One of the Joliet Public Library’s core values is to serve our community and be a child’s first pathway to discovering the larger world. We start in early childhood, getting kids excited about coming to the library. We offer storytimes, animal programs, special visits with book characters—and even photo ops with Santa. We also offer a fabulous play zone–and at the Ottawa Street Branch, our play zone is back and better than ever!

Our Lite Brite wall is a kid favorite. You can create your own design, and spinning the dials is of course fun as well. Take a look at what our young patron’s made this year!

Here you can see one of our very young patrons with dad enjoying spinning the lights to change the colors. A great sensory activity! 

Puppet shows? You bet. Here you can see our Youth Services team member, Cathy, putting on a hermit crab puppet show! 

For the babies only! As a parent of two under two, I know that finding a safe place for the young ones can be difficult. Not at JPL! Here you can see our self-dubbed baby corral, equipped with fun activities babies will love! Next to the play zone, there are computers for busy adults to get any work done while their loved ones play safely next to them. 

Under the bridge you can find more interactive play for kids, surrounded by our youth collection. 

At JPL, we love to celebrate our history, so as a nod to downtown Joliet, our play structure features a mock up of the famous Rialto Square Theatre sign. 

I couldn’t write this post without featuring the very famous JPL Fire Engine. This structure is made of wood and was donated to us by the Fire Department. It has been a beloved part of the library for many years and will continue to be for years to come.

Winter is coming and a lot of you may be looking for free things to do with your kids. We are here for you! Even if there isn’t a program or event, or your child isn’t the biggest reader in the world, we encourage you to visit and enjoy the new play zone and teen hub. There is plenty to see and do that goes beyond books! 

See you at the library!