Take Advantage of the Many Possibilities of Summer at the Birmingham Public Library!

BPL has lots of fun activities to keep families occupied during the hot summer months.


Birmingham, Ala. - Now that summer is undeniably in full swing, all many of us want to do is stay outside and do all the exciting activities we couldn’t when it was freezing, right? But, then we go out and a couple minutes pass and we realize we’re already full-on sweating! 

It’s difficult to balance making the most of the sunny weather without overheating or feeling gross. In light of that balance, here’s just a few of the many, many ways to have an thrilling summer, some with sun and some without, and how the Birmingham Public Library can help you achieve your goals of summer fun! We have over 220 exciting 2022 Summer Reading programs at many of our libraries.

With the heat of the summer beaming down on us, we may have a desire to stay inside and cool off, but that doesn’t mean we have to give up our goals of making the most of the season. There are many relaxing and entertaining hobbies and activities to keep you occupied indoors.

If you need some help figuring out what to do, there are plenty of books at our Birmingham Public Library locations to guide you and give you inspiration! Here are some suggestions:

Like this book on knitting that walks you through basic stitches as well as patterns and colors. Not only is knitting a fulfilling hobby, but you also end up crafting something that could be useful in the colder months! 

Another option to consider is some engaging yoga. A book available for check out at BPL, Every Body Yoga: Let Go of Fear, Get On the Mat, Love Your Body by Jessamyn Stanley,  is a great introduction to yoga for anyone and everyone. With whatever time or energy you have, yoga can be a great de-stressor and can easily be done in your own home with items you already have, making it a fantastic summer activity. 

While everybody loves a summer BBQ on the grill, sometimes it’s simply too hot for it, which makes cooking inside in the kitchen a nice way to spend the day. Whether it's an appetizer or a full meal, prepping and preparing food for yourself, your friends, or your family can be a rewarding way to spend the day. 

Of course, there are a ton of amazing cookbooks to find sweet and savory recipes in, but this one, The New Cooking School Cookbook: Fundamentals, would be great for the season! 

Another great opportunity on a day that's far too hot to spend outside is to go through some digital archive collections! 

From past to present, digital collections are a fantastic way for a curious mind to spend time. Thankfully, we don’t need to do much digging to look through the past, we only need to go onto the Birmingham Public Library website! This site, the Birmingham Public Library Digital Collections, has tons of history cataloged for easy and accessible viewing for fun research or casual browsing. Check it out!

Now, it's always great to have a handful of inside activities ready to go, but not all summer days are spent inside, especially when we know how nice the warmth can be. Sometimes you simply must enjoy the beauty of the outdoors. If you need some help figuring out how, here’s a guide titled, 60 hikes within 60 miles: Birmingham by Russell Helms that details some hikes to take around Birmingham. 

BPL also has this guide called Fat Girls Hiking: An Inclusive Guide to Getting Outdoors at Any Size or Ability by Summer Michaud-Skog that gives advice and encouragement to all hikers. Just remember, if you’re going to hike in the summer, wear sunscreen, bring water, and have lots of fun! 

 If you want to stay outside, but don’t quite feel up to leaving your home, taking up some light gardening is perfect for summer mornings. It’s not only a refreshing hobby, but if it works out, you could end up with some vegetables or herbs to use when it gets too hot and you go inside to cook dinner.

For a beginner or anyone who wants to learn more,  BPL's The New Gardeners Handbook can get you started or give you some ideas! 

 And, of course, the most rewarding and finest way to spend a summer day is to go to your local library. You can check out books, movies, DVDs, and so much more at any of our BPL locations across Birmingham! 

Not only that, but the best way to ease a bit of boredom is to come join the numerous programs happening every week! To learn more about the programs, check out BPL’s Facebook page or check out our calendar detailing where you can go and what you can do this summer! 

 There are so so many opportunities and we would love to help you figure out how to make this summer one to remember! 

By Julie Higginbottom| Librarian III, North Birmingham Public Library