What is a Fun Palace?
Fun Palaces are yearly events that happen all over the world on the first weekend of October. They are free and community-led and feature all kinds of activities run by local people. They focus on the arts and sciences and have a broad scope, including craft, tech, digital and sports activities.
2016 saw the growth of Fun Palaces in Queensland expand, with the help of State Library’s Mystery Box project. As hoped, this one-off program sparked box recipients to host Fun Palaces; and also inspired additional communities to create their own events using the marketing and creative resources provided by State Library. Read more about how Regional and Rural Fun Palaces Shine across Qld!
Overall, 65 Indigenous Knowledge Centres and libraries in Queensland participated in Fun Palaces, and more than 4000 people across the state participated, with the audience ranging from toddlers to seniors.
Although funding is not available to offer Mystery Boxes this year our hope is that the materials pictured and listed may offer some inspiration for organisations to host, or continue to host, their own events. State Library will support Fun Palace expansion by offering additional marketing materials and inspiration. We believe there are clear community and organisational benefits to hosting, regardless of the size, scope or budget of the event, and no matter if 2017 marks the organisation’s first, second or third Fun Palace.
Sample Fun Palace Mystery Box contents:
alligator clips and jumper wires
coin cell battery holders (sewable)
coin cell batteries
ART & CRAFT
60ml measuring cups
eye droppers or/ plastic pipettes
graph paper pads
matt or glossy square paper (great for origami)
kit jewellery pieces
buttons and wooden beads
beading thread fine gauge
cotton twine and large plastic needles
flex-it mesh or/ mesh fibre natural
sewing cotton and sharp point sewing needles
mini metallic paper plates
foil sheets of leaf (gold, silver or copper)
coloured wire or/creative soft wire
glitter stretch tubing
ice cream sticks or matchsticks
sugar spray paint
tape, glue, hot glue and guns
plasticine modelling clay
mod rock – plaster of paris bandages
plastic sheets to protect tables and vinyl gloves – so you can get messy!
The Art of Tinkering by Karen Wilkinson & Mike Petrich
Art Workshops for Children by Herve Tullet
Engibear by Andrew King
Unbored: The Essential Field Guide to Serious Fun by Joshua Glenn, et al
Create With Artists: An Art Activity Book by Rixt Hulshoff Pol
This Book Thinks You’re a Scientist – Science Museum, London
You can also find resources and ideas for where to purchase items at Tinkering Child.