Calgary public libraries are more than just for reading. With 12 locations across the city, kids can learn through play in activity centres with different themes.
Calgary public libraries provide unique play spaces for kids encouraging movement and learning through play. There are reading nooks, drawing tables, blocks to play with, busy boards, and sometimes a climbing structure. The times when you go to the library only to read or borrow books are long gone.
Each Early learning centre is built with a different theme in mind, whether dinosaurs, jungle, or forest. the reading nooks, drawing tables, and the climbing structure
Calgary Public Libraries are free to enter. If you’d like to borrow books, you can get a free library card.
13 Early Learning Centres in Calgary Public Libraries
1. Full-Body Play at Central Library
We visit the Early Learning Centre in the Central Library the most often. It’s a huge and beautiful building inside out. The play area isn’t close to the entrance, but there’s a stroller-friendly path around the perimeter of the building on the right side.
There are several small reading nooks, soft mats and blocks for kids to play with. The climbing structure with small tunnels is my son’s favourite. Drawing tables have colouring books and crayons to keep. All books are nicely displayed in the child’s height. A carpeted reading area with board books is ideal for the smallest children.
The closest and cheapest (limited) parking is on the 8th Avenue SE, on the backside of the building with an elevator.
- Address: 800 3 Street SE, Calgary
2. Rainbow Jungle at Village Square Library
Village Square Library is located at the Village Square Leisure Centre with a big free parking lot. The rainbow theme features a beautiful wooden rainbow structure with benches for reading, a wooden fire truck, busy boards for babies and small toddlers, and a giant wooden elephant in the reading area.
- Address: 2623 56 Street NE, Calgary
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3. Co-Op Community Early Learning Centre at Nose Hill Library
Nose Hill Library has a colourful Early Learning Centre with reading nooks, a wooden fire truck, drawing tables, and busy boards.
- Address: 1530 Northmount Drive NW, Calgary
4. Alouette III helicopter in the Hopewell ELC at Seton Library
Even though the Seton Library is far from our house, we drove there to see the big helicopter, courtesy of the Hangar Flight Museum. Most kids wanted to play inside, push all the buttons or sit and enjoy. The library staff covers the helicopter 15 minutes before closing, so make sure you visit early as it’s very popular with kids taking turns.
There are also reading nooks, busy boards, and a huge display of children’s books.
- Address: 4995 Market St SE, Calgary
We’ve visited the above libraries so far, and I will add more details and photos as we visit the rest over time.
5. Discover Dinosaurs at Country Hills Library
- Address: 11950 Country Village Link NE, Calgary
6. Read and Play at Quarry Park Library
- Address: 108 Quarry Park Road SE, Calgary
7. Into the Woods at Shawnessy Library
- Address: 333 Shawville Boulevard SE, Calgary
8. The World is Your Stage at Fish Creek Library
- Address: 11161 Bonaventure Drive SE, Calgary
9. Bird’s Eye View at Crowfoot Library’s Calgary Foundation ELC
- Address: 8665 Nose Hill Drive NW, Calgary
10. Build and Create at Signal Hill’s Calgary Foundation ELC
- Address: 5994 Signal Hill Centre SW, Calgary
11. Up, Up, and Away at Saddletowne Library’s Calgary Foundation ELC
- Address: 150 7555 Falconridge Boulevard NE, Calgary
12. Outdoor Nature Playground at Forest Lawn Library
- Address: 4807 8 Avenue SE, Calgary
13. Explore Energy at Forest Lawn Library’s Calgary Foundation ELC
- Address: 4807 8 Avenue SE, Calgary
Other play spaces in Calgary
- Hide and Seek indoor playground
- Treehouse indoor playground
- Kidz Go indoor playground
- My Gym in Calgary: Children’s Fitness Centre
- Creative Kids Museum at Telus Spark Science Centre
- Sky Castle indoor playground
- Big Box indoor playground
Which one of these Early Learning Centres have you visited? Share with us your experience.
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