2021 Summer Reading Program!

Learn about music, dance, metal detecting, robots, eagles, and more during the Houston Public Library’s 2021 Summer Reading events.

  • All events take place outside at the city park, unless otherwise indicated. 
  • In case of inclement weather, outside performances will take place over at the NEW Houston Community Center at 109 West Cedar.
  • We will follow all state COVID guidelines and regulations that apply at the time of the event.
  • Please bring your own blankets/ lawn chairs to make your viewing experience more comfortable, as we will NOT be providing seating. 
  • Don’t forget that our Wednesday partners, Meet Up & Eat Up, will be distributing free bagged lunches to local kids ages 18 and under at the city park just after our events.  Show up for the fun from 10-11 am, stay for lunch, which is available from 11:15 am to 12:15 pm, while supplies last.  For the record, our STEM Kits will be handed out during Meet Up & Eat Up lunch times.  See details below.
  • All event times, locations, and pandemic protocols subject to change.  Give us a call at 896-READ if you have any questions! 

Wednesday, June 16th from 10 to 11 am:  LAND OF 10,000 TUNES with Nate Hance at the city park!

Come on a journey through the best of Minnesota’s musical landscape.  We’ll explore iconic works by Minnesota artists and experience the state’s heritage through polkas, waltzes, and marches, shining a light on Minnesota’s musical diversity through the past 60 years.  You’re invited to an exciting hour of Minnesota music filled with variety, fun, and even a few virtuosic tricks thanks to professional musician, Nate Hance!

Wednesday, June 23rd from 10 am-11am: FAMILY YOGA FUN with Katie Kabat at the city park!

Licensed yoga instructor, Katie Kabat, will take us all through an hour of fun yoga poses that encourage flexibility and strength during this all-ages family-friendly event.  Bring a blanket or yoga mat to make your experience more comfortable!

Wednesday, June 30th from 10-11 am: NATIONAL EAGLE CENTER at NEW Houston Community Center, 109 West Cedar!

Join us as the National Eagle Center provides the opportunity to learn all about eagle biology, ecology, natural history, and cultural connections in an engaging and entertaining presentation by one of their naturalist interpreters.  This program features a live eagle ambassador!

Wednesday, July 7th from 11:15 am to 12:15 pm:   THINGS THAT FLY KIT at the city park!

Does something have to be an airplane to fly? What about flying cups and tumblewings?  You can make a paper airplane launcher and then improve it or have a distance contest with a friend.  This bag offers many opportunities to investigate unique flying objects.

Wednesday, July 14th from 10-11 am:  THE MAGIC OF CELTIC MUSIC with Laura MacKenzie at the city park!

Enjoy this opportunity to experience the magic of Celtic music!  Professional musician, Laura MacKenzie, will play an extraordinary variety of traditional wind-powered instruments, including a special collection of wooden flutes, whistles, a concertina, an array of different bagpipes, a gemshorn or two, and, of course, her voice.  In this intriguing program, we’ll learn how air is transformed into music.

Wednesday, July 21st from 11:15 am to 12:15 pm:  NATURE AROUND TOWN KIT at the city park!

Scavenger hunts, figuring out the age of a tree, and experimenting with sunlight are just a few of the activities in this STEM bag.  Our “Nature Around Town” kit will get you outside to look at the clouds and start a collection.  You might even do a craft with samaras.

Wednesday, July 28th  from 11:15 am-12:15 pm:  ROBOT KIT at the city park!

Who doesn’t like robots?  In this STEM bag, you will balance robots, craft a robot or two, and learn about coding.  Our Robot Bag also includes a Bot-in-a-Box  —  a dancing, bouncing robot you can make at home.

Wednesday, August 4th from 11:15 am to 12:15 pm:  SCIENCE OR MAGIC KIT at the city park!

In our last STEM bag of the summer, you will learn how to do several magic tricks, along with the science behind them.  A magician never reveals their secrets, but a scientist does!  You may even be able to put on a magic show for your family.

Wednesday, August 11th  from  10 to 11 am:  SIAMA’S MUSIC FROM THE CONGO at the city park!

On this very special musical journey to Africa, Siama plays the guitar and fascinating traditional instruments like mbiri and balafon, while Dallas Johnson encourages everyone to sing along to happy songs in Kikongo, Lingala, and English and shares stories that bring Siama’s rural homeland to life.  Kids will have a chance to play shakers and participate in a fun dance party.  Come ready to have a great time.

Wednesday, August 18th from 10-11 am:  SEARCHING FOR HIDDEN TREASURE with Doug Ohman at the city park!

Join us as we search for buried treasure over at our city park with Doug Ohman, Minnesota author, speaker, and historian.  Doug will be bringing his metal detector to use, along with interesting artifacts he has found over the years for kids to examine.  Nothing brings local history to life faster for kids than actual relics from the past found in our present! 

Wednesday, August 25th from 10- 11 am:  WORLD DANCE VACATION with Christopher Yaeger at the city park!

At our last event of the summer, we’ll be celebrating music and movement as we journey through different world cultures and communities, featuring family-friendly dances that can be easily learned and enjoyed with or without partners.  Get up, get moving, and dance with professional dance instructor, Christopher Yaeger.

FYI:  Beginning on June 19th we’ll begin hosting our weekly Saturday Morning Storytimes again, weather permitting, outside in our adjacent green space from 10-11 am.  Our theme this summer will be “Tails & Tales,” so get ready for some special animal guest stars!  Bring your own blanket or lawn chair.

The Houston Public Library’s 2021 Summer Reading Program is sponsored by the Friends of the Houston Public Library, SELCO Legacy grants from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, Sub-Zero Pizza and Ice Cream, and generous donations from the public. A big shout-out to Friend of the Library, Ann Markegard, for creating this year’s STEM kits, as well as to our Wednesday partners, the Meet Up & Eat Lunch Lunch Ladies!  It takes a village!