Best family friendly shows in London for Christmas 2023

As the festive season twinkles on the horizon, the West End and London prepares to unwrap a glittering array of musicals and shows perfect for family outings this Christmas.

From the timeless classics that have charmed generations to the sparkling new productions that promise to become new favourites, there’s a world of enchantment waiting behind the red curtains. This is the season when the city becomes a stage, and the stages come to life with stories that will lift spirits and warm hearts, no matter the chill outside.

Whether you’re looking to continue a cherished family tradition or create new memories, our curated list of the best family-friendly musicals and shows in London this Christmas will guide you to the perfect theatrical treat.

Peter Pan Panto artwork

Peter Pan

From 9 December 2023 to 14 January 2024 at the London Palladium

Age recommendation: Parental discretion is advised due to innuendo. No under 4s admitted.

Starring Jennifer Saunders, Julian Clary, Rob Madge, Paul Zerdin, Nigel Havers and Gary Wilmot! Back for an eighth season, The London Palladium pantomime is renowned as the most spectacular show staged in the West End with fabulous sets and costumes, jaw-dropping special effects and all the spectacle and magic you'd expect from the UK's biggest panto.

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elf musical london

Elf The Musical

Currently booking to 6 January 2024 at the Dominion Theatre

Age recommendation: Children under the age of 4 cannot be admitted.

ELF is the funny and charming tale of Buddy, who mistakenly crawled into Santa's bag as a baby and was raised as an elf! Way too tall and not so great at his job, Buddy is the North Pole's biggest misfit... and knows he'll never belong. When Santa tells him the truth, Buddy heads to New York to find his birth father who turns out to be quite high on the Naughty List.

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The Snowman

Currently booking to 30 December 2023 at the Peacock Theatre

Age recommendation: 2+

Come with us on a wonderous adventure where we'll meet all my friends - from an enchanted music box to a dancing pineapple. Take flight to the North Pole just in time for our Christmas party where snowpeople from around the world meet penguins, princesses, the fiendish Jack Frost, and of course Father Christmas himself. It might even snow...

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Currently booking to 6 June 2024 at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Age recommendation: For ages 6+. Under 4s will not be admitted.

Based on the hit 2013 Disney movie of the same name, hit West End musical Frozen tells the story of sisters Elsa and Anna as Elsa struggles to control her magical ice powers when she's crowned Queen.

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Peter Pan Goes Wrong title artwork

Peter Pan Goes Wrong

Currently booking to 14 January 2024 at the Lyric Theatre

Age recommendation: 8+

The hit festive comedy from the makers of The Play That Goes Wrong and The Goes Wrong Show on BBC One. The members of the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society are back on stage, battling technical hitches, flying mishaps and cast disputes as they attempt to present J.M Barrie's much-loved tale. But will they ever make it to Neverland

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Cinderella Lyric Hammersmith poster


Currently booking to 6 January 2024 at the Lyric Hammersmith

Age recommendation: 6+

Cinderella is a bonafide boss-lady who runs her own business at Shepherd's Bush Market. One day the most handsome Prince Henry, who dreams of a life less spare, wears a disguise to the Market and falls instantly in love with Cinderella. With the paparazzi in hot pursuit the Prince is forced to flee. And so begins the quest to unite the unlikeliest of likely romances, Cinderella and the hapless Prince

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The Witches artwork

The Witches

Currently booking to 27 January 2024 at the National Theatre

Age recommendation: 8+

The Witches is a rip-roaring musical version of Roald Dahl's timeless tale, filled with wit, daring and heart. With book and lyrics by Olivier Award-winner Lucy Kirkwood, music and lyrics by Tony Award-nominee Dave Malloy, and directed by Lyndsey Turner.

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The Snow Queen artwork

The Snow Queen

Currently booking to 21 January 2024 at the Polka Theatre

Age recommendation: 6-12 and their parents

Come on an unforgettable and thrilling adventure where the strength of friendship is tested to its limits, and nothing is quite what it seems in the fantastical, frosty world of The Snow Queen.

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From 14 December 2023 to 7 January 2024 at the London Coliseum

Age recommendation: Recommended for ages 5 and above.

Over 100 dancers and musicians from English National Ballet bring Nutcracker to life with exquisite dancing, beautiful sets and Tchaikovsky’s popular score played live.

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Night Before Christmas

Currently booking to 14 January 2024 at the Polka Theatre

Age recommendation: 2-6 and their parents

Amber is six and loves reindeer! It's Christmas Eve but Grandad is feeling tired and Amber's favourite snow-globe gets broken. Then her world is turned topsy turvy by a surprise visitor and Amber begins an adventure she will never forget. Join us on a festive journey like no other - after all, on the night before Christmas, anything can happen.

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Clive Rowe in previous production of Mother Goose


Currently booking to 31 December 2023 at the Hackney Empire

Age recommendation: All ages welcome. Children 3 years and under may sit on the lap of an adult, children 4+ require their own ticket.

Directed by and starring Clive Rowe as Widow Twankey, expect an unbelievable cast, incredible costumes, uncontrollable laughter and song and dance numbers that are nothing short of genie-us!

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Peter Pan Title Artwork at Rose Theatre Kingston

Peter Pan

Currently booking to 7 January 2024 at the Rose Theatre Kingston

Age recommendation: Suitable for ages 5+. Younger ages are welcome at parental discretion. All children over the age of 18 months require their own ticket

Chasing his runaway shadow, a mischievous young boy crash lands through an open window and meets a headstrong young girl not yet ready to face growing up. With a sprinkle of fairy dust, they take flight on a whirlwind festive voyage over pirate ships, through mermaid lagoons and into the heart of Neverland.

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L-R Harriet Waters, Maxwell Tyler & Samuel Tracy - - The Gruffalo's Child - Photo Credit Charles Flint (5)

The Gruffalo's Child

Currently booking to 7 January 2024 at the Garrick Theatre

Age recommendation: Recommended for ages 3+.

Stage adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's classic. One wild and windy night the Gruffalo's Child ignores her father's warnings about the Big Bad Mouse and tiptoes out into the deep dark wood. She follows snowy tracks and encounters mysterious creatures - but the Big Bad Mouse doesn't really exist... does he?

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Hansel and Gretel

Hansel and Gretel

From 8 December 2023 to 7 January 2024 at the Globe Theatre

Age recommendation: 5+

A beautifully epic new version of The Brothers Grimm’s fairy tale, Hansel and Gretel, by Poet Laureate Simon Armitage, transforms the Globe Theatre this winter.

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Peppa Pig's Fun Day Out Tickets

Currently booking to 31 December 2023 at the Theatre Royal Haymarket

Age recommendation: Suitable for all ages

Are you ready for a day out full of fun and adventure? Peppa is certainly excited! She's back with her brand new live show Fun Day Out, and it’s going to be an oinktastic adventure! Join Peppa on a special day of activities with George, Mummy Pig, Daddy Pig and all of her best friends

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Theatre Peckham cast of Rapunzel


Currently booking to 24 December 2023 at the Theatre Peckham

Age recommendation: Suitable for all ages.

Join us as we weave and style this enchanting 'hairy-tale' like never before. With a sprinkle of Barnet Magic, Rapunzel and her friends will take you on a journey of self-discovery and overcoming adversity. In a world where material wealth is coveted, this heartwarming story reminds us that true richness comes from within.

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Stick Man production photo

Stick Man

Currently booking to 2 January 2024 at the Leicester Square Theatre

Age recommendation: All ages welcome. Children under 18 months go free

This much-loved adaptation of Julia Donaldson's book from Freckle Productions, the team behind Zog and Zog and the Flying Doctors, features a trio of top actors and is packed full of puppetry, songs, live music and funky moves.

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