back at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane for the magnificent Frozen: The Musical. Based on Disney’s world-famous film, Frozen features all the hit songs your little ones love, from “For The First Time in Forever” to the iconic “Let It Go”. This Christmas, multi-award-winning musical star Samantha Barks takes on the role of Elsa following acclaimed performances in Les Mis, Oliver!, and Pretty Woman: The Musical. Olivier-nominated actor Stephanie McKeon plays Anna and TV star Craig Gallivan plays Olaf. “Big, blinding, breathtaking,” says The Guardian. “A stunning musical extravaganza.”
Darles Chickens’ classic tale gets a southern makeover from the Queen of Country in this new musical. Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Carol reimagines the famous story of Ebeneezer Scrooge and his Christmas ghosts in Tenessee’s Great Smoky Mountains, where the multi-award-winning singer and songwriter spent her own childhood Christmases. Filled with original songs by Dolly Parton herself, this is a sweet and warm take on a quintessential Yuletide story.
If you’d prefer a more classical retelling of A Christmas Carol, look no further than the Old Vic, where renowned writer Jack Thorne breathes festive merriment and joy into Dicken’s story. Known for writing the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child stage show and the His Dark Materials TV adaptation, Thorne turns his magical talent to this uplifting and immersive theatrical experience. Starring Game of Thrones’ Owen Teale as Scrooge, the show has been described as “utterly joyful” by The Evening Standard. “Prepare to be festively dazzled,” says WhatsOnStage.
The Boy and The Snowman are walking in the air once more at Sadler’s Wells’ Peacock Theatre. Now in its 25th year, The Birmingham Repertory Theatre’s spectacular adaptation of Raymond Briggs’ famous picture book is packed with music, dance, and magical storytelling — and receives rave reviews every Christmas. “Sheer theatrical magic,” says The Times. “Go see The Snowman and melt.” “[An] irresistible piece of nostalgia,” says The Sunday Express.
With music that’s been used in festive films, tv shows, and adverts around the world for decades, there’s no tradition more Christmassy than experiencing The Nutcracker live. Now, Tchaikovsky’s ballet is brought to life by the English National Ballet Philarmonic in a show that will dazzle both older and younger children. Watch in awe as more than 100 dancers and musicians recreate this joyful Christmas adventure “on a sparkling Christmas Eve in a frost-dusted Edwardian London”. “A Christmas staple with its corps of shimmering snowflakes, mischievous rat army, and a sprinkling of magic,” says The Stage.
Film and TV star Samantha Womack steps into the iconic role of the White Witch in this breathtaking reimagining of C.S. Lewis’ novel at the Gillian Lynne Theatre. Follow Lucy, Edmund, Peter, and Susan Pevensie as they journey through the wardrobe and into a secret and mystical land. With its sparkling snow-covered landscapes and magical creatures, Narnia is the perfect setting for a Christmas theatre adventure. “Exhilarating production,” says The Guardian. “Spellbinding spectacle and perfect puppetry.” “A theatrical marvel that will delight children aged eight to eighty,” says Broadway World.
Wrap up and grab a hot cocoa for the ultimate Christmas experience at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. Perfect for little kids with big imaginations, The Fir Tree sees The Globe transformed into a hand-crafted forest under the winter stars, where children can meet and make cardboard puppets, sing Christmas carols, and decorate trees — all the while enjoying Hans Christian Andersen’s traditional festive tale.