Central Library Field Trips for Kids and Teens: Activities

Use this site to plan and book a field trip to the Central Library in Austin Texas!

Kids Exploration Activities

For Children (age 5-12)

Field Trip Exploration Guide for Teachers and Chaperones

Here are some fun things for kids to explore at the Central Library. Larger groups will want to have a rotation plan prepared:

  1. Find your next favorite book with over 60,000 chapter books, graphic novels, audiobooks, movies, information books, read-alongs, and board books for ages 0-12
  2. 12 educational computers featuring preloaded educational games, including research encyclopedias
  3. 12 internet computers with free access to our Homework Help Portal, free tutor-based homework help every day starting at 2pm, plus Roblox and Minecraft)
  4. Free printing for homework projects
  5. WonderTable spotlighting a rotating collection of hands-on STEM activities
  6. Research Assistance available upon request; give us your assignment and a list of topics ahead of your visit and we'll pull a cart of materials for your students
  7. Storywalk featuring original artwork from Rosemary Wells's picture book, Yoko's Show and Tell
  8. Games make learning fun; try out over 20 board games, giant chess, and a STEAM-based touchscreen game table
  9. Reading Porch seats 50+ and is great for reading, bird' eye exploration of Lady Bird Lake and the running trail, plus a great spot to eat a sack lunch
  10. Busy Town with educational games/toys, computers, and books just right for the Pre-K-1st graders
  11. Tween Lounge featuring comfy seating, graphic novels, chapter books, and magazines for kids age 9-12
  12. Tween Zines (ZEENS - short for magazines) highlighting a collection of small books made by tweens for tweens
  13. Scavenger Hunts are a fun way to explore the library; available 30-minute and 1-hour versions PLUS chaperone handouts with lots of exploration ideas for the whole building

Teen Extension Activities

Teen playing electric guitar

For Teens (age 13-18)

The following menu of activities are available any time in Teen Central, with size limits if applicable. Larger groups will want to have a rotation plan prepared. More photos available on our Teen Central Guide!

  • Scavenger Hunts - Building-wide scavenger hunts [30-60min]
  • Alienware Gaming Computers - 6 available. Larger groups will want to create a plan with chaperones initiating a rotation so everyone gets a turn
  • Media Creation Macs - 2 midi keyboards & mics + Ableton, Garage Band, Audacity; 1 Wacom Intuos M tablets and Inkscape, GIMP, Krita. 
  • Zine-Making Station - 6 teens at a time - teens can use our supplies to make their own handmade magazine - aka zine - to keep or to add to our Teen Zine Library
  • Music Lab Instrument Library - guitars, keyboard, bass available at all times -  duration varies by your needs
  • Board Game Collection - 25 games available - we have seating for about 50 board gamers in Teen Central at any given time [30-60 minutes per game]

Additional Activities and Workshops

Our staff can offer one additional extension activity, depending on group size and advance notice. 

  • Speed Date with a Book / Book Cafe - tables of books arranged by genre, with teens rotating among books and tables on schedule with a timer. [30-60 minutes]
  • Research Assistance - Send us your assignment/topic list, and we'll pull materials in advance, and have them waiting for your students in Teen Central to use for their research - [30-60 minutes]
  • Service Project - Ask us about service project opportunities for your group to earn volunteer hours as part of their visit! Available as staff time allows and with at least 30 days notice. 
  • Special Workshops - We can offer 30-45 minute workshops on research skills, copyright and fair use, and other topics as desired. Let us know in your request about any special needs!
Working on a Research Project Assignment during your visit?
Due to the library's books staying at the library location where they are returned, we cannot guarantee that we'll have books on your students' topics, unless you tell us in advance so we can arrange to have books brought over from other locations for your visit. Please let us know if this is the case so we can help you achieve your goals for your visit!