Savor Summer with the Library

Cost-free Experiences, Gadgets, and Crafts to Make the Most of Summer 2022 

Have you been filling up your car recently and heard your credit/debit card weep silently from your wallet? What about when you buy a pound of spaghetti with a 30-cent markup compared to a month ago?  

The Library might not be able to battle ongoing inflation but our collection is full of ways to help you save money without sacrificing summer fun. From visiting Colorado cultural sites with our Curiosity Pass to checking out craft kits from our Gadgets and Things collection, we’ve created a summer guide for cost-free entertainment! 

Backyard BBQ 

“BBQ&A with Myron Mixon: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Barbecue” with Kelly Alexander answers the questions most frequently asked of him during his many live cooking demos, TV appearances, and private cooking classes. Myron’s lively, informative answers are paired with practical visuals and cover techniques and methods, flavors and preparations, recipes and formulas. 

“The Bludso’s BBQ Cookbook: A Family Affair in Smoke and Soul” by Kevin Bludso offers 90 delicious recipes for main meats, sides and desserts from the famous pitmaster and restauranteur behind Bludso’s BBQ. This cookbook doubles as a love letter to the often-misunderstood city of Compton and the story of his family and community. 

Has your family gone meat-free? Melissa Copeland’s “30-minute Frugal Vegan Recipes” centers around low-cost vegetable-based meals. Cook portobello mushrooms right and they’re almost as good as a ribeye steak.  

Go Camping 

Ever wanted to go camping, but had no idea where to start? Need to unplug, but not sure what to do? “Sleeping Bags to S’mores: Camping Basics” by Heather Balogh Rochfort and William Rochfort provides tips on everything from choosing a destination and staying safe to what to cook – all on a budget. 

If you’re camping in the wilderness or in your backyard, check out our “Celestron Telescope” in the Gadgets & Things Collection. Each telescope kit comes with two magnifying eyepieces, a book “50 Things to See with a Telescope,” a “Young Stargazer’s Guide,” folding tripod and red light flashlight. A perfect addition to any camping trip under the stars. 

We also offer solar lights for checkout for off-the-grid camping or vacations to power your outdoor summer evenings! 

Make S’mores 

“S’mores! Gooey, Melty, Crunchy Riffs on the Campfire Classic” by Dan Whalen offers more than 50 playful, irresistible recipes that completely challenge the definition of a s’more. Riffs range from classic, ‘salted Caramel S’mores, Nutella S’mores, and Lemon Meringue S’mores’ to crazy. Think Avocado S’mores, S’moresburgers, and the Elvis’ bacon, banana, and peanut butter nirvana. 

Go Hiking 

The Falcon Guide series of “Best Hikes” details treks from Rocky Mountain National Park to wildflower trails to hiking with kids, and features detailed information and tips for your next hiking adventure.  

The Library’s Gadget & Things Collections features unique items for check out like the “Discover Pack.” This pack includes a Larimer County Natural Resources parking pass and family activity pouch for a fun day exploring parks and open spaces. 

The Library’s collection also offers state park passes for check-out. Explore Lory State Park closer to home or take a road trip to other beautiful state parks like Sylvan Lake State Park. 

Make Homemade Ice Cream 

Many ice cream recipes have less than five ingredients! Resources in our collection can guide you to a low-cost summer indulgence. 

“The Perfect Scoop: 200 Recipes for Ice Creams, Sorbets, Gelatos, Granitas, and Sweet Accompaniments” by David Lebovitz offers frozen favorites ranging from classic (Chocolate-Peanut Butter) to comforting (S’mores Ice Cream) and contemporary (Lavender-Honey) to cutting-edge (Labneh Ice Cream with Pistachio-Sesame Brittle). Also appearing is a brand-new selection of frozen cocktails and an indulgent series of sauces, toppings, and mix-ins. 

“Rose’s Ice Cream Bliss” by Rose Levy Beranbaum offers easy-to-follow, meticulously tested, and innovative recipes. Find perfect ice creams and other frozen treats that are simple to churn up anytime. Here she gives her foolproof base method, plus all the tips and info you need to know. 

Screen a Movie Outside 

Want to enjoy the movie theatre experience right from your backyard? Check out our “Portable Projector” from the Gadgets & Things Collection. 

The projector kits include the projector and speakers and can be used to project images from DVD players, Blu-ray players, laptop computers, USB flashdrives, CD cards, and smart devices. Don’t forget to pick up a DVD from the library’s collection or stream one from hoopla or Kanopy. 

Get Outside 

No matter what your location—from a small patch of green in the city to the wide-open meadows of the country—each activity in “I Love Dirt! 52 Activities to Help You and Your Kids Discover the Wonders of Nature” by Jennifer Ward is meant to promote exploration, stimulate imagination, and heighten a child’s sense of wonder. 

Looking for guided visits to Natural Areas or the city’s beautiful parks? We offer outdoor excursions with various summer programs including Out and About in Natural Areas Programs, Storytime at the Gardens on Spring Creek, and Art in the Great Outdoors Series. Find out more about all our summer programs via our online events calendar.  

Regardless of how you’re spending the summer or saving your money, the Library is there to help you achieve the Colorado summer of your dreams.