With about 13 cents in my pocket and a menacing property tax bill sitting on the counter, we needed something free to pass the time. And after having played outside for a couple of hours, all our snow stuff was soaked so we also wanted something inside!
We’ve previously played at Chapters train table, but it’s usually packed with kids, there’s never an available seat, and I end up spending money I don’t have, on books I don’t really need.
Instead, we got out our library card and headed to our city’s Central Library. The big kid and I have played there often because they have a large table with a Playmobil train set and various trucks and cars. I’ve avoided going with the little one because:
1: Libraries are quiet.
2: He is not. Not that he’s a screacher, but he’s not exactly a ninja in training.
With some instructions along the lines of “We don’t run in the library, it’s NOT a park.”, I promised* him a train and we got there just after their 10am opening.
We marched in…and stopped. NO TABLE. “Mommy, where is da twain?”
Sensing an impending toddler breakdown, I asked the lovely librarian who told me that it had been moved to the back. PH-EW.
The new location tucked into the bright corner is much better than where it was beside the computers and study tables. While it’s not exactly sound-proof, I didn’t feel like his little voice was going to bother anyone. They also replaced the old table – which had a terrible padded cover – with a shiny new table. There’s a bright colourful carpet, comfortable chairs, and all new Playmobil toys!
While there was NO train or tracks, there was a garbage truck, plane, house with furnishings, animals, castle tower, race cars and lots of people.
The little one played for almost TWO hours while I perused the french books just beside him. We were the only ones there the entire time except for the adorable daycare group who came for storytime. He then sat for a bit and “read” and we checked out our giant stack of books and went home for lunch. It was a great relaxing time, and he really seemed to understand the idea of quiet play.
If you’re a resident, Pointe-Claire has lots of great programs and courses for babies to adults at both Central and Valois locations. You can check out the offerings HERE.
Note that Pointe-Claire residents can also borrow toys and games including Lego, Playmobil, Wow toys, and things like giant parachutes and puzzles. BUT, you cannot play with those items AT the library. I peeked into a game once and got told off.
NOTE: I can’t believe I even have to write this, but after our most recent visit, please don’t bring your child here if you plan on letting them:
Run through the aisles pulling books off the shelves (and then leave them on the floor), jump on the fabric chairs with their BOOTS on, throw toys on the floor and not pick them up, throw all the cushions across the room. It’s not WooHoo, it’s a library. So don’t get in a huff when you get told to have your little darling stop.
*He’s reminded me about 37 times this afternoon how I said there’d be a train table and there was NO TRAIN. He’s very disappointed in me. Ugh, toddlers.
He’s also now told his brother and dad. “I went to the liberry and played. There was toys, but NO. TWAIN.” Followed by a big sigh directed my way. I’m never living this down.