It’s February half term! And this, for us means heading to the Imagine Children’s Festival on the Southbank in London. We’ve been big fans of the Imagine Festival for a few years now. If you’ve not heard of it, it takes place every February half term for 12 days and is a lovely children’s festival which celebrates the power of storytelling. It runs all this week for those that want to head to the Southbank for a gander at the lovely variety of activities and performances. There’s something for all ages and all tastes from music to art to storytelling to puppetry!
The Imagine Festival, Southbank
The ‘Imagine Festival’ is perfect for families with kids of varying ages, like ours, and we found something that each of our children loved. We started the day checking out the giant floor chalk board in the Southbank Centre. Unfortunately, we had to cut our time short at the giant chalk board due to our pickle of a two year old hogging the chalk board rubber and taking a liking to rubbing out other children’s designs! Oh Archie! Finlay drew an amazing rocket before we left that he was pretty proud of!
Next we joined the free event – ‘Morning Music Time’ where we followed a Trumpet on a journey to the Golden City and helped it play, dance and march along the way. Archie loved the trumpet – at one point I thought he was going to march right up to the stage and nab the trumpet – he kept asking where his one was!
Another unique thing about ‘The Imagine Festival’ is that children are involved in the running of the day-to-day management of the festival. When we arrived, there were kids dressed in yell0w T.Shirts with ‘I’m in charge’ on the back. They handed us our programme and answered our questions about timings and venues for events very professionally – Elodie and Finlay were totally in awe!
Captain Flinn & the Pirate Dinosaurs: The Magic Cutlass Review
We were thrilled when ‘The Imagine Festival’ kindly offered us tickets to see the theatre production ‘Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs’ – it’s a magical action-packed theatrical pirate adventure, with live music and shadow puppetry.
It’s a theatre production based on the bestselling Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs books by Giles Andreae and Russell Ayto. Four friends are whisked away on a fantastic adventure to a world full of devious dinosaurs, deep sea dangers and a dangerous sausage machine. There’s enough tongue-in-cheek humour for the adults, amazing dinosaur puppets for the kids topped off with catchy music and lighting effects to dazzle all. Archie sat mesmerised (totally unheard of for our 2 year old) for the entire performance and our older two were also transfixed with the 5 person cast and all the costume changes and visual effects. There’s a stunning underwater neon scene with a diving puppet and glowing jellyfish that shouldn’t be missed! Orla kept trying to work out how they made the Magic Cutlass glow!
We ended our lovely day at the Imagine Festival by visiting the interactive paintings outside – they’re kind of like a colourful fun obstacle course where you follow the directions to lead you dancing all over the Southbank.
There’s still time to catch a performance of ‘Captain Flinn’ and lots of other events at ‘The Imagine Festival’ as it’s on until the 24th February and there’s plenty of events happening over the next few days such as ‘The Soundpit’ for kids to come play with giant Sandpits creating music, readings from children’s books by Chitra Sounda and Cressida Cowell and an origami workshop. It’s definitely a special way to spend time with kids on the Southbank.
*We were gifted our ‘Captain Flinn’ tickets in exchange for a review but much of ‘The Imagine Festival’ is free to all.*