Celebrate the Great Outdoors with the Library

Written by Lisa Soper, Youth Services & Programming Coordinator, Lifelong Learning, Downtown Main Library

Looking to get your family outside to enjoy the fall weather? The Greater Cincinnati area is celebrating the Great Outdoor Weekend, opens a new window from Sept. 25-26, and the Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library is joining in the fun!

Each year, Great Outdoor Weekend presents opportunities to sample the best outdoor recreation and nature awareness programs available in the Greater Cincinnati region with nearly 100 events, all free and open to the public.

The Library is getting involved in a big way. We’ll be hosting events for youth and families in the great outdoors at multiple branches and community locations throughout Hamilton County.

Scavenger Hunts for Kids and Teens

Pick up a scavenger hunt and activity booklet at your local branch, or print your own. There are two booklets available, Scavenger Hunt for Kids and Scavenger Hunt for Teens. Then get outside and explore. Find at least five items in a row on your Scavenger Hunt Bingo card, then stop by any branch to enter for a chance to win a fun prize package. Prizes include kits for birdwatching, insect exploration, and solar energy activities. The last day to enter the prize drawing is Saturday, Oct. 16.

Your activity booklet also has some fun ideas for learning about nature while you enjoy the great outdoors. Try making a leaf rubbing, pressing a flower, or making a solar oven.

Outdoor Storytimes

Saturday, Sept. 25, and Sunday, Sept. 26

Enjoy nature-themed stories in a local park or library branch. Presented in partnership with Cincinnati Parks and Great Parks of Hamilton County. View the schedule to find a location near you.

Urban Stargazing 101

Saturday, Sept. 25, 8:30-9:30 p.m. at the Bond Hill Branch Library

Learn the basics of backyard stargazing as we map our way across the Cincinnati night sky. Members of the Future Galileos from the Cincinnati Observatory, opens a new window are on hand with telescopes, so even your littlest astronomer can have an up-close encounter of the sky above us. This is a drop-in event. Check for weather cancellation by calling 513-369-4445 before 5 p.m. on the day of the event.

Hiking 101 for Teens

Saturday, Sept. 25, 11 a.m. to noon at French Park

Newbie hikers and seasoned pros can join us to learn about how to identify different regional plants, some tips on how to prepare for a hike, and how to just enjoy our local parks! All registrants receive a free hiking kit. Presented in partnership with Cincinnati Parks, opens a new window. Hikers meet in front of the house. Registration is recommended, but not required. #getoutside!

For a complete list of all the Library's Great Outdoor Weekend events, visit our online calendar of events

Plus, check out these booklists for a little inspiration before you head outside.

Explore the Great Outdoors with Kids

Hike the Great Outdoors