10 Best Children’s Libraries with Play Areas 2024

Indoor Places to Go

We are thrilled to announce our brand new 2024 list of top 10 libraries for kids with play areas! You voted for your favorites and we are here to report our new top 10! All of the libraries on this list have incredible areas for children to play, pretend, learn and engage.

We want to give a BIG thank you to all our Kidlist readers for taking the time to vote. We have many amazing libraries to choose from and each one is unique and special. Libraries are one of my favorite spots to spend a few hours with my toddler. We hope to see some of you at these great locations!

Top 10 Children’s Libraries with Play Areas

1. Schaumburg Township District Library

Schaumburg Township District Library
130 South Roselle Rd.
Schaumburg, IL 60193
(847) 985-4000

Introducing our new Best Children’s Library with Indoor Play winner! The kidsZone at the Schaumburg Library offers plenty to do. Children can watch how gravity works with their special STEM table, perform a puppet show, pretend play at a market, or play at the MagnaTiles table. Schaumburg’s magical indoor play area, The Enchanted Forest, immerses children in their favorite classic books with colorfully painted 3D murals.

The library hosts an array of story times including family, toddler, baby, and evening sessions.

In the warm weather, check out the beautiful pond sitting outside of the library. You may spot some feathered friends!

2. Downers Grove Public Library

showcasing the best children's libraries, boys are playing in front of a dollhouse and light wall at Downers Grove Library

Downers Grove Public Library
1050 Curtiss Street
Downers Grove, IL 60515
(630) 960-1200

Located in downtown Downers Grove, children can explore the colorful light-up wall, dress up area, busy boards, puzzle area, train table, doll house, blocks and of course, pick out some great books in this library’s children’s area!

The newly renovated area for babies allows crawlers, walkers, and even stationary babies to explore and play. Their area is designed for babies to use both their fine motor and large motor muscles.

Check out their website for their weekly library story times. They offer a special story time for toddlers under 36 months, as well as a preschool story time for older children. They also offer homework help databases and tools for children after school.

3. Wauconda Area Public Library

Wauconda Area Public Library
801 N. Main Street
Wauconda, IL 60084
(847) 526-6225

Wauconda’s brightly colored kid’s area keeps kids busy with a light-up board, train table, craft area, large story screen, and climb-on spaceship with slide.

Their monthly calendar’s activities include “take and make” craft times, LEGO building classes, story times, learning adventure classes, and music and movement class.

Looking for more? Located right by the library is Cook Memorial Park. Take a stroll near the water, play a game of tag at the playground, or even stop and smell the beautiful flowers blooming in the spring!

4. Orland Park Public Library

Photo courtesy of Orland Park Public Library

Orland Park Public Library
14921 Ravinia Ave,
Orland Park, IL 60462
(708) 482-5100

When you walk into Orland’s children’s library, you’ll will notice all the cozy little chairs for children to snuggle up with a book. The room is filled with a pretend play kitchen and market, puzzles, blocks, and board activities. Be sure to check out their story times, STEM activities, and craft classes.

The Orland Park Library’s special sensory space offers a safe and calming room for any young children who are feeling overwhelmed or even need a break. The room is filled with handheld manipulatives, liquid floor tiles, tactile wall tiles, a projector, and even a calming bean bag.

Outside, you can find the “Backyard.” The Backyard is a nature center where you can read, do homework, and even find a wooden water table for splashing around. Stop by the outdoor walking path called “The StoryWalk.” Pages of different children’s story books are framed and installed around the path so readers can enjoy stories outside. They rotate these stories four times a year.

5. Naperville Public Library

Naperville Public Library
Nichols Library
200 West Jefferson Ave
Naperville, IL 60540
(630) 961-4100

Naperville Library has three branches: the 95th Street Library, Naper Blvd Library and the Nichols Library. Our reader’s chose Nichols for our fifth winner this year. Located in the heart of downtown Naperville, this library has large windows with views of the Riverwalk. On the main level, you can find the kid’s area filled with dinosaurs, a doll house, a block table, puzzles, and more.

Family story times are held multiple days out of the week, giving families plenty of options to visit. Be sure to try their indoor Storywalk, which combines reading, movement, and family fun!

6. Plainfield Area Public Library

Plainfield Area Public Library
15025 S. Illinois St.
Plainfield, IL 60544
(815) 436-6639

The Plainfield children’s area is continually changing out activities and play designs for different occasions. They always have wonderful puzzles and blocks to engage in, as well as computers for the children. They have plans to add an addition and renovations in spring of 2024.

Venture outside the library on a nice day and walk their StoryWalk. Their Facebook page is usually updated with the latest stories being featured.

Plainfield’s special events focus on hands-on creativity and fun with activities such as their Playdoh Playdate, Lego Challenge Club, and Children’s Paint and Sip. They are constantly adding fun events and story times to their calendar. To stay up to date, follow them on social media and check out their website for upcoming events.

7. Elmhurst Public Library

Elmhurst Public Library
125 S. Prospect Ave
Elmhurst, IL 60126
(630) 279-8696

When you head towards the kid’s library, you will be greeted with their large colorful fish tank, where kids can watch all the bright fish swim around and try to spot them all. As they continue in, they’ll find a Learning Garden filled with puzzles, busy boards, a pretend kitchen, train table, and Mega Block table. The library has a great selection of puppets, felt story board characters, STEM kits and more.

For the older kids, they have a separate computer room for children to work and play. Children can check out study rooms for group projects after school or homework help.

The library is located in downtown Elmhurst, so you can check out many shops, restaurants, and treat spots during your trip. The library is located right next to the large (and fun!) Wilder Park.

8. Glen Ellyn Public Library

Photo courtesy of Glen Ellyn Public Library.

Glen Ellyn Public Library
400 Duane Street
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137
(630) 469-0879

You’ll find this beautiful library in the heart of downtown Glen Ellyn. Kids can jump right in on the action at the train table, exploratory wall board, and LEGO table. There’s space to play with trucks or even put on a puppet show. The staff puts on a variety of story times designed for different ages and stages with movement, singing, and learning.

Before you leave, make sure to sign up for the Sticker Club where you can earn a sticker for reading your favorite books! Then, stop for a treat at the onsite cafe.

9. Geneva Public Library

photo courtesy of Library Furniture International

Geneva Public Library
227 S. Seventh St.
Geneva, IL 60134

The Geneva Public Library’s children areas provide plenty of space and is kept nice and clean. One of our favorite spots is their circular train table that allows children to gather around together to play. The bright colored textured flowers on the wall give even the little tots options to explore. Children can engage in games, puzzles and create on the giant light up wall! The children’s team organizes various events based on age groups such as Meet the Critters, LEGO displays, and storytime.

Downtown Geneva boasts many cafes and restaurants, including Graham’s Chocolate and the All Chocolate Kitchen, both just two minutes away. You’re also not a far drive from the St. Charles library if you want to keep exploring there, too.

10. La Grange Public Library

La Grange Public Library
10 W Cossitt Ave
La Grange, IL 60525
(708) 215-3200

This library has an open children’s area where sunlight pours into the room. The play area includes a wooden doll house, block area, tablets for playing, climbing mats, a light table, and busy board wall, and a fish tank. Teens and tweens can check out the library’s STEM tabletop activities.

There are various events and story times to choose from at La Grange, such as DIY slime, family escape rooms, and pajama story time.

Libraries Renovated in the Last Year

We have seen many of our favorite libraries undergo renovations and updates the last year or so. We are beyond lucky to have many incredible libraries in the west and northwest suburbs that go beyond our reader’s top ten list. If you explore a new destination, stop back and let us know what you think.

La Grange Park Public Library is currently in a temporary location because of renovations they are undergoing as a result of water damage. Some of the additions to the building include a new bathroom on the main floor, more meeting rooms and enclosed spaces, and even a ‘Maker Space,’ which would provide opportunities for people to use and learn different technologies, like 3D printers. 

Lisle Public Library completed renovations last year, which included family restrooms, increased youth services department, more study rooms, centralized entrances, accessible staff, enhanced technology and more.

Palos Heights Public Library finished their renovation last winter and we heard it has an amazing kids area. It’s on our list to check out- let us know if you’ve gone!

The new Helen Plum Library building was completed last April and it’s a beautiful, inviting space with floor to ceiling windows and a nice play area for little ones. You can read Annie’s review and see photos here.

Westmont Public Library renovated the youth and teen services area with new flooring and paint, an expanded early literacy activity area, and improved seating and shelving.

Know of another library renovation? Let us know in the comments below!

We LOVE our libraries!

Looking for more opportunities for indoor play? Our Guide to Indoor Play Areas has tons of options for you as well as features and pricing for each one.

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