There are plenty of kid-friendly activities going on to keep Franklin County youngsters busy and learning all summer long, including signing up for the free summer reading program at the Franklin County Library, summer camps and visits to local sites such as the Cowan Railroad Museum or Old Jail Museum, just to name a few. In addition, children and adolescents ages 6-17 should be getting 60 minutes or more of moderate-to-vigorous-intensity physical activity each day.

There are several options available for local children to have fun while continuing to learn this summer.

Take advantage of the many local activities offered to help your child gain knowledge while enjoying stimulating activities.

Junior Ranger Camps are offered at Tims Ford State Park and South Cumberland State Park.

These day camps encourage exploring and learning about the natural world through hands-on activities.

Tims Ford State Park’s Junior Ranger Camp is June 14-18 for ages 7-9. Cost is $50.

South Cumberland State Park’s camp is June 21-25. Cost is $40.

The Great Outdoors Camp is also offered at South Cumberland State Park July 12-16 for ages 13-17 years. Cost is $100.

The Spirit of America Youth Boating Camp is June 21-25 at Tims Ford State Park for ages 12-15. The day camp runs 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cost is $75. Students learn water safety, receive Tennessee boating license and experience three days of on-water training with multiple types of boats.

For teens and adults, Tims Ford State Park is offering Forged at the Ford: Outdoor Survival School July 16-18. Participants must be 14 or older.

Ages 14-17 are required to be accompanied by an adult.

A variety of survival topics for all skill levels will be taught in this three-day, two-night camp that will be located on an island in Tims Ford Lake.

State park camps fill up fast, so be sure to visit to learn more.

The Franklin County Library, 105 S. Porter St., Winchester, offers a free reading program, “Tails and Tales,” for ages 2-18. Participants can get prizes for reading or listening to books and adding them to a bingo card.

For more information on the reading program, book clubs, Storytime (10 a.m. Wednesdays), STREAM (3 p.m. Wednesdays), Space Camp (June 18) and other special programs call 931-967-3706 or visit

Whether your child joins the reading program or not, everyone is invited to attend the free super summer show on June 25 at 2 p.m. on the front lawn of the Franklin County Board of Education office, 215 S. College St., Winchester.

Professional magician and balloon artist Dewayne Reynolds will entertain, amaze and possibly inspire youngsters to read and experiment.

There are many everyday opportunities for children to keep learning about their environment.

You might take your children with you to a farmers market on Saturday mornings. Let them chat with the farmers and crafters.

Children may enjoy the comradery associated with meeting the vendors while learning where their food comes from and how farmers are an important   part of our community.

Once home, children might enjoy participating in learning to prepare the vegetables and fruits with dad or mom.

The Franklin County Farmers Market is located on Dinah Shore Boulevard in Winchester. It is open each Saturday at 7 a.m. The Gardeners’ Market is open on Saturdays from 8-10 a.m. in the parking lot adjacent to Hawkins Lane in Sewanee.

A Flag Day ceremony will be held Monday at 6 p.m. at the old log cabin courthouse in Cowan’s town square.

Flag Day is an opportunity for children to learn more about our flag. There will be music, guest speakers and more talking about the significance of Flag Day.

While in Cowan, children may want to check out the Cowan Railroad Museum and learn about the history of trains in our area.

Cowan has interesting little shops offering a little bit of everything children might like, from break-your-own geode rocks and sparkly agates to handmade soaps, lotions, crafts and more.

If you have time, stop by the ceramic studio where children and adults can select a ceramic figurine to paint and take home.

A student art exhibit is now on display at the Artisan Depot, 204 E. Cumberland St. in Cowan.

Be sure to see the magnificent paint-drip artwork created by local students. The student exhibit will be up through the end of this month.

All art exhibits can be viewed anytime during gallery hours from noon to 5 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Sunday or on Saturday from11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A change of scenery gives young minds an opportunity to absorb and process new information while encouraging them to explore new sights and sounds.

Exercise is an important part of your child’s growth. Get them outdoors this summer, whether it’s just in their backyard, a walk around the block or a vacation out of town.

Children and adolescents ages 6-17 should get 60 minutes or more of moderate-to-vigorous-intensity physical activity each day, including daily aerobic and activities that strengthen bones like running, jumping and climbing.

A visit to Adventure Mountain in the Winchester City Park should take care of the needed exercise. Teens may prefer biking or running on the park trails or swimming at the Winchester Swimplex.

Be sure to check out the Religious Happenings section in the Herald Chronicle this week for a listing of free Vacation Bible Schools at area churches. All children are welcome, whether they attend that church or not.

Bible schools offer opportunities for social interaction and creativity. Most offer crafts, music and games.

This list is just a suggestion of activities to keep youngsters busy this summer. Remember, the key to learning is to mix things up whenever possible to keep young minds absorbing knowledge all summer long.

Be sure to include your event in the Happenings or Religious Happenings section by emailing