116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — A family-friendly event in Iowa City this weekend offers a variety of interactive nature activities, including a chance to meet an ornate box turtle and fox snake.
The event on Saturday — which is also independent bookstore day — will take place from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at Sidekick Coffee & Books, 1310 1/2 Melrose Ave. Sidekick Coffee & Books is hosting the event and a book donation drive with Johnson County Conservation.
Sidekick owner Katy Herbold said it will be a packed 90 minutes and she hopes there will be something for everyone to enjoy. Herbold said she’s excited for the opportunity to partner with Johnson County Conservation, especially during Earth Month and independent bookstore day.
“Anything you can do like this that promotes literacy with a super fun activity and a very worthy cause — conservation is great — so it just was kind of a no brainer,” Herbold said. “ … We're happy to be the hub for all of it.”
What: Book drive and reptile meet and greet
When: Saturday, April 30, from 10 to 11:30 a.m.
Where: Sidekick Coffee & Books, 1310 1/2 Melrose Ave. in Iowa City
Details: Enjoy family friendly activities hosted by Sidekick Coffee & Books and Johnson County Conservation. There also will be the opportunity to purchase and donate books to help grow Johnson County Conservation’s children’s library.
Sidekick Coffee & Books will have books available for purchase and donation to support Johnson County Conservation’s library of children’s nature books. Johnson County Conservation uses the books during free field trips, public programs and exploration hours at the Conservation Education Center.
Among the activities on Saturday are reptile meet and greets, which run every half-hour starting at 10 a.m.
Kristin Morrow, a naturalist with Johnson County Conservation, said information will be shared about the two reptiles and people will be able to see them up close, as well as possibly interact with the animals.
There also will be various stations to explore, including story time, bird scavenger hunts and the opportunity to look at nature artifacts, such as bones, skulls, antlers and turtle shells. There also will be a dino-dig, which includes little buried dinosaur skeletons that kids will be able to excavate, Morrow said.
The stations will be outdoors, weather permitting, Herbold said.
Herbold said she’s excited for the story time activities because it will be all about nature and will promote some of the books county conservation is hoping to add to the library.
“Promoting the books with people who know a lot about the material is always exciting,” Herbold said. “We have some guest story readers coming to read that day.”
Johnson County Conservation will use the donated books as part of its free programming for children.
Morrow said there are a variety of events coming up, and the best way to know what’s coming up is following Johnson County Conservation on Facebook or subscribing to the newsletter by going to johnsoncountyiowa.gov/conservation/newsletters.
Sidekick Coffee & Books also has a number of other events coming up that can be found on its Facebook page. Herbold said she’s excited about all the events coming up but mentioned one in particular readers should put on their calendars.
There will be a conversation and signing with Katie Runde of Iowa City at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 24. Runde’s debut novel “The Shore” comes out that same day.
“I'm hoping people are ready to come back out and celebrate authors and celebrate literature at Sidekick because Sidekick is definitely ready,” Herbold said.
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