Summer Programs, Reading and Resources

Summer Programs, Reading and Resources for Kids

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Boston Public Library locations offer free summer programs for children of all ages. This year’s theme is “Summer in the City” and events include programs hosted by Historic New England, New England Aquarium, and the Museum of Science.

See below for individual program descriptions and download the brochure.

Countdown to Kindergarten Party

Boston Public Schools’ first-time kindergarteners are invited to attend a Kindergarten Day Party with their parents or caregivers at a nearby Boston Public Library location. Kindergarteners should wear their yellow “I’m going to Kindergarten” t-shirt.

New England Aquarium

Conversations about tide pools, sharks, and lobsters are on the schedule when educators from the New England Aquarium visit.

Bunker Hill Wheel Chair Racers-VIGNETTE-TRANSPARENT-SMALLHistoric New England – Summer in the City

This summer with Historic New England, kids explore all the unique shapes, styles, and materials that create Boston architecture, from a modern glass skyscraper to a seventeenth-century wooden house. Using Historic New England properties and city buildings, kids also identify geometric shapes, discuss design and building techniques, and think about what a city needs for different environments and people. They then make a paper cityscape to take home.

Museum of Science

Animal Invaders: Sharing Spaces

Kids discover how animal invaders make their way into homes and avoid detection.


Children meet live reptiles and learn about their amazing characteristics.Johnson Building Hopscotch Girl-VIGNETTE-TRANSPARENT-SUPER_SMALL copy

Science Magic!

Kids explore the science behind magic tricks while performing experiments.

Super-Cold Science

Children learn how dropping an object’s temperature leads to amazing effects.

Night Sky

Children explore the night sky, including stars, planets, and other celestial objects.

Rockets: There and Back

Kids design, build, and test balloon rockets and reentry parachutes.

Blizzards: Outwit the Elements

A blizzard is coming! Engineer a tree house to withstand high winds, and save snowboarders from a wild mountain avalanche.

ReadBoston Story MobileChinatown Gates-KIDS+DRAGONS+GATE-TRANSPARENT-SMALL

Starting Monday, July 10 and ending on Friday, August 4, the ReadBoston StoryMobile will visit a variety of Boston Public Library locations once a week for four weeks to provide fun storytelling events and free books for all children in attendance

Summer Reading Program Kickoff Event

Each branch hosts a fun event to get our Summer Reading Program rolling.



Read Your Way to Fenway

Fenway Family-KIDS-TRANSPARENT-SMALLIn this annual summer reading contest, children and teens read three books for a chance to win three tickets to watch the Red Sox play at Fenway Park on Sunday, August 27. Sponsored by John Hancock, The Red Sox Foundation, and The Boston Public Library.


  • For children and teens ages 5 to 17.
  • Download the entry form. (English | Español)
  • Read at least three books and write a brief essay about your favorite one.
  • One entry per person at one branch only.
  • Multiple entries will disqualify the entrant.
  • The essay must be original work.
  • Winner receives 3 tickets to the game on Sunday, August 27, vouchers for food at Fenway Park, a t-shirt, a hat, and a backpack.
  • Each winner must be accompanied to the game by one parent or guardian.

Important Dates

  • Contest starts: June 1
  • Essays due to a Boston Public Library location: August 1
  • Winner notified: August 10-14
  • Pick up your tickets at your branch library: August 17-22
  • Game day: Sunday, August 27 at 1:35 p.m., Red Sox vs. Orioles at Fenway Park

bpl rywtf logo              John Hancock               Red Sox Foundation

Summer Reading Lists (and More) from Schools

Boston Public Schools


Other Resources

Discover Boston with the BPL Passport

The BPS Summer information page has links to book lists, summer jobs resources, and to the Boston Centers for Youth and Families summer program guide


WGBH logo1BPL thanks WGBH and long-time WGBH supporter, The Krueger Charitable Foundation, for their generous $30,000 grant for books and giveaways to enrich “Summer in the City” programming, and their underwriting support of the “Summer in the City” Passport program.