Summer Youth Program Guide


Braden River: BR 
Downtown Central: DWN 
Island: ISL 
Palmetto: PALM 
Rocky Bluff: Rocky 
South Manatee: SOM

space-themed events

Mad ScienceMad Science Super Space Show Science concepts about space explored through hands-on activities and real life examples. MON, JUN 3, 10:30 to 11:30 AM @ DWN; WED, JUN 5, 2 to 3 PM @ PALM; FRI, JUN 14, 2:30 to 3:30 PM @ Rocky; THURS, JUN 20, 10 to 11 AM @ ISL & 2 to 3 PM @ BR

How Big, How Far Learn about scale and size of the planets, solar system and universe with Linda McKenna, NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador. TUE, JUN 4, 3 to 4 PM @ SOM; THURS, JUN 6, 2 to 3 PM @ BR; FRI, JUN 21, 2:30 to 3:30 PM @ Rocky

Sci-Club Space Edition With Ms. Renee. Designed for children ages 8-12. Children work in teams to complete science experiments and engineering projects in the Area 52 makerspace. TUE, JUN 4 to JUL 23, 4 to 5:30 PM @ DWN; JUN 4, Hover Crafts; JUN 11, Paper Airplanes & Gliders; JUN 18, Build Your Own Satellite; JUN 25, Build a Space Rover; JUL 2, Build a Space Arm; JUL 9, Build a Shock Absorbing Landing System; JUL 16, Create a Black Hole; JUL 23, Learn About Planetary Motion Using Spheros

Moon & Sun Viewing Come see the sun and the moon closeup using high-powered Celestron Telescopes. TUE, JUL 9, event CANCELLED due to inclement weather; WED, JUL 10, event CANCELLED due to instructor-sustained injury. Alternate program on JUL 10 at Palmetto: Space crafts, take-home activity packet and educational kids' shows about space.

Showtime for Kids: The Great Space Adventure Wally The Wacky Bird is always on a search for big wacky words, but when he finds a time machine and is lost in space, he will need your help to figure out where he is so he can get back home. Show includes magic and balloon sculpting. THURS, JUN 13, 10 to 11 AM @ ISL & 2 to 3 PM @ BR; MON, JUN 17, 10:30 to 11:30 AM @ DWN; TUE, JUN 18, 3 to 4 PM @ SOM; FRI, JUL 12, 2:30 to 3:30 PM @ Rocky

Primary Colors: Space-Inspired Glow in the Dark Art Ages 7 to 12. Reservations suggested by calling 727-6079 THURS, JUN 20, 6 to 7 PM @ BR

NASA Engineer, Marion Riley A two-part series. Hear the challenges of the last Hubble Space Telescope (HST) servicing mission in 2009, FRI, JUN 28, and learn about Robotic Satellite Servicing, FRI, AUG 2, 2:30 to 3:30 PM @ Rocky

Mad Science, Up, Up, and Away! Explore the science principles of lift and propulsion in ways that will send you soaring. THURS, JUL 18, 10 to 11 AM @ ISL & 2 to 3 PM @ BR

Galaxy in a Bottle Make galaxy magnets and galaxy wish Jars. An Island Family Crafters workshop for ages 12 and up. SAT, JUL 20, 1 to 3 PM @ ISL

Nicole StottMoon & Star Stories: Greek Myths Katie Adams performs the three myths of Pandora’s Box, Perseus and Pegasus, Icarus, and Baucis and Philemon using colorful shadow puppets, storytelling and audience participation. MON, JUL 22, 10:30 to 11:30 AM @ DWN; TUE, JUL 23, 3 to 4 PM @ SOM; THURS, JUL 25, 10 to 11 AM @ ISL & 2 to 3 PM @ BR

Meet Astronaut Nicole Stott  A veteran of two spaceflights and 104 days living and working in space on both the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station (ISS). Stott will share highlights of her spaceflight missions which she has translated into her second career as artist. THURS, AUG 1, 2 to 3 PM @ BR

special guests

North River Fire Department Indoor show & tell with outdoor firetruck. WED, JUN 12, 2 to 3 PM @ PALM

Touch a Truck at Rocky 2018Touch a Truck Summer Edition
Kids of all ages can touch and climb on and in trucks and other cool vehicles, including a monster truck! JUN 15, 10 AM to 2 PM @ Rocky

Meet PBS Characters At select Soar In 4 nights at Downtown Library, 5 to 7:30 PM: JUN 19, Curious George; JUL 17, Elmo of Sesame Street; JUL 31, Super Why. 

See Soar In 4 section for additional information.

Reading challenges

Sign up for a reading challenge at one or more of our libraries, earn prizes and enter for a chance to win a summer raffle. Then celebrate with our end-of-summer reading parties!

Downtown Only: The first 150 children (ages 5 and over) who sign up for the summer reading challenge will receive one pass to the Bishop Museum of Science & Nature.

Reading With the Rays Win prizes as you complete reading tasks that get you around the baseball diamond log. All library locations.

End-of-Summer Reading Bash! Drawing for summer reading prizes and a super Island surprise! THURS, JUL 25, 11 AM to 12 PM @ ISL

Palmetto’s Summer Reading Ice Cream Party For all those kids who turn in their completed reading logs (each participant must have read for at least 24 hours). FRI, AUG 2, 2 to 4 PM @ PALM

 Early literacy

Preschool & Forty Carrots Classes by Location

Musical Motion A music and movement class for ages 0-5, presented by the Early Learning Coalition. Focuses on creative activities to build preschoolers’ socials skills and enhance brain development. TUE, JUN 4 to JUL 30, 11:45 to 12:45 PM @ DWN; WED, 11:30 AM to 12 PM @ PALM

Tales, Tunes & Crafts With Mr. Chris. Designed for ages 4-6. Enjoy favorite books and songs, as well as crafts by Sierra. WED, JUN 5 to JUL 31 1 to 1:45 PM @ DWN.

Stories & More! Join Ms. Renee and Ms. Julie for books, songs and fun. Ages 0-3. THURS, JUN 6 to 25, 10:15 to 11 AM @ DWN. No class JUL 3.

Early Literacy Time Weekly THURS, JUN 6 to JUL 18 11:15 to 11:45 AM @ DWN. No class JUL 4.

Preschool S.T.E.M. F.U.N. THURS, JUN 20 & JUL 25, 11:15 to 11:45 AM @ DWN STEAM Machine Ages 4-8. Activities presented by Early Learning Coalition. FRI, JUN 28, 10 to 11 AM @ DWN

Early Learning Coalition's Block Fest A popular event where children ages 4-8 can play with all sorts of big blocks, building towers and castles. FRI, JUL 19, 10 to 11 AM @ DWN

Soar in 4 NightSoar In 4  Manatee County’s movement to ensure all 4 year olds and their families have the opportunities and support they need for success in preschool, school and beyond. They transform neighborhoods through conversations and leveraging community resources to create generational change, educational success and economic stability.

Soar in 4 Night of Play Families are invited to free nights of hands-on activities, going on simultaneously at Downtown Central Library and the Bishop Museum of Science & Nature. Activities incorporate elements of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) to support children’s classroom learning. Multiple centers include Legos, virtual reality, music, movement and robots. Although originally conceived to prepare 4 year olds for school, activities are available for ages 3-12. WED, JUN 19, JUL 3, JUL 17, JUL 31 & AUG 7, 5 to 7:30 PM @ DWN

Contact Dr. Sheila Halpin, Title I Specialist at Manatee Schools, 941-685-3724 or for additional info.

Soar in 4 Drop in and Read Designed for children age birth through lower elementary. Come in and listen to a story by a local author, then invent, build and create your own story in makerspace areas. MON, JUN 17, JUL 1, JUL 15, JUL 29 & AUG 5, 5 to 7:30 PM @ DWN


Greek Mythology Sit a spell and envelop yourself in the myths told by professional storytellers, Maureen Belote and Savina Darzes. SAT, JUN 8, 10:30 to 11:30 AM @ BR

Windell Campbell This professional storyteller presents a fun and engaging program using puppetry. THURS, JUN 27, 10 to 11 AM @ ISL 

 nature & animals

Wonders of Nature Show Wonders of Nature Wildlife Show Fun, fast-paced show with amazing animals to illustrate our beautiful natural world. THURS, JUN 6, 10 to 11 AM @ ISL; WED, JUN 19, 2 to 3 PM @ PALM; TUE, JUN 25, 3 to 4 PM @ SOM

Read to the Dogs For readers ages 5 to 12. SAT, JUN 8, JUL 13 & AUG 10, 11:15 AM to 12:15 PM @ DWN; SAT, JUN 22, 10:30 to 11:30 @ BR 

Florida Public Archaeology Network Learn about the history of planet Earth with fossils and rocks. WED, JUN 26, 2 to 3 PM @ PALM Digging for Fossils Hands-on interactive program presented by Natural Resources. FRI, JUL 5, 2 to 4 PM @ BR; FRI, JUL 19, 2:30 to 3:30 PM @ Rocky

A Tortoise Encounter Learn about the gopher tortoise with Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources. TUE, JUL 16, 3 to 4 PM @ SOM 


Kids using virtual reality gadget during SOM Experiment open hoursTween STEAM Club Ages 9 to 11. SAT, JUN 1, Soda & Mentos; JUL 6, Balloon Rockets, 2 to 3 PM @ SOM 

SOM XPeriment STEM activities and games for ages 12 to 18. SAT, JUN 15 & JUL 20, 2:30 to 4 PM @ SOM 

Mini Coding Camp Ages 9 to 11. WED, AUG 7 & FRI, AUG 9, 9 to 11:30 AM @ SOM


Tampa Taiko Drums at Braden River (2018)Big Tiki and the Mai Tais All ages. Come dance to this Ukulele-based band. THURS, JUL 11, 10 to 11 @ ISL & 2 to 3 PM @ BR 

Digeridoo Down Under An exciting Australia-themed show that blends music, culture and science. MON, JUL 15, 10:30 to 11:30 AM @ DWN

Tampa Taiko Drums
Dynamic fusion of old and new styles of drumming that brings a contemporary vibrance to an ancient martial art form. WED, JUL 31, 2 to 3 PM @ PALM


Around the World in 80 Days Theater Workshop Ages 7-14. Step into roles and join in related theater games and exercises. SAT, JUN 1, 11 to 12 PM @ ISL

The Selfish Giant Puppeteer Jerry Bickell, founder of the Bits ‘N Pieces Puppet Theatre, retells this classic children’s story with its own unique life lesson and moral. MON, JUN 10, 10:30 to 11:30 AM @ DWN

Jiggle Man Fun, fast-paced entertainment that will amaze. FRI, JUN 7, 2:30 to 3:30 PM @ Rocky & THURS, JUN 27, 2 to 3 PM @ BR

Monsterpiece Theatre Presents Moana A unique end-of-Summer puppet show created by the talented Youth Librarian Ms. Chris and her fabulous teen volunteers. All ages invited to watch this popular annual show. SAT, AUG 10, 11 AM to 12 PM @ BR


Cesar DomicoCesar’s Comedy Magic & Illusions Show Unlock the power of your mind with professional entertainer, magician and hypnotist. A champion of card magic tricks, Domico will prove that whatever you visualize becomes reality. MON, JUN 24, 10:30 to 11:30 AM @ DWN

Magician Elliot Smith This Order of Merlin Shield magician brings a show that you won’t want to miss. FRI, JUL 5, 2:30 to 3:30 @ Rocky; MON, JUL 8, 10:30 to 11:30 AM @ DWN

Music, Magic & Mayhem A fun-filled show that combines clowning with magic. WED, JUL 24, 2 to 3 PM @ PALM

Out of My Hands Juggling & Illusion (formerly John Storms’ World of Reptiles) Blending choreographed juggling with magical illusions, Gerard Tricarico delivers a high-energy show that is both innovative and interactive. FRI, JUL 26, 2:30 to 3:30 PM @ Rocky 

Arts & Crafts

Harry Potter Crafts in Area 52Krafty Kiddos! Ages 5 to 8. Sierra Snyder leads this craft activity in the children’s room. THURS, JUN 6 to JUL 25 @ DWN. No class JULY 4.

Area 52: Learn the Cricut All ages. MON, JUN 3, 5 to 8 PM & SAT, AUG 24, 2 to 5 PM @ DWN

Area 52: Screen Print a T-Shirt All ages. SAT, JUN 29, 2 to 5 PM @ DWN; MON, JUL 22, 5 to 8 PM @ DWN

Fourth of July Crafts WED, JUL 3, 2 to 3 PM @ PALM

Area 52: Harry Potter Crafts All ages. MON, JUL 8, 5 to 8 PM @ DWN

Island Family Crafters Ages 12+. Make glow-in-the-dark T-shirts and tote bags. SAT, JUL 13, 1 to 3 PM @ ISL

Beach Combing & Craft For ages 9 to 18.  Presented by Harry Ross, Founder of the Lake Michigan Sea Glass Collectors Group. Come see Harry’s collection of sea glass, fossils, sharks teeth and sea beans from faraway lands, such as Russia, China, Japan, Cuba, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Spain, Iceland, England and Hawaii. Then make sea-glass necklaces, and receive a 400-million-year-old Crinoid fossil. Limited to 20 participants. Call 941-723-4821.

Puppet-Making Workshop
Millions of Cats theme. THURS, JUL 18, 6 to 7:30 PM @ BR 

Crafty Afternoons: Screen Print a T-Shirt All ages. SAT, JUL 27, 2 to 4 PM @ Rocky

Knitting, Crocheting & Weaving

Island Family Crafters Ages 7+. SAT, JUN 15 & 22, Looming; JUL 13 & 20, Perler beads; 1 to 3 PM @ ISL Learn to Crochet MON, JUN 24, 5 to 8 PM @ DWN

Learn to Knit SAT, AUG 10, 2 to 5 PM @ DWN


Sewing Boot Camp Learn the basics of sewing with our library sewing machines, and make a cool take home item. Can attend one or both sessions. SAT, JUN 29, 1 to 3; SAT, JUL 20, 1 to 3 PM @ BR

Area 52: Learn to Sew For any skill level and age. SAT, JUL 13, 2 to 5 PM @ DWN; MON, AUG 5, 5 to 8 PM @ DWN

Health & Wellness

Nurturing Touch Baby Massage Certified Massage Therapist Patricia Cadolino-Ramos, who offers over 30 years of experience, will provide another session of this soothing massage therapy for infants. Mothers, expectant mothers, grandmothers & fathers can register by calling 631-379-8854. FRI, JUN 7, 14 & 21, 10:30 AM to 12 PM @ DWN

Health+FIT CampHealth+FIT Mini Camp For ages 10 to 15. Stay fit over the summer with this three-day mini camp that provides a mixture of fun activities, including Pop Fit and line dancing. Nutrition, healthy meal prep and snacking presentations, along with a cooking demo, will be provided. Refreshments included.

Email or call 748-5555, x6308, to reserve your spot. TUE, JUL 16; THURS, JUL 18 & FRI, JUL 19, 10 AM to 1 PM @ DWN


Recycle All Together, Recycle Right Learn about Recycling with the crew at Manatee County Public Works. WED, JUL 17, 2 to 3 PM @ PALM & TUE, JUL 30, 3 to 4 PM @ SOM


Midday GamesMidday Board Gaming For teens. Strategic board games, such as Munchkin Deluxe, Catan and Ticket to Ride. FRI, JUN 7 & 21, JUL 5 & 19, 2 to 4 PM @ PALM

Lip Sync Karaoke Ages 18 & under. Lip sync and dance to YouTube videos of requested songs. FRI, JUN 14 & 28, JUL 12 & 26, 2 to 3 PM @ PALM

Skateboard Clinic Presented by West Coast Surf Shop. WED, JUN 19, 6:30 to 7:30 PM @ ISL

Dungeons & Dragons Downtown Library’s D&D enthusiast, Joel Mimbs is your guide for a round of this exciting roll-playing game in our Area 52 makerspace. SAT, JUN 22 & JUL 20, 12 to 4 PM @ DWN


Summer Kick-Off Glow Party Black-light party for middle schoolers. Food, glow sticks and glow-in-the-dark craft. TUE, JUN 4, 5 to 7 PM @ PALM

Teen SOMCon  S. Manatee’s version of Comic Con with cosplay contest, food & fun! SAT, JUN 29, 1 to 4 PM @ SOM

Summer Bash! Aladdin Theme Crafts, music & activities. SAT, JUL 20, 11 AM to 12 PM @ BR


Brown Bag It Movie Bring your lunch, and enjoy a movie in the kids’ play room. WED, JUN 5-JUL 31, 2 to 4 PM @ DWN

Other Clubs

Youth English Language Learner (YELL) Club English and grammar practice for middle and high schoolers who want to practice reading and speaking English over the summer. Meets THURS, JUN 6 & 20, JUL 11 & 25 & AUG 8, 2 to 3 PM @ PALM