Ever fancied watching a play in bed? We reveal the unmissable immersive theatre experiences for toddlers this season
Photo: David Pickens
Light me up
Dozens of tiny glittering houses – in one there’s a big bird, in another a shoe. But where are all the tiny people that live in them? Join the search across worlds and wonderlands in Oily Cart’s Land of Lights to find the missing people in a sensory, interactive experience for 3-5 year olds. Oh, and there are bubbles. Lots of bubbles.
Touring the UK; 27-31 Jan The Egg, Bath; 5-6 Feb Stratford Circus, London; 10-13 Feb Gulbenkian, Canterbury
For little fans of Bear Behaving Badly: good news, the little blue bear is back! The chaotic and ice-cream-filled show is touring for the first time this year. Dance and sing along with Barney and Nev, and find out just what Barney's issue is with Nev's jam sandwiches.
Touring the UK inc. 19 Mar Hippodrome, Eastbourne; 20 Mar Mayflower theatre, Southampton; 29-30 Mar Royal & Derngate, Northampton; 4 Apr The Orchard Theatre, Dartford; 8-9 Apr Kings Theatre, Edinburgh
We’re going on a bear hunt
What child doesn’t know those magical words? Even the tiniest of tinies can step inside this exhibition of Michael Rosen’s imagination – we don't know whether the fact there’s a giant chocolate cake inside excites us or the little 'uns more. Follow the bear hunt trail through the secret larder, hidden rooms and even the Dread Shed. We’re not scared!
Until 10 April; Discover Stratford, London
Grab your PJs, tuck yourself under a duvet and watch the spectacle. Because whoever said a play had to be seen from a grotty, uncomfortable seat? Celebrating that special time just before you go to sleep, when stories are told and dreams take hold, Bedtime Stories will immerse you in a world of storytelling, dance and aerial acrobatics that will amaze the tots - and send them off to the land of nod at the same time...
9-10 April; Hackney Showroom, London
Board an old-fashioned steam train this season - those who've seen The Railway Children watch out, there's a serious dose of nostalgia coming your way. If the train staff lining the Edwardian 'station' (aka theatre lobby) before you’re called through to your 'platform' isn't enough to delight the children, watch their amazement when the train pulls onto the stage at the end! It’s a wonderful semi-immersive performance of a classic story that you and the kiddies will love.
Until 10 April; King’s Cross Theatre, London
A fishy tale
Step inside the fabulous Polka theatre for an exciting high seas adventure with pirates and mermaid treasure in A Real Mermaid's Tale. Children from 3-7 are invited to encounter magic, mythical creatures and mutinous rats in a show combining puppetry, participation - and of course a pinch of imagination.
21-22 May; Polka Theatre, London
The forest can be a scary place on your own – but that’s where Poggle comes in. There’s no need to worry about the tots wandering around or onto the stage and into the forest, because here they're positively encouraged to. Part of the set itself is designed to look like building blocks, so good luck keeping them away anyway. And what's more, it's all about ‘high energy’ dance, which if you've got an artive tot reads as they’ll sleep well tonight...
31 May – 5 Jun; The Studio at the Festival Theatre, Edinburgh
Shambala festival is a family-friendly festival all about creativity and participation. Besides a dedicated family camping field, a crèche, a baby pit-stop for feeding and nappy changing and bedtime stories with free cocoa, there are plenty of immersive experiences for the mini people to get involved in. This year rookie detectives can join Detective O to help her solve her toughest case yet, or hunt down a family member in Foul Play’s fox hunt.
25-28 August; Northamptonshire