More than 100 Events - and 50% are FREE
Imagine Children’s Festival turns 21 next month, but it has no intention of growing up and will be entertaining children with more than 100 events, 50% of which are completely FREE.
From 8-18 February, the Southbank Centre’s annual arts festival for children aged 0-11 will be taking the aargh out of Haarghf Term, with events spanning theatre, dance, music, poetry, literature, art and trails.
In the week before half term, under fives can enjoy events including Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s Tales from Acorn Wood, which brings the beloved, lift-the-flap books to life with puppets and songs. Or they can create an artwork with acclaimed street artist, STIK.
Babies can plunge into a magical journey beneath the sea in the Underwater dance show for babies, while under fives can explore balloons of all sizes in the playful, Rise and Fall performance.
Half-term highlights include a modern retelling of Rapunzel by BalletLORENT, talks by legendary children’s authors Cressida Cowell and Michael Rosen; the return of CBeebies legend, YolanDa’s Band Jam; a daytime rave with the Guinness World Record holder for the world's youngest DJ, as well as dancing dinosaurs, monsters, dragons, magic from TV star Stephen Mulhern, astronomy, hip-hop, Imagine’s Big Gig concerts and comedy.
For the older kids, Friday 17 and Saturday 18 February have a special focus on ages 7 – 11, with writing workshops, free concerts and shows including Everything Has Changed, which playfully explores the impact of change.
The kids rule this festival, in every way, from The Lunchbox Jukebox bangers the children decide each day to the new interactive art installations in the venue.
From 12-17 February, there will also be free, daily wind down sessions, using yoga, concentration and mindful excercises, which could prove a handy tool in any parent’s arsenal.
And don’t worry about your little one shrieking that they wanted the orange Fruit Shoot when the curtains part - Imagine Children's Festival has a relaxed approach to noise and movement in the space, and you are free to enter and exit.
A chill-out space and noise-cancelling headphones are also available for both adults and children, which is literally the dream, so we might move in there with our children.
Imagine Children’s Festival. 8-18 February. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX.
Mixture of FREE and paid events.