The Seattle Public Library has solutions for families to keep children entertained during winter break, from new Read-Along books to digital resources, streaming programs and the resources at 27 locations.
Find many more programs and services, and access collections at www.spl.org or inside any neighborhood library. Find more ideas on our list of 50-plus things to do through the Library at spl.org/50things.
For young kids (ages 1-6)
Borrow a Read-Along picture book. Families can now borrow from our new collection of Read-Along picture books, which come with an attached MP3 player on the inside front cover that reads the book aloud. No internet access is needed. The collection includes over 50 titles and 500 copies in SPL’s children’s kits collection, and has books in Spanish and English.
Stream virtual books and animated stories. Use a library card to access services such as TumbleBooks, virtual books that let kids read along, and BookFlix, a service with animated stories in both Spanish and English. Find all our digital resources for children at this page.
For older kids (ages 7-18)
Attend a family-friendly Library event: Learn about owls at the South Park Branch on Wednesday, Dec. 28 in a hands-on event that will be offered in Spanish and English. Find all Library events at https://www.spl.org/calendar.
Check out a “best book of the year” for a child: Staff has put together book lists of their favorite books from 2022, including teen books, picture books, comics and chapter books, and more. Find staff picks listed on the library website at www.spl.org.
Got a kid with a special interest? Browse the library’s Exploration Guides on subjects of high interest to learners in grades 3-12, including K-Pop, athletes as activists, marine animals and more.
Explore a new-to-you Library location: Explore the collections and art of the 27 distinctive locations around the city. People can even use a visit to a neighborhood library as a starting place to explore a neighborhood. Each Library location offers free Wi-Fi, services such as printing and copying, areas to sit and work, children’s areas and more. Don’t miss the Central Library’s self-guided tour. After visiting the spacious Faye G. Allen Children’s Center, find the hidden octopus mural on Level 3, and take the neon-yellow escalators up through the Mixing Chamber and the spiral. On Level 8, see who’s practicing in the music rooms and take a spin through our new art exhibit. Don’t forget to peek at the view from the highest point on Level 10!
Stream movies and shows: People don’t need to subscribe to a service like Netflix or Disney Plus to access great family movies and TV shows, including many holiday favorites, through services such as Kanopy, Hoopla and Access Video. Hoopla also has an amazing selection of digital comic books and graphic novels.
Reserve a free museum pass: Through the Library’s Museum Pass program, people can reserve free tickets to wonderful museums such as the Seattle Aquarium, the Museum of Flight and the Woodland Park Zoo. It is likely that December passes are booked, but book ahead for January at spl.org/MuseumPass.
Get started on a New Year’s resolution: Want to learn a new skill in 2023 – from cooking to crochet to coding? Submit a “skill wish” to the Library’s Your Next Skill service, and Library staff will provide a customized learning plan for residents. Or queue up a 2023 book list by using Your Next 5, a service that provides a list of five books tailored to residents.
People who don’t have a Library card can get one online or in person. Apply for a card in minutes at spl.org/Card. Applications are in Spanish, Vietnamese, Amharic, Somali and Chinese, as well as in English; and there is a children’s application, as well.