Imagine A Wonderland At Southbank Centre Children's Festival

Laura Reynolds
By Laura Reynolds Last edited 48 months ago
Imagine A Wonderland At Southbank Centre Children's Festival


Southbank Centre's Imagine Children's Festival will take on an Alice in Wonderland theme, it has been announced.

The two week festival celebrates the 150th anniversary of the publication of Lewis Carroll's classic children's book, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Kids and their families can follow in the footsteps of Alice and play flamingo croquet (no animals are harmed in the making of this game), or make their own mad hat or mask, before showing them off at the Down The Rabbit Hole dress up day.

Some Alice-themed events have already sold out, but there are still tickets available to Alice's Imaginarium, an interactive, outdoor performance winding through tunnels and stairways where cats fly through the air and board games become human sized (age 8+). Anyone can turn up to watch the eccentric tea ladies strutting their stuff and serving tea from their musical tea trolley.

Continuing the literature theme, several children's authors will be on hand to talk about their work, including Judith Kerr (When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, The Tiger Who Came To Tea), Lauren Child (Clarice Bean), and Anthony Horowitz (Stormbreaker).

Animals are another common feature throughout the festival; anyone can take part in the animal parade dress up day and meet keepers from London Zoo. The zoo is also involved in animal noise bingo — match the sounds you hear to the animal pictures, and hear from the zoo keepers about why animals are so noisy.

Take part in animal noise bingo

More dextrous young 'uns (and their competitive parents) will enjoy the speedcubing event on 14 February — get tips from expert Rubik's cubers and watch them work their magic. Budding musicians, dancers, and even Charlie and Lola fans are all well catered for.

Teenagers might be interested in the Southbank Centre backstage tours, with VIP access to off limits areas, including artists' dressing rooms.

The festival comes to a close with Big Fish Little Fish's family rave on 22 February, aimed at 0-8 year olds. The whole family can party together with glowsticks, bubbles and glitter cannons (where do we sign up?!?). There's also a craft area, giant parachute and more.

Imagine Children's Festival takes place at Southbank Centre 9-22 February. Many events are free, see individual event webpages for pricing and booking information and age restrictions.

Looking for other ways to keep children and teenagers entertained in half term (14-22 February)? Take a look at our ever-growing list of half term activities.

And hy not refuel at one of London's child friendly restaurants?

Last Updated 06 February 2015