12 – 23 Feb 2020

Southbank Centre presents the 19th Imagine Children’s Festival in February 2020, featuring Michael Rosen, Dermot O’Leary, Cressida Cowell and Konnie Huq.

Feed and interact with dinosaurs, celebrate the Harry Potter books and go on adventures with Pippi Longstocking.

The largest festival of its kind in the UK, Imagine Children’s Festival is dedicated to families experiencing and enjoying all kinds of art and culture together.

Get ready for 12 days of the best international performance, music, literature, comedy, creativity, parties, participation and free fun for children aged 0 – 11 and their grown-ups.

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all stories

The ninth episode of our regular podcast looks at the lack of diversity in children’s literature
Discover the performances that will get you giggling at our brilliant children's festival
Children's television presenter Lauren Layfield on what you ought to know about being a girl today
Watch the trailer for Michael Morpurgo's Why The Whales Came
Are the Nordic countries the best places to bring up healthy, happy children?
John Hegley reads his favourite childhood poem, Tarantella by Hilaire Belloc
Laura Dockrill, reads her favourite childhood poem Roald Dahl's The Pig
Cargoes by John Masefield read by Francesca Beard
The children from Imagine Children's Festival interviewed Wayne Hemingway about housing
For Imagine Children's Festival 2013 the kids are taking over!
The children at Imagine Festival interview writer Frank Cottrell Boyce
Michael Rosen talks about the importance of funny books for kids

all events

Various times
7 Oct 2019 - 17 Jul 2020
Various times | 7 Oct 2019 - 17 Jul 2020
courses & workshops
family & young people
Join this relaxing music workshop aimed at new parents, carers and non-crawling babies
Join this relaxing music workshop aimed at new parents, carers and non-crawling babies
Child and adult at Southbank Centre during Imagine Children's Festival

Free

Free

Various times
15 Feb 2020 - 23 Feb 2020
Various times | 15 Feb 2020 - 23 Feb 2020
family & young people
Step this way for stories and games to spark your imagination
Step this way for stories and games to spark your imagination
The set of The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Various times
12 Feb 2020 - 14 Feb 2020
Various times | 12 Feb 2020 - 14 Feb 2020
family & young people
under 5s
The caterpillar who munched its way into our hearts comes to life in a show featuring 75 colourful puppets
The caterpillar who munched its way into our hearts comes to life in a show featuring 75 colourful...
Baby in multi-sensory tent
Various times
12 Feb 2020 - 14 Feb 2020
Various times | 12 Feb 2020 - 14 Feb 2020
family & young people
Wonder at the world in a multi-sensory experience for pre-walking babies and their grown-ups
Wonder at the world in a multi-sensory experience for pre-walking babies and their grown-ups
Sold out
Sonic Cradle at Southbank Centre
Various times
Wed 12 Feb 2020
Various times | Wed 12 Feb 2020
family & young people
under 5s
Night time sounds, music from India and dancing visuals create a tranquil and immersive musical experience
Night time sounds, music from India and dancing visuals create a tranquil and immersive musical...
Child drawing on a giant chalkboard at Southbank Centre

Free

Free

Various times
15 Feb 2020 - 23 Feb 2020
Various times | 15 Feb 2020 - 23 Feb 2020
family & young people
See where your imagination takes you, and watch how the picture grows and changes throughout the day
See where your imagination takes you, and watch how the picture grows and changes throughout the day
Girl and adult playing on Festival Terrace at Southbank Centre

Free

Free

Various times
13 Feb 2020 - 23 Feb 2020
Various times | 13 Feb 2020 - 23 Feb 2020
family & young people
Hop, jump, skip and run off some steam on our Riverside Terrace
Hop, jump, skip and run off some steam on our Riverside Terrace
Child enjoying Rug Rhymes at Southbank Centre

Free

Free

Various times
Fri 14 Feb 2020
Various times | Fri 14 Feb 2020
family & young people
The focus is on the grown-ups with hand massages and self-care tips
The focus is on the grown-ups with hand massages and self-care tips
Illustration of Mmm Ahh Whoosh with Mellow Baku

Free

Free

Various times
Fri 14 Feb 2020
Various times | Fri 14 Feb 2020
family & young people
Sing along with songs for under-fives from a jazz and soul singer
Sing along with songs for under-fives from a jazz and soul singer
Children with facepaint

Free

Free

Various times
15 Feb 2020 - 23 Feb 2020
Various times | 15 Feb 2020 - 23 Feb 2020
family & young people
Get glitzy, colourful, and creative with face painting by The Glitterbox
Get glitzy, colourful, and creative with face painting by The Glitterbox
Supertato illustration
11:00 am
Sat 15 Feb 2020
11:00 am | Sat 15 Feb 2020
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Supertato's always there for you when the chips are down
Supertato's always there for you when the chips are down
Friday Lunch: Harmonise, children and young people on stage singing

Free

Free

Various times
Sat 15 Feb 2020
Various times | Sat 15 Feb 2020
family & young people
under 5s
All together now: join us for a day of belting tunes for kids
All together now: join us for a day of belting tunes for kids
Illustration of The Little Island
Various times
Sat 15 Feb 2020
Various times | Sat 15 Feb 2020
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
A fable for our times about coming together, and the power of friendship, tolerance and cooperation
A fable for our times about coming together, and the power of friendship, tolerance and cooperation
Illustrations of a child and a cat running
2:00 pm
Sat 15 Feb 2020
2:00 pm | Sat 15 Feb 2020
talks & debates
family & young people
Meet Rocket - she's going to be the greatest astronaut, star-catcher, space-traveller that has ever lived!
Meet Rocket - she's going to be the greatest astronaut, star-catcher, space-traveller that has...
Slug and Caterpillar from SLIME
Various times
15 Feb 2020 - 16 Feb 2020
Various times | 15 Feb 2020 - 16 Feb 2020
performance & dance
performance & theatre
Being a slug is hard. Everyone thinks you’re disgusting
Being a slug is hard. Everyone thinks you’re disgusting
Zookeeper hodling a dinosaur
Various times
15 Feb 2020 - 21 Feb 2020
Various times | 15 Feb 2020 - 21 Feb 2020
family & young people
accessible events
Have you ever met a dinosaur? Now’s your chance!
Have you ever met a dinosaur? Now’s your chance!
Various times
15 Feb 2020 - 18 Feb 2020
Various times | 15 Feb 2020 - 18 Feb 2020
family & young people
british sign language
Family-friendly glamour and glitz abound in a classic tale of identity and belonging
Family-friendly glamour and glitz abound in a classic tale of identity and belonging

Free

Free

Various times
15 Feb 2020 - 23 Feb 2020
Various times | 15 Feb 2020 - 23 Feb 2020
family & young people
under 5s
Find out about courageous children who tried to make the world a better place
Find out about courageous children who tried to make the world a better place

Free

Free

1:30 pm
Sun 16 Feb 2020
1:30 pm | Sun 16 Feb 2020
family & young people
Shout 'Arrr' at our rollicking pirate-themed party
Shout 'Arrr' at our rollicking pirate-themed party
Rug Rhymes at National Poetry Library

Free

Free

10:30 am
Mon 17 Feb 2020
10:30 am | Mon 17 Feb 2020
literature & poetry
poetry
A short session of green nursery rhymes and poems for under-5s and their carers
A short session of green nursery rhymes and poems for under-5s and their carers
Cressida Cowell, author
10:45 am
Mon 17 Feb 2020
10:45 am | Mon 17 Feb 2020
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Calling creators of the future – hear from the pros on how to grow your own magical ideas
Calling creators of the future – hear from the pros on how to grow your own magical ideas
Illustration of two worker bees
11:30 am
Mon 17 Feb 2020
11:30 am | Mon 17 Feb 2020
literature & poetry
poetry
Can poetry turn you green?
Can poetry turn you green?
Timberlina sitting on chair outside with arms outstretched

Free

Free

Various times
Mon 17 Feb 2020
Various times | Mon 17 Feb 2020
performance & dance
family & young people
How do you stick up for planet Earth?
How do you stick up for planet Earth?
Polar bear sitting on arctic ice
1:30 pm
Mon 17 Feb 2020
1:30 pm | Mon 17 Feb 2020
literature & poetry
poetry
Poets share planet-friendly poems on disappearing tigers, talking rubbish and ‘poo power’
Poets share planet-friendly poems on disappearing tigers, talking rubbish and ‘poo power’
Ron Weasley, Harry Potter and Hermione Granger
2:00 pm
Mon 17 Feb 2020
2:00 pm | Mon 17 Feb 2020
family & young people
literature & poetry
Still waiting for your letter from Hogwarts?
Still waiting for your letter from Hogwarts?
Josephine Bean looking at a scrapbook
Various times
17 Feb 2020 - 19 Feb 2020
Various times | 17 Feb 2020 - 19 Feb 2020
family & young people
Slowly, page-by-page, a scrapbook becomes a window into a secret world in a show for ages 7+
Slowly, page-by-page, a scrapbook becomes a window into a secret world in a show for ages 7+
An illustration of earth surrounded by nature and animals
3:00 pm
Mon 17 Feb 2020
3:00 pm | Mon 17 Feb 2020
literature & poetry
poetry
Adventure into snowy mountains and deep blue oceans with poems celebrating the world you live in
Adventure into snowy mountains and deep blue oceans with poems celebrating the world you live in
Kate Pankhurst, writer
3:15 pm
Mon 17 Feb 2020
3:15 pm | Mon 17 Feb 2020
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Spark ideas on how to make an impact with illustrator, author and suffragette descendant Kate Pankhurst
Spark ideas on how to make an impact with illustrator, author and suffragette descendant Kate...
Annet Schaap, illustrator
Various times
18 Feb 2020 - 19 Feb 2020
Various times | 18 Feb 2020 - 19 Feb 2020
family & young people
Dive into the stormy waves of Lampie and the Children of the Sea with art and a reading for ages 8+
Dive into the stormy waves of Lampie and the Children of the Sea with art and a reading for ages 8+
Picture It! Print It! at Imagine Children's Festival

Free

Free

Various times
18 Feb 2020 - 19 Feb 2020
Various times | 18 Feb 2020 - 19 Feb 2020
courses & workshops
family & young people
Scribble and sketch your own cover design for your favourite book
Scribble and sketch your own cover design for your favourite book
Edward van de Vendel, writer
Various times
18 Feb 2020 - 19 Feb 2020
Various times | 18 Feb 2020 - 19 Feb 2020
family & young people
Go around and around, climb and sliiide through playful poems by Edward van de Vendel
Go around and around, climb and sliiide through playful poems by Edward van de Vendel
Robin Stevens, author
1:00 pm
Tue 18 Feb 2020
1:00 pm | Tue 18 Feb 2020
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Create and solve a mystery of your very own with the author of the Murder Most Unladylike series
Create and solve a mystery of your very own with the author of the Murder Most Unladylike series
Children Craft Workshop

Free

Free

Various times
Tue 18 Feb 2020
Various times | Tue 18 Feb 2020
family & young people
Get an appetite for adventure at a workshop inspired by the story of Pippi Longstocking
Get an appetite for adventure at a workshop inspired by the story of Pippi Longstocking
Sita Brahmachari, author
Various times
Tue 18 Feb 2020
Various times | Tue 18 Feb 2020
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Create your own environmental pledge with the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize-winning author
Create your own environmental pledge with the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize-winning author
Jennie Poh, illustrator
Various times
Wed 19 Feb 2020
Various times | Wed 19 Feb 2020
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Ahoy there, matey! Become a pirate for the day and sail the stormy seas
Ahoy there, matey! Become a pirate for the day and sail the stormy seas

Free

Free

Various times
Wed 19 Feb 2020
Various times | Wed 19 Feb 2020
family & young people
accessible events
Draw your way through fantastical lands and tongue-twisting characters
Draw your way through fantastical lands and tongue-twisting characters
Children enjoying concert
Various times
19 Feb 2020 - 20 Feb 2020
Various times | 19 Feb 2020 - 20 Feb 2020
classical music
family & young people
Listen, sing, dance and play at a storytelling concert for under-fives
Listen, sing, dance and play at a storytelling concert for under-fives
Stella being performed live on stage
Various times
19 Feb 2020 - 20 Feb 2020
Various times | 19 Feb 2020 - 20 Feb 2020
performance & dance
family & young people
What if it wasn’t an old man all the way up there in the moon, but a young woman?
What if it wasn’t an old man all the way up there in the moon, but a young woman?
Dermot O'Leary and Toto the Ninja Cat
12:30 pm
Thu 20 Feb 2020
12:30 pm | Thu 20 Feb 2020
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Toto the Ninja Cat is going on a well-earned holiday to the world's most famous music festival - Catstonbury!
Toto the Ninja Cat is going on a well-earned holiday to the world's most famous music festival...
Hannah Lee illustration
1:00 pm
Thu 20 Feb 2020
1:00 pm | Thu 20 Feb 2020
family & young people
Dreads, twist out or braids – a girl chooses a birthday style in a picture book read by the author
Dreads, twist out or braids – a girl chooses a birthday style in a picture book read by the author
ShayShay, Sophie Brain and Mahatma Khandi

Free

Free

Various times
Thu 20 Feb 2020
Various times | Thu 20 Feb 2020
family & young people
Set sail for adventure with ShayShay, Sophie Brain and Mahatma Khandi in search of the greatest treasure in the world
Set sail for adventure with ShayShay, Sophie Brain and Mahatma Khandi in search of the greatest...
The Mighty Kids
Various times
Fri 21 Feb 2020
Various times | Fri 21 Feb 2020
performance & dance
performance & theatre
Calling kids aged 5 to 100: join our mighty gang for an electrifying interactive show
Calling kids aged 5 to 100: join our mighty gang for an electrifying interactive show
Illustration of groovy animals in a forest playing musical instruments

Free

Free

Various times
Fri 21 Feb 2020
Various times | Fri 21 Feb 2020
family & young people
Venture into the deep dark woods on a jazz- and funk-fuelled family adventure for ages 3 – 7
Venture into the deep dark woods on a jazz- and funk-fuelled family adventure for ages 3 – 7
Illustration of a bird escaping arrows in the sky
Various times
Fri 21 Feb 2020
Various times | Fri 21 Feb 2020
family & young people
under 5s
Take flight at a colourful workshop on making your own paper bird with collaged feathers
Take flight at a colourful workshop on making your own paper bird with collaged feathers
Atinuke, author
2:00 pm
Fri 21 Feb 2020
2:00 pm | Fri 21 Feb 2020
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Did you know that the first human beings to walk this earth were African?
Did you know that the first human beings to walk this earth were African?
YolanDA's Band Jam performed on stage
2:00 pm
Fri 21 Feb 2020
2:00 pm | Fri 21 Feb 2020
family & young people
Boogie along at a performance of crowd-pleasing songs for children
Boogie along at a performance of crowd-pleasing songs for children
Cerrie Burnell, author
3:15 pm
Fri 21 Feb 2020
3:15 pm | Fri 21 Feb 2020
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Children’s authors explain the wonderful things that can happen when you find yourself in the story
Children’s authors explain the wonderful things that can happen when you find yourself in the...
Maggie Aderin-Pocock, scientist
11:00 am
Sat 22 Feb 2020
11:00 am | Sat 22 Feb 2020
literature & poetry
Get set for the cosmic trip of a lifetime on this interactive tour
Get set for the cosmic trip of a lifetime on this interactive tour
Musical Roots
11:30 am
Sat 22 Feb 2020
11:30 am | Sat 22 Feb 2020
classical music
contemporary classical
Calling all detectives! Help the BBC Concert Orchestra solve the mysteries in their musical family tree
Calling all detectives! Help the BBC Concert Orchestra solve the mysteries in their musical family...
Photograph of a child dancing while a crowd and an MC cheer her on

Free

Free

Various times
Sat 22 Feb 2020
Various times | Sat 22 Feb 2020
performance & dance
family & young people
See dancers slide and groove through a story of the first day of school, and learn some new moves
See dancers slide and groove through a story of the first day of school, and learn some new moves

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