#5. Iowa City

Iowa City Public Library

If your child suddenly disappears in Iowa City Public Library in Iowa City, IA, chances are they’ve camped out in the Book Nook. Created almost entirely out of hundreds of children’s books, the nook is cozy, colorful and the perfect place to curl up with a good read. The library’s Children’s Room also features art that changes seasonally as well as multicolored walls. 

In 2011, Iowa City Public Library made its summer reading program shine even brighter by bringing in local celebrity Dan Wardell, who hosts Iowa Public Television’s Kids Clubhouse. Visiting the library as part of his Summer Reading Road Trip, Wardell hosted two story time events.

Regular story times are offered six days a week for toddlers, preschool children and families, while babies and caregivers can enjoy the Book Babies Program, which is part of the library’s Early Literacy initiative. School-age kids can participate in the library’s R.E.A.D. Program allowing children to read aloud to trained therapy dogs. Kids in fourth through sixth grades can enhance their computer and technology skills by joining the library’s Kids Tech Club.

Wow Factor: Each summer, Iowa City Public Library works with the Summer of the Arts and the Iowa Arts Festival to offer a Children’s Day. The event features a variety of performances such as puppet shows and concerts, as well as magicians, balloon animals artists and more.

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