Darlington-Borough-CouncilDarlington Libraries are gearing up for a summer of fun with a packed programme of events and activities for all ages.

Although the library service will be relocating to the Dolphin Centre next year, it’s business as usual at Crown Street as the latest Darlington Libraries Summer Activity Programme is launched.

The programme kicks off with a bid to encourage youngsters to read for pleasure, as The Reading Agency and Libraries join forces to host its annual Summer Reading Challenge – ‘The Big Friendly Read’.

Open to all children aged between four and 11-years-old, the free initiative challenges them to visit a library three times to borrow books over the summer holidays (16 July -3 September) to receive Roald Dahl themed incentives. Those who complete the challenge will receive a Gold Ticket to a fabulous animal themed event during the October Half Term break.

Activities and events will run at both Crown Street and Cockerton Libraries throughout the summer, kicking off in fine style with Hilarity Bites Kids Comedy on Saturday 23 July. Tickets cost £2.50 per person.

Other highlights will include a Baby Prints Drop In and Photography Session with the Pop Up Pottery Company, giving you the chance to obtain a hand or foot print from your child on an item of your choice. Pottery items range from £3 to £28. Parents can also have a professional photograph of their child taken by Pippa Jeffrey Photography for £10. Sessions will take place at both Crown Street and Cockerton Libraries on Wednesday 27 July, booking is required.

Celebrate the 150th anniversary of Beatrix Potter’s birth with a Peter Rabbit inspired Story and Craft Session at Crown Street Library on Thursday 28 July when the more energetic can enjoy some Active Kids Sports and Games.

Other highlights will include the chance to Learn to Draw with artist Liz Million on 3 August; ‘Paint a Story’ Pottery Painting Session featuring ‘Norman, the Slug with the Silly Shell’ on 10 August; Jays Animal Encounters on 17 August; Professor Nincompoops Party on 24 August and learn some Circus Skills with Dot and Zooky on 26 August.

There will also be a series of weekly activities running throughout the holidays, from 25 July until the end of August:

  • Mondays – Sensory Play Story and Craft Sessions for 0-2-year-olds and Storytelling Spectacular and Creative Crafts for 3-7-year-olds;
  • Tuesdays –  Story and Craft Workshops with Family Learning for 3-7-year-olds;
  • Thursdays – Story and Craft Sessions for 3-7-year-olds and Active Kids Sports and Games for 4-11-year-olds;
  • Super Saturdays – Story and Craft sessions for 3-7-year-olds and Film and Crafts for any age.

Full details of all the events can be found in the Darlington Libraries Summer Activity Programme leaflet available at Crown Street and Cockerton Libraries and the Mobile Library.

For more information about library services and events log onto the website at Darlington Libraries, visit the Facebook page, Bookstart in Darlington, pop into one of the libraries or call 01325 349160.