Enjoy the great outdoors with a little help from the Library

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

Cooler weather, colorful leaves, and cozy reads! Fall is nearly here, and it’s a great time to time to enjoy a story and more in the great outdoors. Our libraries are hosting many outdoor events and activities for kids and families, including storytimes and StoryWalks®. Visit our online calendar of events to learn more about what’s going on at a library or community location near you! Outdoor events are limited to small groups of 10 or fewer, with social distancing to ensure safety for all. Registration may be required to ensure a spot. 

Outdoor Storytime at the Northside Branch, with Children’s Librarian Marni Blanken 

The Greater Cincinnati community also is celebrating Great Outdoor Week Sept19-27. This initiative is organized by Green Umbrella Regional Sustainability Alliance. Check out their listing of outdoor events and self-guided activities for all ages. 

Storytime in Your Park 

On Saturday, Sept. 26, we’re helping Cincinnati Parks celebrate National Public Lands Day (NPLD) with Storytime in Your Park. Library staff are sharing nature-themed stories, songs and rhymes at several parks throughout the city. Visit cincinnatiparks.regfox.com/story-times-in-parks for the full schedule and to reserve a spot.  

We acknowledge that local public lands, like all of Hamilton County, rest on the lands stewarded by the Shawnee and Myaamia people before their forced removal.   

This year’s NPLD theme is “More Ways to Connect to Nature.” This national effort includes volunteer opportunities and events “designed to connect the public to iconic parks, national forests, marine estuaries, and other public lands sites,” says Christyl Johnson-Roberts, Volunteer Coordinator for Cincinnati Parks. As part of this effort, Cincinnati Parks is organizing various volunteer projects designed to restore and enhance these public spaces.  

StoryWalk® at the Green Township Branch


Can’t make it to a storytime? Check out our StoryWalks®. In each StoryWalk®  the pages of a picture book are placed along a path, so kids and adults can read along as they get a little exercise and enjoy nature. StoryWalks® have been installed at several library branches, and at parks or other partner locations throughout our community. These are available for you to explore on your own. A current list of locations hosting StoryWalks® is in our calendar of events. The StoryWalk® Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, Vt., and developed in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library.StoryWalk® is a registered service mark owned by Anne Ferguson. 

So, grab a book and head outside! Here are a few recommended titles for families:  

  • Wild Berries written by Pikaci-Minisa and illustrated by Julie Flett 
  • Where’s Rodney? written by Carmen Bogan and illustrated by Floyd Cooper 
  • Camp Tiger written by Susan Choi and illustrated by John Rocco 

For more great reads, check out these booklists: 

  • Exploring Nature  Family read-alouds about nature, parks and the environment