Southbank Centre: Imagine Children’s Festival Free activities

Southbank Centre

Southbank Centre presents the 19th Imagine Children’s Festival in February 2020, featuring Michael Rosen, Dermot O’Leary, Cressida Cowell and Konnie Huq.

Feed and interact with dinosaurs, celebrate the Harry Potter books and go on adventures with Pippi Longstocking.

The largest festival of its kind in the UK, Imagine Children’s Festival is dedicated to families experiencing and enjoying all kinds of art and culture together.

Get ready for 12 days of the best international performance, music, literature, comedy, creativity, parties, participation and free fun for children aged 0 – 11 and their grown-ups.

Southbank Centre Locations


Southbank Centre Map
Southbank Centre Locations. Click to enlarge

Imagine Children’s Festival Free activities

These are some of the selected free events taking place at The Southbank Centre. Click on the event title for further information.

Southbank Centre-Imagine Children's Festival
Image by Southbank Centre

Earth Activity Trail

2 Feb 2020 – 23 Feb 2020 | Various times | Royal Festival Hall, Green Side Foyer, Level 2 | Free

Collect an activity sheet and lead your family on a do-it-yourself eco adventure, created by artist Anna Bruder.

Follow the footprints and enjoy the puzzles on a green-inspired wander through Imagine Children’s Festival, packed with discoveries galore.

Giant Chalkboard

Various times | 15 Feb 2020 – 23 Feb 2020 | Free | Royal Festival Hall, Cloakroom Foyer, Level 1 | Free

What can you add to our giant chalkboard? See where your imagination takes you, and watch how the picture grows and changes throughout the day.

Play Out

13 Feb 2020 – 23 Feb 2020 | Various times |Outdoors spaces, Riverside Terrace, Level 2 | Free | This event is from 10am until 4pm

Are you playing out? Children can hop, jump, skip, and run off some steam on our Riverside Terrace.

Imagine Wellbeing Zone

14 Feb 2020 | 11am – 3.30pm |Royal Festival Hall, Bluse Side Foyer, Level 2

Pop in to the Imagine Wellbeing Zone, a space for you and your child to take time to relax. The focus is on the grown-ups with hand massages and self-care tips.

Friday Lunch: Mmm Ahhh Whoosh with Mellow Baku

14 Feb 2020 | Various times | Royal Festival Hall, The Clore Ballroom, Level 2 | Free

Sing along, dance and smile with songs for under-fives from a jazz and soul singer.

Groove and play to music from Mellow Baku’s animated online album for children, Mmm Ahhh Whoosh.

Her cheery, groovy sounds include acoustic guitar, live looping, spoken word, roots, jazz and soulful folk songs.

Her play for young people, Beyond the Dome, has been performed at Vault Festival London and Curve Leicester, and she’s toured Leicester schools as part of Spark Arts Festival.

She has brought creativity to kids as Vital Spark Associate Artist for Spark Arts for Children and as a resident musician for babies and toddlers over three months old.

You’re Never Too Young to Change the World

15 Feb 2020 – 23 Feb 2020 | Various times | Royal Festival Hall, The Clore Ballroom, Level 2 | Free

Find out about courageous children who tried to make the world a better place. Every day of Imagine festival, for 15 minutes, hear children answering the question ‘What are you doing to change the world?’

All Hands on Decks

16 Feb 2020 | 1:30 pm | Royal Festival Hall, The Clore Ballroom, Level 2 | Free

Shout ‘Arrr’ at our rollicking pirate-themed party, featuring crafts, dancing and the chance to wear your best pirate outfit.

Eco Rug Rhymes

17 Feb 2020 | 12:30 pm | National Poetry Library, Level 5, Blue Side, Royal Festival Hall| Free | For ages 0 – 5

Under-5s and their carers are invited to this short session of green nursery rhymes, poems and rhyming stories

A Delicate Balance

17 Feb 2020 | Various times | Royal Festival Hall, The Clore Ballroom, Level 2 | For ages 5+

How do you stick up for planet Earth?

Think about the best ways to look after our world in this performance workshop. Watch, listen and join in with colourful, magical performer Timberlina.

Picture It! Print It!

18 Feb 2020 – 19 Feb 2020 | Various time | Royal Festival Hall, Central Bar, Level 2 | Free, but ticketed | For ages 5+

Scribble and sketch your own cover design for your favourite book

There are sessions at 10.30am, 11am, 11.30am, 12 noon, 1.30pm, 2pm and 2.30pm. Each session is 30 minutes long.

Edible Books Craft Workshop

18 Feb 2020 | Various times | Royal Festival Hall, The Clore Ballroom, Level 2 | Free| For ages 3+

Get an appetite for adventure at a workshop inspired by the story of Pippi Longstocking

Top Draw

19 Feb 2020 |Various times | Royal Festival Hall, The Clore Ballroom, Level 2 | Free| For ages 5+

Join storytellers and illustrators Gary Northfield and Nadine Kaadan and draw your way through fantastical lands and tongue-twisting characters to arrive at the big picture.

This workshop is British Sign Language interpreted (BSL).

The Quest for the Treasure Chest with ShayShay

20 Feb 2020 |Various times | Royal Festival Hall, The Clore Ballroom, Level 2 | Free| For ages 5+

Set sail for adventure with ShayShay, Sophie Brain and Mahatma Khandi in search of the greatest treasure in the world.

Groove Baby Presents: Groove into the Woods

21 Feb 2020 |Various times | Royal Festival Hall, The Clore Ballroom, Level 2 | Free|

Venture into the deep dark woods on a jazz- and funk-fuelled family adventure for ages 3 – 7

HomeBros School of Afro Dance

22 Feb 2020 |Various times | Royal Festival Hall, The Clore Ballroom, Level 2 | Free| For ages 5+

See dancers slide and groove through a story of the first day of school, and learn some new moves

Chineke! Juniors

23 Feb 2020 |Various times | Royal Festival Hall, The Clore Ballroom, Level 2 | Free| For ages 3+

Scale the heights of a musical adventure with the junior orchestra

Disclaimer: WISE16 cannot be held responsible for any event changes or cancellation. We strongly recommend to check with the organiser if you have any questions, especially for those events which require paying a fee.