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 2019:
We're Going on a Bear Hunt
18 Feb 2019, RFH
The beloved kids book by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury is brought to life in this interactive screening, with a live orchestral soundtrack from the City of London Sinfonia. Plus, there's a sing-along. We're going to catch a big one!
Captain Flinn & the Pirate Dinosaurs: The Magic Cutlass
19 Feb 2019 - 23 Feb 2019, Queen Elizabeth Hall
11am or 3pm shows
As any kid will tell you, the only thing better than pirates is dinosaurs. Well, guess what? This show's got 'em both. Combining puppetry with theatrics, this production brings Giles Andreae and Russell Ayto's bestselling book of the same name to life. Suitable for ages 3+.
The Singing Mermaid
16 Feb 2019 - 20 Feb 2019, Purcell Room
11am, 1pm, 3pm, 3:15pm
Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks's memorable mermaid has a voice that everyone loves - and one which unpleasant circus ringmaster Sam Sly wants to make a quick buck off of. Kids are captivated by this story and will love seeing it brought to life (our favourite bit is when the mermaid needs to learn how to walk on her hands so she can make her way home again). Told through puppetry and performance, this show is recommended for ages 3-8.
Dates and times: Mon 18 Feb, 10:30am, National Poetry Library, free
credit: India Roper-Evans
Because it's never too early to get them interested in poetry. Before the event, start at home with some A.A. Milne - you'll find them as delightful as your children do.
The Giant Storytelling Bed
Dates and times: Sat 16 - Sun 24 Feb 2019, 3:45pm
The Clore Ballroom, Level 2, Royal Festival Hall
credit: Victor Frankowski
Snuggle up together and listen to a story to close off each day at the Imagine Children's Festival. Forget chairs: any kid will tell you the only place for bedtime stories is cuddled up in bed together. And this giant bed won't disappoint. Early risers can kick of their day at the South Bank with Morning Music Time at 10:30am each morning(same location).
Other Imagine Children's Festival Highlights
Credit: Annie Spratt
Your favourite children's authors will also be visiting the South Bank this half term. Catch Lauren Child, the current Waterstones Children's Laureate, in conversation, talking about her creations like Charlie & Lola and Clarice Bean (Thursday, 21 Feb at 1pm). Also, Jacqueline Wilson, Malorie Blackman and Chris Riddell are making an appearance (all together!) on Sat 16 Feb at 11am. Plus, Elmer the Patchwork Elephant fans will be able to listen to author and illustrator David McKee on Mon 18 Feb.
If you're keen to see something on stage, there's also The Day I Fell into a Book, an immersive storytelling adventure, on Tue 19-Sat 23 Feb, a Peppa Pig orchestra concert for the toddler crows (Fri 15-Sun 17 Feb), I Wish I Was a Mountain, a rhyme and music show that gets your kids thinking about mountains and how they feel (Fri 22 and Sat 23 Feb) and Chineke! Juniors, a music workshop on Sun Feb 17.
There's also plenty for the under-5 crowd, including Hippity Hop (an interactive hip-hop show), This is the Drum with Ken Wilson-Max, singing and dancing event with the award-winning picture book author and the Rig play zone, a musical playground built from recycled and upcycled objects.
If you're looking for free activities, there's a Strictly Kids dancing workshop on Thu 21 Feb, a How to Train You Dragon read-along (yep, the whole book!) on Sat 23 Feb and Cosmic Currents with Figs in Wigs and Friends, an intergalactic adventure with dance and storytelling (Tues 19 Feb).
|What||Imagine Festival, Southbank Centre|
|Where||Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Waterloo (underground)|
|Website||Click here to book events via the Southbank Centre website|