Helpful hints for hosting your own Fun Palace

: State Library Fun Palace 2016

State Library Fun Palace 2016

The next Fun Palace weekend is just around the corner on 7th & 8th October. If you would like to explore hands-on, participatory activities, and encourage people in your community to share skills with each other, why not become a Fun Palace host?

Fun Palaces are a yearly event that happen all over the world on the first Saturday and Sunday of October. Described by the founding organisers as an “annual weekend of action,” Fun Palaces feature art, science, craft, tech, digital and sports events and activities run by, and for, local people. They’re free, participatory, community-led and a great way to inspire participation in the arts and sciences across cultures, ages, abilities and levels of expertise.

Last year there were 65 Fun Palace locations across Queensland; Of these locations 19 were programmed, staffed and marketed by Councils which ran across 29 different Queensland locations – and another 36 Queensland Fun Palaces took place with support from SLQ. Well done!

This October will see State Library host a Fun Palace for the third time, and each year we’ve seen community energy and enthusiasm build and engagement grow. We’re encouraging other libraries to lead the way in creating their own Fun Palaces, so we’ve gathered some tips and support resources to share.

Here are some questions to get you thinking:

  • What things are your community interested in?
  • What program and activities could your library run?
  • How will you commit to running these activities? Consider the staffing and resourcing you have available to deliver your activities; can you partner with a local school, community organisation, arts worker, scientist, teacher, parent, or local celebrity?
  • How long should your activities go for? – You can look at a range of timeslots from 10 minute activities that can be repeated throughout the day, to activities that take 30 minutes, or activities that build up throughout the day and become an installation.

Here are a few links for activity inspiration:

What other organisations did last year

The Exploratorium – fantastic tried-and-tested activities on tinkering and science topics

Pinterest – Check out the board we’ve been pinning to and add pins of your own.

Marketing Toolkit    – A range of Fun Palace templates, graphics and promotional materials to promote and run Fun Palace events, available for download via our dedicated Fun Palace Dropbox

Of course every Fun Palace is unique; and we encourage individual communities to use their collective imaginations to program. Over the next few weeks we’ll be adding resources to the PLConnect Activities webpage.

If you would like to share your fantastic ideas, or would like a supportive ear, we are happy to discuss any options with you – just email

Thanks and good luck!

Emma Constance and Anne Pensalfini

Signature Program Team

State Library of Queensland