Manchester Libraries’ Fun Palaces day, on Saturday 1 October, offers activities for everyone from computer coders, amateur bakers and origami enthusiasts to poetry fans, knitting fiends and dancing queens.The concept behind the Fun Palaces initiative was originally imagined in the 1960s, by theatre director Joan Littlewood and architect Cedric Price, who wanted to create a single space for the arts and sciences, open and welcoming to all.

Today, ‘Fun Palaces’ has become a national initiative, set up by Stella Duffy and Sarah-Jane Rawlings, with the goal of making arts and sciences accessible to everyone, at local, community-led events.

At Fun Palaces, events are offered to bring people together to take part in creative activities, with something for everyone to be inspired by – no matter what your age or ability.

Longsight Library will offer activities including cake decorating, Bollywood dance classes and origami, while Manchester’s Archives + Centre will be on hand to offer a journey into the ‘Fourth Dimension’, using augmented reality technology (10am – 4pm).

Fallowfield Community Library, at the Place at Platt Lane, is offering families the chance to try their hand at poetry, drama, wood carving and even slime-making (10am – 12:30pm). Gorton Library is offering sessions in jewellery-making, knitting and a special stall for women who are interested in setting up their own business (2 – 4:30pm). Other libraries offering activities on the day include North City, Wythenshawe Forum, Withington, Newton Heath and Miles Platting.

Executive Member for Culture and Leisure, Councillor Luthfur Rahman, said: “Our libraries continue to provide opportunities for everyone in Manchester to enjoy getting involved in the arts and community projects – making them the perfect ‘Fun Palaces’ for Manchester.

“So it’s no surprise that our libraries are presenting an unbelievable range of free activities during this year’s Fun Palaces weekend.

Stella Duffy OBE, Co-Director of Fun Palaces, said: “This year, we welcome Fun Palaces across Britain and internationally, all of them championing the idea that learning and working co-operatively, with arts and sciences as cultural catalysts, not only brings our communities together, but also creates a culture of which we can all be proud.”

To find out about events taking place across Manchester, go to