Central Library Field Trips for Kids and Teens: Activities

Come in and explore!

"When in doubt, go to the library." -- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Kids Exploration Activities

For Children (age 5-12)

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

  • 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
  • 12 Educational computers featuring preloaded educational games, including encyclopedias 
  • 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)
  • Free printing for homework projects
  • WonderTable spotlighting a rotating collection of hands-on STEM activities
  • 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
  • Storywalk featuring original artwork from Rosemary Wells's picture book, Yoko's Show and Tell
  • Games make learning fun; try out over 20 board games, giant chess, and a STEAM-based touchscreen game table
  • 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
  • Busy Town with educational games/toys, computers, and books just right for the Pre-K-1st graders
  • Tween Lounge featuring comfy seating, graphic novels, chapter books, and magazines for kids age 9-12
  • Tween Zines (ZEENS - short for magazines) highlighting a collection of small books made by tweens for tweens
  • 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 upon request and as staffing allows in Teen Central, with size limits if applicable. Larger groups will want to have a rotation plan prepared. We can offer up to three extension activities, depending on group size and advance notice. 

  • Scavenger Hunts (2 available - one inside Teen Central [20 minutes] and one Selfie Scavenger Hunt that goes throughout the building [1 hour])
  • Alienware Gaming Computers (6 available with Steam, GOG, and EpicGames [Fortnite] - larger groups will want to have a plan for rotation so everyone gets a turn)
  • Media Creation Macs (6 available with Final Cut, Garage Band, and Photoshop Elements, as well as Wacom drawing tablets to borrow for in-library use - time varies by user)
  • Board Game Collection (over 50 games available - we have seating for about 50 board gamers in Teen Central at any given time [30-60 minutes per game])
  • WunderBar Station (a rotating interactive activity table - usually with a creative element. Past WunderBars have included an advanced LEGO build, watercolor painting, a cup stacking challenge, trivia cards, and more - time varies by activity)
  • Speed Date with a Book / Book Cafe (librarians will set up 4-5 tables full of books, with each table representing a different genre. Individuals have 2 minutes to read a book from a chosen genre table, before a bell rings, and they have to pick another book - after 3 bells, they have to switch to another table. Any book they like, they can take with them to check out - [30-60 minutes]). 
  • Research Assistance (give us your assignment and a list of topics and we'll pull a cart of books in advance, and have them waiting for your students in Teen Central to use for their research - [30-60 minutes]).
  • Musical Instruments (guitars, keyboard, bass, and beat box can be checked out for use in Teen Central by a Lead Teacher for a group's use - time varies by your needs)
  • VR Demo (as staff time allows - schedule early for best availability! Staff will set up the VR station or 3D facial scanning station for student exploration during your visit - [30-60 minutes])
  • 3D Design 101 (an introductory course for students using free, browser-based auto-cad design software [30 minutes], max 20 students per visit, unless students bring their own laptops)