Family Time: Kids can share talents at fair

Show your stuff at the Rochester Public Library's Talent Fair. A Youth Services Division program, the fair encourages kids to share their talents (cup stacking, magic tricks, balloon animals) with other kids.

"It's definitely more of a talent fair than a talent show," says Heather Acerro, head of youth services. "We're set up in an open house format. Every (youth) presenter has a table or a space where they can demonstrate their talent.

"At our previous talent fair, we had a dancer showing great dance moves, a student teaching how to make origami boxes and swans, and a Rainbow Loom expert," Acerro said. "Kids go around from table to table, learning something new at each one."

In addition to the Talent Fair, the library's Youth Services Division offers a variety of one-time and ongoing programming including Baby Time, Toddler Time, and Preschool Storytime for the youngest crowd; LEGO club, chess club, and science club for the kindergarten to grade five crowd; and Teen Zines, TeenScape Scribblers, and the TeenScape Crafternoon for the older crowd.

"All these fun opportunities bring kids in to make something or learn something new," Acerro said, noting that last year the library served almost 80,000 ki ds through its various programming. "Come in for that, and leave with books to read at home."


Youth who wish to share a talent at the talent fair are asked to register online or by phone no later than noon on Oct. 16.

"The Talent Fair gives kids a chance to share something they really love or are good at with other kids," Acerro said. "That's the fun part. It's not a performance, but rather something that can be shared, taught, and learned within a few minutes."


If you go

What: Youth Talent Fair

Where: Rochester Public Library, 101 Second St. S.E.

When: 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Oct. 17

Phone: 507-328-2303


On the web:

More YSD fun

• Get down and mellow out at the library's Gustafer Yellowgold Show, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 26. The all-ages concert is a mix of live music, storytelling and colorful illustrations. Free. Seating limited to first 250 guests. Visit to find out more.

• Make tissue paper marigolds, create a calaveras mask, and add memories of your loved ones to the community memory board at the library's Day of the Dead Open House. Held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 1 and 2, the free program is geared toward families of school-age children. Go online for more information.

• Spend some one-on-one time with a furry friend at the library's Sit, Stay, Read program. Open to kids in grades K through 5, students read aloud for 20 minutes to a certified therapy dog and their handler. Bring a favorite book or borrow one from the library. Free. Register online or by phone.


Acting class

Kids ages 6 to 10 will flip for Words Players Saturday Morning Pancake Theatre, 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Oct. 18. Held at the Words Players Theatre, 14 Fourth St., S.W., Rochester, the program is part workshop, part performance, part breakfast, offering hands-on acting opportunities for young actors. Parents are welcome to stay the whole time or come back for the last 15 minutes to catch the final performance. Cost is $5. Register online at


What else? Words Players is offering one more Saturday Morning Pancake Theatre, 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Nov. 15. Go to for more information.


Go wild

Get into good books at the Imagination Library's Wild About Reading. Held from 9:30 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Rochester Public Library, the open house format encourages kids ages 8 and younger and their favorite big person to play games and do activities (bean bag toss, paint your face, build a race car), while learning more about Imagination Library and other local, youth-serving nonprofits including the Minnesota Children's Museum of Rochester, Child Care Resource & Referral and The Reading Center. Free. Call Matt at 507-287-2004 with questions. The library is at 101 Second St. S.E.

Need to know more? The United Way's Imagination Library mails one free, age-appropriate book a month to children in Olmsted County, ages birth to age 5. Part of the nationwide Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, parents can go online,, to register their child. There is no registration fee.


We're open

When it's cold outside, head inside to Soccer World's Preschool Open Gym. Open to kids ages kindergarten and younger, Preschool Open Gym is held Mondays and Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., all fall and winter long. Indoor activities include two bounce houses, a mini soccer field, tumbling mats, and more. Cost is $3.50 for kids ages 2 and older. Free to parents and kids younger than 2. Come as often as you like, no registration required. Visit to find out more. Soccer World is at 380 35th St. S.E., Rochester.


Is there more? Soccer World's Turf Tyke Youth Program is designed to teach kids ages 3 to 5 the basics of a variety of sports, including soccer. Morning, afternoon and early evening options offered Monday through Saturday in October and November. Call 507-424-3018 to find out more.


Costumes encouraged

Spend your days off at the Rochester Area Family Y's Halloween Camp. Offered 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 16 and 17, kids will have fun with Halloween-themed crafts, games, gym activities and more. Cost per day is $30 for members or $35 for nonmembers. Extended care available for no charge, 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call 507-287-2260 to register.

Is there more? The Y is offering Adventure Days, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 7, 26, and 28 (with extended care hours available). Offered on non-school days, kids will enjoy games, crafts, swimming, and more. Cost is $30 for members and $35 for nonmembers. Go online,, to find out more. The Y is at 709 First Ave. S.W.


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