UMATILLA COUNTY — Activities for all ages are available at local libraries for those who need something to keep their hands and minds busy during COVID-19 and air quality restrictions.

The Pendleton Public Library is offering a take-home craft for adults: pumpkin rollers. This fall decoration project has a Western twist, and the kit contains everything needed to complete the craft. Call the library at 541-966-0380 to get your name on the list; kits are available on a first come, first-served basis.

At the Hermiston Public Library, kids can sign up for the Bookworms "Fall Harvest" Reading Challenge, which runs from Sept. 1 through Nov. 30. Those who sign up can log minutes spent reading, earning badges along the way. Each badge earns virtual tickets, which can be used to enter virtual prize drawings. Four grand prizes, along with other prizes for all grade levels, will be awarded. Kids can sign up on the library's website,, or by calling 541-567-2882.

Kids can earn five extra virtual tickets for the reading challenge by also participating in the library's pen pal program. Write a letter or draw a picture and let library staff know how much you miss them. Letters can be mailed to HPL Pen Pals Program, 235 E. Gladys Ave., Hermiston, OR 97838, or dropped in the special Pen Pals box at the library curbside pickup cart during regular pickup hours.

Parents can help young children with letters and pictures. Each letter that has a return address will receive a response; be sure your letter has the date it was mailed or dropped off.

Families can participate in the QR Code Scavenger Hunt, hosted by Bucky, the library beaver. The first QR code can be found at the front of the library. Solve the riddle to find the next QR code until Bucky is found. The hunt runs from Sept. 25 through Oct. 4.

And adults 18 and older can participate in make-and-take crafts on the fourth Tuesday of each month. Stop by during regular hours to pick up a free craft activity at the table in the library. Supplies are limited to one kit per adult.

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