There’s so much to do in and around Tooting but sometimes you might want to head further afield and explore some toddler-specific arts, which can be such a wonderful shared experience with your little ones. The following are either specific Children’s Theatres or ones that regularly do child-appropriate performances. Check their website for details of current shows and sign up to their mailing list for regular updates.
Established in 1990, The Half Moon Young People’s Theatre is a local organisation with a national remit, based in Tower Hamlets, East London. The company gives young people from birth to 18 an opportunity to experience the best in young people’s theatre, both as a participant and as an audience member. They offer high quality theatre and an affordable experience. Youth Theatre sessions from £2.50 and all tickets only £6.
Little Angel Theatre is a puppet theatre for children and their families based in the London Borough of Islington. Since its doors first opened in 1961 the theatre has been dedicated to creating and sharing inspiring stories. They put on wonderful family shows for children of all ages and also hold some fantastic workshops in school holidays and at weekends.
Located at Merton Abbey Mills, opposite Eddie Katz in Colliers Wood. The Colourhouse Children’s Theatre has now hosted over 100 original shows. Fun and charming performances in an intimate theatre space. Performances take place on Saturdays and Sundays at 2pm and 4pm. Tube: Colliers Wood. Buses include 57 or 219 from Tooting Broadway.
On our doorstep in Wimbledon, and one of the few theatres in the UK dedicated to producing and presenting work for young audiences. Each play comes with an age guideline so you can judge which shows are right for your child. It has two theatre spaces, the Main Theatre, and the Adventure Theatre which is designed especially for younger children to give them their first taste of theatre.
Shows cater for children as young as 9 months, and they also put on ‘Relaxed’ performances for children on the autistic spectrum or who have sensory sensitivities.
The building has a friendly café and small indoor and outdoor play areas which can be used even if you’re not attending a show.
Another dedicated youth theatre, this time on the South Bank. They cater for slightly older audiences as well, and put on a large number of plays and experiences each season.
On Saturdays they run Up Club, 12- 2pm for free drop in activities (portrait painting, giant jenga). These are often themed around the current show.
Once again, it has a café and small soft play area to entertain children before the show starts.
Classical music concerts specifically designed for tots. Weekly concerts in a variety of venues around Balham, Earlsfield, Clapham and Southfields with a changing monthly programme featuring professional musicians performing a programme tailored specifically for children. Every concert closes with nursery rhymes, and often a chance to touch or play the instrument in question that month. Coffee and snacks available. £12 per adult (£11 in advance), children free.
A multi-faceted arts venue that makes maximum use of its huge space with a range of performances and experiences, many of which are suitable for children. Highlights include the bi-annual “Funharmonics” which they run with the London Philharmonic Orchestra where children can try out different instruments, learn excerpts of classical pieces in interactive workshops, and then hear them performed live by the orchestra; specific activities during each school holiday; and regular classes such as Gamelan workshops (Indonesian percussion).