Behind you!  What do you mean, Christmas?  The schools have only just gone back!  Now is the time to start thinking about which of the London Christmas Shows 2018 you want to see.  To help you on your way I have list of shows that have caught my eye.


  • WHERE: Wilton’s Music Hall
  • WHEN: 30 November 2018 – 5 January 2019
  • AGES: 7+
  • PRICE: £12.50 – £30

John Masefield’s book about a young boys battle to possess a magical box returns to the equally magical Wilton’s Music Hall.  Expect wolves, magicians and magical adventures, as the Box of Delights weaves its spell.


Circus 1903
  • WHERE: Royal Festival Hall
  • WHEN: 19 December 2018 – 5 January 2018
  • AGES: 3+
  • PRICE: £25 – £99.50

Larger than life elephants, bought to life by the War Horse puppeteers join a cast of acrobats, jugglers, trapeze artistes and contortionists to retreat the Golden Age of Circus. Circus 1903 promises to bring the glamour of the golden age of Circus to the Southbank.


  • WHERE: The Old Vic
  • WHEN: 27 November 2018 – 19 January 2019
  • AGES: 8+
  • PRICE: £12 – £67.50

Charles Dickens’ classic tale is bought to the stage at the Old Vic.  This is the show that we saw last Christmas, it was by far the best version of A Christmas Carol that I have seen (and there have been a lot over the years).  This year Stephen Tomkinson takes the part of Scrooge.  Click here if you’d like to read more of my review of A Christmas Carol.


Nutcracker English National Ballet
  • WHERE: Royal Opera House
  • WHEN: 3 December 2018 – 15 January 2019
  • AGES: 5+
  • PRICE: £5 – 125 (Family tickets can be bought with half price for children)
  • WHERE: London Coliseum
  • WHEN: 13 December 2018 – 30 December 2018
  • AGES: 5+
  • PRICE: £14 – £80

So popular is the Nutcracker that Tchaikovsky’s Sugar Plum fairies twinkly their way across two London stages this Christmas.  Over the year’s we have  seen both and loved them both, its up to you as to whether you want to revel in the opulence of the Royal Opera House or the grandeur of the London Colesium.


  • WHERE: Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue
  • WHEN: 23 November 2018 – 13 January 2019
  • AGES: 3+
  • PRICE: £15 – £29.40

Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s story book is bought to live on the stage of the Lyric.  We spent hours reading and re reading Room on the Broom when the teens were tiny.  Does anybody have a tiny that I could borrow to take to see this?


Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake
  • WHERE: Sadlers Wells Theatre
  • WHEN: 4 December 2018 – 27 January 2019
  • AGES: 
  • PRICE: 

Tchaikovsky is the man for a Christmas ballet.  Matthew Bourne’s take on Swan Lake is a stunner.  If you think that pretty swans pirouetting across the stage is for girls think again, in this version all the swans are muscular men.  A ballet for boys (and girls) my teens loved it.


Snowman Birmingham Repoertory

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas unless the Snowman was playing at the Peacock Theatre.  For the last 20 years Raymond Briggs’ tale of a boy and a magical snowman has taken up residence at the Peacock.  When the teens were younger we loved the Snowman.

  • WHERE: Peacock Theatre
  • WHEN: 22 November 2018 – 6 January 2019
  • AGES: 5+
  • PRICE: £15 – £38


  • WHERE: London Palladium
  • WHEN: 8 December 2018 – 13 January 2019
  • AGES: 3+
  • PRICE: £20 – £149.50

Snow White is a good old fashioned star studded Pantomime. Dawn French, Julian Clary, Nigel Havers, Paul Zerdin, Gary Wilmot and Vincent & Flavia from Strictly will twinkle and sparkle all Christmas long.

So which of the London Christmas Shows 2018 do you think that you will see this year?  We have tickets for Hamilton that I booked aeons ago, not Christmassy but …… that’s what the teens asked for.

London Christmas Shows 2018
Suitcases and Sandcastles

Have Kids Can Travel City Tripping travel linky



  1. Trish @ Mum's Gone To
    September 7, 2018 / 1:42 pm

    I remember taking my boy to see The Snowman when he was about three. Amazing to know it’s still going strong. I quite fancy a ballet although Hamilton would be superb (still not seen it – let me know what you think.)

    • Catherine
      September 7, 2018 / 1:46 pm

      Will do, I was there hovering over the computer waiting for the moment that the booking window opened!

  2. September 7, 2018 / 3:32 pm

    Here we are already! Christmas Countdown begins. Wanted to see Box of Delights last year, so pleased it’s on again this year. These all look delightful, although I will give ‘The Snowman’ a miss. Never been able to cope with that song! You know the one. #culturedkids

  3. September 7, 2018 / 5:27 pm

    ooh, I saw The Nutcracker in San Francisco for the first time a couple of years ago and absolutely loved it! I like the idea of Swan Lake too. #culturedkids

  4. Funnily enough I was wondering earlier today whether it was too early to share a post of mine about Christmas theatre ๐Ÿ˜… London has amazing theatre! I think if I lived there I’d be going to all of these! I particularly like the look of Circus 1903. Those puppets are just unbelievable, aren’t they? ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

    • Catherine
      September 7, 2018 / 8:13 pm

      I am really tempted by Circus 1903

  5. September 7, 2018 / 10:53 pm

    Thanks for this inspiration! I like the look of Circus 1903, will go and investigate…

    • Catherine
      September 7, 2018 / 11:05 pm

      It is very tempting…..

  6. September 8, 2018 / 12:02 pm

    Thanks for this inspiring post. I have been wanting to see Nutcraker for a while. Now I want to see all of them. ๐Ÿ˜„. #culturekids

    • Catherine
      September 10, 2018 / 8:57 pm

      You could do a different show for each of the twelve days of Christmas?

      • September 13, 2018 / 9:56 pm

        I would love too ๐Ÿ˜„

  7. September 8, 2018 / 1:20 pm

    I am so not ready to think about Christmas yet, haha! We have to take on Halloween and Thanksgiving here first. In all seriousness, though, I would be most interested to take my kids to the classics like The Nutcracker and A Christmas Carol. But the others sound fun, too. #CulturedKids

    • Catherine
      September 10, 2018 / 8:56 pm

      I get the Christmas tickets and then block my mind to all things Christmas until December!

  8. September 8, 2018 / 6:27 pm

    A London Christmas trip sounds perfect actually. Taking our kids to see the Christmas Carol would be perfect. My daughter always performs in her dance studio’s Nutcracker yearly and loves it.

    • Catherine
      September 10, 2018 / 8:53 pm

      A Christmas Carol was just fantastic last year

  9. September 8, 2018 / 9:24 pm

    Ah wow Catherine, you got us inspired and Xmas research sorted in September, that is so cool! I took my 4 years old &mum to the Nutcracker at RAH last year and we all loved it, I am dreaming about MATTHEW BOURNEโ€™S SWAN LAKE for ages! You reckon a 5 years old would like it – or stay through it? X

    • Catherine
      September 10, 2018 / 8:53 pm

      Depends on the 5 year old but I would opt for Room on the Broom at that age

  10. September 10, 2018 / 9:59 am

    I’d like to take my son to see A Christmas Carol this year, now that he’s old enough. Better get booking! #CulturedKids

    • Catherine
      September 10, 2018 / 10:06 am

      Absolutely, we loved A Christmas Carol last year and we were given a free mince pie!

  11. September 10, 2018 / 12:30 pm

    I can’t believe we’re thinking about Christmas already! What a fantastic list of Christmas shows for 2108. Might just get on and book a few! #CulturedKids

    • Catherine
      September 10, 2018 / 8:50 pm

      I know, it seems mad when you can still wear sunglasses without looking silly!

  12. September 10, 2018 / 2:28 pm

    I love this round up. Only thinking the other day what I was going to book for Christmas. Circus 1903 it is for us!! #CulturedKids

    • Catherine
      September 10, 2018 / 8:48 pm

      It looks as it will be amazing, those Elephant puppets!

  13. September 13, 2018 / 8:01 pm

    Christmas Carol is DEFINITELY on my list. I have loved the offerings from the National for the last couple of years as well #culturalkdis

  14. September 14, 2018 / 2:06 pm

    Oh gosh I could bankrupt myself because of this list! I think Room on the Broom might be a good one for my two youngest (4 and 6) although Circus 1903 also sounds great – never heard of it before, so thanks for the post! #culturedkids

  15. September 17, 2018 / 5:20 pm

    What a really useful roundup of London theatre magic for Christmas! I loved the Box of Delights as a child; had no idea it is now a show. And all the others look fab too. Wish we were nearer London โ€“ itโ€™s such a trek from Northumberland! #Culturedkids

    • Catherine
      September 17, 2018 / 5:53 pm

      That is quite a trek, although I remember the theatres being excellent in Newcastle when I lived there

  16. September 18, 2018 / 11:09 am

    Great reminder to book tickets at a time of year when there might be a few still available. I love the Nutcracker but still haven’t seen Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake – so maybe this year. Christmas 1903 sounds amazing tho!

  17. September 21, 2018 / 11:01 am

    Ooohhh, I really fancy Circus 1903 – that baby elephant puppet has got me sold on it!! #FarawayFiles

    • Catherine
      September 21, 2018 / 11:42 am

      I know any one of those three words would have me interested but together!

  18. Clare Thomson
    September 21, 2018 / 6:23 pm

    Don’t mention the C word yet!! That said, you do have to book up the Christmas shows early though, don’t you? I do love The Nutcracker. We’ve seen both versions too. I know the boys would love to go again. Thanks for sharing on #FarawayFiles

    • Catherine
      September 21, 2018 / 6:26 pm

      Iโ€™m going to see a Nutcracker performance in the British Museum, not sure how that will work!

  19. September 21, 2018 / 6:29 pm

    Good list and I agree — a great reminder to get your tickets now. We do a Matthew Bourne ballet every Christmas and love it. There’s something special about dressing up and going to see a show for the festive season. Such a great treat. #farawayfiles

  20. September 25, 2018 / 8:00 pm

    A Christmas Carol at The Old Vic last year was my cultural highlight of the year. It was completely wonderful as was Rhys Ifans as Scrooge. I would love to see it again but would be scared it wouldn’t be so magical second time around. Circus sounds like lots of fun, but i’ve also got my eye on Fiddler on the Roof at my favourite Meniere Chocolate Factory. #FarawayFiles

    • Catherine
      September 27, 2018 / 3:24 pm

      Fiddler on the Roof made me cry when I saw the film as a child!

  21. October 16, 2018 / 10:32 am

    What a brilliant round up โ€“ I had missed Box of Delights, and am now rushing over to see if I can nab tickets. Thanks! #CityTripping

    • Catherine
      October 16, 2018 / 2:06 pm

      Fingers crossed that you are in time!

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