There are many interesting programs and activities at your local library, including tips on cooking outdoors.

What’s cooking at the libraries? A variety of summer activities

All events are free, but registration is usually required.

Library summer fun roundup

By Jill Draper

Sign your kids up for the summer reading program at your local library—the theme “All Together Now” focuses on kindness and compassion. Or check out various teen activities and adult talks, workshops and book clubs. All events are free, but registration is usually required.


Regina Daniel, author of “Abandoned Kansas City” will appear at the Red Bridge Library on June 27.

MCPL Red Bridge

Bring a mat or towel to Mid-Continent Public Library’s Red Bridge Branch and join a three-week restorative yoga class that meets at 2 pm Tuesdays on Jun 6, 13 and 20 to learn basic poses and relaxation techniques. Adults at all levels are welcome. Also next month is a presentation by Shepherd Elder Law on caring for aging parents at 5 pm Thursday, June 8 (also 6:30 pm Wednesday, Aug. 9 at Grandview), which touches on gaining benefits, avoiding unnecessary debt and avoiding scams. 

Spice up your Facebook account when Square One discusses how to get 10,000 followers in one week in a hybrid class (in-person and Zoom) at 6 pm Tuesday, June 13. This class is funded by a grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Then learn how to make your own chili powder and rubs for barbeque season from Chef Mel Cole at 2 pm Sunday, June 25. 

Explore history at 5 pm Tuesday, June 27 at a talk on abandoned buildings by author Regina Daniel, who photographs forgotten places in the metro area (also 3:30 Saturday, July 1 at Grandview and 6 pm Thursday, Aug. 24 at Blue Ridge). Or go back in time to the 1960s with Kent Rausch when he explores the contributions of Chubby Checker, the British Invasion, Chicago and Jimi Hendrix to the rock revolution. The presentation at 2 pm Saturday, July 22 includes vintage images and audio recordings.

If you’re interested in meditation but it seems confusing, intimidating or too much work, check out meditation mythbusters at 5 pm Tuesday, July 25. And Catherine Anderson discusses her memoir, “My Brother Speaks in Dreams,” at 6 pm Tuesday, Aug. 15. Her book chronicles the barriers that made life difficult for her non-verbal brother growing up in an era that only gradually came to accept people with intellectual and communication disabilities.

Camberly Kate rescued 600 dogs. Her story will be told by Martin City Melodrama at the Grandview Library on June 10.

MCPL Grandview

Adults can celebrate their inner artist at the Grandview Branch by painting a beach scene with instructor Heather Alvarado at 6:30 pm Wednesday, June 7 (also 2:30 pm Sunday, Aug. 6 at Blue Ridge). Follow up with a class on freeform embroidery by stitching a piece of abstract art on burlap at 6:30 pm Wednesday, June 28 (also 11 am Saturday, July 22 at Blue Ridge). Later in the summer eco-artist Alexis Webb-Bechtold helps participants create an eye-catching garland made of old book pages at 2:30 pm Saturday, Aug. 26.

For fun with animals, join storyteller Joyce Slater as she shares chicken stories for all ages, from the little red hen to the chicken who crossed the road, at 10:30 am Tuesday, June 6. Martin City Melodrama blends music, storytelling, poetry and audience participation in a program at 3:30 pm Saturday, June 10 for a true story about Camberley Kate, a woman who rescued more than 600 stray dogs. And puppets are the stars in Cirque du Wiener Dog at 3:30 pm Saturday, June 24 (also 2 pm Saturday, June 10 at Red Bridge).

Paranormal researcher Becky Ray will appear at the Blue Ridge Library on July 20.


MCPL Blue Ridge

Summer means cookouts—learn practical ways to make a full outdoor meal while camping, including cooking methods, equipment, food prep, recipes and more, from presenter Jan Syrigos at 7 pm Thursday, June 15 at the Blue Ridge Branch.

Jugglers put on a show for all ages at 11 am Saturday, June 24, and paranormal researcher Becky Ray juggles truth, legend and elements both macabre and humorous when she tells tales from Missouri and Kansas about local urban legends and mysteries at 6:30 pm Thursday, July 20 (also 6 pm Tuesday, Aug. 29 at Red Bridge). 

The Kansas City Zoomobile will be at the Waldo Library on July 13.

KCPL Waldo

Tiffany Sanders leads an ongoing fitness class that meets weekly at 6 pm Mondays at the Kansas City Public Library’s Waldo Branch. Presented by NickiFit, it mixes dance movements with body-weight toning. Exercises set to music include squats, jumping jacks and simple dance steps, but low impact options are available.

Also for adults is a monthly board and card game meetup called Tabletop Thursdays at 5 pm June 8, July 13 and Aug. 10, plus three book clubs: Fiction Addiction, Mysterious Undertakings and Books & Brews (which meets at the library but continues the discussion afterward at a pub).

Various activities are scheduled for kids and teens, including a recycled jewelry-making/key chain program by ScrapsKC at 2 pm Thursday, June 29 and a visit from the KC Zoomobile about animal communication at 2 pm Thursday, July 13.

Storyteller Jo Ho will appear at the Leawood Pioneer Library on July 20.


Leawood’s Pioneer Library features a regular book discussion, family storytime, and tween book club. 

On June 5 and July 10, children can participate in “READ to a Dog or Cat with Pets for Life.”  The Reading Education Assistance Dogs (R.E.A.D.) program sets out to improve children’s reading and communication skills by having them read to a registered therapy dog or cat. 

On July 20, a special family event teaches acceptance. “Super Attributes from Folk Tale Capers with Jo Ho” spins tales focusing on the unique “Super Attributes” of acceptance, kindness, friendship, and loyalty that encounter situations with the “Super Villains” of prejudice, stubbornness, jealousy and bullying. Told with humor, sincerity, and lots of role-playing, Jo invites kids to participate in interactive tales with thought-provoking questions and audience input after the stories.

David Firman (center) will give a ukele clinic at the Belton Library on August 12.


Cass County Library’s Northern Resource Center in Belton is undergoing a major expansion that will be finished in August, but summer events continue, including a kickoff party for their summer reading program on May 31. Teens and adults can battle for bragging rights in a trivia contest focused on the “Friends” TV sitcom at 6 pm Wednesday, June 14. Adult-only programs include lessons on repousse, a centuries-old method of making hammered metal art at 10 am Saturday, July 29 and ukulele fun at 2 pm Saturday, Aug. 12. David Firman of Butler Music will supply ukuleles and teach a song to participants using simple chords.

The Belton library hosts five different book clubs: Murder Among Friends, Tea Time (classics), Connecting Point (inspirational), Book Fanatics (a little bit of everything) and The Guys Book Club. Most groups meet in the library, while The Guys meet at a local coffee shop. 

See,, and for more programs and details.

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