Things to do at Southbank Centre in the summer holidays

Friday, July 6, 2018 - 16:00

Families! The summer holidays are upon us once again and we at Southbank Centre have got some ideas of how to keep children entertained.

From Wednesday 25 July to the August bank holiday Monday, you’ll find a fun range of family exhibition and free activities happening in the centre of London, at Southbank Centre.

The cure for ‘I’m bored-itis’ these summer holidays might just be listed in the details below, so read on for some ideas.

Monstersaurus: magical, musical mayhem

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With songs, plenty of laughs and audience participation, Monstersaurus is a brilliant introduction to live theatre for children.

From the creators of Aliens Love Underpants, it tells the story of Monty, a young boy who keeps inventing monsters, but who doesn’t know what to do with them. It’s on from Tuesday 7 – Sunday 12 August and is recommended for ages 3+.


this creative children’s show was full of high-kicking energy and humour – ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Brighton Argus on Monstersaurus

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How To Catch A Star: Oliver Jeffers’ touching tale comes to life

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This beautiful show tells the story of a boy who loves stars so much that he decides to catch one for himself. Using puppetry and music – but no words – we see what happens as the boy makes a plan and embarks on an adventure to make his dream come true. This heartwarming show is suitable for the whole family and recommended for ages 4+. It runs from Thursday 23 – Monday 27 August.

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ZooNation Youth Company: show your budding young performer where hard work can take them

ZooNation performing at the Southbank Centre

ZooNation Youth Company is a dance company like no other, giving up-and-coming performers multiple platforms to show off their dancing, spoken word and musical prowess through showcases and works including the smash hit Groove On Down The Road.

At this event, their 2018 New Generation showcase, you can expect innovative, super energetic performances from young talent – and some special guests. It takes place on Saturday 28 July and is aimed at audiences aged 4+.

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Lee Bul at Hayward Gallery: a treat for their senses

Installation view of Lee Bul, Titan, 2013 and Untitled sculpture (W3), 2010 at Hayward Gallery, 2018 © Lee Bul, 2018 Photo: Linda Nylind

South Korean artist Lee Bul has taken over Hayward Gallery until the end of August with a retrospective of her work. It’s full of installations, interactive experiences, reflective surfaces, lights and curious creatures. If you want to do something that stimulates your mind and delights the children, this could be the perfect way to spend a couple of hours.

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Southbank Centre Beach: the seaside comes to central London

Southbank Centre Beach

If your young one loves nothing more than to amuse themselves with buckets, spades and sandcastles but you can’t get get to the beach you should come and see us!

We’ve got 85 tonnes of golden sand right next to the Thames – and, with any luck, some sunshine to go along with it. Free to visit!

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Jeppe Hein’s Appearing Rooms: London’s funnest/wettest artwork?

Royal Festival Hall Riverside

Whether you want to contemplate the nature of structures and the randomness of life or you just want to give your kids some fun in the sun, our terrace fountain is the place to be.

It’s an interactive sculpture created by the Danish artist Jeppe Hein, which shoots jets of water into the air, creating walls and rooms made of water. The catch is that the walls appear randomly – move to a new room at the wrong time and you’ll get a soaking (which is, of course, half the fun). Also free to visit – do bring a towel or two though!

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Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden & Cafe: get back to nature

Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden at Southbank Centre

Climb the bright yellow steps and find yourself in a beautiful garden, with views across the Thames and beyond.

You can pull up a chair and relax, enjoy a glass of something chilled or a cup of something warm, as well as snacks, from the cafe; and you can explore the wonderful variety of plants, trees and wildflowers, which are lovingly tended to by gardeners from  Grounded EcoTherapy. Step free access is available via a lift on the Belvedere Road-side of Queen Elizabeth Hall. Just ask one of our staff for assistance.

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And that’s not all!

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Soak up the sunshine and watch live DJ sets by Heart ’n’ Soul every Thursday and outdoor pedal-powered film screenings of Sister Act, Hairspray, The Greatest Showman, Labyrinth and Grease on consecutive Wednesday evenings.

Every Friday to Sunday, plus August Bank Holiday Monday, audiences of all ages can enjoy themed takeover weekends, in conjunction with selected artists, featuring workshops, live performances, circus and more.

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