Our family of five LOVES outings to the public libraries here in Central Iowa! As a homeschooling mom, my heart delights at my kids’ joy when they discover a new fiction series or find a stack of non-fiction reads on their current interests.
We have made the rounds to lots of local libraries. While we’ve yet to meet one we didn’t like, we especially love the Urbandale Public Library.
3520 86th St. in Urbandale
Why do we love the Urbandale Library?
It’s hard to put a finger on exactly why, but our family simply feels at home in the Urbandale Library. I love the spacious layout on one level, making it fairly easy to navigate with a stroller or wheelchair. The staff have been consistently friendly, helpful, and often recognize us from past visits. Plus the unique, family-friendly events have given our family lots of chances for free, memory-making fun!
What kinds of activities and toys are there for kids?
When I take my crew into the kids’ area of any library, I am watching to see what my kids gravitate toward. If the very first thing that draws my kids in is the computer stations, I am somewhat disappointed. I hope to break away from the allure of screen time when we head to a library! Thankfully, my kids bypass the computer stations without a glance in favor of the inviting play stations in the kids’ section.
I’m impressed by their collection of Magna-Tiles with the added element of light tables. The kids delight in building structures with the translucent magnetic blocks! They also have a large collection of puzzles, toy dinosaurs, a Lego wall, and plenty of coloring pages and crayons at the ready. There are also soft blocks and plush toy cars set out on some area rugs for the youngest set.
Oh and one of my favorite aspects? There is a family bathroom that is clean, easily accessible and includes a quiet nook apart from the toileting area where breastfeeding moms can make themselves comfortable.
What do my kids love most about the Urbandale Library?
When my kids were five, four, and newly born, Disney released the movie “Frozen”. During this time, when I’d announce that we were going to the “Urbandale Library” my kids were convinced that I said “Arendelle Library.” I’m pretty sure that this is initially why they loved it so much. I’m no fool, so I didn’t correct them!
This confusion has long since cleared up, but there is no less excitement when we head into our favorite library. When asked what they like most now, they will simply say that they love doing school work there, borrowing the books and DVDs, and playing with toys.
What programs does this location offer
I wish we were able to attend more of the kids’ programs than we actually do, but we have never been disappointed with the ones we have tried! There are regular age-specific storytimes each week as well as family storytimes for all ages. There is also an impressive lineup of after-school activities like math, art and STEAM clubs.
Their calendar is always full of interesting one-time events. Some of my kids’ favorite events have been Art Day, Super Hero Meet and Greet, and Noon Years Eve Parties.
Thankfully, the Urbandale Library is open seven days a week so you should be able to visit almost any time the mood strikes!
In addition to their large selection of traditional materials to check out, be sure to check out their array of cake pans (yep, CAKE PANS!), STEAM kits for kids of all ages, puppets, and e-readers to check out.
If you have never been to the Urbandale Public Library, I hope you’ll visit soon! And if your kids initially believe they are visiting the “Arendelle Library”, it’s all good. Your secret is safe with me!
This post is part of Des Moines Moms Blog’s Guide to Libraries in Des Moines area.