A community takeover

If you haven't heard of Fun Palaces yet, you definitely will soon. They're a national initiative on the first weekend in October to get communities to take over places (like the Forest Centre) and host fun, cultural, and sometimes wacky events that you wouldn't get to do normally. It's celebrating the arts, science, craft, tech, digital, heritage and sports but in a fun way, with no rules except that everything has to be free and as accessible as possible!

Click here for more info

Images of: Children looking at a map, a piano, someone meditating and trees in the Park

Programme of events

Saturday

10am Join 'Ampthill on Board, who will have a great range of board games for you to try, many of which we bet you've never seen before! There will be friendly, cooperative games to try, or if you fancy something a bit more ruthless, games where you can be devious and sneaky! Most games will last between 30 and 45 minutes, and you can drop in anytime between 10am and 3pm.
10am The experts from 'Xylem' will be with us from 10am to 3pm, to offer fun hands-on experiments, and talk to you about our most precious resource - water. They will show you how we use satellite technology and drones to map resources, and give practical illustrations of how much water there actually is in the world. Drop in anytime between 10am and 3pm.
10am Jules and Sal from 'The Signing Company' will be here from 10am to 3pm. Learn how to sign with your baby or toddler! Explore new vocabulary though signing, turn-taking, sharing and listening. They will have puppets, songs, bubbles and lots of fun activities to help you get started. Sessions run every hour, on the hour, from 10am.
10am  Captain Alice will be here all weekend to talk all things map! Find out about maps and cartography - and why they are important in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. You can draw your own maps, and there will even be rocks and fossils to look at! Challenge Captain Alice to a time trial - find 10 symbols on the Symbol Spot Trail, the fastest in the morning and afternoon win a prize. Drop in anytime between 10am and 3pm.
10am Cheryl from 'Laughter and Life' will be here to help you relax! For most people life is exhausting – there is always so much to do, we can lose focus and suffer from stress and anxiety. Mindfulness helps us to focus our attention on the present moment and not get swept up in worrying or negative thoughts about the past or future. This taster of Mindfulness Meditation is suitable for all ages. Sessions last 45 minutes, starting at 10am and 2pm.
10.50am Jazzercise is a pulse-pounding, beat pumping fitness programme, that gets you results… fast! Claire will be running short taster sessions (less than 10 minutes, so anybody can have a go!) starting at 10.50am, 11.45am and 1.40pm.
11am Jo Roberts from the Forest of Marston Vale will be leading walks around the Country Park, to talk about the trees we have planted here, and why our woodlands are such special places. Walks last one hour, and start at 11am and 1pm.
11am Cheryl from 'Laughter and Life' will be tickling those funny bones with two Laughter Yoga sessions! There are proven health benefits to having a good belly laugh. Laughter reduces stress, improves your immune system and helps create a positive mental state. Sessions last half an hour, and start at 11am and 1pm.

Sunday

10am Ellie from KeyNotes Music brings piano and musicianship classes to children aged 4-11 through an innovative, accessible, and fun format. Using keyboards, have a go at learning to read music, identifying rhythm, describing pitch, dynamics and tempo, composing and performing. Sessions include lots of games, props, and singing. Come an release your inner musician! Sessions last 45 minutes, and start every hour on the hour.
10am  Jules and Sal from 'The Signing Company' will be here from 10am to 3pm. Learn how to sign with your baby or toddler! Explore new vocabulary though signing, turn-taking, sharing and listening. They will have puppets, songs, bubbles and lots of fun activities to help you get started. Sessions run every hour, on the hour, from 10am.
10am Captain Alice will be here all weekend to talk all things map! Find out about maps and cartography - and why they are important in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. You can draw your own maps, and there will even be rocks and fossils to look at! Challenge Captain Alice to a time trial - find 10 symbols on the Symbol Spot Trail, the fastest in the morning and afternoon win a prize. Drop in anytime between 10am and 3pm.
10am Cheryl from 'Laughter and Life' will be here to help you relax! For most people life is exhausting – there is always so much to do, we can lose focus and suffer from stress and anxiety. Mindfulness helps us to focus our attention on the present moment and not get swept up in worrying or negative thoughts about the past or future. This taster of Mindfulness Meditation is suitable for all ages. Sessions last 45 minutes, starting at 10am and 1.20pm.
11am Jo Roberts from the Forest of Marston Vale will be leading walks around the Country Park, to talk about the trees we have planted here, and why our woodlands are such special places. Walks last one hour, and start at 11am and 1pm.
11am Jill from 'The School of Dance' is running a 30 minute Baby Ballet class, especially for your 2 to 4 year olds, what could be sweeter?!
11.40am Cheryl from 'Laughter and Life' will be tickling those funny bones with two Laughter Yoga sessions! There are proven health benefits to having a good belly laugh. Laughter reduces stress, improves your immune system and helps create a positive mental state. Sessions last half an hour, and start at 11.40am and 2.30pm.
12.15pm Jazzercise is a pulse-pounding, beat pumping fitness programme, that gets you results… fast! Claire will be running short taster sessions (less than 10 minutes, so anybody can have a go!) starting at 12.15pm and 2.10pm.
12.30pm Jill Galloway from 'The School of Dance' brings you DDMix, the fun, entertaining full body workout created by none other than Darcey Bussell! The class lasts 45 minutes - if you love to dance, this is for you.

These will be drop in sessions, with no need to book and all of them will be totally free! Parking charges apply. Friends of the Forest get free parking all year round* at the Forest Centre - click here for more information


If you're interested and would like to know more, call Jo on 01234 762608 or send her an email. 

There's lots more info about Fun Palaces on their website and you can see what events are happening near you over that weekend by clicking here