EVENT Duckling and Diving
The Imagine Children’s Festival at the Southbank Centre is a highlight of our yearly calendar. The iconic London building becomes a 12-day riot of colour, sound and energy as it’s colonised by children and their adults. Meet authors, take part in radical art workshops, play in giant sandpits illuminated with light graphics, meet a dinosaur, and take part in baby-friendly gamelan workshops. We can’t wait to explore Nest, a multi-sensory experience for pre-walking babies and their adults, LGBT+ superstars Duckie’s take on The Ugly Duckling, starring cabaret star Le Gateau Chocolat in his first work for children and to hear incredible stories of children who are making the planet a better place in You’re Never Too Young To Change The World (free). Some events ticketed, many free. February 12–23
EVENT and DO Be Cool
Random Acts of Kindness Day falls on February 17. Why not use it as a spur to make a stranger smile, to thank someone who might miss out on gratitude, or to make a new friend? Ideas from the gang behind the initiative include picking up rubbish around your neighbourhood, sending an anonymous care package to someone who could use a little encouragement, or to leave a favourite book – complete with explanation of its virtues – in a public place for a stranger to find. Find lesson plans and join the Kindness movement here
EVENT Tech’s Message
This half-term, immerse yourself in the world of science and tech. Brighton Science Festival brings together over fifty events covering technology, science, art and music; see a Valentine’s heart dissection, try escape rooms both teeny and set in a huge manor house, learn how to hack, or help build the world’s longest automaton! Across the week, events ticketed, some free. The week-long Northern Ireland Science Festival takes place across the country, with sustainability fairs, science trails and a chat with Chris Packham (some events ticketed, some free). Or dive into the world of gaming at Dreamland, Margate as the Geek festival includes cosplay events, workshops, indie developers showing off their latest games, tournaments and Minecraft co-ops.
EVENT and DO Nest Level
National Nest Box Week runs every year from February 14. Why not take the opportunity to create your own boxes? There are 27 plans, from the wacky to the ultra-modern here. Get creative and paint your hand-made shelter in bright colours, or repurpose an unlikely vessel as a home for birds – we’ve seen some lovely ones made from old kettles or shaped like beach huts. It’s a great way to contribute to bird conservation, and nesting birds are a joy to watch.
EVENT Beaming Out
Spectra is Aberdeen’s Festival Of Light, a series of retina-searing installations, exhibitions and events across the city’s centre. Young emerging artists from Aberdeen join established names this February to create dazzling works. This year wonder at giant inflatable sea creatures, find out about dolphins in the waters near Aberdeen, see night flying hunters in a churchyard, witness a ghost ships, and be lured by ghosts deep into a digital forest . Truly immersive.
What we’ve been reading this week:
‘Overwhelming and terrifying’: the rise of climate anxiety
“The positive thing from our perspective as psychologists is that we soon realised the cure to climate anxiety is the same as the cure for climate change – action. It is about getting out and doing something that helps.” Read more here