Free Place to Play: BCPL Storyville in Woodlawn, MD

Thursday, February 6, 2014

I'm always looking for places nearby to take the girls.  Especially in the winter when we are stuck inside most days.

Baltimore County Public Library offers a FREE interactive place to learn and play called Storyville. There are two locations, one in Woodlawn, MD and the other is in Rosedale, MD.


Storyville is open 7 days a week, hours vary so check out their website for more info.

It can get really crowded on weekday mornings.  Earlier this week I took my girls to the Woodlawn location. It was our second time visiting. On both visits, we have arrived between 10-10:30 and have gotten right in. However, this week a wait list started minutes after we entered.  It's no fun having to wait, but it keeps the play areas from getting too crowded and unsafe.

I've never been to the Rosedale location, so from here on out I'll just be talking about Woodlawn.

Arriving

There is a separate entrance to Storyville from the main library entrance.  Upon arriving you check in and all adults receive a badge.  You do not need a library card to visit.  There is an area to hang coats and park strollers, as well as two family bathrooms.  You then enter through a gate.  It's well designed to keep little ones from accidentally wandering out of the play area.

So Much To Do

There are different rooms and areas set up to encourage interactive and creative play.  There's a tree house, a train filled with puzzles, and a building under construction complete with magnetic blueprints and legos.
You'll also find a store, a theater where little ones can dress up and climb on a tiny stage to sing and play instruments.
There's a two-story house with a kitchen stocked with play food, utensils and a few baby dolls. There is also a library area that's perfect for cuddling up with a good book.  Towards the entrance you will find a gated area just for non-walkers and their caregivers.  It's designed to look like a park.
photo taken from BCPL Storyville website  

Really there is so much to do, I can't even begin to list it all.

Is It Clean?

For a free and public facility I would say, YES.  I've taken the girls to various play centers that charge upwards of $10/kid and I can say that Storyville has been as clean or cleaner than those facilities. I noticed that the librarians regularly walk around picking up toys and helping to keep the place organized.  No food or drink is allowed, so that probably helps keep it clean.  I have never used the restrooms, so I can't comment on those. 

Parking?

There is a parking lot.  It is It's probably about 100 yards from the entrance.  So mommies of multiples, I would recommend a stroller unless your little ones are good walkers.  My girls are 24 months and did fine with the walk.

Well, that's all for today.  I hope you get a chance to visit Storyville and check it at for yourself. It really is a great place for you and your little ones to learn and play.   

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