Fun Palaces: a transformation of culture from the grassroots up


We're big fans of the Fun Palaces movement - check out our previous blogs on Fun Palaces here (including a manifesto from co-director Stella Duffy). 

Fun Palaces are made by local people for their own communities. It is both a movement reclaiming culture by, with and for all people and an annual weekend of events, where arts, crafts, science, tech and digital are combined in unusual ways to create new catalysts for community engagement.  Well connected, flourishing communities are what we mean by a healthy culture so we use every means we can to engage people - especially those that rarely take part in public events for a whole variety of reasons. Having fun, discovering new stuff and meeting people on the way is our aim.

And the annual weekend is here! We're featuring a small selection of the 300+ Fun Palaces happening all over the UK. Find your local Fun Palaces using your post code here.

Sheffield - Saturday 7 October

Hunt for treasure, dance, sing and go behind-the-scenes at Sheffield Theatres and Theatre Delicatessen's Fun Palaces. Join British Science Association for hands-on exploration of the senses, taste experiments, crafting eyeballs, playing a fruit orchestra, and optical illusions. Then head up to Pitsmore Adventure Playground for arts and science activities.

Kent - Saturday 7 October

Be part of the 5000 Poppies Project at Medway Fun Palace, Chatham. Try out print-making, mark-making, doodle art, zentangles, monoprinting, relief printing, and abstract collage at Ideas Test Fun Palace. Enjoy environmentally themed fun at Murston Heart Fun Palace, Sittingbourne. And join in with arts and science activities, inspired by the local legend of Lord George Sanger, a circus impresario who founded Dreamland, at Margate’s Fun Palace.

Edinburgh - Saturday 7 October

Enjoy a celebration of memory, including reminiscence sessions, podcast creation and storytelling sessions at The Little Shop of Memory Fun Palace. Drop in to WHALE Arts for fun activities. Try out science tattoos, disease discovery and 3D anatomy T-shirts at Science Alive Fun Palace. Become a red squirrel detective or a wildlife crime fighter at Wild Science Fun Palace. And geek-out with star-gazing, astronomy and astro-photography activities at Dark Skies Bright Stars Fun Palace.

Bristol - Saturday 7 & Sunday 8 October

Enrole at the University of Witchcraft and Wizardry University of Bristol. Explore interactive activities around the theme of 'growing' at Avonmouth Community Centre. And Bristol Libraries are teaming up and the Peoples University, Fishponds for open-mic talks.

Cornwall - Saturday 7th October

Make a net, enjoy knot tying activities and share images, film and stories on a social media live feed in Porthleven at A Stitch in Time Fun Palace. Create a banner exhibition at Helston Museum. Enjoy guided walks, nature, wildlife and art exhibition by the Potager Peas – a local group of people living with dementia in Constantine. And pop into Falmouth Art Gallery for crazy crafts and more.

London - Saturday 7 & Sunday 8 October

Try Idiot Olympics at The Huge Camden Fun Palace. Meet mermaids at Royal Museums Greenwich. Join a festival of radical fun Museum of London. Try eco-art and learn to make Vietnamese Summer Rolls at Grange Big Local’s Fun Palace. And explore the world of the London stage at London Metropolitan Archives and Theatre Royal Stratford East.