26 things to do with little ones this summer

Summer is finally, finally here! And with the help of our friends at the Collaboration for Early Childhood, we’ve put together a list of things to do, places to explore, and ways to keep the learning going during these beautiful warm days. Our community has so much to offer. 

Here are just a few suggestions of ways you can get out and explore something local and learn together with your little ones all summer long.

 Activities to do

  1. Early Learning classes at the library are based on the Very Ready Reading program. Explore this tutorial with tips, activities, and videos to bring early learning fun into your home »
  2. Sign up for this year’s summer reading program, Find Your Voice! Kids ages 2-11 can keep track of books read to them to earn prizes. Babies and toddlers can pick up an activity sheet with fun early learning activities to try.
  3. Explore this year’s updated recommended reads for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. 
  4. Use your Oak Park library card to get free passes, discounted admission, and other deals to area museums and cultural attractions, including Brookfield Zoo! Check out museum and cultural attraction passes »
  5. You know you can check out books, but did you know we also have activity kits, early learning kits, and social-emotional learning kits? Borrow Early Learning kits »
  6. The Main Library Children’s Services area hosts scavenger hunts every month. This June, we’ll be celebrating the 50th anniversary of Hip Hop with fun images to find. Visit the service desk in the Children’s Services area to participate.
  7. Make walks fun by picking a color and pointing out everything you see that matches, like Miss Nora’s yellow scavenger hunt video!
  8. What do you wish there would always be? Watch this community video book created by Jim Gill and children and families and then draw your own picture.
  9. Use sidewalk chalk and leave a message or drawing for your neighbors
  10. Check out the library’s new books and borrow a book about someone who looks or lives differently than you.
  11. Coming in July! Check out the new Social-Emotional Learning Kit celebrating Disability Identity. 
  12. Explore the Collaboration for Early Childhood’s free garden curriculum, Growing Gardeners Lessons!
  13. Subscribe to the new Early Bird Learner Letter to get quarterly news and activities for caregivers of babies and toddlers in your inbox!

Storytimes to attend

  1. June 12-August 19: Attend Storytimes in the Park, throughout Oak Park.
  2. June 20: Join us for a special Pride storytime at Lindberg Park.
  3. July 15: Join us for a special Disability Pride Storytime at the Main Library.

Places to visit

  1. Planning your first visit to the Main Library? Share this social narrative as a family and get tips for successful visits »
  2. Visit the Monarch Waystations at either the Main Library or Maze Branch.
  3. Participate in activities and programming for caregivers and their little ones at the Park District of Oak Park, and explore the new Community Recreation Center.
  4. Visit the Community Sensory Garden at the Maze Branch. Harvest herbs if there are any ready!

Events to check out

  1. The Book Bike will be all over Oak Park this summer, including some storytimes. Visit the Book Bike »
  2. Visit the Oak Park Farmers’ Market (and say “Hi” to Families First | La Familia Primero on July 15!).
  3. Attend a Thursday Night Out for fun and community.
  4. Check out the Juneteenth Parade and community cookout.
  5. Celebrate Disability Pride this July with programs for kids, families, and adults, including our Disability Pride March on July 15.
  6. Join us for Spanish Storytime with Kathy every Saturday in the Storytime Room beginning June 3!