Harold Washington Library, Downtown Chicago
The weather forecast was for mostly cloudy and a chance of rain so it seemed like a good day to pack lunches and take the Metra train to downtown Chicago and visit the library. We had been told that the children’s library was worth the trip, and indeed it was. The children’s area is as large as some of the branch libraries back home in Duluth. They not only have a huge selection of books for readers of all ages, they also offer a play area, computers just for kids, interactive displays and more. One interesting display involves a hunt for clues for various children’s stories. Inside a large clear box is a house and yard populated with bits and pieces that are hints of what story the items are from. It’s fun to see how many you can recognize, but if necessary, there is a cheat sheet you can use to find the more challenging clues or clues from books you may not have read.
What we didn’t know when we planned our excursion, and what turned out to be an incredible highlight of the adventure, was that the library was trying something new in their ninth floor atrium called Play Day. Play Day was an amazing assemblage of things for kids of all ages to use for creating, playing, and learning. There was homemade play dough, sandboxes, loads of cardboard, cup stacking, a music corner and a separate room for Legos. The event was staffed with wonderful volunteers who did a great job of wandering around and insuring that everyone was having a good time, usually by joining with the kids or assisting with a creation. Parents were encouraged to play right alongside the kids, and most did, I know we did.
My wife and I want everyone at the library to know that the event was a huge hit with our grandkids and, it seemed with all who attended and joined in the fun. Our thanks go to all involved, the organizers, the volunteers and those who may have donated supplies for the event, it was phenomenal. We heartily encourage the library to do more of these in the future and if we are in Chicago when they do, we will make a point to attend with our grandkids. We also look forward to seeing our creation, Robbie Roboty, if it’s on display in the library.
I hope the images help to illustrate the amount of fun that was available that afternoon. By the way, the library building itself is worth the visit.