Enjoy family things to do this winter at Southbank Centre

Tuesday, November 12, 2019 - 16:38

The age old question. How do you keep the children entertained in London in the run up to Christmas without letting them run riot over a poor unfortunate shopping centre Santa Claus? Luckily we have the answer here at Southbank Centre, with a range of family-friendly activities this winter, including a number of free things to do. Find inspiration in the list below.


23 November 2019 - 23 February 2020

Soundpit at Southbank Centre

Have you ever wondered what sound feels like? Or what music looks like? Well, with artist Di Mainstone’s fun interactive experience Soundpit, you can find out for yourself. Offering creative, sensory play for all ages, you become composer as you run your hands through the sand, sit in, or walk across it and create music and light with your movements. There are seven 45 minute sessions, running hourly from 10.15am, each day Soundpit – an accessible experience – is open.

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Circus 1903

19 December 2019 - 5 January 2020

Circus 1903 returns to Southbank Centre

Roll up, roll up, Circus 1903 is back in town. Following their successful run with us last year, this remarkable turn-of-the-century circus experience returns, with firm favourites and new acts such as the incredibly cool, and somewhat dangerous, sounding, Brazilian Wheel of Death. Celebrating the golden age of circus, the show also features an array of contortionists, acrobats, jugglers, high-wire performers, plus the sensational life-sized elephants Queenie and Peanut – created by the puppeteers behind War Horse.

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Black Beauty

14 December 2019 - 5 January 2020

Black Beauty - Southbank Centre 14 Dec 2019 - 5 Jan 2020

Saddle up and join us for this five-star children’s show, which retells the much-loved tale of a brave horse for ages five and over. From the cosy horsebox they call home, Andy and Andy take the bit firmly between their teeth to blend storytelling, music and puppetry to tell the classic tale of Black Beauty as you've never seen it before.

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Audience members at Imagine festival
13 November - 29 December 2019

Free family films

This winter midday at Southbank Centre means it’s time to nestle down in a bean bag and enjoy a screening of a favourite animated film at our snug Winter Pop-up Cinema. These free, but ticketed, screenings include trips into the deep to find Nemo and Dory, and meet The Little Mermaid, animal adventures with Bolt, The Lion King and The Jungle Book plus many more.

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Winter market  

8 November 2019 - 5 January 2020

Winter Market at Southbank Centre 2019

Get that festive feeling at our Winter market where you’ll find our seasonal goodies, warming drinks and festive lights deliver more sparkle than an explosion in a tinsel factory. In our specially constructed wooden chalets by the river you’ll find sweet treats, creative crafts, and plenty more to make your mouths water.

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A young girl looks at one of Bridget Riley's artworks in Hayward gallery
23 October 2019 - 26 January 2020

Bridget Riley

Enjoy the largest and most comprehensive exhibition of Bridget Riley’s work to date, in this Hayward Gallery exhibition spanning 70 years of the artists work. See some of Riley’s best known and most iconic canvases as rarely-seen drawings and studies. With under 12s going free, it’s the perfect exhibition for the family.

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6 December 2019 - 5 January 2020

London is Love

Celebrating the city and its diverse and pioneering communities, this dynamic photographic project by artist Liz Johnson Artur can be seen for free across our site from 6 December. With her photographs projected onto our walls and windows, and displayed throughout our buildings, Johnson Artur’s work reveals the ordinary, vibrant and subtle nuances of South London life.

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Kids Count Down, two girls in purple light
31 December 2019

Kids' countdown with Ida Barr

See in the New Year at a more family-friendly time with ex music hall singer turned hip-hop goddess Ida Barr. Ida’s celebration features sing-songs, dancing, DJing, and communal joy for all ages, before the big countdown to the clock striking twelve (albeit noon rather than midnight).

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1 January 2020

New Year’s Day Ceilidh with Cut A Shine

Welcome in the new year with a good old-fashioned ceilidh courtesy of the traditional musicians, dynamic ceilidh dancers and champion callers of Cut A Shine. Bring the whole family and cut a rug to the sound of the banjo and fiddle in this rip-roaring, thigh-slapping, foot-stomping, heart-thumping party.

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Our festive programme at Southbank Centre isn’t purely for families this winter, with shows, performances, events and installations for people of all ages.

winter at Southbank Centre