Is there anything better than the public library when you have small kids? You have access to free, high quality books and movies, they have loads of programs, and many have play areas for the kids. We spend lots of time at our local public library, and the metro area has many wonderful libraries with impressive spaces for kids to play. I’ve always dreamed of becoming a children’s librarian, but in the meantime, I’ll spend all the time I can there, with my kids. Below is a list of some of our favorite libraries around town for you to check out for some free fun.
1. Koelbel Library– Part of the Arapahoe system of libraries, the kids section of this library is hard to beat. It’s like a mini children’s museum with a grocery store section, complete with a checkout counter, a puppet theater stage, and plenty of space for kids to play with toys like magna tiles. They have a good selection of books, a story time center right in the middle of the action, and a cafe for mama to purchase some coffee. We come here for play dates during the winter all the time.
2. Denver Public Library– Central. Located in the heart of downtown, just steps from the art museum and capitol building, Denver Public Library has the most impressive special programs. Because of its location and as the flagship library, it attracts all sorts of talent. Last fall, we attended a read-a-loud and workshop with Herve Tullet, author of the popular children’s books Press Here and Mix it Up. We love that they have fun extras from time to time, like kids cooking classes.
3. Bemis Library– I have a soft spot for this one, since it’s the one we go to most frequently. Located in Old Littleton, Bemis has a large, two-story play house in their children’s area, and fun extras around holidays like a Halloween parade, and a Polar Express experience before Christmas where they transform a library room into the Polar Express, serve hot chocolate, and read the classic story out loud. It ends with a visit from Santa! The fabulous free Littleton Museum is right across the street, too.
4. Belmar Library– Contributors Melissa and Dani love this JeffCo library in Lakewood for special storytime offerings like Spanish and ASL, plus the beautiful Belmar park is right behind it. Bring a picnic and make a day of it.
5. Standley Lake Library– Located in Arvada, contributor Jamie loves this one for tons of storytime options for little ones with ever changing nap schedules, crafts after storytime, and great, open play spaces!
Ok, so I can’t obviously cover every library in the metro area, so comment below to give YOUR favorite library some love so we can all find fun new places to discover with our kids.]i/