When looking for a suitable show for your children, Lion King London is probably one of the first options that springs to mind. Of course there is no doubt that the Lion King is one of the best long running shows in the West End geared towards children.
The producers for the Lion King allow 3 and over in the auditorium but would actually recommend it for 5 years and above. Also it is a very busy show so it is not always possible to get tickets or afford them.
So if circumstances dictate that the Lion King London show is not an option what other shows are available this coming year for your children during those long holidays? Parents want to keep their children happy and entertained and British weather doesn't allow days on the beach…and if you are catering for more than one child, how to keep the budget down?
Perhaps you have never thought about ballet for your children but this Easter was the opportunity to introduce your children to one of the great arts in a way that is sure to make them fall in love with the ballet and give them a mesmerising afternoon out. The Saddlers Wells Peacock Theatre was showing one of the series of ballets from the English National Ballet - My First Sleeping Beauty. The ballet has been created especially for a family audience and is performed to Tchaikovsky’s lovely waltz-filled score, to transport children to a magical world of castles and curses, forests and fairies.
Another on a budget treat this coming summer is the return of The Tiger Who Came To Tea. Written by beloved author Judith Kerr most famous for her best selling semi autobiographical novel When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, The Tiger Who Came to Tea has been adapted by Britain's most popular writers for childrens plays and musicals, David Wood. His many successes include Shaun the Sheep, Fantastic Mr Fox, The Gingerbread Man, BFG, The Witches, Meg and Mog, Spot and Babe the Sheep Pig. The show is packed with sing-a-long songs and is suitable for 3 years old an upwards. The show will run from 4th July to 2nd September at the Lyric theatre during the day.
A show that will have your kids learning in a fun filled way is the Horrible Histories show on at the Garrick Theatre during the day until 1st September. Called Barmy Britain, the show comedically explores stories from Roman, Tudor, Stuart, Georgian, Victorian and World War I periods and features famous characters such as Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, Guy Fawkes, Florence Nightingale and General Earl Haig. Written by Terry Deary, Horrible Histories - Barmy Britain is adapted from his books by the author himself in collaboration with Neal Foster and Ciaran McConville and has been staged by the Birmingham Stage Company for over 10 years. The show bills itself as leaving "all the gruesome bits in" and is suitable for 6 years and up.
Another perfect attraction for children who like a bit to get scared is the London Dungeon. Live actors, shows, rides and interactive special effects offer a unique experience of real historical events from Jack the Ripper, to the Great Fire of London, torture and the plague and with a couple of scary rides! The attraction is open all year round with late night opening during the summer and is suitable for 4 years and upwards.
If your children are celebrity obsessed why not take them to Madame Tussauds? There they will come face to face to some of the most famous faces in the world. You can attend a premiere party with some of Hollywood's most glamourous stars, attend a pop filled bash and sing with your favourite superstar singers or go in the 'Sport Zone' where winning is everything. Weigh in with Muhammed Ali before beating Rooney and Beckham at their own game. Then practice your putting skills with Tiger Woods before you enjoy the cheers of a roaring crowd as you step up to the podium as a world champion.
If your children insist on a large scale West End show, other alternatives are The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, Wicked, Shrek and Wizard of Oz. Some of these have some great offers on and keep your eyes peeled for Kids Week and theatre doing Olympic special offers to draw in the crowds. So don't panic if it is not possible to get to see Lion King London has plenty more to offer!