London fun for you and your little ones

Imagine Children’s Festival: Southbank Centre (11-26 February)

Posted by on Sunday, 12 February, 2012 in Featured, Festivals, Rainy day

Imagine Children’s Festival: Southbank Centre (11-26 February)

If you need inspiration for places to go during half term, when the weekly baby activities you usually attend are probably having a week’s break too, head to London’s South Bank.  The Southbank Centre is hosting the Imagine Children’s Festival from 11-26 February, a range of events covering literature, music, comedy and performance.




The varied Festival programme includes events suitable for all ages of children, many of which are free.  For babies aged two and under, “Dr Octopus and the Wheels of Steel” at the Royal Festival Hall (13-15 and 20-21 February) may be worth a look: it’s a free show incorporating movement, hip-hop and poetry from DJ and poet Charlie Dark.  Alternatively, check out the “Baby O” opera session (aimed at babies aged 6-18 months), which is scheduled to run three times a day from Wednesday 22 to Saturday 25 February (admission £6).

For older children choose from a free daily craft pavilion, poetry readings and various free performances at the Royal Festival Hall.  A whole host of additional, ticketed events are also taking place (see website for programme).

Interest rating

We visited on the first day of the festival and there was a fantastic buzz throughout the Southbank Centre, with children of all ages (and their parents) getting involved in the many events on offer.  If the Festival continues to attract as many visitors as we saw on our trip there (granted it was the first weekend of half term), expect to queue for some facilities.


Baby changing facilities are available.  The Southbank Centre is fully accessible to pushchairs.


There are a number of places to eat and drink around the Southbank Centre, including family friendly chains such as Giraffe and Strada.  High chairs are available in the Royal Festival Hall foyer (although if it’s busy you may have to search for one).  


You can bring your own food and drink to eat at the tables and chairs in the foyers of the Royal Festival and Queen Elizabeth Halls.

There is a “Real Food Market” at the rear of the Southbank Centre from Friday 17 – Sunday 19 and Friday 24 – Sunday 26 February.

Opening hours

Check the online programme for details of the Imagine Children’s Festival events.

Contact details

Telephone: 020 7960 4200


Getting there

Address: Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX

By train: The nearest stations are Waterloo (Northern, Jubilee, Bakerloo and Waterloo and City Lines, National Rail), Waterloo East (National Rail), Charing Cross (Northern and Bakerloo Lines, National Rail), Embankment (District and Circle Lines), Westminster (District, Circle and Jubilee Lines).

Waterloo and Westminster stations have step-free access.

By bus: Many bus routes pass close to the Southbank Centre.  See Transport for London’s Journey Planner for details at



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