For children and families

Free Family Saturday

Every Saturday

Every Saturday 11am – 1pm and 2 - 4pm, Learning Studios

An intriguing family activity with a firstsite artist and a different theme each week all based on the firstsite exhibition. It's entirely free and you can stay for as little or as long as you like.

13 September - Lean on a Wall / Step on a Ball

11am-1pm Kayla St Claire

Tracing Spaces: Inspired by the surprising angles of the walls in Firstsite, extend the architecture, create patterns and pathways through the space using tape, our bodies and our imaginations.

2-4pm Michael Ridge

Investigate all the weird and curvy walls at Firstsite – a special map with instructions and colourful stickers will help you on your way. A fun challenge to interact in ways you wouldn’t usually with the unusual interior architecture and wall angles. This activity involves leaning on walls (or attempting to at least!) and other ways of engaging directly with walls and space.

20 September - Minimal Vs Maximal

11am-1pm Sorrel Muggridge

Work together to transform 100m of rope into a giant drawing. Then make a Galleryskape, taking an ‘I Spy’ challenge to re-map the gallery collecting just your chosen detail - What would you seek out? Will it be noses or the letter A, a colour, or an action?

2-4pm Holly Bodmer

Bringing brass and woodwind instruments (small and large) into the gallery. Families will explore instruments to aurally and physically occupy the space with sound (loud and quiet). This workshop will minimise inhibitions and maximise creativity.

27 September - Artists Can Change the World with Dot Howard
Inspired by artists like Jeremy Deller and Bob and Roberta Smith, Dot will offer you the chance to declare your thoughts on the Firstsite architecture. Whatever it is from the exterior cladding to the size of the welcome desk, you can have your say and help create a series of performance interventions, discussions and installations.

Placard and banner making throughout the day with demonstrations around the building every 15 minuets.

4 October - Nothing or Something

11am-1pm Holly Rumble:

Using a detector you can hear the electricity flowing through wires at Firstsite!

Can you find the best place to sing in Firstsite? Go on: sing, hum or clap. 

Adapted canes pushed along the ground will allow you to ‘hear’ the floor.

And find the quietest place in firstsite. Listen carefully. Is there air conditioning on? Are people talking?

All activities are suitable for blind or partially sighted participants. As the cane also transmits a tactile vibration it is suitable for deaf participants.

2-4pm Kate Hodges

Create something from nothing. That is exactly what I/we will attempt to do. Please bring absolutely nothing along apart from yourselves, a willingness to think outside the box and an incredibly creative imagination.


Other/other/other is a collective of Norwich-based artists who make durational artwork in response to location, site and space. This includes performance, live art, sound art and installation. Other/other/other’s public projects often involve unusual methods of direct interaction with audiences.

Other/other/other was established in 2008. Their projects include Longwinded in Five Parts (2009, Spill festival, National Theatre Studio, Royal Opera House Firsts), Live East (2009, locations throughout the Eastern region), A Good Clean Run (2011, commissioned by Invisible Dust and Norfolk and Norwich Festival) and Other/other/other Takeover (2014, Norwich Arts Centre/Norfolk and Norwich Festival Live Art Club).

The core artist members are Holly Rumble and Dot Howard (founders), Holly Bodmer, John Boursnell, Kate Hodges, Mandy Roberts, Michael Ridge, Kayla St Claire, Sorrel Muggridge. Additional associate members are also involved in commissioned projects.

The artists in the collective also have respective notable professional practices. For more information see

11 October - Big Draw: It’s our World  
Celebrate where you live by making environmentally-friendly artwork to show the world how you see Colchester, in this exciting event inspired by the It's Our World environmental campaign, then show off your creation on the UKs biggest ever online gallery.

18 October - Big Draw’s Great New Green
Re-draw the map of Colchester and celebrate the town’s green spaces, play town planner and add more as part of the It's Our World environmental campaign. Share your ideas on the UK's biggest online exhibition.

25 October - Masses of Pumpkins
Start October half term by carving a pumpkin with your most ghoulish, garish and ghastly designs! Then create a magical lantern to light up your Halloween celebrations or if you prefer make a paper version of a Minecraft one instead.

1 November - Masses of Pumpkins
Finish October half term with a final opportunity to carve a pumpkin with your most ghoulish, garish and ghastly designs! Then create a magical lantern or if you prefer make a paper version of a Minecraft one instead.

8 November - New World Cities
Explore the world's best ideas for city living and create your own model town in this special World Urbanism Day event. If you could re-imagine your town what would it look like? Use giant wooden Mecanno, cardboard and your imagination; what will you create?

15 November - Build an Organ
To connect with The Moot Hall Organ Project firstsite invite you to join extraordinary maker, musician and artist Duncan Chapman to create your own giant art alternative version of a working organ.

22 November - The Colour of Sound
The Moot Hall Organ Project comes to firstsite to investigate the colour of sound using organs as inspiration, with artist Duncan Chapman.

29 November - Amazing Animation
See the special screening of Toy Story on 22 November to mark the 10-year anniversary of its release, then bring your favourite toys to this animation workshop to learn how to bring them to life in lots of different ways.

6 December - Minecraft: Christmas Printing Party
Join us for a day of Minecraft inspired art. Create Christmas cards, wrapping paper or your own pixilated artwork as a present or just to keep.

13 December -  Frozen: Christmas Decorations
Make beautiful frozen-inspired snowflakes and icicle-shaped clay decorations to adorn your Christmas tree and home.

20 December - Christmas Recycled Wreaths
Be inspired by the rich history of wreaths, from Roman emperors to Greek olympians, harvest celebrations and, of course, Christmas - make a stunning decoration for your front door entirely from stuff which can be recycled.

10 January - Sensory Exploration
To link with the interactive exhibition in the University Space, come along and try your hand at sculpting in clay.

17 January - Associate Artists
Join some of the artists working with firstsite to see what they have been up to in their previous week’s residency. Try out some of their techniques and create your own artwork.

24 January - Comical Comics
It's Global Belly Laugh Day so hold on to your sides and create a colourful comic about you, your family and your friends.

31 January - Carnival!
It’s Carnival festival season in Europe so join in with our mini carnival. Including mask-making, face painting, float creation and a bit of carnival dance.


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