Imagine Children’s Festival

Things to do
'Erth's Dinosaur Zoo' at Imagine Children's Festival 2020
'Erth's Dinosaur Zoo' at Imagine Children's Festival 2020

Time Out says

How cool that one of London’s greatest annual arts festivals is for an audience half of which are scarcely out of training pants

Bringing much-needed pizzazz to an otherwise dreary February half term holiday, Imagine is a mix of family-oriented shows and workshops, play experiences and exhibitions, music, art and literature. With events for all ages (from babies to teens) and lots of options which are free and drop-in, Imagine is the perfect way to fire young minds and allow the kids to let off steam when the weather is usually foul and parks are knee-deep in mud. The festival takes place at Southbank Centre, February 12-23.

On any day during half term you can swing by the Royal Festival Hall and join colourful, weird and wonderful family events. Some of them are free; just turn up and enjoy the eco-inspired games of 'Earth Activity Trail', scrawl your designs on the fest's 'Giant Chalkboard', drop into the buzzing line-up kid-friendly music performances in the venue's Clore Ballroom or, if you're a worn-out grown-up, get a luxurious hand massage at the 'Imagine Wellbeing Zone'. 

Alternatively, book in advance for special events targeted at kids of all ages. Imagine started life as a literature festival for children and there is still a strong showing of authors and illustrators – this year, Michael Rosen, Dermot O’Leary, Cressida Cowell and Konnie Huq will all be running kid-oriented storytelling and poetry sessions. Many of these sell-out before the festival starts so it’s worth checking the website now.

There's also a pretty hefty array of theatre shows to pick from. 'Erth's Dinosaur Zoo' (February 15-21) will thrill Jurassic-obsessed kids with its strokable display of puppet lizards. There's also 'Slime', a slug-inspired movement piece for toddlers (February 15-16); hip hop and classical Indian dance storytelling in 'Same Same... But Different' (February 23); and a chance to meet a pigtailed literary icon in 'Meet Astrid Lindgren's Pippi Longstocking' (February 23).

You’ll find the full schedule on the Southbank Centre website.




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