Things to do in February half-term at Southbank Centre

Tuesday, January 23, 2018 - 17:00

February half-term in London is one of the best times to bring children to Southbank Centre. Why? Well from Wednesday 7 – Sunday 18 February we host Imagine, our festival aimed at children. It features great writers, interesting workshops, interactive singing and dancing events and a very special Roald Dahl film screening. There are dozens of events for babes in arms and toddlers, right up to the age of 12 – it’s almost like we knew you’d be looking for things to do!

We’ve picked out a few highlights in this blog post to give you a taste, so read on and get inspired.

See Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes with live orchestra

Revolting Rhymes - Trailer

Don’t miss this animated adaptation of Roald Dahl’s mischievously twisted fairytales, with live music performed by Southbank Sinfonia. Sit back in the comfort of Royal Festival Hall as the magic unfolds on the big screen, with retellings of Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk and Cinderella.

Revolting Rhymes

Watch some stars in action

Harry Hill

There’s loads of brilliant people to see at Imagine 2018! Jacqueline Wilson, creator of Tracy Beaker, is back to talk about her moving book Wave Me Goodbye. You can also see Harry Hill discuss his very funny novel Matt Millz in an event that includes live drawing and mischief-making from the Beano, plus there’s a chance to get on stage and tell Harry your joke in our competition! If comedy’s your thing, you’ll also want to come along and see James Campbell, whose special stand-up show covers pets, yoghurt and couscous (all without swear words).

We’re also thrilled to host BBC Radio 1 DJs Greg James and Chris Smith, who introduce their debut book Kid Normal at an action-packed event.

Jacqueline Wilson

Harry Hill/Beano

James Campbell

Kid Normal: Greg James & Chris Smith

Join in with a family event


Bang a gong, learn to beatbox, slay some other families in a quiz… it’s all to play for at Southbank Centre!

Our quiz is hosted by comedian Patrick Monahan and features rounds on music, stories and the devilish mystery round. If that sounds a bit competitive, try your hand at the gorgeous Javanese percussion orchestra called the gamelan (pictured above) – no musical experience required.

If that’s too gentle for your posse, why not try our beatboxing workshop for the family, or come along to Disco Loco, a wild and wonderful knees-up for folks with kids. Both these events are free.

The Big Family Quiz

Family Gamelan Workshop

Family Beatbox Workshop

Disco Loco

Get inspired to make a difference

Learn about inspiring people like Emmeline Pankhurst, Martin Luther King Jr and Rosa Parks at our People Who Changed the World event. It features Kate Pankhurst, author of Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World, and illustrator Andrea Pippins, who presents her new book, Young, Gifted and Black.

Budding eco-warriors should come along to Me and My Bee to find out how rescuing a bee could help save the world with theatre company ThisEgg. And if you’ve got children aged 4 – 6, bring them along to Hats of Faith, a fun, interactive workshop where you discover head coverings from various cultures.

People Who Changed the World

Me and My Bee

Hats of Faith

Entertain the very youngest audiences

Snigel and Friends

We haven’t forgotten about the tiniest children! During Imagine bring them to Snigel & Friends, a relaxed show for babies and their parents starring Snigel the snail, who explores her colourful sensory world with her insect friends. There’s also Whoosh!, aimed at ages 1 – 5, where music is the only language spoken.

Or maybe take a bit of time to entertain yourself – without the need to book a babysitter – at Screaming with Laughter. It features comedians Lucy Porter and Hatty Ashdown in a show especially for parents with infants under a year old.

Snigel & Friends


Screaming with Laughter

Burn off some energy…

Outdoor Games (1)

Jump around, sing, make noise and just enjoy being a kid at these free events where fun is the name of the game.

There’s Kid Carpet’s interactive Super Mega Rockin Rock Show, where you can party along to classics like ‘Poo in the Forest’. Slightly more refined fun can be had at Strictly Kids, where children can learn to tango and cha cha (dressing up is encouraged!). You can also join in with Outdoor Games – featuring a trail of fun activities; or have a go at drawing whatever is in your mind on our giant chalkboard.

Super Mega Rockin Rock Show

Strictly Kids

Outdoor Games

Draw Your Imagination

…and then chill out

Each day at Imagine we finish with a free, 15-minute storytelling session where you can sit down, relax and hear different authors read to you. Ahhhh, that’s nice.

Bedtime Stories

that's not all

There’s plenty more fun to be had at Imagine throughout the half-term break, including loads of accessible events.

see the full Imagine listings

accessible events at Imagine