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Discover the Magic: Central PA Summer Library Programs for Kids

School’s out, and the libraries of Central Pennsylvania are gearing up for an unforgettable summer! If you’re looking for ways to keep the kids engaged, learning, and having fun over the break, the library is the place to be. With a vibrant array of programs tailored specifically for children, there’s no shortage of excitement. Here’s a roundup of what’s in store for our young readers this summer!

Mom and her three children sitting together reading a book.

York County: SummerQuest & GO York! Hikes

Grab your library cards (or sign up for one at the library) and join the fun this summer all around York County! With SummerQuest 2024, your kids can stay engaged in reading this summer and also get active by joining in on the Go York hiking adventures! Your kids can earn prizes this summer by logging 800 minutes through reading, attending programs, completing activities and doing GO York! hikes.

From the library’s website,

Minutes can be counted for any of the following activities:

  • Reading OR listening to a book, eBook, audio, or eAudio book
  • Attending library programs and events*
  • Taking on one of the GO York! hikes*

*Attending library events or doing GO York! hikes gets you a bonus 20 minutes toward your goals! Don’t forget to log them after completing the activity.

In addition to the reading, I know my own kids are most excited for the Go York hiking adventures planned for the summer. When you pick up your packet at the library, you’ll receive the guide with 30 planned hikes throughout York county. There are 30 wooden posts hidden throughout York County parks. Your child will be given a rubbing sheet and they will use a crayon or pencil to rub each post and receive a secret code to log for credit towards their hikes!

Learn more about SummerQuest on the library’s website.

Cumberland County Libraries Adventure Begins at Your Library!

Similar to the York County program, readers can register through the Beanstack app or in their local library. There will be free events, terrific prizes, and great stories for all ages!

There are story times to join in on, GO Cumberland hikes, as well as events at the various libraries throughout the county. The 2024 Summer Program for Children from Cumberland County Libraries outlines a variety of fun and educational activities designed for children of all ages. The summer program includes weekly story times, craft sessions, and special events like magic shows, science demonstrations, and puppet performances. Running from June 10 to August 5, 2024, the program encourages early literacy, creativity, and community engagement. Children can participate in these activities across multiple library locations, making it easy for families to find convenient options. Each event is aimed at fostering a love of reading and learning in a playful, interactive environment.

Little girl smiling and reading a Harry Potter book

Lancaster County Library: Summer Reading Program

Ignite your imagination this summer by diving into your favorite books, ebooks, or magazines, and engaging in fun activities! Enjoy reading or listening on your own, with family, or even to your beloved pet. Log 720 minutes of reading and complete 5 activity badges between June 1st and August 10th to earn a reward. For those who complete 1020 minutes, you’ll receive a bonus reward: a ticket to Dutch Wonderland (while supplies last). This exciting challenge is for children ages 5 to 9. Register today and visit your local library to pick up your registration materials.


Parents smiling at child while she sits and reads her favorite Central PA library book outside

.Central PA Summer Library Programs for Kids offer an excellent opportunity to keep children engaged and learning throughout the summer. Reading during these months is crucial as it helps maintain and even improve academic skills while school is out. Programs like those offered by Central Pennsylvania libraries not only provide access to a wide variety of books but also incorporate fun, themed activities that make reading an enjoyable adventure. By participating in these programs, children can explore new worlds, expand their imaginations, and develop a lifelong love of reading. This sustained engagement can prevent the “summer slide”—the tendency for students to lose some of the achievement gains made during the previous school year.

Staying active as a family by taking part in the Central PA Summer Library Programs for Kids fosters not just intellectual growth but also creates cherished memories. Libraries in the region host a variety of events, from interactive story times and craft workshops to outdoor movie nights and educational scavenger hunts. These activities encourage families to spend quality time together, learning and playing side by side. This shared experience not only strengthens family bonds but also instills a sense of community and connection with local resources. By participating in these enriching and fun-filled programs, families can turn a simple summer into a season of learning, discovery, and unforgettable moments.

Looking for another way to capture the fun of summer? Planning a family photography session with me is an incredible way to create memories that last far beyond the warm summer nights.

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