Best Kid Friendly Libraries in Rhode Island

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The Ocean State is home to an awesome network of local libraries, offering a huge range of activities for kids and families to do together. Even better, any Rhode Island library cardholder can visit any library in the state to take advantage of their awesome free programs! (Did you know you can check out a book in Coventry and return it in Cumberland?) We polled our contributors and readers and compiled this list of our favorite kid-friendly libraries in Rhode Island. Let us know  your favorite library and why! Is yours on our list?

Weaver Library: This branch of the East Providence Library is especially great for the five and under crowd. A soft play area with large foam blocks for kids under three to climb on and explore is perfect for when you just need your little one to burn off some energy. They also have a separate room with all kinds of toys from puppets to blocks and puzzles. Top it off with friendly and helpful staff and you’ve got yourself a winning combination.

Cumberland Public Library: Housed in a former monastery, Cumberland’s library grounds are both extensive and beautiful with walking trails, a playground!

North Providence Union Free Public Library:  This children’s area has a fully loaded toy room, coloring pages, touch screen computers and a sweet bunch of librarians that will learn you kid’s name. Not only that, but storytime, lego club, and other kids’ activities take place in their own separate room off of the main children’s area. Oh, and it’s a Pokéstop….if you’re into that sort of thing. 

North Smithfield Public Library: This library is located in history Statersville and built on the edge of Centennial Park, which has walking trails leading right to the library. They host tons of events for kids and even incorporate the outdoor grounds into some activities like StoryWalk and FairyWalk.

Louttit District Library: Quietly tucked away in West Greenwich, this small library will keep your kids engaged for hours with its collection of toys and games, and when the weather is nice the fenced-in playground out back is the perfect place to sit back and watch your kiddos burn off some energy!

Barrington Public Library: The best part of this library is the huge, fenced-in playground with two sides, one geared towards the little kids, and one for the bigger guys. After you get your wiggles out, head inside to browse their enormous Kids Room. In addition to many wonderful family programs, it boasts a huge selection of books and movies, toys for toddlers to play with, board games, and Guinea Pigs!

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Clark Memorial Library: This beautiful library has lots of natural light and programs for the whole family.

Tiverton Public Library: Drop-in playtimes and events like ‘Popcorn Day’ and ‘Build-it Day’ make this library a favorite among our readers! The main branch also has a playground and skatepark next-door!

West Warwick Public Library: Story-times, playgroups, sensory-friendly events, and a weekly fresh food market can all be found at this favorite library! 

Jesse M. Smith Memorial Library: Located in Harrisville, this library is huge and has something for everybody. There children’s department is wonderful with toys for various ages and stellar programs. (They offer extensive programming for teens too!)

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Harmony: The friendly staff alone make Harmony worth the drive. They always have crafts out and available, and a playground outback. Check out their website to register for upcoming programs.

Rochambeau Library: This branch of the Providence Community Library is located on the East Side, and has storytimes for all ages! Check out their Toddler Zumba to get your kids moving while still staying indoors.

Exeter Public Library: This is another small library with a great playground outback. They offer a variety of story-times and kid’s programs, including a sensory-friendly storytime.

Coventry Public Library:  “Coventry Public Library should also be on this list! Great book selection, lots of creative play toys available, and a small outdoors (fenced) playground. Plus, the children’s librarians are super helpful and friendly!!” Thanks to our reader Stephanie for letting us know!

Warwick Public Library: Arts and crafts, multiple play areas, tablets, and computers make the main Warwick library a great place to visit anytime. The Pontiac branch is smaller, but with a playground nearby!

Table and chairs at Warwick Public Library Kids Room
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The Providence Atheneum: This is the only library on our list that isn’t part of the public library system, but if you’re a book lover it’s worth taking a trip for the historic value alone. (Did you know it’s the fourth oldest library in the country? Or that H.P. Lovecraft used to frequent it himself? ) While you can’t check out books without a paid membership, The Atheneum  offers weekly story-time, free craft supplies and other activities that are  free and open to the public. Pro Tip: On the East Side of Providence parking can be scarce. Plan to walk a couple of blocks to check out this historic beauty.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Coventry Public Library should also be on this list! Great book selection, lots of creative play toys available, and a small outdoors (fenced) playground. Plus, the children’s librarians are super helpful and friendly!!

  2. A little birdy told me Cranston Public library kids room is the bees knees and the librarians there Rock for helping us big kids get what we need at the library too!

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