Outdoor Program Ideas

Though the weather is turning towards fall, we still have quite a few days this year when outdoor programs can be an option for your library and your patrons. From drive-in concerts to socially-distanced storytimes, libraries got creative this summer when it came to in-person programs. Let’s keep the success rolling!

Here are a few outdoor programming resources:

Check this Google document for updates.

Let’s Move in Libraries 

Let’s Move in Libraries from UNC Greensboro offers lots of program ideas, many of which are intended to be held outdoors, or could be converted to outdoor activities. https://letsmovelibraries.org/program-ideas/

Play Streets

Play Streets temporarily close public streets to offer a safe, public space for children and families to engage in play. Here is a guide to implementing play streets in rural areas: https://www.baylor.edu/publichealth/index.php?id=961864

Story Strolls / StoryWalks®

Darci Hildebrand, Director of Wamego Public Library, says, “Our StoryWalk® has been a huge hit in our community, especially as something to do that’s safe during COVID.” Take a look at the full story of Wamego’s StoryWalk®: http://wamego.lib.nckls.org/storywalk/

If you are planning on calling your story stroll a StoryWalk®, please note that word is a registered trademark. There is no charge to use the trademark, but be sure to follow the guidelines.

A Story Stroll getting-started guide with lots of tips and considerations:


A possible vendor for long-lasting outdoor sign holders:


Wamego, Garnett, Columbus libraries have used this vendor. Darci from Wamego says, “Barking Dog has been wonderful to work with!  They are very customer service focused. I’m sure they would be happy to give you an estimate via email. Very friendly!”

Another vendor:

Frank Carlson Library in Concordia had theirs made by Wildside Creative LLC: http://wildsidecreative.com/

Another option for signs:

One NEKLS area librarian said, “We had signs donated from a realtor. Have them contact realtors in their area and ask them. They may need to get a few from more than one (realtor). They really hold onto those signs.” 

Printable book pages (with copyright permission):


Boy Scouts may be able to help:


What Else?

What are some of your successful outdoor programs? Email Anna and we’ll get them added to this page.