So with the hottest day of the year forecast, feeling brave (or crazy?) I decided to head to the South Bank with the kids to check out the Southbank Centre’s Festival of Love. For as long as I can remember, the Southbank Centre’s summer festival has always had plenty on for the kids; and this year is no different, with the fantastic addition of Sliding Gate by Sean Griffiths, six huge playground slides installed on Festival Terrace to symbolise family love and the ups and downs of family life.
The ever-reliable city beach was also in full effect (although lacking in buckets and spades!), as was the hilarious Appearing Rooms by Jeppe Hein, a popular installation-cum-water park, which left me smug at having packed a spare set of clothes after getting caught out last year for thinking that it looked very dry inside the rooms!
Having picnicked in Jubilee Gardens, we decided to escape the heat and have a nose inside the Tunnel of Love, housed in the Spirit Level of the Royal Festival Hall. Don’t be put off by the very x-rated looking exterior. It’s actually just a very playful and interactive installation piece by Heart n Soul, a leading creative arts company.
Today was the perfect day to explore this space as it was almost empty, with most of its planned activity taking place in the evening in the form of gigs, club nights and talks. Aside from the initial hall of fame walkway which features images of anyone and everyone from Jason Donovan to Prince Harry (to which my daughter said ‘mummy, who are all these people?!’), the highlight for me was the giant Twister mat.
It didn’t take too long to convince a 3 year old that clambering around on your hands and knees at the orders of an automated spinning board was a fun way to spend 15 minutes, it soon however descended into confusion, followed by an argument around who was or wasn’t cheating, mainly due to the issue that my only opponent still doesn’t quite know her left from her right! Thankfully, we had less of an audience than any game of Twister I have ever played. Don’t miss it. Just try to rope in more players.
Festival of Love runs until the 31st August.