Keeping Kids Busy in August: Help from the Park and the Library

2020 August Editions More News

By Mary Lynch

Keeping kids occupied during summer is challenging under the best of circumstances; pandemic conditions have only made the challenge more difficult. The parks and the library can help:


The first two weeks of August are the last two weeks of day camp for children ages 6 to 14 at several recreation centers in L.A., including Cypress Park, Eagle Rock, El Sereno, Glassell Park and Highland Park. The motto this year is “Playing It Safe This Summer.” Activities have been designed with social distancing in mind, such as non contact sports, exercise class, arts and crafts. Lunch is included.

Most of the programs in Northeast Los Angeles are free, though the cost throughout the park system varies by location, from free to $75/week to $150/week.

You must pre-register online. As of this posting on August 1, most rec centers still had spots available  for the week of August 3 to August 7 and the week of August 10 to August 14. But don’t delay if you want a spot for your child as some of the sessions are currently listed as “almost full.”

“Playing It Safe” means that all children and staff are screened for Covid-19 upon arrival; there are also frequent hand washing and sanitizing breaks. Mask wearing is mandatory for all staff and participants. Each child is assigned to a group of eight that does not vary during the week. The total number of participants is limited to 48. 

Day camp runs from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, with extended pick-up hours until 6 p.m. available for $10/day.


Take a break from e-books by selecting, checking out and picking up an actual book: The city’s 72 branch libraries remain closed as of the beginning of August, but the Arroyo Seco Regional Library in Highland Park and the Los Feliz branch library have been  designated as “libraries to go,” where books you place on hold from the online catalogue can be picked up by appointment Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

You can make reading even more fun by signing your kid up for the Summer Reading Challenge 2020, sponsored by the city’s public library system through August 31. Kids earn badges for reading books, graphic novels, magazines, e-books and can track their progress on online, on a mobile app or on a downloadable printed game board. Register here.