Free and Cheap Ways to Celebrate Dad This Father’s Day

Father’s Day is almost here! Show how much your dad means to you. If you’re scrambling for a gift, we’ve got you covered with some great ideas:


Treat dad to something nice, like custard or frozen yogurt. You can use your DCL library card to get a discount through DCL Local. Don’t worry, we won’t tell your dad that you used a discount.


Take your dad on a hike! Explore a state park together. You can check out a backpack with free passes to the state parks through the Check Out Colorado program.


Visit a museum together. Look at artwork from Clyfford Still or learn about the history of our state. Use Adventure Pass to reserve free passes to museums like Clyfford Still, History Colorado, and Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

5 Ways to Give Mom a Break on Mother’s Day

anton-mislawsky-flower-bouquetBeing a mom is a full-time job, never mind all the other stuff on her plate. So this Mother’s Day, give her a well-deserved break with the help of Douglas County Libraries. After all, she deserves a day (or week, or month!) that’s as awesome as she is!

1. Treat her to a lovely lunch or dinner out, or fro yo!

Did you know you can receive discounts and special offers at local merchants through DCL Local using just your library card? It’s a win-win! Learn more.

2. Spend a hassle-free day together exploring a museum.

Reserve a free pass to a local cultural institution through our Adventure Pass program. All you need is your library card, and a sense of adventure!

3. Enjoy the great Colorado outdoors.

Whether it’s a picnic in the park (packed by someone other than mom) or a wildflower hike, you can commune together in nature. And guess what? Douglas County Libraries offers free state parks passes through our Check Out Colorado program. Load up the kayaks and make it a day!

Check out a backpack and pass at any of our locations. They’re part of our Lucky Day program, available on a first-come, first-served basis.

4. Give the gift of leisure.

A great book or magazine, a steaming hot cup of joe or tea, and a comfortable spot on the patio (or in bed) — sounds like the perfect morning! Cue up an e-book or digital magazine on mom’s device using your library card to keep her pleasantly occupied while everyone else whips up brunch. You can do it! Check out these brunch cookbooks for scrumptious ideas.

5. Spare her a trip to the grocery store.

Instead, sign up for a meal delivery service, where all the ingredients are delivered to the front door. Then simply cook up a super meal for the super mom — with or without her help.

Not sure which meal delivery service is best? We’ve got you covered! Check out Consumer Reports’ recent ratings of meal delivery services. Access is free when you use your library card!

Homemade With Love

There’s still plenty of time for the kids to create something special for mom at these events!

Kids’ Zone
Thursday, May 11
Highlands Ranch, James H. LaRue
Grades 2-6
No registration required

Kids can drop in and celebrate their awesome moms by making them cards and flowers.

Colorado Moms Who Rock!
Now through May 12
The Outlets at Castle Rock (5050 Factory Shops Blvd. #437)
Ages up to 12
No registration required

Kids can use coloring cards and art supplies available at Customer Service to write messages or draw pictures that show why their moms rock. The artwork can be shown at Customer Service, where each child will receive a $5 gift card that can be used toward the purchase of a Mother’s Day gift.

The Final Frontier: Space Books & Sci-Fi

Douglas County Libraries is exploring the Final Frontier this month with space-themed events at various locations throughout the district. If you’re looking for more sci-fi fun and futuristic thrills, check out these books!


YA Sci-Fi



by Amie Kauffman & Jay Kristoff
In the year 2575, the planet Kerenza is attacked. New exes Kady and Ezra find themselves on a space fleet fleeing the enemy, with a malfunctioning ship’s artificial intelligence and a deadly plague upping the stakes against their survival in this unconventional, suspenseful novel.


Breaking Sky

by Cori McCarthy
In this compelling, action-packed dystopic novel set in the year 2048, Chase Harcourt, call sign “Nyx,” is chosen to fly the experimental Streaker jets at the junior Air Force Academy, despite the dark secrets in her past. As the world tilts toward war, Chase cracks open a military secret that changes everything.



by Melissa Landers

High school senior Cara Sweeney gets in over her head when she participates in Earth’s first intergalactic high school exchange program in this romantic, suspenseful tale.


These Broken Stars

by Amie Kauffman
Opposites attract in this suspenseful tale. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen are in a fight for their lives when their ship crash lands on an eerily deserted planet, and they must work together in order to survive.

Sci-Fi Books Turned Movies


The Martian

by Andy Weir
In this fast-paced, suspenseful novel, Mark Watley is stranded after a dust storm cuts his team’s Mars mission short. He has to call on his ingenuity to survive with no air, shelter, food or water until the next manned mission to Mars in four years. DVD


The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

by Douglas Adams
This quirky, offbeat classic kicks off the extraterrestrial journeys, notions and acquaintances of unwilling galactic traveler Arthur Dent. DVD


I, Robot

by Isaac Asimov
With the three laws of robotics, Asimov changed our perception of robots forever. In this thought-provoking classic, he links the past, present and future of robots through a series of stories, from their primitive beginnings to a future where humanity may no longer play a part. DVD



by Frank Herbert
Set on the desert planet Arrakis, this sweeping classic tells the tale of young Paul Atreides, who survives a devastating betrayal against his noble family to become the mysterious man known as Muad’Dib who avenges his family, and brings to life humanity’s fragile and most ancient dream. DVD


Rocket Boys

by Homer H. Hickham
This fantastic memoir inspired the film October Sky. It explores the life of aerospace engineer Homer Hickham and his friends in Big Creek, West Virginia, from the launch of Sputnik to a career in NASA. DVD

Picture Books for Kids



by Chris Van Allsburg
Two boisterous brothers (Danny and Walter, first introduced in Jumanji) find more excitement than they bargained for in a space adventure board game in this fanciful and fun picture book.


If You Decide to Go to the Moon

by Faith McNulty
In language that is elegant, yet fun, this lavish picture book invites you to accompany a boy on an emotionally charged trip to the moon — from reminders of what one should pack on a trip to the moon, to the exciting countdown and liftoff. After blastoff, facts about space travel are mingled with descriptions of what the journey might be like.


Mousetronaut Goes to Mars

by Mark E. Kelly
A mouse stowaway on NASA’s first human mission to Mars becomes a hero when one of the landing craft’s engines fails. Meteor returns to save the day in this second picture book by Mark Kelly (retired American astronaut).


Mars Needs Moms!

by Berke Breathed
When a disgruntled boy sees his mother being kidnapped by Martians, he realizes he loves her and will go to any lengths to protect her. Check out this delightful picture book that was made into a motion picture.

For Fans of Star Wars & Star Trek


For the Love of Spock (DVD)

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Star Trek through a personal, intimate look at the life and career of Leonard Nimoy and the enduring appeal of his alter ego, Mr. Spock, as told by his son, Adam Nimoy.


The Autobiography of James T. Kirk

by David A. Goodman
This clever and engaging chronicle of the most famous Starfleet captain, in his own words, traces his youth on Tarsus IV, education at the Academy, and illustrious career at the helm of the Enterprise, while sharing insights into his beliefs and famous missions. Told “in-universe,” this tribute will appeal to newcomers as well as fans of the beloved franchise.


Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel

by James Luceno

Set before the events of Rogue One, Catalyst reveals the previously untold story of the development of the Death Star. For years the Republic and the Separatists have battled across the stars, each building more and more deadly technology in an attempt to win the war. As a member of Chancellor Palpatine’s top secret Death Star project, Orson Krennic is determined to develop a super weapon before any enemies can. And an old friend of Krennic’s, the brilliant scientist Galen Erso, could be the key.


William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, a New Hope

by Ian Doescher
A witty retelling of Star Wars in the style of Shakespeare, in which a wise Jedi knight, an evil Sith lord, a beautiful captive princess, and a young hero coming of age reflect the valor and villainy of the Bard’s greatest plays.

Nonfiction Reads


StarTalk: Everything You Need to Know About Space Travel, Sci-Fi, the Human Race, the Universe & Beyond

This New York Times bestselling illustrated companion to celebrated scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson’s popular podcast and National Geographic Channel TV show is an eye-opening journey for anyone curious about the complexities of our universe.


Spaceships: An Illustrated History of the Real & the Imagined

by Ron Miller
How have actual spaceships influenced the design of fictional ones like the Millennium Falcon and the Starship Enterprise? Did a fiction series in Collier’s magazine really inspire us to create real-life space stations like Mir and the ISS? How have our depictions of space travel developed as the reality of space travel changed? In this book, Miller shows that when it comes to manned spacecraft, art actually does imitate life and, even more bizarrely, life imitates art.


Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void

by Mary Roach
From the space shuttle training toilet to a crash test of NASA’s new space capsule (cadaver filling in for astronaut), Roach takes us on a surreally entertaining trip into the science of life in space and space on Earth.


The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars

by Dava Sobel
Elegantly written and enriched by excerpts from letters, diaries and memoirs, The Glass Universe is the hidden history of the women whose contributions to the burgeoning field of astronomy forever changed our understanding of the stars and our place in the universe.

Explore the Final Frontier at Douglas County Libraries

mayOur desire to explore space fires the imagination and inspires us to reach for the stars. Discover the science and stories of space, the Final Frontier, with Douglas County Libraries during the month of May.

There are several interesting, fun, family-friendly events happening at our libraries across the district. Read on for more information on events, locations, dates and times. We hope to see you in a Douglas County Libraries galaxy this month!



Revenge of the Si(x)th: A Star Wars Celebration
Saturday, May 6

Celebrate Star Wars and explore the Dark Side with games, photo ops, crafts and trivia. Fun for all ages, and costumes are encouraged!

Look Up to the Stars
Wednesday, May 10

This family-friendly presentation, hosted by NASA Consultant Kevin Manning, showcases the beauty and harmony of the universe. It’s a virtual journey through the cosmos. All ages.

Check It Out! Want to explore the stars yourself? Check out a pair of binoculars and stargazing cards starting in June!


Star Trek Past & Present
Friday, May 12

Calling all Trekkies! Enjoy an evening in the Star Trek universe with a double feature of flicks — one from the old generation, and one from the reboot (movies rated PG and PG-13) — plus movie trivia. Great for all ages, and costumes are encouraged!

Our Future on Mars
Wednesday, May 31

Space journalist and author Leonard David will talk about “National Geographic’s Mars: Our Future on the Red Planet,” the book and TV series. The award-winning writer has covered space for 50 years and has co-authored many books, including Buzz Aldrin’s Welcome to Mars. Teens/adults.


Slick Science: Launch It!
Saturday, May 6
1-2PM or 3-4PM
Register for either session

Kids 8-12 can make and then launch their own rockets, and learn important science concepts in the process!

Thursday, May 11

Explore is an ongoing series designed for everyone, including developmentally challenged adults, that uses books and craftivities in a quest for fun and lifelong learning.

Attack of the Drones
Tuesday, May 16

Learn all about drones, from the growing popularity of drone racing to law enforcement, rescue operations, science and research, and package delivery. The “unmanned aerial vehicle” has an important role to play and is here to stay. Teens/adults.

Astronaut School
Saturday, May 20

Kids ages 4-8 and their families blast off to an evening of training to become astronauts!

Shoebox Rover
Saturday, May 27

Kids ages 6 and up work with their caregivers to create a Mars rover.

Castle Pines

May the Fourth: A Star Wars Celebration
Thursday, May 4

Kids celebrate Star Wars with light saber duels and crafts, and discover their own Jedi powers!

Fold ‘N Fly
Saturday, May 20

Calling all paper plane enthusiasts! Learn about aerodynamics and test your skills in a paper airplane-building contest. Great for families.

Highlands Ranch, James H. LaRue

Dynamic Mars: Getting to Know the Planet
Sunday, April 30

Explore the wild Martian landscape, including current scientific and engineering plans for Mars’ future, with Dr. Laura Kerber of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Colonizing Titan vs. Mars
Saturday, May 6

Planetary scientist and writer Dr. Amanda Hendrix explores the viability of colonizing Saturn’s moon (Titan) versus Mars. Adults and children in fourth grade and above.

Johnson Space Center Space Gear!

Five exhibit items from NASA’s Johnson Space Center Exhibits Collection will be shown at Douglas County Libraries in Highlands Ranch throughout the month of May. These exhibit items include an Apollo helmet, a shuttle extravehicular activity glove, a space food tray, a shuttle launch helmet, and a shuttle tile. Stop by to check them out! And if you’ve ever wished you could be an astronaut, you can at least dress like one. Drop in to STEAMWorks on Wednesday, May 3, from 4-5 p.m. for a hands-on opportunity to try on space gear!

Lone Tree

Rhythm of the Universe
Saturday, May 6

Children of all ages can celebrate the universe of music at this interactive program, featuring percussion and singing.

Solar Eclipse Event of a Lifetime
Tuesday, May 16

Learn everything you need to know about the upcoming solar eclipse in August 2017 from a local astronomer.


Slick Science: Rockets
Tuesday, May 9

Kids ages 8-12 will learn fun science concepts about rockets, while having a great time.

Castle Rock, Philip S. Miller

Star Trek Wars
Saturday, May 6

Team up to test your knowledge of the “Stars” — Star Trek and Star Wars — in this sci-fi trivia contest! Teens/adults.

Fun Space Trivia

Some fun facts for fans of Star Trek, Star Wars, and space in general!

* Did you know you can learn Klingon from the Klingon Language Institute? If you’re a die-hard Star Trek fan, check out the development and use of the Klingon language.

* In Star Wars, the sound of the TIE Fighter engines is actually the sound of an elephant call mixed with the sounds of a car driving on wet pavement. Learn more about your favorite Star Wars sound effects!

* NASA has released a searchable Video, Audio and Imagery Library for the public. Learn more about it from this press release.


For more sci-fi fun, check out this collection of great reads!

5 Ways to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo


You don’t have to be Latin to love this festive holiday! Here are five fun ways to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Douglas County.

1. Grab a Brew & Give Back

105 West Brewing Company in Castle Rock (1043 Park Street) is donating all tips received during the month of May to Douglas County nonprofits! Join us there on Friday, May 5, from 1-10:30 p.m. and support Douglas County Libraries. Salud!


2. Join the Cinco de Mayo Street Party & Concert

Friday, May 5
Festival Park (300 2nd Street, Castle Rock)

This free family-style celebration includes live music, activities, bounce houses, and food vendors.

3. Take the Family to the Cinco de Mayo Celebration

Saturday, May 6
Outlets at Castle Rock (5050 Factory Shops Blvd. #437)

Enjoy a day of free fun for the whole family, including performances by Ballet Folklorico and Mariachi Trio. Check out the entertainment schedule here.

4. Host Your Own Fiesta

Plan your own unique Cinco de Mayo celebration! Check out our collection of Mexican-style cookbooks to find recipes for festive drinks, appetizers and meals, and create a soundtrack with music from Hoopla and Freegal to make the night complete. All you need is your library card!

5. Get Loco Locally

Did you know you can now get discounts with local merchants through DCL Local? All you need is your library card. Use it on May 5 for crazy discounts on food and drink, shopping, and more! Don’t have a library card? What are you waiting for? Get one today!



Show Your Support for Douglas County Libraries!

There are several events happening in the community in May that benefit Douglas County Libraries. We hope you will join us!

Friday, May 5, 1-10:30PM

Give Back Day at 105 West Brewing Company (1043 Park St., Castle Rock, CO 80109)

During the entire month of May, 105 West Brewing Company in Castle Rock is donating all tips received to Douglas County nonprofits. Join us there on Cinco de Mayo, May 5, and toast the library!



Friday, May 26, 6PM

An Evening of Dance at the Parker Arts, Culture & Events Center (20000 Pikes Peak Ave., Parker, CO 80138)

Dual Star Academy of Dance is holding a benefit performance for Douglas County Libraries Foundation. Enjoy an inspiring night of dance that includes everything from solos to group productions. A $10 donation is encouraged. Register here.



Douglas County Libraries will also be out in the community by hosting a book nook at the Princess ParTEA. Stop by and say hello!
Saturday, May 13, 10AM & 1PM

Princess ParTEA at the Falls Event Center (8199 Southpark Court, Littleton, CO 80120)

Join your favorite princesses at Denver’s largest royal tea party. Alice and the Mad Hatter will serve everyone tea and treats. There will also be arts and crafts, singalongs with the princesses, face painting, and a book nook provided by Douglas County Libraries. General admission tickets are $35.

Cool Summer Camps for Kids


Looking for experience-rich summer camps that will keep your young thinker or tinkerer engaged this summer? We’ve got you covered! Camp DCL at Douglas County Libraries offers cool summer camps where kids can learn, play and explore, with plenty of hands-on activities.

Be a Builder

Encourage your child’s inner architect at our Be a Builder summer camps. Kids will learn a different aspect of building and design each day, and they’ll put their newfound knowledge to work building toys, games, and even stuffed animals!

Registration is open for ages 6-12; $150.
Lone Tree: Monday, June 19-Friday, June 23, 1:30-5PM
Parker: Monday, July 17-Friday, July 21, 1:30-5PM

These books are sure to spark your young builder’s imagination!

Be a Coder

Sure, your kids love video games. At our Be a Coder summer camps, they can learn how to create their own, along with other fun coding skills!

Registration is open for ages 6-12; $225.
Highlands Ranch: Monday, June 12-Friday, June 16, 9AM-12:30PM
Castle Pines: Monday, June 26-Friday, June 30, 9AM-12:30PM

Check out these books to give the kids a jump on learning the ins and outs of coding.

Be a Detective

The perfect summer camps for your gumshoe in training or super-sleuth in the making! Kids will learn cool skills like fingerprinting, problem-solving and more!

Registration is open for ages 8-12; $150.
Lone Tree: Monday, June 12-Friday, June 16, 1:30-5PM
Parker: Monday, June 19-Friday, June 23, 9AM-12:30PM
Roxborough: Monday, July 10-Friday, July 14, 9AM-12:30PM

It’s no mystery that we love the clever kid detectives in these books.

Be a Robotics Engineer

These summer camps encourage budding engineers with fun, hands-on experiences, including the opportunity to build a robot!

Registration is open for ages 9-12; $225.
Castle Rock: Monday, July 17-Friday, July 21, 9AM-12:30PM
Parker: Monday, July 31-Friday, August 4, 1:30-5PM

Some of our favorite robots are featured in these films — make it a movie night!

Register today, and we’ll see you this summer!

Do You Have a 4-Year-Old?

OneBook4CODid you know that every 4-year-old in the state is eligible to receive a free book through the One Book 4 Colorado program?

This year, the title is Mouse Mess by Linnea Riley.

One Book 4 Colorado, started in 2012, gives away copies of the same book to each 4-year-old in the state through public libraries and Denver Preschool Program classrooms.

Studies have shown that 4-year-olds who have access to books (and adults who read to them) will be much more likely to be reading-ready by kindergarten. Research has also shown that children in low-income families tend to have fewer books in their homes and are exposed to 30 million fewer words before the age of 4 compared to their higher-income peers. Therefore, One Book 4 Colorado aims to close any vocabulary gap by getting a book into the home of every 4-year-old across the state and foster a culture of reading.

Head to a Douglas County Libraries branch near you!

If you have a child in your family who is, was, or will be 4-years-old in 2017, please stop by any of our locations to pick up a copy of Mouse Mess April 17-May 1. But hurry! This only applies while supplies last.

5 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day in Douglas County

Celebrate the environment by participating in one of these great local events. Happy Earth Day!

Earth Day

  • Learn what trees are best-suited for the Colorado climate.

Shrubs and Trees of Colorado: Right Plant, Right Place
Douglas County Libraries (Highlands Ranch)
Saturday, April 22, at 11AM

A Douglas County Extension Service Master Gardener will talk about selecting the best shrubs for your yard and how to care for them. Free serviceberry seedlings will be given to registered participants.

Register now!

  • Learn about xeriscaping and how to implement it in your yard.

The Principles of Xeriscape
Douglas County Libraries (Castle Pines)
Thursday, April 27, at 10AM

A six-part series taught by Craig Miller with Castle Pines North. Xeriscaping offers a way to have beautiful, livable landscapes without excess water use, and all good xeriscapes begin with a good design. Learn the basics of xeric yard and garden design in this instructive class.

Register now!

  • Shred old documents.

2017 Earth Day Shred-A-Thon
West Parking Lot
7901 Southpark Plaza, Littleton, CO 80120
Saturday, April 22, at 10AM 

Help your local boy scout troop fulfill their service project for Earth Day by bringing old paperwork and documents for on-site shredding.

Find out more here.

  • Teach your kids about plants.

I’m Diggin’ My Doug: Planting Home Gardens in Douglas County
Douglas County Libraries (Castle Rock)
Saturday, April 22, at 1PM

Students will learn how to plant a seed and care for their plant from seedling to harvest. Their experience will include singing, yoga poses that relate to the environment, tasting, and smelling and feeling different types of plants and soil. The children will take their newly planted seed home, along with instructions on how to care for their new plant. (Workshop via Douglas County Conservation District. This is not a Douglas County Libraries event).

Find out more here.

  • Party for the planet.

Family Fun Day
CU South Denver
Saturday, April 22, at 10AM

CU South Denver is celebrating Earth Day with special activities at its museum. Be prepared to get a little dirty planting seeds, making art with recycled materials, playing music, dissecting plants under microscopes, looking for birds and bunnies, and making discoveries about the diversity of life on Earth. (Activities are included in museum admission.)

Find out more here.

Egg-Cellent Easter Fun

Celebrate Easter family style with these colorful craft projects and at free community events.

Kids Crafts


Easter Egg Art

String these colorful eggs together for festive holiday decor.
Materials needed: Mixed media (or watercolor) paper, pencil, school glue, black acrylic paint, watercolors (or liquid watercolors), paint brush

Spring Chicks Egg Carton Craft

Reuse and recycle to create these adorable chicks.
Materials needed: Egg carton, acrylic paint in your choice of colors, paint brushes, glue, scissors, black marker, construction paper

Popsicle Stick Baby Chick

This springtime craft is great for children of all ages.
Materials needed: Jumbo popsicle sticks (three per baby chick), white school glue, yellow/orange card stock, yellow decorative scrapbook paper, yellow paint, paint brushes, paper plate, scissors, black marker


Easy Paper Bunny Craft

String these bunnies together to make an Easter-themed garland.
Materials needed: Pastel blue and pink construction paper, scissors or paper trimmer, wiggle eye stickers, glue, white paper, black marker

Family Events

Castle Rock

Easter Bunny Breakfast
Friday, April 14
The Outlets at Castle Rock (Food Court)
All ages

Enjoy entertainment and a free pancake breakfast with the Easter Bunny. Fun (and filling) for the whole family!

Highlands Ranch

Humpty Dumpty Egg Hunt
Saturday, April 15
Douglas County Libraries in Highlands Ranch, James H. LaRue
Ages 2-6; no registration required

Drop in to the children’s room with your youngsters, pick up a basket, and hunt for special eggs! Then, redeem your collected eggs for fun sticker prizes.

Easter Egg Hunt
Saturday, April 15
Northridge Park
Ages 1-11

Bring your basket to collect eggs and other goodies at the park. And don’t miss a special appearance by the Easter Bunny. Great family event! Parking is limited, so plan accordingly. Event is held outside — rain, snow or shine.


O’Brien Park Easter Egg Hunt
Saturday, April 15
Hunt Times: Ages 0-3, 10:15AM; 4-6, 10:40AM; 7 & older, 11AM
O’Brien Park

Bring the family to the biggest Easter egg hunt in Parker! Collect Easter eggs, enjoy snacks, have fun with balloon animals, and visit with the Bunny himself.