The Ultimate Guide to Free Fun at Southbank's Imagine Festival!

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The Southbank’s Imagine Festival is back and better than ever for it’s 18th year of family-fun! Prepare yourselves for 12 jam-packed days of the best international performance, music, literature, comedy, creativity, participation and best of all, free fun for little ones aged 0-11 and their grown-ups! Get yourselves down to the Southbank Centre from 12-23 February and get stuck into everything from face-painting and music to dancing and drawing - whatever your family’s interests, you’re bound to find something for everyone to enjoy here! Plus, we’ve selected the top free fun so you can make the most out of the festival without spending a penny - check out our top picks down below!

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1. Sing your heart out with Big Songs for Little Singers

Ahem! On Saturday 15 February, head to the Royal Festival Hall, level 2, and warm up those vocal chords ready to experience Big Songs for Little Singers. Suitable for mini musicians aged three plus, pick up some new groovy moves, reprise the classics and even learn some new funky tunes to belt on the train home! Perfect for any budding singers or those who are destined for the stage.

2. Get down to Earth with the Earth Activity Trail

Running throughout the Imagine Festival is the famous Earth Activity Trail, bound to be a hit with curious youngsters and mini eco warriors! Recommended for those aged 3-11, head to the Green Side Foyer in the Royal Festival Hall and grab an activity sheet to lead your family on a do-it-yourself eco adventure around the Southbank Centre. Packed with discoveries galore, follow in the footsteps of green warriors and see what you can explore as you wander through the festival!

little boy magnifying glass spying imagine festival southbank centre

3. Make some noise with Friday Lunch: Mmm Ahhh Whoosh with Mellow Baku

On Friday 14 February, it’s time to get groovy again! Head to the Clore Ballroom and sing along, move, groove and smile with songs from Mellow Baku - an awesome jazz and soul singer, bound to get even your littlest moving. Her animated online album for children, Mmm Ahhh Whoosh is extremely popular amongst little ones and we can guarantee it’s even better live!

4. Take time to chill out at the Imagine Wellbeing Zone

There’s no denying that things can get a little stressful in our day to day lives and one of the things that makes the Imagine Festival so great is that it has its very own Wellbeing Zone! On Friday 14 February, pop into the Wellbeing Zone in the Blue Side Foyer from 11am and take some time to relax with your family. You’ll find colouring, places to sit and even hand-massages for grown-ups! Plus, there are plenty of self-care tips on offer to remind you to take time for yourself too.

colouring in fun wellbeing zone for families at imagine festival

Play Out - quite literally!

Wrap up warm and get outside on the Riverside Terrace - which we can confirm, has incredible views of London and is a great selfie spot - to  hop, jump, skip, and run off some steam outside! If all the other incredible activities haven’t quite tired you out yet (who are we kidding - there’s always time for more fun!), Play Out on the terrace will certainly provide you with endless hours of active fun - perfect for older ones too! What are you waiting for?

southbank centre outdoor play area for children
Ellie Sylvester

Ellie is a keen Londoner, thespian and foodie! She's the oldest of three and loves taking her younger siblings, aged nine and fourteen, on adventures to the theatre and food markets, trying new foods and dabbling in the world of musical theatre. Some of her favourite spots include Primrose Hill and the Natural History Museum, not to mention the ever-changing Spitalfields Market.