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Visiting Theatreland: a family guide

First Published 29 July 2016, Last Updated 29 July 2016

 

School’s out, and London’s Theatreland has got plenty to offer families this summer. To help you plan, we’ve pulled together this handy guide to help you make the most of a trip to a show.  

What’s on

Take advantage of Kids Week, the promotion that enables children to go to the theatre for free throughout August. The deal is simple; for every full paying adult, one child aged 16 or under goes for free, and a further two can go for half price. To save you even more money, there are no booking, postage or transaction fees.
Plus, Kids Week ticket holders can access fabulous ‘Kids Eat Free’ deals at our partner restaurants, perfect for a pre-show meal, or take in the unbelievable sights at Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! London.

There are more than 35 shows taking part, so there is something to suit all ages, from The Gruffalo and The Tiger Who Came To Tea for little ones, to Kinky Boots, Jersey Boys and Sunny Afternoon for teens.

Our top tips

How To Get There
Check out our interactive map to see the exact locations of theatres, along with the nearest buses and tubes.

What To Do Beforehand
We’ve teamed up with TKTS, the Official London Theatre ticket booth, and created a Theatreland Trail to take you on a clue-filled adventure around the West End.  Pick up your free trail sheet from the booth itself, or download it from the TKTS website.

What If I Want More? 
Explore the extraordinary story of the world’s two greatest theatrical cities, London’s West End and New York’s Broadway at the Curtain Up exhibition. This free exhibition is on at the V&A until 31 August before transferring to the New York Public Library.

Impulse Day
If there’s an unexpected rainy day and you want to shelter in a theatre, be sure to pop along to TKTS in Leicester Square to get great on the day tickets.

For even more ideas on things to do pre and post show in the capital take a look at our summer suggestions.  

We asked our Kids Week Facebook community for their suggestions on how to make the most of a trip to London theatre:

When doing it for the first time explain to them that it’s a story on stage, with real people dressed up. Also explain that the lights will be turned out & it gets dark as this can freak them out the first time!” – Sheila Malone

If you are travelling in via Kings Cross or Euston look up Corams Field for a great play area for kids nearby…plenty of picnic space” – Jo Grant

Before watching Charlie last year we caught the tube to Greenwich then took the cable car (just a regular return – had change from a tenner for 3 of us), ate our picnic on the beach at Greenwich then cable car back and caught Thames Clipper to Embankment. Great journey up the Thames, perfect for seeing the sights and again a reasonable price.” – Caroline Carter

Have a pound coin available and use the opera glasses provided on the back of the theatre seats to see the sets and costumes in close up if you’re not in the front of the stalls.” – Debra Power

We are seeing Wicked so going to get into London mid-morning, have lunch in St.James park (weather permitting) then show the girls Buckingham palace on the walk to the Apollo. They are convinced the Queen will give them a royal wave” – Catherine Watling

To stay up to date with lots of family-friendly theatre offers, news and competitions throughout the year, sign up to our Family Bulletin. Don’t worry, we won’t give your details to anyone else.

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If you click through to seat selection (where you'll see either best available or a seating plan), you will be seeing the most up-to-date prices. If this differs from what we've written on the calendar, please bear with us, as those prices will update soon.

We now sell our famous TKTS Booth discounts online here at Official London Theatre.

We are now cancelling all performances up until and including 31 May 2020 to help us process existing bookings whilst we wait for further clarity from the government in terms of when we will be able to reopen.

We are so sorry that in these testing and difficult times you are not able to enjoy the show you have booked for and hope the following helps clarify next steps in respect of your tickets .

There is nothing that you need to do if your performance has been cancelled, but we do ask for your patience.

If you have booked directly with the theatre or show website for an affected performance, please be assured that they will contact you directly to arrange an exchange for a later date, a credit note/voucher or a refund. If you have booked via a ticket agent they will also be in contact with you directly.

We are processing in strict date order of performance, so you are likely to be contacted after the date you were due to go to the theatre. However, we want to reassure you that you will be contacted, and your order will be processed, but please do bear with us.

We’d like to thank everyone who has been patient and kind in dealing with their ticket providers so far and we are sorry that we cannot process your order as quickly as we would like.

Please do not contact your credit card company as that will slow the process down and put an additional burden on our box office and ticket agent teams.

In order for us to serve our audiences the best we can, please do not get in touch with your point of sale if you have booked for performances after 31 May. Please be reassured that if we have to cancel future performances you will be directly contacted by your theatre or ticket provider. Our producers continue to plan for all eventualities dependent on the individual needs of their shows and we will provide further updates on specific shows as and when they become available.

We look forward to welcoming you back into our theatres as soon as we are allowed to resume performances. In the meantime stay safe and healthy.

While theatres are currently closed, various venues and productions are making announcements for their individual shows, including cancellations and rescheduled performances. Please check with the individual shows for details.