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    Passport to Connecticut Libraries Week 4

    Well, our month-long journey of the Passport to Connecticut Libraries program finally came to an end last Saturday when we visited our 20th library!  We had so much fun on the library trail and can’t wait to do it all over again next year!  However, traveling with two preschoolers in tow wasn’t always fun, I’ll share my reasons why later in this post.

    First, let’s recap all of the libraries we visited in April:

    • Cromwell Belden Public Library (Cromwell)
    • Portland Public Library (Portland)
    • Cora J. Belden Public Library (Rocky Hill)
    • Russell Library (Middletown)
    • Wethersfield Public Library (Wethersfield)
    • East Hartford Public Library (East Hartford)
    • Lucy Robbins Welles Library (Newington)
    • Levi E. Coe Public Library (Middlefield)
    • Welles-Turner Memorial Library (Glastonbury)
    • New Britian Public Library (New Britian)
    • Meriden Public Library (Meriden)
    • Berlin-Peck Memorial Library (Berlin)
    • Windsor Public Library (Windsor)
    • Wallingford Public Library (Wallingford)
    • Wilson Branch Library (Windsor)
    • Brainerd Memorial Library (Haddam)
    • Manchester Public Library (Manchester)
    • Enfield Public Library (Enfield)
    • Warehouse Point Public Library (East Windsor)
    • Noah Webster Public Library (West Hartford)
    • Hartford Public Library (Hartford) – Note:  This library was not a participating library in the program.

    Passport to Connecticut Libraries Week 4

    We had some special family fun activities lined up for the last week of this program since we spent the entire weekend in Hartford at the luxurious Downtown Hartford Marriott Hotel.  They were gracious enough to host us for the weekend and we had a blast!

    The hotel is right in the heart of downtown Hartford so it’s walking distance to lots of restaurants and other attractions.  My favorite thing about this hotel is the pool and hot tub area…it’s amazing!  It’s located on the top floor and boasts large windows overlooking the Connecticut River, the Convention Center and downtown Hartford.  If you’re ever in the area and looking for a family-friendly place to stay, I’d highly recommend it!

    We began our day-long excursion of family friendly activities with a beautiful new playground (Enfield Rotary Accessible Playground) located directly across the street from the Enfield Public Library.  It was a gorgeous morning outside so the kids had ample time to play.

    I was also excited to finally check out a new place called Jumping Clay USA which is fantastic!  It’s also located in Enfield not too far from the library.  Jumping Clay offers educational programs and clay activities for children and adults based on simple shapes and step-by-step modeling instructions.  The kids enjoyed looking at all of the wonderful clay creations.  We also purchased some clay to use at home…so fun!

    Lastly, we headed back to the hotel so the kids could nap and then made our way over to the Wadsworth Atheneum followed by the Hartford Public Library.

    Overall, I am happy with meeting our goal of visiting 20 libraries.  However, I know I could have done more if I did the program on my own.  Here’s why:

    • My kids are still in the napping phase.  If they don’t take their daily nap then they will be cranky guaranteed.  There were times I wanted to go and visit more libraries, but couldn’t because the kids fell asleep in the car.  And since it was just me and them and I couldn’t leave them alone in the car, we had to pass up quite a few places I wanted to visit.
    • Sometimes I just wanted to go in the library, take a quick look around, get our passports stamped and then leave.  The kids however had their own agenda – they wanted to play!  And once they started playing they didn’t want to leave.  Ugh, kids!

    Will I take them with me again next year?  Yes, absolutely!  I’m hoping this will be a tradition we can keep going as long as the program is still available and we’re living in this state.

    Thanks for reading and taking this virtual journey with us!  If you missed any of the posts in our #passporttoctlibraries series, check out the links listed below.

    Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3

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    Your turn:  For all of my fellow Connecticut followers, did you or your kids participate in this program?  If so, how many libraries did you visit?  If you don’t live in Connecticut, has reading about this program inspired you to ask your library to implement it?  Feel free to share in the comments.

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    Passport to Connecticut Libraries Week 3

    We had a busy week during the third week of this month which meant we didn’t have the chance to visit most of the libraries I had originally planned.  We’re still pressing on though and I’ve decided my goal of libraries to visit this year will be 20.  So far we’ve visited 17 libraries around the state and we’re having a blast seeing the different libraries and experiencing some new kid-friendly places.

    Passport to Connecticut Libraries Week 3

    Here are the libraries we visited during the third week of the Passport to Connecticut Libraries Program:

    • Wilson Branch Library (Windsor)
    • Brainerd Memorial Library (Haddam)
    • Manchester Public Library (Manchester)

    We had a FREE museum pass to Lutz Children’s Museum in Manchester that we scored from our local library so we headed there before going to the Manchester public library.  I haven’t taken the kids there is about a year so it was interesting to see how much more than enjoyed it now that they are a bit older.

    While in Haddam we went to Haddam Meadows State Park.  The park overlooks the scenic Connecticut River and offers opportunities for boating, fishing, and picnicking.  It was a bit chilly the day we visited and there wasn’t much for the kids to do except run around in the open field of grass.  We ended up taking a walk around and then left shortly after.  It’s a nice calming and very scenic park, which would be great for summer picnics or boat rides.

    Lastly, we went to Robertson Park which is located directly across the street from the Wilson Branch library in Windsor.  This park is part of Robertson Elementary School.  The kids enjoyed playing on the playground for about an hour before we headed back home.

    As I mentioned, the Passport program is slowly coming to an end.  Be sure to check back next week to see if we met our goal.  I’ll be sharing our final tally of the libraries and places we visited and give you my final thoughts on participating in this program.

    I hope you enjoy some of the highlights from week 3!

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    Your turn:  If you live in Connecticut, have you been participating in this program too?  If so, how many libraries have you visited so far?  What’s your ultimate goal?  Feel free to share in the comments.

     

     

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    Passport to Connecticut Libraries Week 2

    Happy National Library Week!  Last week Mother Nature wasn’t on our side.  We experienced sun, wind, rain, and snow all in one week.  I still can’t believe we had snow in April!  Despite the weather, we made it to 10 libraries around the state one of which ended up being an unexpected new addition from our original list.

    This week the weather has been much more favorable which has been great since we didn’t get to go to any of the outdoor parks or destinations I had lined up for last week.  That’s ok though because summer is right around the corner so there will be plenty of opportunities to explore those parks and many more in the coming months.

    Passport to CT LibrariesWeek 2Here are the libraries we plan to visit during the second week of the Passport to Connecticut Libraries Program:

    • Meriden Public Library (Meriden)
    • Berlin-Peck Memorial Library (Berlin)
    • Windsor Public Library (Windsor)
    • Wallingford Public Library (Wallingford)

    Since my daughter is on spring break from school this week we have other activities planned so we’ll just be visiting the individual libraries without going to any kid-friendly places afterwards.  I’ll be sure to have some additional kid-friendly places to visit around the state for weeks 3 and 4.  We have a special outing planned for the last week in April that I’m really looking forward to sharing with you.  Stay tuned!

    Enjoy a few highlights from our travels last week below.

    passporttoctlibrariesweek1

    Your turn: If you live in Connecticut, have you also been participating in this wonderful program?  Feel free to share in the comments.

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    Passport to Connecticut Libraries: Week 1

    Tomorrow is the day!  The start to the 2nd annual Passport to Connecticut Libraries program.  I recently told you about my plans to participate in this program for the second time, but now I’m bringing the kids with me.  Yes, we’re hitting the road and going “mobile” to explore some of the great libraries our state has to offer.  You can read my previous post here to learn more about the program.

    Passport to CT LibrariesWeek 1

    Here are the libraries we plan to visit during the first week of the program:

    • Cromwell Belden Public Library (Cromwell)
    • Portland Public Library (Portland)
    • Cora J. Belden Public Library (Rocky Hill)
    • Russell Library (Middletown)
    • Wethersfield Public Library (Wethersfield)
    • East Hartford Public Library (East Hartford)
    • Lucy Robbins Welles Library (Newington)
    • Levi E. Coe Public Library (Middlefield)
    • Welles-Turner Memorial Library (Glastonbury)
    • New Britian Public Library (New Britian) – New addition!

    After exploring each library and getting our “passports” stamped, we also plan to visit a few nearby kid-friendly places within close proximity to each library.  Our plan is to work on this project during the weekends and on some weeknights after I finish working.  I’m looking forward to hitting the library trail once again this time with my two little ones (and maybe some friends) in tow!

    Here are a few of the places we plan to visit during week 1:

    • Riverfront Park Playground (Glastonbury, CT) – This new playground is simply beautiful…we love it!
    • Romp & Roll (Wethersfield, CT) – An extremely fun place for kids to roll around and get exhausted!
    • Pierson Park Playground (Cromwell, CT) – My kids love going to this playground and it’s so close to the library!
    • Kid City Children’s Museum (Middletown, CT) – We frequent this place at least once a month.  It’s located directly across the street from the library – so convenient!
    • Cherry Berry (Middletown, CT) – Because who doesn’t love fresh frozen yogurt!  Located around the corner from the library within walking distance if it’s a nice day outside.
    • Lyman Orchards (Middlefield, CT) – We adore Lyman Orchards for both their food and activities for children!
    • Dinosaur State Park (Rocky Hill, CT) – One of the largest dinosaur track sites in North America!  We plan to walk on the dinosaur trail which is free and open to the public.
    • Peckham Park (Middlefield, CT) – Peckham Park has a nice variety of equipment and activities for kids of all ages.
    • New Britian Youth Museum (New Britian, CT) – Located directly across from the library in the same parking lot!

    Hope to see you on the library trail!

    Want us to visit and feature your kid-friendly place of business on our travels throughout the state?  Please e-mail me at: hereweeread{at}gmail.com.

    Your turn: If you live in Connecticut, will you also be joining in the fun and participating in this program?  Feel free to share in the comments.

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