If you’re anything like me, and love the theatre, you will be missing it since becoming a parent. And you’ll want to encourage your little one to love it as much as you so you can start going together once they are old enough. Unfortunately West End theatres do not allow babes in arms, but there are many child friendly theatres you can attend.

See the theatre posts here.

Polka Theatre 240 The Broadway, Wimbledon, London, SW19 1SB

Dedicated children’s theatre, with shows for different age ranges. Under ones are free. It has family friendly cafe and playground.

Unicorn Theatre 147 Tooley Street, London SE1 2HZ

A dedicated children’s theatre. Babies are free to performances aimed at over 18months, but there are shows specifically for babies with sensory aspects. There is a cafe and living room area with toys and books. 

Little Angel Theatre 14 Dagmar Passage ,Off Cross Street, Islington, N1 2DN

Puppet theatre performing a wide range of family friendly shows. Baby friendly performances can be booked by telephone, there are often the early performances at weekends.

Lyric Hammersmith Theatre Lyric Square, King St, London W6 0QL

Offers many children’s matinees for about 3 + years. Allows babes in arms.

Puppet Barge Little Venice

As the name states, puppet theatre on a barge. Babes in arms allowed but must be removed if noisy (which is common sense everywhere but specifically stated here).

Pleasance Theatre Carpenters Mews, North Road, London, N7 9EF

From time to time, the Plesance Theatre have children’s shows. It may seem inaccessible with pushchairs but there is a bell at the bottom of the stairs to call for help.

Artsdepot 5 Nether Street Tally Ho Corner North Finchley London N12 0GA

This is a great family friendly venue for both theatre and baby classes. It has soft play in the family friendly cafe also. Many of the touring children’s performance companies come here.

London Coliseum St Martin’s Lane, London, WC2N 4ES

There are family friendly performances of the ballets where children of all ages are admitted. These are not advertised on the website so call the box office to book tickets.

Half Moon Young People’s Theatre 43 White Horse Road, London E1 0ND

Wide range of shows for children, under ones are free. Many shows are specifically for babies and under threes. There are picnic tables where you can take your own food and drink.

Colour House Theatre Merton Abbey Mills, Watermill Way, London SW19 2RD

A wide range of children’s shows 3+ and can organise children’s parties in the theatre.

Hackney Empire

Hackney Children’s Theatre

Extra info:

Babies are usually free at the theatres that allow them unless the show is specifically for their age group. When buying tickets for older children, many West End shows are suitable for 8+, there are two good money saving schemes. Get into London Theatre in Jan/Feb, and Kids’ week in August.

Where babies are allowed, the venue usually sets up a buggy park for during the performance. Some venues use their cloakroom and some use foyer space so take your valuables with you.

For older children, some venues provide booster seats but have limited numbers. Some venues charge for this service.

Many theatres have family friendly pantomines and Christmas/winter themed shows in the Christmas period, these are excellent entertainment for the whole family so check your local theatre to see what’s on.