FREE Summer Reading Programs, Family Concerts, Outdoor Events, and More at Wichita Public Library!

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This article is sponsored by the Wichita Public Library.

This summer, things are going to get wild and ferocious as kids and teens explore Tails and Tales with the Summer Reading Program at the Wichita Public Library! A return to a more normal summer reading experience is much needed after last year’s program went mostly virtual.

Summer Reading at the Wichita Public Library

Registration for the Summer Reading Program begins Monday, May 17 online – click here to register. The reading program itself begins Tuesday, June 1 and wraps up on Thursday, July 29.

The Summer Reading Program is designed to combat the “summer slide,” where children and teens experience a slight learning loss over the summer break from school. The Program keeps young minds active through reading and educational activities throughout the summer.

Summer Reading Wichita Public LibraryThe Summer Reading Program

The Wichita Public Library has designed three fun programs for different age ranges:

  • The Baby Bookworms program is for ages 0-2 and includes a list of early learning activities caregivers and children do together. Five activities from five categories are offered, and 15 must be completed in order to win some stellar prizes.
  • The Kids Read program is for ages 3-11, and the Teens Read program is for ages 12-18. In these two programs, kids and teens are challenged to read 1,000 minutes during the summer, and can win some cool prizes along the way. A bonus challenge of reading 2,000 minutes total gets kids and teens entered into winning some mega prizes, which have included Amazon gift cards in the past.

Aside from reading and early learning activities, the Wichita Public Library has scheduled a series of FREE in-person and virtual summer reading programming to keep young minds active and entertained anytime of the day.

Of course, we have to thank our prize sponsors for providing tasty treats and tons of fun to kids and teens who meet different prize levels: Exploration Place, Fazoli’s Friends of the Wichita Public Library, Chick-fil-a, Wichita River Festival, Seneca Bowl, Spangles and Texas Roadhouse.

Summer Reading Wichita Public LibraryVirtual Programs

Your favorite youth librarians are creating 25 virtual storytimes you can access all summer long through the Library’s new Vimeo account. Visit our website and register to receive the Vimeo access code, beginning Tuesday, June 1.

While you’re on Vimeo, explore other virtual programs from some of your favorite area performers. You can also visit the Library’s event calendar to see a complete schedule of programs, including free live virtual programs led by librarians, including a Teen Take and Make series on Thursday afternoons, and a Pantry STEAM series on Wednesdays.

Summer Concert Series

The Library is thrilled to announce a FREE outdoor family-friendly concert series at Naftzger and Clapp Parks. These concerts are full of foot-tapping music and special performances from nationally recognized children’s performers, including:

  • Monday, June 7: Jim “Mr. Stinky Feet” Cosgrove
  • Monday, June 14: The Flying Debris Show featuring Richard Holmgren
  • Monday, June 21: Sugar Free All Stars
  • Monday, July 12: Will Parker
  • Monday, July 26: Pint Size Polka

Bring your lawn chairs and blankets and enjoy the sunshine. Each performer will play two shows: 10:30 a.m. at Naftzger Park and 3 p.m. at Clapp Park. If inclement weather is forecast, call (316) 261-8500 or visit our website for details.

Outdoor In-Person Programs

Your public library librarians have been anxiously waiting to resume in-person programs, and we’re excited to gather once again in a safe outdoor setting this summer! All summer long, you can visit select library locations for fun and educational outdoor fun, including:

  • Tanganyika Animal Ambassadors on Thursday, June 3 at the Rockwell Branch, and Tuesday, June 22 at the Westlink Branch
  • Monkey Tales Storytime with Ms. Anne on Thursday, June 24 at the Rockwell Branch, and Friday, July 9 at the Westlink Branch

Friends of the Library Bookmark Competition

The Friends of the Wichita Public Library invites kids and teens to submit artwork for a bookmark competition this summer. Draw your creation on a 2” wide by 8.5” tall sheet of paper and turn it into your Library location by Friday, July 16 at 5 p.m. Winning bookmarks will be printed and handed out to Friends bookstore shoppers and members, and available at Library locations. Include your child’s name, phone number and an email address on the back of the bookmark.

We are so excited for the Summer Reading Program at the Wichita Public Library and can’t wait for kids and teens to join us for a fun-filled summer of learning, exploring and creating. Visit our website for more information.

Happy reading!


The Wichita Public Library provides collections and services that inform, entertain and enrich the quality of life in Wichita.

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