One of the best things to do in London with kids is to go to the theatre. London’s West End in Central London is home to dozens of famous theatres where musicals and plays delight audiences night after night.
But it’s not just West End theatres where you can go to be entertained, there are also theatres dedicated to producing shows just for children as well as performances held in venues including the National Theatre on the Southbank and the Globe Theatre on the bank of the River Thames.
But going to the theatre can be expensive. The good news is that there are a number of ways to get cheap theatre tickets for West End shows. From lotteries and day tickets to the best websites and last-minute ticket booth tickets, this is how you can see the best of London’s west end, including award winning shows, and save money!
Take a look at some of our favourite theatre shows for families here.
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1. Check the official theatre website
Start with the official theatre website first. Some sites – such as Ticketmaster – can add a large booking fee to tickets meaning that they are more expensive. Benchmark the prices direct from the theatre and then use this price to compare best prices elsewhere.
A member of the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers, Theatre Tickets Direct are a trusted sourced for securing great deals and great seats for a whole host of musicals and plays in London from Les Miserables to Grease.
This is good website to check as they often offer exclusive deals for some of London’s most popular shows. They were one of the first websites to sell theatre tickets online and are members of the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers, so they are another good and reputable option. LondonTheatreDirect sell tickets for London musicals, plays, dance performances, operas and comedy shows. They also sell pre-theatre dinner packages.
Theatres want to make sure that seats are filled so they’ll often offer discounts to shows that perhaps aren’t selling as well as some others. Lastminute.com often has special offers for cheap theatre tickets to some of London’s top shows. They also offer meal and show deals, which can be good value.
This is a good website to subscribe to as they often have great deals on theatre tickets; I recently spotted tickets for &Juliet starting at £25.00. They do sell full price tickets as well, however, so make sure to refer back to the theatre website and benchmark prices to ensure no fees have been added.
As well as a website TodayTix* has an app and it’s a great way to find good deals on last minute tickets. They have a huge selection of cheap tickets and discount tickets to a wide variety of shows. Prices depend on how far in advance you book, the show, availability and day seats versus evening performances but you can find great deals here if you’re lucky.
7. Rush Tickets
Rush tickets are day seats that you can purchase via the TodayTix app and really are the best way to get good deals for same day performances. Rush tickets are only available on the TodayTix app at 10am for same day performances. You can set alerts for all the shows that you ant to see with the app and will be notified just before 10am so you can book tickets straightaway to see the show later that day.
Rush tickets are available for some of London’s most popular shows including & Juliet, Mamma Mia!, My Fair Lady, Dear Evan Hansen, the Book of Mormon, Six and Back to the Future among many others and offer fantastic discounts.
8. Time Out London
As well as our very own London with Kids Facebook group, Time Out London is a great way to discover what’s going on in the city. They also offer some good deals on theatre ticket prices. Make sure to check back regularly.
If you are happy to be spontaneous and buy same-day tickets then head down to the Tkts booth in Leicester Square, near the Clocktower Building, where you can find some of the best deals – and best seats – for seeing a West End Show. The non-profit organisation is run by the Society of London Theatre and also has a website where they release new theatre tickets daily.
New on-the-day tickets are available online at 12.01am every day. The booth is open Monday – Saturday from 10.30am – 6pm and from 12pm – 4.30pm on Sundays. It’s worth checking back regularly as they may add more shows, extra tickets and even update prices throughout the day. They sell discounted and full price tickets.
10. Disney’s Magical Mondays
If you want to see the Lion King, Frozen or Beauty and the Beast then you will want to take part in DisneyTickets Magical Mondays.
Every Monday at noon, tickets for participating Disney shows go on sale for that week’s performances for just £25 each. You will have to be quick though as they only release a handful of tickets per show depending on availability and demand. Similarly, you will only be allowed to buy a certain number of tickets: four for Frozen the Musical and two tickets for the Lion King and Beauty and the Beast.
To enter you will need to register an account; make sure to be online ahead of midday with your credit card details handy as these tickets go quickly!
11. Friday Forty for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
If you have a Harry Potter fan in the household then make sure to set an alarm for 12.01am every Friday when you can enter the Friday Forty lottery.
Each Friday the theatre released 40 tickets for every performance priced at £40 (£20 per part) for the following week.
The lottery is run on TodayTix.com (or via their app) and you can enter the lottery at any time between 12.01am and 1.00pm every Friday. The lottery closes at 1pm and winners will be notified between 1pm and 5pm the same day.
12. Hamilton London Lottery
Tickets to see Hamilton in London can be hard to come by. Even harder to find are cheap tickets to see the hit musical! Fortunately there’s a lottery for this west end show too.
Entries for the draw open at 12.01am on Friday and close at 1pm the following Thursday. Each draw is for the chance to buy either one or two Lottery tickets at the discounted price of £10 for any performance the following week.
13. Wicked the Musical Front Row seats
Every Wednesday at 10am, Wicked’s 24 Front Row seats are available online for all performances in the following week (Tuesday-Sunday).
Tickets are £29.50 with no additional fees. Tickets are allocated on a best available basis and can be purchased up to a maximum of 4 per person.
14. Matilda the Musical Lottery
Matilda is one of our favourite musicals in London. To be in with a chance for getting cheap seats to see the show you can enter the lottery. You can get discounted tickets of £25 for every performance Tuesday to Sunday by entering the Lottery (open to UK residents only).
Enter your details online including your preferred performance(s) and you will be entered into a prize draw. If selected, then you will win discounted tickets for one of your selected performance dates.
There’s also the option to receive additional lottery entries by sharing details of the Lottery via social media or answering a short questionnaire. You can only enter the Lottery once every two weeks (max. four entires per person for each Lottery).
Matilda is performed at the Cambridge Theatre in London’s Covent Garden.
15. Mary Poppins Day Tickets
Every day at 10.30am a limited number of £30 Day Tickets are released for performances of Mary Poppins that same day. You can buy a maximum of two tickets when they become available. Make sure to set your alarm to be in with the best chance of getting one of these seats!