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See how a local bookstore’s unique program teaches kids science, writing, art, and music — all while they enjoy a fun, engaging experience!

Blue Manatee is offering new activities for kids.
Author and illustrator Noelle Dingeldein leads a fun clay activity.

The Blue Manatee Bookstore is a unique, child-friendly space that seeks to provide the best in children’s books and related activities to engage young minds. One way it accomplishes this is through the ActivAtees program.

Paige Seck, the events coordinator at Blue Manatee, describes the ActivAtees as “kid-friendly, multi-faceted events” that “support the importance of reading, conversation, and real-world experience for children to reach their full potential. We strive to exercise all parts of our ManaFriends’ brains with music, movement, reading to, reading with, art, writing, science demonstrations and experiments, etc. We bring published authors and illustrators to the store for children to meet and greet.”

The goal of ActivAtees is more than just to entertain kids, though. With the ActivAtees program, the Blue Manatee Bookstore aims to make reading fun and to “provide engaging experiences centered around literature,” says Seck. “We add flavors of art, music, science, movement and much more to create and develop age-appropriate and innovative programs that are fun and memorable.”

This is in keeping with the Blue Manatee Bookstore’s philosophy to create a space for families to learn and grow. Seck says, “Our inventory borrows from Goldilocks: Not too big, not too small, just right. Sections and shelves are well-organized, with developmental stages in mind. We provide welcoming places for families to read together. If we’re out of a title, we offer to order it, and welcome suggestions of favorite titles. And most of all, we will seek to be a destination for families, an active participant in our community, and a fun place to work; a unique, inspiring place where kids will take their own children someday.”

October ActivAtees include Make-A-Mess on October 3, an outlet for children’s artistic sides; story and snack time in honor of World Smile Day on October 7; a party for Brown Bear’s fiftieth birthday on October 11; a Halloween meet-and-greet with author Nick Bruel on October 26; Read for the Record on October 27; and Miss Meghan’s Music on October 29.

Children (and adults) of all ages are invited to the ActivAtees, but different activities target different age ranges. ActivAtees are scheduled on most days except Sunday, but occasionally there is an activity on Sunday as well. All ActivAtees are listed on the Blue Manatee website and listed on the bookstore’s Facebook and Twitter feeds, newsletters, and printed calendar in the store. Some are free and some have a small fee, and some are drop-in events and some require preregistration.

Blue Manatee Bookstore is located at 3054 Madison Road on Oakley Square. Learn more at