Britain doesn’t have the strongest track record for correctly predicting the summer weather, so why leave your family day out to the mercy of the elements? A far more trusted (and exciting) way to treat the kids this holiday is to take them to see a breath-taking West End musical; bright lights, magical storylines, larger than life characters and sing-along-songs truly do make for a winning combination. You can sit back, relax and enjoy the awe of the theatre no matter if it’s rain or shine.
Where To Start?
London is home to many theatres and a huge variety of productions. A show which has received much acclaim in the press as one of Britain’s best ever musical productions – and keeps breaking West End box office records – is Billy Elliot. A story about a young boy who finds his calling dancing, the performances take place daily at the Victoria Palace Theatre, London.
If your child is an animal lover then The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre is definitely the show to see. Watch the spellbinding story of the young lion prince Simba and his evil uncle Scar unfold in his plot to kill both Simba and his father, Mufasa, and then announce himself king. The heart wrenching 1994 animated movie is truly brought to life in this production.
Wicked at the Apollo Theatre is the story which will appeal to all the family, young or old. Drawing on Gregory Maguire’s best-selling novel and the iconic movie ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’, you can discover the fantastic story of how green-skinned Elphaba Thropp and the beautiful Galinda Upland came to be called ‘the good’ and the other ‘the wicked’ witches.
Alternatively, the classic love story and firm family favourite Grease is showing at the Piccadilly Theatre. The story follows Sandy, Danny and their gangs, the Burger Palace Boys and Pink Ladies, through their 1950s teenage-rollercoaster life of romance, drive-ins, flashy cars, high school parties, brylcreem and milkshakes – like we needed to remind you!
For the aspiring singer and music mogul, Mamma Mia offers the prime opportunity to sing your heart out as everyone knows the words to this soundtrack! Depicting the wonderful story of a mother, her daughter and three possible dads to the soundtrack of ABBA, Mamma Mia has been described by critics as the ‘ultimate feel-good show’ and has already won the hearts of over 30 million people around the globe.
Don’t forget, of course, the exciting new Shrek The Musical at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.
Cheap Train Fares
Jumping on a train to London is often the simplest and quickest way to travel. Avoid congestion charges, long traffic jams and extortionate parking fees and opt for the scenic option instead. Depending on your train route, Southern Rail offer some great off-peak deals like kids travel for £1 when accompanied by an adult. If there is a large group of you travelling together there is also a ‘Super Group’ deal where up to 10 people can travel off peak together for £20 or less – saving up to £170! Check out the website for more exclusive online offers and full terms and conditions. If you are travelling from further afield, why not check out The Train Line instead.
It’s also an idea to opt for a travel card when purchasing your train ticket as these can be used for London travel within zones 1-6 – perfect of you need to jump on the tube or want to catch some sights whilst bussing round London. Alternatively, pick up an Oyster card from a London train station to gain access to cheaper London travel.
London has an abundance of eateries and plenty of family favourites to keep the kids happy and hunger at bay – from Burger King to Pizza Express. Don’t forget to print off some 2-4-2 restaurant vouchers before you go so you can save pennies for ice cream at the theatre! MoneySavingExpert.com has a section dedicated to these kind of offers so check that out before you leave to familiarise yourself with some of the nearby restaurants and deals.
Last Minute Ticket Deals
Meant to be going to Thorpe Park but it’s raining? Planned a camping trip and the car’s packed in? Don’t fret because there are often heavily discounted tickets available online for such last minute panics. For example, GetMeIn.com have a dedicated section where you can grab bargain tickets for last minute performances even up to a few hours before, meaning you can still enjoy your day.
GetMeIn.com, part of Ticketmaster, also lets you sell tickets to events if you are unable to attend.