Top tips for taking children to the theatre for the first time
Taking children to the theatre for their first time may be an exciting prospect, but it can also be a daunting one. To make sure your trip goes as smoothly as possible, follow our tips to make sure your trip is the best it can be and you’ll go to the theatre time and time again!
Taking children to the theatre
Pick a show that your children would love to see
With many shows showing in London, it can often seem like there’s too much choice. However, there are plenty of West End shows filled with lovable characters from classic children’s films. Take the kids on an exciting trip to Mary Poppins, a family-friendly show guaranteed to keep younger audiences engaged and entertained.
During the school holidays, there are often productions that take place during the day at West End theatres. A theatre’s stage may be shared by two different productions, especially during busy periods like half term and Christmas. For example, The Tiger Who Came To Tea will be performed at the Theatre Royal Haymarket during the day, but in the evening, it’s the West End home of Only Fools and Horses: The Musical.
Our collection of family-friendly shows are bound to inspire any trip to the West End when you’re taking young ones. There really is something for everyone with our great line up of family theatre.
Where should I sit in the theatre?
You can buy a ticket for a seat as close to the action as you want, but if you think that you’re going to be getting out of your seat regularly, booking an aisle seat may be best. Doing this, you’ll be able to get in and out of the theatre while disturbing fewer people than if you were in the middle of a row.
When booking a ticket with us, you’ll be able to see seating plans, so you can be confident you’re booking the best seat available for you and your children.
Follow age recommendations and age restrictions
Many family-friendly shows in the West End and productions have age recommendations. These aren’t set in stone and act as a guide for how old audience members should be. While these don’t always need to be followed strictly, shows set age recommendations with everyone in the audience in mind. These recommendations act much like certificates for films, but also give you a sense of whether your child will understand the plot of the show.
Age restrictions must be followed and children who are younger than the age restrictions may not be allowed into the venue. Some productions do not have an age restriction, but children must be at least three-years-old to be admitted into The Lion King. It’s good to check out the age restrictions and age recommendations before you choose what show to buy tickets for.
Check out a complete list of age restrictions for West End shows here.
Head to a matinee performance
If you’re wanting to take your children to the theatre and get them home in time for tea, why not book tickets for an afternoon performance? With our complete list of West End productions with weekday matinees, you’ll be able to explore the very best of London’s theatre scene without having to worry about the last train home.
Get the children excited before the show!
If the show you are going to has a soundtrack, then why not play it in the car before you go to see it? This is a great way to get children familiar with the show without overloading too much information. If there’s a storybook of the show, it could be a fun way to get to know the story with younger ones before seeing the show in front of their eyes.
Don’t worry about telling the story of the show to children. Family-friendly shows will be both spectacular, and easy to understand.
What should I do before the show?
Before the show, make sure that you arrive to the theatre with plenty of time to get comfortable. If you have pushchairs, the theatre will have space to store your pushchair. There are ways to make your trip even more comfortable: If your children cannot see the stage from their seat, make sure to ask a theatre usher if there are booster seats or cushions available so they have a clearer view of the stage. If you’re sitting further away from the action, it may be worth paying for the binoculars in front of your seat to catch all the action.
What should I do during the show?
The magic of going to the theatre is sharing those wow moments together when you see an incredible performance. If there is an interval, talk about the characters, the music and what you think might happen next. Let both of your imaginations run wild as you come up with storylines and what you think of the characters to really immerse them in the world of theatre.
Some productions offer relaxed performances. During these performances, the house lights often stay up, loud noises are made quieter and there’s sometimes a chillout area to sit in if the show and going to the theatre is overwhelming. To find out dates of relaxed performances for specific productions, contact us directly and we’ll be able to tell you when the next relaxed performances are happening so you can go to a performance that will suit your needs.
What should I do after the show?
Take your time! There’s no need to rush out of the theatre. With a children’s show, it’s likely that there’ll be hundreds of children with their families so don’t try to beat everyone in the crowd.
Why not plan your day with more than just your trip to the theatre either. With our long list of attractions, your London adventures don’t have to stop at the theatre, so take advantage of everything there is to see and do. There’s plenty of attractions to visit in London, so why not make the most of your day trip to the capital with these incredible places.