Enjoy an outing with your children to your local library to borrow books, DVDs and CDs. Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Hunter libraries offer free programs for families such as baby book sessions and storytime sessions. There’s also lots of school holiday activities to keep school aged kids entertained. Best thing of all is that library membership is free.

Newcastle Region Library

Newcastle Region Library offers a number of fantastic programs for babies and kids at their branch libraries in Adamstown, Beresfield, Hamilton, Lambton, Mayfield, New Lambton, Newcastle, Stockton and Wallsend.

Newcastle Library

Ten Minutes a Day: Baby Book Time (0 – 12 months)

Baby Book Time is a wonderful introduction to books. Designed for parents with babies under 12 months, the program uses stories, songs, rhymes and music to develop early literacy skills.  The Baby Book Time program is a 4 week program consisting of 30 minute sessions.

Sessions are held at Wallsend District Library, City Library, New Lambton Library, Adamstown Library, Beresfield Library, Mayfield Library and Stockton Library. Bookings are essential so contact your local library for more information.

Baby Book Packs are also available to borrow which include a couple of picture books, nursery rhymes and CDs

Rock n Rhyme Time (1 –  3 years)

Once kids are moving around, Rock and Rhyme time is a fun interlude at the library for those who don’t want to sit down and read. Enjoy songs, nursery rhymes, dancing, music, stories and lots of fun! These action packed sessions are perfect for children age 1 – 3. Each session runs for 30 minutes. Book ahead or just drop in. Does not run during school holidays or on public holidays.

Storytime (3 – 5 years)

Stories, songs, rhymes and craft for children 3 to 5 years. Storytime sessions are a fun way to help prepare your child for reading once at school. Each session runs for 45 minutes. Book ahead or just drop in.

Little Bang Discovery Club (3 – 5 years)

Join the membership-only club for junior discoverers aged three to five years and their adult assistants. Participants will learn the art of discovering and scientific enquiry through a four-part series of fun hands-on science-based educational workshops and activities. The Little Bang Discovery Club is presented by a science educator from the SMART program (University of Newcastle) in partnership with Newcastle Region Library.

Toy Library (0 – 8 years)

Newcastle Region Library also hosts a Toy Library at New Lambton Library where families can borrow  up to 3 toys per child every week.

Primary School Program

Newcastle Regional Library offers a comprehensive range of programs for primary school children. These include school holiday programs, author visits and exhibitions.

Out Loud (Book Club for years K-3 students)

Calling book lovers! Relax, draw and create. Join in their fun, new after-school kid’s book club. Each week, they will share favourite stories, play puzzles, quizzes and games, and relax with craft and colouring. Suitable for children in years K – 3. Free. Bookings essential. Does not run during school holidays or on public holidays.

LEGO Club

Come along to the weekly LEGO® Club to share your skills, master cool builds and make new friends. With bucket loads of LEGO® and a different challenge every week, fun is guaranteed! Open to children of all abilities in school years K-6. Free. Bookings essential. Does not run during school holidays or on public holidays.

More info: http://www.newcastle.nsw.gov.au/Library/Whats-On/Children-s-Activities

Lake Mac Library

Lake Macquarie City Library offers a number of great programs for babies and kids at their branch libraries in Belmont, Cardiff, Charlestown, Edgeworth, Morriset, Speers Point, Swansea, Toronto, Wangi Wangi and Windale. They also have school holiday activities that run after each school term.

Babies into Books (0-1 years)

Help develop your baby’s language and pre-reading skills at this six week program for parents and babies under one year. Enjoy and learn songs, finger plays and rhymes you can continue to share together at home.

Books and Babies (0-1 years)

Share stories and rhymes with your baby and nurture an early love of reading. Enjoy time with your baby and meet other parents.

Read and Rhyme Time (1-3 years)

Move and groove with stories, songs and musical instruments for toddlers. Encourage imagination, build language skills and have fun.

Storytime (3-5 years)

Listen to stories, sing songs and create something crafty with your pre-schooler. Prepare for school and encourage a love of reading imagination and social interaction.

BaRK Building Reading Confidence for primary school age kids

BaRK is a free eight-week program to assist reluctant readers. Children practice reading aloud on a one-to-one basis to a trained therapy dog from the Delta Society. For more information please phone (02) 4921 0731.

More info: http://library.lakemac.com.au/

Maitland City Library

Maitland City Library features branches in Central Maitland, East Maitland, Rutherford and Thornton with programs for families.

Babies Book Club (0 – 2 years)

Baby Book Club is a fun program of stories, songs and rhymes for your little ones, suitable for ages 0 to 2 years. Developing language skills in young children is important to their growth, well being and success in future years.  Give your baby the best start in life by learning how to share reading and language with them at Baby Book Club. The free sessions run weekly at every library branch and include stories, songs, rhymes and finger play through the use of board books, puppets and musical instruments. Reading tips and advice on the best resources are provided by Library staff.

Continue the fun at home by borrowing a Baby Book Club Pack full of stories and music.

Storytime (2-5 years)

Fun Storytime sessions are run at every library branch and are suitable for kids aged 2-5 years.

Storytime is a free weekly program of stories, rhymes and songs that encourages a love of reading and helps eager young minds develop a range of important skills such as language development, counting, imagination, concentration, creativity and listening. No booking is required, just come along.

More info: https://www.maitlandlibrary.com.au

Cessnock Library

Rhymetime (0 – 2 years)

These sessions are for babies aged 0-2 years old. Parents and babies can sing songs and rhymes, play with instruments and props, and enjoy a short book. 30 minute sessions.

Story Time (2 – 6 years)

These sessions are for young kids aged 2 -6 years old. Parents and kids can enjoy stories, rhymes and craft. 45 minute sessions.

Combined Rhymetime / Story Time

These combined sessions are for young kids aged 0 -6 years old. Parents and kids can enjoy stories, rhymes and craft. 45 minute sessions.

Rhymetime and Story time are held throughout the year, including school holidays

More info: http://www.cessnock.nsw.gov.au

Port Stephens Library

The Library holds a range of regular programs, activities and events for families and children including storytimes, book clubs, movie screenings, school holiday programs and special events at their branch libraries at Raymond Terrace, Tomaree Library in Salamander Bay and Tilligerry Library at Lemon Tree Passage.

Read and Rhyme

Read and Rhyme is a weekly program providing an introduction to books, music and rhymes for carers and their babies ages 0-2. This program is free of charge and is held every week at Tomaree Library (except during school holidays) and Raymond Terrace Library (except during the month of January).

Storytime and Craft

A weekly program providing an introduction to the magic of books and reading for children ages 2-5. The cost is $1.40 per child which includes craft materials. Storytime and Craft commences at 10.30am and is held at Tomaree Library every Tuesday and at Raymond Terrace Library every Thursday (except during the month of January).

Stories in the Street

A free Literacy program for children 0-5 years in Raymond Terrace and Medowie. We will visit your home (excluding school holidays and rainy days), read to your children, provide craft stencils, song sheets and leave a selection of books that can be exchanged each week.

More info: https://www.portstephens.nsw.gov.au/live/library/programs-and-activities