Check out your local Library

Your first port of call should be your local library, where you will find the annual Summer Reading Challenge in full swing. In City Libraries and those in the rest of the county run by Inspire, this carries on until the 8th September. Inspired by the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing, this year’s Summer Reading Challenge is called the Space Race, and children, aged 4 – 11 are challenged to read six library books, of their choice, over the summer holidays. They will help super space family, the Rockets, as they set off on an exciting mission to track down books stolen by these mischievous aliens. They’ll collect special stickers (some have mysterious smells!) and other rewards along the way, as they complete their mission, and enter a free prize draw to win lego. Plus lots of workshops and activities at various libraries. For details see: or

Also in libraries is an exciting 360° sound performance, The Girl of Ink and Stars. Based on the award-winning book by Kiran Millwood Hargrave, The Girl of Ink and Stars tells the story of Isabella and her lifelong friend Pablo’s journey into the forbidden and unknown territories of their island in a search for their missing friend. The performance is presented through headsets (provided) to give a 360° immersive sound experience. This will be on 3-12 August at various city libraries. £2 per person. Age 7+. And at Inspire Libraries up to the 11th August. See these websites for details.

Make Hogwart’s Potions At Waterstones

Waterstones Nottingham also has a range of “Jolly Holiday” events on during the summer, suitable mostly for age 6+. These are free but need to be booked. There are Hogwarts Potion Classes with a mixologist, story times, a book quiz, and more.


Over the holiday, five of Nottingham’s parks are being transformed into StoryParks, where families can join in with free storytelling, books, crafts, music, etc. 10 AM – 3 PM every weekday, at the Forest Recreation Ground, Highfields Park, Vernon Park, Wollaton Park and Woodthorpe Grange.


Nottingham Playhouse is putting on Coram Boy, from 7th – 10th August. Based on Jamila Gavin’s Whitbread Children’s Book of the Year Award-winning novel, Coram Boy is a gripping family saga that exposes an era blighted by slavery and the ill-treatment of children. This will be in the Albert Hall (next door to the Playhouse), and is a professional production, with over 70 community performers as well as professional actors.


A Wilder Woodland Gathering will be happening on 21st August … and it includes poetry. Organised by Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, from 1 – 7 PM, this is a chance to celebrate, share and learn in nature with family activities, music, poetry and performance, debate and discussion, refreshments and more. For all ages, in the beautiful Skylarks Nature Reserve, only 2 miles from Nottingham City Centre.


For the younger members of the family, Inspire Libraries will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Very Hungry Caterpillar, with sessions using story sacks, and the chance to make your own caterpillar, sing songs and get creative. Suitable for under 5’s but all welcome.


And the D.H.Lawrence Birthplace Museum will have summer storytelling on Saturday mornings from August 10th, at 10.30 AM. £4 per child, including tickets to the museum.

Teenagers are catered for as well, starting with a YA Fantasy Triple on Tuesday 30th July at Waterstones, at 6.30 PM. Authors Sarah Maria Griffin, Christine Lynn Herman and Adrienne Young will be chatting about their brilliant work and signing some books. £5 general admission / £4 for Waterstones Plus cardholders


At the same venue, the monthly Waterstones Teen Book Club on 11th August 2 pm will be talking about Heartstream by Tom Pollock. Free


At Lakeside Arts, a Summer School for ages 9 – 14 gives the chance to create a play in a week. Retell the story of Persephone and her banishment to the underworld, in a new and dark explanation of why England is permanently suffering from an incurable condition known as weather. No previous experience is required, just lots of enthusiasm and a commitment to attend for the full week. To book, please call Box Office on 0115 846 7777. £100 for the week.


At Nottingham Central Library, there’s a Gaming Quiz brought to you by Storysmash team- a full on Anime, Manga, TV and gaming quiz to celebrate Nerdom in Nottingham! Free to enter, on Saturday 3rd August, 1 – 3 PM. Free and no need to book. Ages 11+


Free zine-making taster days are on offer at the D.H.Lawrence Birthplace Museum. Every Wednesday 31 July – 21 August, for ages 11-25. Learn writing and illustration techniques and make your own comic zine. Basic materials are provided, but you are welcome to bring along some of your own art, photographs, writing, poetry which you would like to include in the zine. 11am till 3pm, with lunch and refreshments provided. Booking is essential, on 0115 9173824 or email us at