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Museums and libraries bring free fun to your doorstep for summer holidays

Sparky the Robot, who will be visiting libraries over the summer

LEICESTER’s museums are teaming up with libraries to bring free family fun to your doorstep over the summer.

On Saturday 13 July, to kick off the summer holidays, Sparky the Robot will be at the Pork Pie Library from 11am-4pm. Sparky talks, dances and plays music and is made from recycled plant pots, wheelchairs and vacuum cleaners.  Sparky will be bringing along a host of objects for children to interact with from Leicester Museums and Galleries’ technology collection.

There will also be arts and crafts activities to take part in, and a chance to see the Cabinet of Curiosity, a collection of natural history objects including a 66million-year-old fossilised ammonite, a taxidermy caiman crocodile and a collection of common British insects.

The ‘doorstep museum’ and Sparky the Robot will then move on to offer free activities at Hamilton Library on Friday 2 August, from 11am-4pm.

Visitors to Leicester’s libraries can also sign up for a free summer reading challenge, collecting a poster and stickers for reading achievements during the holidays. This year’s theme is ‘Marvellous Makers’ and it’s easy to take part – simply visit your local library three times, borrow and read at least six books, ebooks or audiobooks to complete the challenge.

There are also lots of exciting activities to get involved in as part of the summer reading challenge. Visit a library in the first week of the summer holidays (15-19 July) and add to an amazing art and craft street scene picture for each library.

Free family fun will take place across the city from 22 July to 15 August, when each library will host an afternoon of creative activities. Ask at your library for details - and don't forget to borrow a book!

These boredom-busting holiday ideas are just part of a whole range of free or low-cost events hosted by Leicester City Council over the summer. Activities going on at Leicester’s museums will include summer railway days at Abbey Pumping Station, a slithery snakes day at Leicester Museum and Art Gallery, and a Wings and Wildlflowers nature day at Newarke Houses.

Cllr Vi Dempster, assistant city mayor for culture, libraries and community centres, said: “Doorstep museums are a great way to make sure that all Leicester families are able to enjoy and be inspired by our museum collection, wherever they live in the city. The Cabinet of Curiosity contains lots of fascinating objects, many of which can be handled.


“The long summer holidays are a great time for families to have fun, but we know that can put pressure on household budgets. We’re very proud that all of our museums are free to enter, but bringing museum artefacts and activities right to your doorstep makes it even easier to enjoy what they have to offer.


“We’re also putting on activities in our 16 local libraries so that wherever you live in the city, you’re never far away from something free to do over the summer holidays.” 

Find out more at and And there are lots more ideas for free and low-cost summer holiday activities on our website at