By Amy Taylor
Sponsored by Prince William Public Library System
During the busy holiday season, it may be difficult to slow down and take some time for yourself. Give yourself a breather and stop by your local library this holiday season to enjoy some much-needed downtime. During a time when your budget is stretched tight, they have the free resources you need to entertain every member of your family.
Enjoy live music
It doesn’t truly feel like the holiday season without holiday music. Come enjoy free live music at Prince William Public Libraries.
- Old Bridge Chamber Orchestra Holiday Concert – Dec. 1 at 2:00 p. m. at the Potomac Community Library. Enjoy music of the season with this local chamber orchestra.
- Swing the Holidays – Dec. 2 at 2:00 p. m. at the Haymarket Gainesville Community Library. Watch as Swingology performs jazz and classical arrangements of works from cultures around the world.
All ages are welcome and no registration is required at either of these events.
Family-friendly holiday events
Looking for ways to keep the kids entertained? Look no further than these fun and free events at your local library.
- Maker Zone: Extreme Gingerbread House Edition – Dec. 6 at 4:30 p. m. at Bull Run Regional Library. Bring the whole family to create fun (and yummy) gingerbread houses. No registration is required, but the event will be first come, first served.
- Stories with Santa – Dec. 6 through 13. Santa will be making the rounds at five library branches to read stories and take photos with kids. Check out their calendar to find the location nearest you at pwcgov.org/library.
Ring in the new year and beyond at the library
Your local library offers fun activities in the new year and beyond, with a celebration for just about every occasion.
- (After)Noon-Year’s Eve 80s Party– Dec. 31 at Central Community Library. Teens in grades 6 through 12 can ring in the new year from 2:30 to 4:00 p. m. at this fun retro-themed party. Registration is required for this program and begins Dec. 17.
- Chinese New Year Celebration – Feb. 4, 2019. Join an all-day celebration at Lake Ridge Neighborhood Library. There will be a Zodiac Scavenger Hunt for kids and a What’s Your Zodiac Animal for adults.
- Celebrate Black History Month – Multiple programs are happening across the library system during the month of February to celebrate Black History Month. One of these programs is “Maadhimisho! An African-American Read-In.” On Feb. 9 from 12:00 to 1:00 p. m. at Montclair Library, poetry readings, short stories and storytelling will be featured to commemorate Black History Month.
For more information on the programs mentioned here, plus over 250 programs scheduled from December 2018 through February 2019, stop by your local branch to pick up a copy of Explore Magazine or visit them online at pwcgov.org/library.
Curl up with a holiday favorite
Rachel Johnson, communication services division chief for Prince William Public Library System, said, “It may come as no surprise that the classics really hold up when it comes to holiday favorites. How the Grinch Stole Christmas continues to steal our hearts and we make sure to offer it in multiple formats at the library. Whether you’re looking for the DVD or printed book (both available through your local branch), the eBook (available on Overdrive’s app), or you’d like to listen to the soundtrack through Hoopla, be sure to check out this family favorite.
“The same goes for A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. We offer multiple formats through the library and our mobile apps to give patrons options on how they’d like to best enjoy this timeless tale,” Johnson said.
Give your time by volunteering
Students on break for the holidays may want to gain some work experience and give back to their community by volunteering at the library.
“We love volunteers, and we’re currently accepting applications, but there’s a little bit of a process. Visit us at pwcgov.org/libraryvolunteer to learn more,” Johnson said.