The Imagine Children's Festival, which has something to inspire kids of all ages, is back again this year - its 19th! - to celebrate the power of storytelling. Kids from all over London will be congregating in the Southbank Centre in this festival that is truly by kids, and for kids.
We're most excited for the author/illustrator workshops and activities: some highlights including Supertato duo Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet, Look Up!'s Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola, Cressida Cowell, poets Carole Bromley and Martin Kiszko's eco-friendly poetry sesh, Kate Pankhurst on fantastically great women who saved the planet, Konnie Huq, Sita Brahmachari and Dermot O'Leary.
With so many different activities on offer, it's worth scanning the website to see which events most tickle your fancy. But for those looking for a handy guide, here are some of the highlights at Imagine Children's Festival 2020.
Royal Festival Hall, February 15-16, 2020
This is the story of Slug and Caterpillar's friendship and fight to reach the last juicy green leaf. It involves lots of slime, but unlike a normal day, you won't have to clean it up afterwards.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show
Purcell Room, February 12-February 14, 2020
Everyone's favourite picture book is on the stage in this colourful adaptation with 75 puppets.
Royal Festival Hall, on through 17 July, 2020
One for the tiny-tot set, this music workshop allows you and baby to immerse yourselves in the captivating sounds of the gamelan - a Javanese percussion orchestra - as well as giving you an opportunity to socialise with other new parents. Booking is £5.
Purcell Room, February 19-February 20, 2020
An exploration of the legend of the Man in the Moon - except she's actually a girl working against climate change.
The Curious Scrapbook of Josephine Bean
Royal Festival Hall, February 17-February 19, 2020
This award-winning puppetry show for kids 7+ takes us inside a scrapbook, which opens up to reveal a secret world.
Royal Festival Hall, on through 23 February 2020
credit: Pete Woodhead
We think Soundpit is completely brilliant - and we're not alone, considering the Southbank Centre has brought it back for its second year running. Think sandpits - but clean, non-sticky ones - plus an immersive sound and light experience that's fun for all ages. You can either play with your hands, your feet, or both. Booking is £8.
Erth's Dinosaur Zoo
Queen Elizabeth Hall, from 15 February, 2020 - 21 February 2020
This dinosaur show aimed at budding paleontologists 5 and up is sure to be a hit this February half-term, and kids can get up close and personal with live, moving dinosaurs, from sweet babies to enormous carnivores and herbivores. It's a chance to learn plenty too, like how to feed the dinosaurs and what the heck an Australovenator is (it's the most complete meat-eating skeleton ever found in Australia, guys!). Booking for adults is £16; £12 for kids.
Purcell Room, from 15 February, 2020 - 18 February 2020
A reworking of Hans Christian Andersen's The Ugly Ducking for the modern era, Duckie stars acclaimed cabaret star Le Gateau Chocolat in his first children's work, which champions our differences as strengths in a message that resonates with children - and parents - everywhere. Tickets are £14 for an adult, £10.50 for a child.
Queen Elizabeth Hall, 22 February 2020
Looking for a clever lesson in music history for your 6+ kid? Then you've come to the right place. Featuring performances from the BBC Concert Orchestra and Anna-Maria Helsing, children will learn about the history of famous composers and listen to works like Vivaldi's 'Spring', Shostakovich's 'Little Polka' (Scherzo), and Quincy Jones' 'Soul Bossa Nova'. Booking ranges from £10 - £16 per adult and £5 per child.
|What||Imagine Children's Festival, Southbank Centre|
|Where||Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Waterloo (underground)|
12 Feb 20 – 23 Feb 20, various
|Website||Click here to book events via the Southbank Centre website|