Because I'm the Mom: Visit the Library

By Heather Condley Rainone | Managing editor Published:

If you're like me, you're always looking for something fun, and free, to do with your kids. Here are some neat programs going on at Portage County libraries this week:

At Reed Memorial Library in Ravenna, there are always plenty of activities planned. In addition to their regular story time events (dates and times for which are available on the library website), there's a puzzle exchange from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and a Teen Anime Club event from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday for anyone 13 and older. The puzzle exchange is for everyone, adults included. Puzzle enthusiasts can swap puzzles and board games. No registration is required and you can come and go throughout the day. During the anime event, teens can watch an anime film (rated PG or PG-13) with others who love the Japanese-style animation genre. No registration is required.

On April 16, Reed Memorial is hosting Secret Agent Training from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Children in kindergarten through fifth grade will learn skills like decoding messages and creating disguises. I know that's next week, but registration is required, and it sounds like a lot of fun.

You can get more information about Reed Memorial Library at its newly redesigned website at reed.lib.oh.us. You can also call 330-296-2827

Kent Free Library offers Tales and Treats at 4 p.m. on Tuesday afternoons for children in kindergarten through second grade. On Saturday, April 12, the library is looking for students under age 17 who take music lessons to play two pieces in a public concert. All skill levels are invited and a piano will be available. Sounds like it will be a great chance to see some talented youth musicians. Registration is required.

Tonight, the library is hosting Pajama Time from 7 to 7:30 p.m. in the children's room. The event is a story time for children of all ages with a favorite adult and everyone is invited to wear their pajamas. No registration is required, but participation is first-come, first-served. You need to sign in at the children's room desk for a boarding pass. Boarding passes are available 30 minutes before each program and space is limited to 50 people.

You can get more information about Kent Free Library online at kentfreelibrary.org. You can also call 330-673-4414.

The Portage County District Library, which serves the rest of Portage County and has branches in Aurora, Streetsboro, Garrettsville, Randolph and Windham, has story times for various ages of children throughout the week at its branch libraries. In addition to those events, the Windham Library is holding an Easter craft event all day today, Thursday and Friday of this week. Children and their favorite adult can decorate a large Easter egg with a special surprise. Call 330-326-3145 for more information.

The Streetsboro library is holding Encounters with the Unknown at 6:30 tonight. The event is an adult program and probably is only suitable for older teens, but it sounds really interesting. Thomas Wertman, Ohio's chief field investigator for the Mutual UFO Network, will talk about alien encounters, crop circles and mysterious lights in the sky. Call 330-626-4458 for more information.

You can get more information, including a calendar, on the Portage County District Library at www.portagecounty.lib.oh.us

If none of these events sounds like fun, or you can't make it to any of them, still consider taking a trip to the library with your little (and even not-so-little) ones. Even when there isn't a special event going on, the libraries have children's rooms full of books, games and other things to keep kids busy. It's one of my family's favorite places to spend an hour to two. And the best part -- it's totally free.

If you have any parenting topics you'd like me to touch on feel free to comment on this post or email me at hrainone@recordpub.com. You can also follow me on twitter at @heatherrainone or follow my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HeatherCondleyRainoneRecordCourierManagingEditor

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