Summer Reading Events for Kids & Teens

Outdoor Storytimes with GRPL

If you love stories, songs, and rhymes, join the Grand Rapids Public Library for outdoor storytime. This fun event for kids ages 0-5 is the perfect way to get some wiggles out. Each child will take home a free Storytime Kit at the end of the program (while supplies last).

Mondays, May 9, June 13, July 11, August 8
11:00 am | Roosevelt Park – 1340 Godfrey Ave SW, Grand Rapids 49503

Mondays, May 16, June 20, July 18, August 15
11:00 am | Briggs Park – 324 Knapp St NE, Grand Rapids 49505

Storytime in the Park with Storytime GR

Join us on Tuesday nights at the park for stories, free books and ice cream, special guests, and a whole lot of family fun!

StorytimeGR is a partnership of the Grand Rapids Public Library, Read GR, Grand Valley State University, the Grand Rapids Office of Special Events, and Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation.

Tuesdays, June 7, 14, 21, 28, July 5, 12, 19, 26, August 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
6:30 – 8:00 pm |Garfield Park – 2111 Madison SE

Tuesdays, June 7, 21, July 5, 19, August 2, 16
6:30 – 8:00 pm | Martin Luther King Jr. Park – 900 Fuller Ave SE

Tuesdays, June 14, 28, July 12, 26, August 9, 23
6:30 – 8:00 pm | Lincoln Park – 1120 Bridge St NW

Family Storytime on the Lawn

Join us for this outdoor storytime held on the lawn of your favorite GRPL branch! Children ages 0-5 and their caregivers will love this half-hour event that features stories, songs, rhymes, and playing on the lawn. In case of inclement weather, this event series will be moved indoors.

Tuesdays, June 7, 14 , 21, 28, July 12, 19, 26, August 2, 9, 16
10:30 am | West Side Branch – 713 Bridge St NW

Wednesdays, June 8, 15, 22, 29, July 13, 20, 27, August 3, 10, 17
10:30 am | Seymour Branch – 2350 Eastern SE

Thursdays, June 9, 16, 23, 30, July 14, 21, 28, August 4, 11,18
10:30 am | Yankee Clipper Branch – 2025 Leonard NE

Summer Fun Kick-off with Leah Ivory African Drum & Dance

Leah Ivory and friends will offer a performance demonstration of traditional drumming rhythms and dance from West Africa. Learn about  the drumming rhythms and their meaning and then learn traditional dance moves with the performers for a drum and dance celebration!

Wednesday, June 15, 2022
10:30 – 11:30 am | Yankee Clipper Branch – 2025 Leonard NE
1:30 – 2:30 pm | Seymour Branch – 2350 Eastern SE
4:30 – 6:30 pm | Main Library – 111 Library Street NE

Animals of Blandford Nature Center

Come on out and meet a few of Blandford’s Wildlife Ambassadors! The animals you’ll meet are native to Michigan and cannot survive in the wild. See birds, mammals, and herptiles – some animals can even be gently touched! Natural artifacts like furs, feathers, and skulls will be passed around during the program.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022
10:30 – 11:30 am | Yankee Clipper Branch – 2025 Leonard NE
1:30 – 2:30 pm | Seymour Branch – 2350 Eastern SE
4:30 – 6:30 pm | Main Library – 111 Library Street NE

Cultural Showcase by Golden Tiger Kung Fu & Extended Learning Academy

Join the students from Golden Tiger Kung Fu & Extended Learning Academy, who will perform a traditional Chinese Dragon Dance, followed by a demonstration of traditional Kung Fu. See Kung Fu moves using  the long fist, monkey fist, bamboo fans, swords, staffs and spears! After the performance, Shifu (master) Mei will lead participants in a 5–10-minute class teaching them one of the foundational forms, or movements, of Kung Fu. Free related book giveaways will be available during the event, while supplies last.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022
4:00 – 5:30 pm | Yankee Clipper Branch – 2025 Leonard NE

Wednesday, July 13, 2022
4:00 – 5:30 pm | Seymour Branch – 2350 Eastern SE

Wednesday, August 3, 2022
4:00 – 5:30 pm |Main Library – 111 Library Street NE

Pasta 101 with The Local Epicurean

Wednesdays, July 6, 20, 27, 2022, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
The Local Epicurean – 1440 Wealthy St SE
Registration required.

Join us on a pasta making adventure! Learn how to make delicious pasta  at home with no special equipment. For ages 11 & up. Caregivers are welcome but not required to attend. 

G’Day Nature! Clay and Sand Sculpting

Australia is home to many animals that live in a variety of landscapes, including deserts and beaches. Learn to sculpt an Australian animal out of clay. While your clay creation is baking, make a batch of kinetic sand to take home.

Wednesday, July 6, 2022
1:00 – 2:30 pm | Main Library – 111 Library Street NE

Wednesday, July 20, 2022
2:00 – 3:30 pm | Yankee Clipper Branch – 2025 Leonard NE

Wednesday, July 27, 2022
2:00 – 3:30 pm | Seymour Branch – 2350 Eastern SE

Antarctic Survival

How do penguins stay warm? Why do Antarctic explorers need to pack sunscreen? Find out in this “cool” interactive program.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022
1:30  – 2:30 pm | Seymour Branch – 2350 Eastern SE

Wednesday, July 13, 2022
10:30 -11:30 am | Yankee Clipper Branch – 2025 Leonard NE

Wednesday, August 10, 2022
4:30 –6:30 pm | Main Library – 111 Library Street NE

Join us for a Summer Reading Program afterparty immediately after this event.

SOLD OUT – Breakout Box Challenge

Monday, July 25, 2:00 – 4:00 pm
Main Library – 111 Library Street NE
Registration required.

Registration for this event is full.
A breakout box is like an escape room, except instead of trying to break out of the room, you’re trying to break into a box full of treasures. Can you crack the codes and solve the puzzles in time? Bring your friends, or come solo and we’ll assemble a team for you. For ages 13-19. 

Related Events

Join us for family-friendly events for all ages!

Movies on the Lawn

Fridays, June 17, July 8, August 5, 2022
7:30 – 10:00 pm

Yankee Clipper Branch – 2025 Leonard NE

Bring a chair or blanket and join us for an outdoor family movie! Free refreshments and a take-home craft will also be available. Events will be weather permitting. Activities on the lawn begin at 8:00 am and the movie will begin by dusk. Learn more. 

Encanto (PG  2h)
June 17, 2022

Raya and the Last Dragon (PG 1h 30 min)
July 8, 2022

Moana (PG  1h 47 min)
August 5, 2022

Comic Geek Out

Saturday, July 16, 2022
1:00 – 5:00 pm
Yankee Clipper Branch – 2025 Leonard NE

Celebrate the comic books you love, and geek out on your favorite fandom. Join us for special guests, hands-on activities, snacks, free books, a comic workshop, and other fun events! Learn more.