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London musical with kids - would you?(32 Posts)
I’m a huge musical fan and would love my kids to experience it too. Dh isn’t fussed either way. We’re having a very short notice trip to London this weekend as my dsis has asked if we’d house sit for her as she had to work abroad. Dc’s are real country bumpkins and will almost certainly be thrilled just to play going around on the underground train all weekend but I’d really like to take us to a musical.
Dc’s are 7 and nearly 4 and I was thinking of taking them to see Lion King. The cheapest tickets I can find would still cost £240 for all 4 of us to go though. I can afford it but it would be a big treat and do you think it’s worth it? That would be for seats right at the back of the matinee performance.
Should I do it just for myself and ds1? Are there any other shows that anyone would recommend as an alternative?
We probably won’t t have another chance to stay in London for free for another couple of years so I’d really like to make the most of it. The other things we’re planning to do was NHM/ Science Museum, Tower of London and the Pokemon shop for obsessed dc1. Suggestions gratefully received. Not really interested in zoo or parks as got lots of that sttuff round here
7 maybe. Not 4 though. But then my twins are 3 and disabled and I really have no idea if a typical 4 year old would manage that or be bored. I’d probably wait a few years. For my 12th birthday my mum took me to London to see two musicals. We got the cheapest tickets and stayed in the grungiest hotel you’ve ever seen, but it’s one of my best memories with her.
I took my 4 year old last year to Lion King and she loved it so much we have gone again this year for her birthday treat. We had great seats in the front stalls though and I always feel it's not worth going if you don't have a good view. Check theatre monkey for opinions on the seats you intend on booking as even the cheapest seats are still expensive! I would say Lion King is the best musical in London for that age range.
Covent garden is right next door so you can explore the piazza and any street performers. As you say they like trains, there's the London Transport museum and a great ice -cream shop called Milk Train, it serves ice cream wrapped in a cloud of candy floss. Magical for children!
The Science museum has a space on the top floor called Wonderlab which is fab, lots of activities to do. Also check if there are any galleries/exhibitions on that you would like to see!
Not sure about the lion king, took dd when she was about 6 and she cried and didn't like it!
Has the snowman started yet? That's usually on at the Peacock Theatre, tickets are cheaper and its the kind of show that's full of kids making a noise and getting up to have a dance!
4 is a bit young for Lion King IMO. They will get something out of it, but possibly not enough to justify over £100 (including your DH's ticket). I'd be inclined to just take DC1 and send DC2 with DH to the kids bit of the Science Museum, in the basement. Or find a show designed for younger kids, there's quite often some good stuff on at not West End prices.
We like a meandering walk along the South Bank: Globe, Cutty Sark, street performers, probably a Christmas market by now. Then over the wibbly wobbly bridge to the corresponding part of the North Bank: St Paul's, medieval City, Tower of London (via bus/tube).
NHM is good, but will have horrendous queues at the weekend. The ice rink is there at the moment, so at least you get to watch that whilst queuing!
As a pp said, the area around Covent Garden, Leicester Square etc. is also nice for a wander.
British Museum is by far our favourite, although it is always busy. They have lots of dressing up and craft activities.
I took my 4 or 5 year old to see Matilda Xbox she loved it. We've seen wicked a few times. She's now 7 though. Can your 4 year old easily sit through a movie at the cinema? If so they would probably be fine. If not I'd just take the 7 year old.
Fink that's quite a walk - the Cutty Sark isn't on the Southbank
We took our five year old DGD to see Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. We bought her a book of the story and downloaded the soundtrack to listen to in the car, so she was very familiar with it. We also took ear defenders as she doesn't like loud noises. She loved it!
Wait for January or Kidsweek with free or reduced price tickets for kids. You can register for notifications.
I’d love to lizs but we only have dsis’s flat this weekend. I think I’ll just take dc1 for the evening performance. Dc2 will be shattered by then anyway so he can stay at the flat with dh.
D'oh, sorry nancy75, you're right. I meant the Golden Hinde. Though the Cutty Sark is also nice, it just it's a bit of a trek!
Also Borough Market around there. Nice for the sights and smells. And free tasting!
Four and TWO year old grand kids LOVED the Lion King!
Don't bother with the Pokemon shop! We tried it a week ago and the queues were seven hours long (and that was when we arrived at 6.45am. When we arrived at lunchtime the day before, the queues were already closed for the day).
Wonder Lab at the Science Museum is brilliant.
We took our 5 year old to see Cats in London. He loved it (he was only just turned 5). He still talks about it now, 5 years later!
We've been taking DD since she was 3, we go once or twice a year and she loves it. Just make sure she has eaten and has snacks and you've maybe seen the film with her before hand as I think it's easier for them to follow on stage if they have an idea of what is going on.
The best thing I've ever seen was DD when the carpet started to fly in Aladdin, she was sitting on DH's lap at the time and I thought she was going to pee herself.
I would take ds1 & get dh to take ds2 to the transport museum - just round the corner & you can meet up afterwards.
I did this earlier in the year with dd1 turning 8 & dd2 4. Worked really well. Have a nice dinner or go on London Eye with the money you've saved.
Also check if Christmas lights have been switched on & sit on the top deck of bus up Regents St & along Oxford St.
The transport museum is highly over rated.
The nearly four will be fine at the show.
It's why my DC have never been. Personally, I'd rather not go than be right at the back of most London theaters. I received tickets for a show as a gift recently, a ridiculously expensive gift. Maybe the show just wasn't very good but I didn't feel you got any of the musical atmosphere up in the gods.
I'd hate to spend that much on a family treat only for it to be disappointing.
Pokemon Shop is mad queues. Don’t even try it on a weekend break.
I don't think it's fair on those around you. So no
I don’t think a lot of theatres accept under 5s but perhaps they don’t enforce it very vigorously. I wouldn’t want to sit next to a wriggly chatty 3 year old if I’d sprung a lot of money for tickets. ( other than those designed for smalls obviously). In response to a PP not the OP. I’ve seen Lion King, the Snowman and Mathilda and all were good although the Snowman is a ballet production so no talking ( if I recall correctly). There’s usually a production of the Stickman or Gruffalo on which are very sweet but probably not what you have in mind. Hard to say without knowing your child whether the youngest will sit through it or not. I got my Mathilda tickets through Today Tix app and paid £28 each for an Friday evening for seats at the back of the dress circle - but that theatre is not big.
Oh god I didn’t realise there would be crazy queues for the Pokemon shop, that’s the main reason we’re going.
And it’s shut from Friday . Ds is going to be heartbroken. Do you think I could pass the Pokemon section of Hamleys off as the Pokemon shop?