That’s a Wrap on Summer of Wonder 2023!

By Emily S. RSS Mon, August 28, 2023

This summer has flown by, and believe it or not, the Free Library’s Summer of Wonder is already wrapping up! We finished our in-person summer programming in branches on August 11, and our Virtual Summer Challenge will be complete by the end of the month. Now we’d like to take just a moment to celebrate a few of the many wonderful things we’ve done.

In neighborhood libraries, we kicked off our biggest summer yet with an inaugural Week of Play. From June 5–10, branches across the city hosted playful learning programs and summer kick-off events, with a variety of activities for the whole family. Several branches hosted a new iteration of our beloved Science in the Summer program from the Franklin Institute, where participating scientists-in-training learned what it would take to be a physicist! Library patrons met all kinds of creatures, including snakes, jellyfish, insects, cows, and the popular “kids” of the Philly Goat Project.


Group of children standing around and petting a goat


Patrons played games, made art, built things, and even painted a bus! And of course, you all read so many books. Scroll down to see some of our favorite Summer of Wonder moments in action.


folding table covered in different types of paint


white bus covered in paint with child painting the window


Online, our patrons took part in the Summer of Wonder Reading Challenge, still going strong through the month of August. You celebrated Pride Month and learned that Science is Everywhere with virtual activity adventures. Our online community reached a new summer record, logging nearly 260,000 minutes read! Adults are a growing audience for online challenges, as are our youngest pre-readers! Congratulations to all our young learners who completed 1,000 books before kindergarten! We’re so happy to have you, and we’ll continue to create content with all ages in mind. Keep on logging minutes for Summer of Wonder until August 31. Can we make it to 300,000? And there’s still time to sign up for an last-minute adventure in creativity and Write a Super Graphic Novel!  


children outdoors playing in foam


Ready to shift gears? Join our online Back to School activity adventure, from August 21–September 10. This bingo board-style challenge is filled with fun tips, reminders, and resources to help you get a jump start and enjoy the excitement of heading back to school. In branches, the LEAP After School Program will be returning soon, and librarians are ready and waiting to help students and adult learners find the resources and support they need to succeed.

Thank you to our branches and our loyal patrons for another truly wonderful summer!

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OMG what fabulous photos!
Juanita Vega DeJoseph - Philadelphia
Friday, September 1, 2023

I'm glad you enjoyed them, Juanita!
Emily S. - Youth Services, Free Library
Friday, September 1, 2023

My granddaughter likes to read a lot
Maritza Acevedo - Mayfair library
Monday, June 10, 2024