Top Summer Reading Events For Kids In St. Louis

May 31, 2013 7:00 AM

Photo: Thinkstock

(photo credit: Thinkstock)

(photo credit: Thinkstock)

Every teacher and parent knows about the challenge of keeping up a kid’s hard-earned skills during summer vacation. Reading clubs and events are a great tool to encourage kids to maintain their reading habit during the long break. Here are several ideas to make reading fun this summer in St. Louis.

St. Louis County Library Summer Reading ClubsVarious locations
(314) 994-3300

Dates: May 13 through Aug. 3, 2013

Summer reading clubs for babies, kids, teens and adults are underway at your nearest St. Louis County Library location. Events with live entertainment and activities and a set of age-appropriate prizes are offered for each category. Participation is free, and school kids (pre-K through high school) who sign up get their library fees waived. Programs began in May but continue all summer; it’s not too late to join. The St. Louis Public Library has similar programs, visit its website for information.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
St. Louis Public Library
Central Library Great Hall
1301 Olive St.
St. Louis, MO 63103
(314) 539-0380

Dates: May 1 through July 31, 2013

Based on the classic book by L. Frank Baum, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” traveling exhibit is a “pop-up book” exhibit that lets kids experience what it’s like to be in Dorothy’s shoes and explore science, history and art through the magic of the classic storybook. Most of the city library branches will have some activities for kids and adults related to the exhibit, and you can pick up a copy of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” guide at any location.

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Shrek: The Musical or Mary Poppins at the Muny
The Muny in Forest Park
1 Theatre Drive
St. Louis, MO 63112
(314) 361-1900

Dates: June 24 through Aug. 2, 2013

Looking for a way to enhance your at-home reading experiences? Family outings to The Muny are a St. Louis tradition, and this year’s season includes two great shows that kids will enjoy. “Shrek: The Musical appears” in late June, and “Mary Poppins” takes the stage the week of July 25. You’ll be able to find books related to either show so you can focus your bedtime reading for a week before the show and follow up afterward with family storytime. You can grab some of the 1,500 free seats in the last nine rows if you’re on a budget (bring a picnic, you have to get there very early to get free seats) or indulge your kids with some great seats up close.

Kidzone Programs
Saul Brodsky Jewish Community Library
12 Millstone Campus Drive
St. Louis, MO 63146
(314) 442-3720

Dates: Once Upon A Time – first Friday of every month; Reading Rocks! – June 12 through Aug. 10, 2013

The Once Upon A Time program is for ages one through five, and features stories and songs with storyteller Barb Raznick, plus a craft and a healthy snack. The free program promotes listening, learning and interaction. Once Upon A Time is co-sponsored by the Helene Mirowitz Center of Jewish Community Life at the JCC. Reading Rocks! is the Brodsky Library’s summer reading program for preschoolers through sixth grade students. Young readers can register any time after June 12 and become eligible for all sorts of prizes. There’s even a fun kick-off party on June 12, with stories, crafts, treats and door prizes.

Teen Reads
Left Bank Books
399 N. Euclid Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63108
(314) 367-6731

Date: Last Wednesday of every month

Would your teen like to meet others who share their love of books? The Teen Reads group meets at 7:30 p.m. on the last Wednesday of the month to discuss young adult novels. The group chooses books that are available in paperback, and Left Bank Books discounts the selection by 20 percent at both locations. Sometimes the meetings include movie screenings and author visits as well as book discussion.

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Lauren Haas is a writer who specializes in finding the fun! Lauren was the publisher of the St. Louis Area Family Gazette for eight years, and now writes freelance articles on St. Louis events and attractions, budget travel, arts and entertainment and fitness topics. Her work can be found at