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Visiting Theatreland: a family guide

Published 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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