We live in NYC, and we’ve got the whole world at our fingertips. But when that spring rain’s a-falling, we wrack our mama brains for the best spots around town that we can let our babes loose to expend a little energy while we await sunnier days.
Sometimes the best places to take our kids in the Big Apple are the same as they are anywhere else. Like the public library, which besides giving the obvious gift of reading, often offers story times, sing-alongs and other kid-friendly activities. Free activities.
Granted, not everyone’s public library is in a historic building on Fifth Avenue filled with marble columns, majestic ceilings and grand chandeliers. And not everyone’s public library is just a short subway (or bus!) ride away. It just so happens though that one of our local public libraries — the New York Public Library’s main branch — is all of those things, making it the perfect destination for the next stop in our “Spring Showers” series with Ergobaby.
After an action-packed morning at FAO Schwarz’s flagship store, Kaity and I hopped on the downtown bus with Oliver, Libby and Elsie in tow. Using our Ergobaby carriers — Elsie in the new Ergobaby Four Position 360 Baby Carrier (which launches April 17) and Oliver in Ergobaby’s Original Carrier in the Sea Skipper print — makes traveling around the city easy, even on a rainy day.
Still, when we stepped foot inside the great hall that serves as the entrance to the historic library, the kids were ready to run around. While Elsie refueled with a bottle, Libby and Oliver played a little tag, their toddler giggles echoing off the arched ceilings above.
The New York Public Library is the perfect spot for mama to wander with a quiet baby alone — there’s four floors filled with fascinating exhibits and reading materials galore. It’s also a great place to introduce your kiddies to your love of books, so we headed right down to the Children’s Center to dig into some of our favorite titles for the smallest readers we know.
After a long trek down a long hallway and a few flights of stairs, the kids rushed the room like it was a candy store with rows and rows of colorful books to choose from. They finally settled down and dove into some story time between the stacks.
Meanwhile, the Four Position 360’s front outward-facing position was perfect for some quiet reading time for me and Elsie. She had a fully supported front-row seat as we flipped through some classic baby books, then joined the big kids for some group reading.
After a quick snack at the library cafe, and a quick rotate back to front inward-facing for my babe, it was time to head underground once more. Luckily, we all caught the sun peeking out from behind the clouds as our D train crossed the Manhattan Bridge back to Brooklyn. Then Elsie cozied up against my chest inside her Ergobaby carrier and fell asleep.
Destination: New York Public Library main branch, 5th Ave. at 42nd St.
Nearby subway: B/D/F/V train at 42nd St./Bryant Park.
Hours: M,Th, F, Sat: 10-6, T/W: 10-8, Sun: 1-5
Mama Tips: The Children’s Center is located on the ground floor, down the hallway past the Library Shop, and downstairs. Fill up on snacks at the café before entering the kids’ room; there’s no food allowed!
Photography by Evan Gubernick of 485 Creative.
This post was sponsored by Ergobaby.