From captivating adaptations of timeless children’s classics to brand new productions featuring beloved TV characters, Manchester’s renowned theatres host a dazzling programme of family-friendly theatre guaranteed to entertain restless kids and delight audiences of all ages in early summer and across the school holidays.

Disney's Aladdin | Palace Theatre | Wed 22 May - Sun 7 Jul | 1pm, 2.30pm, 6pm, 7.30pm | From £20

Set to the iconic original score by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, the enchanting Broadway and West End production of Aladdin arrives at the Palace Theatre on Wed 22 May for a six-week run.

Ideal for families with children aged 6 and above, the timeless Disney tale follows the plucky young street urchin who discovers a wisecracking genie inside a magic lamp and, armed with three wishes and endless possibilities, embarks on a magical journey to win the heart of Princess Jasmine and thwart the sinister sorcerer Jafar, as the talented cast perform film favourites like Prince Ali, Friend Like Me and A Whole New World.

97 Oxford St, Manchester, M1 6FT, Tel: 0844 871 7627
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang | Palace Theatre | Until Sat 15 Mar 2025 | 2pm, 7pm | From £15

Starring Emmerdale’s Liam Fox as Grandpa Potts with choreography by Karen Bruce (BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, The Bodyguard), the brand new adaptation of the enchanting 1968 children’s film takes flight for a year-long run at the Palace Theatre, packed with spellbinding sing-a-long classics like Toot Sweets, Hushabye Mountain, Truly Scrumptious and the Academy Award-nominated titular tune, as scatter-brained inventor Cartacus Potts unwittingly restores a magical car and sets off on an adventure to distant realms with his friends in tow.

97 Oxford St, Manchester, M1 6FT, Tel: 0844 871 7627
The Selfish Giant | Waterside Arts | Sat 25 - Sun 26 May | 11am, 2pm, 4pm | £10.50-£12.50

Inspired by the gently uplifting children’s story by Oscar Wilde, Tiny & Tall and Soap Soup Theatre present a delightful puppetry-based exploration of love and friendship through the tale of a crabby, hardened giant who lives alone in her icy, walled-off house, ignoring a world which discarded her. One day, a group of children find a chink in the giant’s garden wall and climb through, irrevocably changing both theirs and the giant’s lives forever.

1 Waterside Plaza, Sale, Trafford, M33 7ZF
Life of Pi | The Lowry | Tue 2 Jul - Sat 6 Jul | 2pm, 7.30pm | From £20.50

Winner of five Olivier Awards and hailed as an undisputed masterpiece on Broadway and the West End, Life Of Pi returns to The Lowry for a brief July stint following a whirlwind Salford run over the festive period.

Based on the best-selling Man Booker Prize-winning book by Yann Martel, the five-star phenomenon show blends jaw-dropping visuals with world-class puppetry to deliver an unforgettable stage spectacle that has left critics and audiences in amazement since its debut.

The profound seafaring epic follows young Indian boy Pi who, after a huge storm in the Pacific Ocean, finds himself stranded on a lifeboat with four other survivors – a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan, and a fully grown Royal Bengal tiger, igniting a poignant and visually breathtaking story of endurance and hope.

Pier 8, Salford Quays, Salford, M50 3AZ, Tel: 0161 876 2000
Bluey’s Big Play | The Lowry | Wed 31 Jul - Sun 11 Aug | 11am, 2pm, 4.30pm | From £18.50

This Summer, everyone’s favourite heeler and his friends invite families with children of all ages to experience a magical adaptation of the Emmy Award-winning TV series, as Bluey and Bingo pull out all their mischievous tricks and fun-filled games to get Dad off his bean bag in a wondrous caper featuring an original story, inventive puppetry and brand new music.

Pier 8, Salford Quays, Salford, Tel: 0161 876 2000
Wolf McFarlane
Published on:
Tue 7 May 2024