Imagine! Free things to do in February half-term

Wednesday, January 29, 2020 - 18:04

You don’t get much in life for free. But here at Southbank Centre you do. We’re committed to ensuring that 40% of all the events and activities we programme each and every year are free to attend. 

So, if you’re looking to entertain the children during February half-term then we’re definitely the place to head, with free things to do each day of our Imagine Children’s Festival. From fun for under fives to musical magic and stunning storytelling we’ve got something for everyone.

Fun for those under five

Rug Rhymes: Eco Edition

Looking after your littlest ones, we’ve a couple of free events that are specially conceived for the under fives. On Friday 14 February they can sing along and dance to jazz and soul singer Mellow Baku as she performs music from her animated online album for children Mmm Ahhh Whoosh. And on Monday 17 February there’s the opportunity to join the National Poetry Library puppets, Federico and Firebird, on their poem rug for poetry about the planet in Eco Rug Rhymes.

Friday Lunch: Mmm Ahh Whoosh
Eco Rug Rhymes


Get arty and involved

170216_L3FR_Hack a Heritage Imagine

If your little ones like to draw and make then this trio of activities are for them. On 18 and 19 February, the Parade illustration team invite kids to scribble and sketch their own cover for their favourite book in Picture It! Print It! Or if they don’t fancy printing their own book, they can always, er, eat it; Chloe Spicer’s Edible Books Craft Workshop takes place on Tuesday 18 February. And get those pens, pencils and crayons at the ready on Wednesday 19 February as illustrators Gary Northfield and Nadine Kaadan lead children through arty story workshop, Top Draw.

Picture It! Print It!
Edible Books Craft Workshop
Top Draw


Settle in for storytelling and performance

The Quest for the Treasure Chest with ShayShay

How do you stick up for planet Earth? Find out on Monday 17 February by watching, listening to, and joining in with performer Timberlina, who encourages children to think about the best ways to look after our world in A Delicate Balance. And on Thursday 20 February there’s the chance to set sail for adventure with drag performers ShayShay, Sophie Brian and Mahatma Khandi in The Quest for the Treasure Chest. Expect, singing, dancing and riddle-solving as you make your way across the ocean.

A Delicate Balance
The Quest for the Treasure Chest with ShayShay


Make a song and dance

HomeBros presents Afro Dance Championships at Southbank Centre

There are plenty of opportunities for children to sing and dance across Imagine Children’s Festival, starting with a day of belting tunes for kids at Big Songs for Little Singers on Saturday 15 February. The following day it’s All Hands on Decks, and a chance to get down and p’arrrr’ty at a pirate themed afternoon of dance, crafts and games.

Big Songs for Little Singers
All Hands on Decks

On Friday 21 February Groove Baby, invite you to Groove Into the Woods with a collection of kooky characters on a jazz and funk fuelled family adventure for ages 3 to 7. The brilliant HomeBros School of Afro Dance join us on Saturday 22 February to slide their way through a story of the first day of school, as well as teaching the kids some new moves to show off in the playground. And the following day the junior orchestra Chineke invite children to scale the heights of musical adventure as they explore music-making and story-telling.

Groove Baby Presents: Groove Into the Woods
HomeBros School of Afro Dance
Chineke Juniors


Play and explore

Giant Chalkboard

Don’t fancy sitting still? Come and Play Out throughout the festival on our Riverside Terrace, on a huge illustrated activity playground. Or if the weather takes a turn, head to the Cloakroom Foyer and add your own illustrations to our Giant Chalkboard. Or, if you fancy an adventure, grab an activity sheet and take to our Earth Activity Trail and lead your family on Anna Bruder’s do-it-yourself eco adventure.

Play Out
Giant Chalkboard
Earth Activity Trail


And remember you’re never too young to change the world

Each day of Imagine Children’s Festival, at 3.15pm in The Clore Ballroom we wrap up the day by listening to children answer the question ‘What are you doing to change the world?’ and there’s the opportunity to hear inspirational stories about real-life kids, like Greta Thunberg or Malala Yousafzai and fictional characters like Pippi Longstocking or Neville Longbottom.

You’re Never Too Young to Change the World



Imagine Children’s Festival takes place across Southbank Centre from 12 to 23 February with a huge range of events, performances and activities for children.

see all the free events

see the full event list


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