Summer Fun for Teens!

Summer Fun for Teens!

by Ethan Atwell

We are now over a month into summer vacation and maybe you’ve run out of things to do with your teen. Not to worry; Ames Public Library is here for you and your teen!

The summer months are actually the busiest time of year for the Library. We offer Terrific Tuesday performers, storytime in the parks, library camp, free meals for 0-18 year olds, and much more. The above mentioned programs are mostly geared towards our younger patrons. But what does the Library have to offer for teens this summer?

There are loads of things for teens to do! This summer is extra special because the last few summers have not had much for teens. Below is a list of upcoming programs for teens:

  • Tie Dye Party, July 12th, 1pm at Bandshell Park.
    The Teen Advisory Group (TAG) invites all 6th-12th graders to a free tie dye party at Bandshell Park. Each participant will receive a free white bandana to dye and are welcome to bring one additional item of their own. Color and rubber bands are provided.
  • Teen Advisory Group (TAG), Wednesday, July 15th, 6:30pm, Teen Space.
    A fun meet up of any 6th-12th graders who are interested in deciding the future of the Library. We will make plans for teen events, talk about books, and just hang out. No registration is required.
  • NirvanaOnline Workshops Tuesday, July 19th, and Tuesday, August 16th, 2-4pm in the Farwell T. Brown Auditorium.
    NirvanaOnline is a Minecraft-based multiplayer online role-playing game. A Minecraft workshop will be offered at the beginning built around teaching players to think critically, develop STEM skills, and work in teams. Afterwards, everyone will have free play in the NirvanaOnline world. Players are required to have a Minecraft account. The Library will provide a limited number of Minecraft accounts and laptops. Register at
  • Swift Youth Writers Workshop, July 18th-22nd & July 25th-29th, 10:30am-1pm in the Rotary Room.
    Teens in 8th-12th grader are invited to participate in one of these week-long workshops. Each session will include reading an inspirational piece, following timed-writing prompts, and positive group feedback. Lunch will be provided after each session. This writers workshop is offered in partnership with Ames Writers Collective.
  • Teen Anime Club, Friday, July 22nd, 4-6pm in the Teen Space.
    Our monthly Anime Club is continuing through the summer. It is open to all 6th-12th graders and is a time to watch and discuss favorite anime, manga, and fandoms. Anime watched is considered to be rated G or PG-13.
  • LGBTQIA+ Mental Health Presentation, July 27th at 6pm for Teens, and August 3rd at 6pm for Adults and Caregivers of Teens in the Rotary Room.
    Teens and their caregivers are invited to hear from Jen Hansen, a licensed mental health counselor, as she discusses mental health information for LGBTQIA+
    teens. Topics that will be discussed are statistics, ways to ask for help, where to find help, and how to thrive emotionally and mentally as an LGBTQIA+ teen.
  • Teen Videogames, Every Thursday, 3:30-6pm in the Teen Space.
    Teens can drop in to play Smash Bros., Mario Kart, Just Dance, or any of our other games on the Nintendo Switch or Wii U. It is a great time to meet new friends and hang out.

In addition to all these great summer programs, the Library’s Teen Space is open every afternoon! The hours are: Monday-Thursday 3:30-8pm, Friday 3:30-6pm, Saturday 1-6pm, and Sunday 1-5pm. Any 6th-12th graders are welcome, but no adults! (Don’t worry parents, you can stop in to talk with your teen, but you can’t hang out.)

If you have any questions, ideas, or need book recommendations, please reach out to me at