Libraries and Bookstores

Libraries have lots of summer programs, divided by age.  Some are listed in the calendar section but there are way too many to type — go to these sites to find what’s appropriate for your children.  Remember that most require registration and they are very popular, so give yourself two weeks in advance to register.

  • Fairfax County Public Library Events Listing Page – don’t forget to register early if registration is required, or show up early to secure your spot if advanced registration is not accepted.
    • ALSO, the summer reading program usually begins when Fairfax County Public Schools end and runs at all the branches.  Full details will be up/registration begins June 15 and the program runs until September 1. Typically preschoolers through sixth graders read 15 books (kids can have books read to them), and students entering grades 7-12 read eight books.  Usually participants who finish reading the required number of books by Labor Day receive coupon books filled with all kinds of summer treats – in past years these included free ice cream, free popsicles, free or reduced admission to water parks, a free water painting kit and more. Kids can read any books they choose; reading suggestions can be found in This Month, the library’s newsletter (available in library branches).  Not only is reading fun, but then we have “coupon days” where we run around town redeeming the coupons for free stuff — a lot of fun on one of those hot, “Mom, I’m bored” kind of days!
    • Don’t live in Fairfax County?  Loudoun County residents can still get a Fairfax County library card through their reciprocal card program!
  • Loudoun County Public Library Events Calendar and Pages Activity Guide
    • I just love, love, love the many activites offered at the Loudoun County Library branches and you can find out all about them at the above links — many of them are also listed on my calendar.
    • Register for the Invade Your Library summer reading program which runs June 11 – August 6.
    • Did you know that Fairfax County residents can check out books from Loudoun County?  They have a reciprocity program — the rules have changed since I first applied (you used to be able to get a Loudoun County card, it is my understanding this is no longer the case, i believe you just use your Fairfax County card.)  As far as I know, the reverse is also still true – Loudoun County residents may have a use Fairfax County libraries!

Bookstore Reading Programs:  Check your local Barnes and Noble or other bookstores for summer reading programs and story times – they are specific to the store so it would be cumbersome for me to list them here for the entire Metro DC area. I do not list story times from bookstores in the by-date/calendar section because I have found that bookstores (especially chain stores) tend change their schedules and this makes for headaches for me when I get emails from people with disappointed children!