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San Diego Library Programs for Kids

(slideshow - swipe to see more photos)

Libraries often get overlooked for the great value and programs they provide to the public for free!

One of our favorite activities is joining the local library kids programs. The hip hop dance story time is one of our favorites, but we've been regulars at the kids concerts, ice cream socials and winter snow days. We always join the Summer & Winter Reading programs, mostly for the fun prizes like museum tickets and pizza vouchers.

The best part about kids library programs is they're ALL FREE! My kids love having their own library card; it gives them a sense of pride & responsibility and a constant feeling of connection to our community.


Check out your local library and you'll likely find a calendar full of events that includes children's story times, baby sign language classes, and everything from yoga to LEGOs to arts & crafts to movie nights and so many more. Many even have kids' homework help, bike mechanic classes, school break camps and special holiday events too. They always have reading programs in the summer & winter; which often give out free prizes at the end like museum passes and restaurant coupons.


We love library hopping to see how each library branch is different. They all have different features that set them apart! Some have cute kids play areas or even a stream outside on the back patio, while others are walking distance to great coffee or ice cream shops, nearby playgrounds, trails, duck ponds or even on a trolley stop.




- JANUARY 2021 -

IN-PERSON services are limited at these 12 San Diego Public Library locations.

Hours: Monday – Saturday, 9:30am to 5:30pm

Closed 1-2 pm for cleaning.

- Central Library

- Carmel Valley Library

- College-Rolando Library

- La Jolla/Riford Library

- Logan Heights Library

- Mira Mesa Library

- Mission Hills-Hillcrest/Knox Library

- Mission Valley Library

- Point Loma/Hervey Library

- Rancho Bernardo Library

- San Ysidro Library

- Valencia Park/Malcolm X Library

CONTACTLESS PICKUPS are available at these 13 locations:

- Allied Gardens/Benjamin Library

- City Heights/Weingart Library

- Linda Vista Library

- North Clairemont Library

- North University Community Library

- Pacific Beach/Taylor Library

- Rancho Peñasquitos Library

- San Carlos Library

- Scripps Miramar Library

- Serra Mesa-Kearny Mesa Library

- Skyline Hills Library

- Tierrasanta Library

- University Community Library

BOOK RETURNS to drop off books are open at ALL 36 library locations 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


KIDS PROGRAMS at San Diego Public Library


Searchable Library Calendar of Events - here

Searchable by branch location, activity type, age, etc. This is where you'll find all of the kids programs like yoga, story times, baby sign language classes, arts & crafts times, etc. Each library has different programs on different dates, so it's best to look up your local library branch and those nearby to see what each one has to offer and when.

ONLY VIRTUAL EVENTS are currently listed here, but you'll still find story times, arts & craft times, etc. Those that require materials like craft projects will have details about picking them up from your local library.

Summer & Winter Reading Programs

WHEN (Summer): usually July 1 - August 31

WHEN (Winter): usually January 1 - February 28

WHAT: Read 10 books or 10 hours (summer); 5 books or 5 hours (winter). Turn in your reading log online. Show up to an IN-PERSON library to collect your prizes! Adults can participate too!

WHO: all ages 0-100!

PRIZES: varies by date and location but generally they give out all of the following: 1 free museum pass, 1 free restaurant coupon like for a Subway sandwich, sometimes coloring puzzles or journals

Recommended Literature Lists - here

Find fiction titles for classroom use or reading including picture books, children's chapter books, and young adult titles. Full-text book reviews, teacher resources, thematic units, and book talks are available (library card required for access.)

Virtual Hub - here

Link to the SDPL Facebook group where Library Staff and partnering organizations offer daily virtual programs for all ages including: dance parties, read alouds, crafts & DIY, booktalks, and more! Access to our library buildings is very limited, but the fun never stops in our virtual club.

Free Virtual Homework Help for Grades K-18 - here

Homework help is available to students and their families for free. Math, English and science help will be available everyday. Email registration is required to connect with the DYH@L Virtual Homework Help program. Email with your student’s name, grade and which session they would like to attend. Click link for schedule and details.

Library NExT - here

A series of 2 hour workshops for elementary, middle and high school students on topics including robotics, circuits, space and 64 + other STEAM subjects. This program is a collaboration with UC San Diego Extension and Sally Ride Science.

1000 Books Before Kindergarten - here

An easy, fun and free program that puts children on the path to success. And yes, you can read 1,000 books. If you read just three books a day, you’ll reach your goal within one year. But even if you read just one book per day, you’ll reach the goal of 1,000 books in three years.

Binford I CAN Too! Accessibility Center - here

The San Diego Public Library is proud to broaden its service range to include children with accessibility needs and their caregivers. Technology in the center allows these children to more fully enjoy what the Denny Sandford Children’s Library has to offer. A child can begin to use the available space and equipment in the Center once a parent or caregiver meets with the I CAN, Too! Librarian to assess the child’s needs, determine the appropriateness of services and provide an orientation.


KIDS PROGRAMS at San Diego County Library

...coming soon...

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