There aren’t a lot of places for kids to play indoors in Boston’s downtown and Back Bay. So the new Children’s Room at the Boston Public Library’s Central Branch is a big deal for city families. It’s also a pretty big deal for tourists. If you’ve been dragging a child to historical sites and they need to blow off a little steam, this is a great place to do it.
We took a Saturday afternoon, rode the train to Copley, and decided to check out the room to see if it would help us kill some time inside on a cold day.
It did the trick.
Just a heads up. If you’ve got a baby or watch one, you’d better get here soon because once all the moms and nannies in the city find this place it’s going to be crawling. Literally.
First up, there’s a big play area with bins full of board books and big foam letters. The walls are covered with built-in toys. Oh, and there’s stroller parking and two family restrooms inside.
Oh, and did I mention there are toys? Dress-up clothes, stuffed animals, and more.
There’s a great storytime area with risers for kids to sit on to listen (or play on otherwise), plus some little puppet theaters. All of it in front of a big gorgeous window, a brightly colored Storyteller’s Chair and with some beautiful brownstones with built in shelves on the walls.
I was able to snap plenty of shots without asking for poses. They played. I took pictures, it was easy. Have you been to one of these indoor play areas? They cost a ton and they’re crazy and kind of smelly. I’ll take this place any day. Especially since I can curl up in a chair with a book of my own while the kids have fun.
At first I was a little confused about all the toys but then I got it. What better way to escape and pretend than through books? Why not add some dress-up to the mix?
The area for older kids and teens is a little more spare, with seating and shelves below this bright mural.
And don’t forget the books!
Plenty of computers. A big room for activities. Oh, and 3 friendly lion cubs. They’re currently having a contest to name them. Graham decided his entries would be Bob, Fluffy, and Sunny.
We were there for well over an hour and could’ve stayed longer. For our next trip, I’ll take the kids here and then we’ll walk over to the old building to check out some of the art, there are a bunch of Sargent murals I love.
We also need to check out the AWE Early Literacy Stations, which have computers with touch screens for kids age 2-8 and don’t require a library card to use.
You can get info on events and more at the Boston Public Library website. FYI, most events are weekdays during school hours. But you can’t hang in the Children’s Room without a kid, so curious browsers best bring the littles along.