This year, East Windsor is celebrating their 250th Anniversary. They are celebrating all year-long with special activities and events throughout the town.
This month, they are having a Love Your Library Scavenger Hunt. The hunt takes you through five libraries on a quest to answer five questions at each location.
First though, let me give you a little history on the Town of East Windsor. Settlers laid claim to the area now known as Windsor in 1633. This included East Windsor. In 1768, the East Windsor parish was partitioned from Windsor. East Windsor at that time was large. The land it encompassed included Ellington and South Windsor. Years later, the town of Ellington and South Windsor would become their own.
In celebration of the founding of East Windsor 250 years ago, the libraries at Warehouse Point in East Windsor, Broad Brook, Hall Memorial in Ellington, Wood Memorial in South Windsor and South Windsor, have joined together to host this special “Love Your Library” scavenger hunt. Throughout the entire month of February, families are invited to join in on this hunt. And you’ll also have the chance to win a gift card to the Book Club Bookstore & More located in South Windsor.
We went on the Love Your Library Scavenger Hunt this past week. And I’m here to introduce you to all five libraries (and maybe give you a few hints – don’t worry, I won’t be cheating)!
How to Play
Here are the ground rules for the scavenger hunt.
First, you have to pick up a Love Your Library Scavenger Hunt book at any of the libraries. You can start at any library, it does not matter which order you complete the hunt in.
Each library has five questions or tasks. Once you have completed all five items, you’ll have a library staffer check your answers and if they are all correct, they will validate your book. If they are NOT all correct, you will be sent back out to find the right answers. And these librarians are tough!
They have labeled all the answers with a sticker. So, look for this logo to help you out! Trust me, even with the logo, some of these questions/tasks are tricky!
Once you have completed all the tasks at all five libraries, a library staff member will photo copy your booklet and you’ll be entered into the drawing to win the gift card. You should keep your booklet.
A winner will be selected on March 3 at 11 a.m. You do not have to be present to win.
We were actually invited to join the Love Your Library Scavenger Hunt by the Wood Memorial Library & Museum. So, this is where we started!
The Wood Memorial Library and Museum
783 Main Street – South Windsor, Connecticut
Hours: Monday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; 2nd Saturday of every month: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The Wood Memorial Library & Museum was built in 1927. It has always been used as a library with a performance space on the second floor. Today it also serves as a museum with collections of Native American artifacts, historical paintings, a display of mounted birds and the town of South Windsor’s archives. They are well-known in the region for their annual Gingerbread Festival.
I actually was nervous bringing my crazy three-year into this museum. However, they have a great area set up for children. He loved it!
Of course, we also were there to work on our Love Your Library Scavenger Hunt ! And a hunting we went! You’ll want to explore every part of the library so you can find the answers to the five questions.
Downstairs, you’ll find their mounted bird exhibit, as well as paintings and lots of books.
I loved the staircase heading to the upper level!
Upstairs you’ll find the performance space, as well as paintings and exhibits on display and the Native American artifacts display. (I think I spot a Love Your Library Scavenger Hunt hint in this collage!)
I absolutely loved the Wood Memorial Library and Museum. We stayed here for over an hour, which surprised me since there were no trains in the children’s room. He had a blast with the blocks, the cars and puzzles. Of course, he was receiving tons of attention from the ladies on staff (including a snack).
The Wood also has children’s programs held on a regular basis, including storytimes and other special activities. We have not yet attended their Gingerbread Festival but I think it will be on our list for this winter!
South Windsor Public Library
1550 Sullivan Avenue- South Windsor, Connecticut
Hours: Monday-Thursday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Sunday 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The South Windsor Library was formally established in 1898. The library in its present location opened in 1979, and has doubled in size since opening. There are over 140,000 items of all kinds on the shelves. This is a BIG library, and it is very popular. We visited on a Monday after school and it was bustling! We had visited once before during the Passport to Connecticut Libraries event in 2016 so we were a little familiar with this library.
Upstairs is the main library where you’ll find books, computers, books and so much more! There were many patrons in the upper floor of the library, so my pictures are limited to maintain their privacy!
Downstairs (and right by the side entrance) is the children’s library. The room is full of tables to work at, a few computers, lots of books and of course a play area! There are also very helpful (and friendly) librarians!
And yes, there is a train table. That was new since we visited last time. It also led to a fun “I don’t want to go home” meltdown at the end of our visit.
Thankfully, before we went into the children’s library, I headed upstairs to do our Love Your Library Scavenger Hunt . I will say this much, the South Windsor portion of the scavenger hunt was the hardest! You have to really search the library thoroughly (inside and outside) for some of the answers. Make sure you are always on the lookout for their hint (that sticker I mentioned above). I was especially tripped up by one question in particular. And those librarians made me go back to figure out the answer twice! You cannot fool a librarian!
The South Windsor Public Library is a great local library open to all. They have a variety of programs including a number of children’s story times (some by registration, some drop in). We usually include their Saturday morning storytime on our regular calendar of events but if you are a local resident, you’ll want to check out their full program list!
Hall Memorial Library
93 Main Street – Ellington, Connecticut
Hours: Monday – Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The Hall Memorial Library in Ellington opened in 1903. The original library was added on to in 1992, and the current library is pretty impressive in size! There are lots of rooms, hallways and hideaways that house a 73,000 volume collection in various media. There are computers for use, a great children’s area, friendly staff and much more.
We had also previously been to this library during the Passport event. So we were familiar with the layout; however, this was our first time really exploring the whole library! It is truly beautiful!
On the lower level you’ll find the adult and teen library, as well as the reference room, periodicals and meeting rooms.
Upstairs you’ll find the Children’s Library and the Children’s Program rooms. The library offers a number of programs – most are by registration and for town residents. However, on occasion they do have drop-in events.
Their play area includes Legos, a fire truck, blocks and more. There was no train table but he made do!
For the Love Your Library Scavenger Hunt , while this hunt was “easier”, it definitely involved scoping out the WHOLE library. You’ll need to roam around every room to find the answers to all the questions.
Broad Brook Library
78 Main Street – Broad Brook, Connecticut
Hours: Wednesday 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Broad Brook Library was established in 1919 and originally was located in the basement of the Broad Brook Congregational Church. In the early 1940’s, it was relocated to its current location at the corner of Church and Main Streets. This is a small library – just one room in fact – but it’s very special.
They have many hard to find books on the shelf, some dating back to the 1800s. They have a small area with children’s books and a table for the kids to read. This is an old library though, so you’ll want to be respectful and mindful when visiting with the children. Trust me, I have a Tasmanian devil. He gets himself into lots of trouble.
Since it was a holiday weekend (Valentine’s Day), the library was holding a card making event that Saturday. He had a lot of fun making a special Valentine card for his nana.
As for the Love Your Library Scavenger Hunt, they have many tasks for you to do. But they are tricky! You have to really know your history! And it helps to know what one of these are… and how to use it. Be honest, how many of you can use one of these (and yes, I can)?
Library Association of Warehouse Point
107 Main Street – East Windsor, Connecticut
Hours: Monday to Wednesday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Thursday to Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Our last stop on the Love Your Library Scavenger Hunt is actually the principal, public library for the Town of East Windsor. The library was built in 1811 and was added onto in 1961 and 1991. It is definitely larger than it looks! And it is full of a huge collection of books, computers, reading nooks, community rooms, and a spectacular children’s library.
The children’s library is on your right when you enter the main doors. They have a full collection of books to choose from (from picture books to early readers and young adults). They also have children’s programs including storytimes, movie matinees and special events.
And of course, they have a train table. We stayed for a while.
For the Love Your Library Scavenger Hunt, be prepared to do some hunting! The questions are tricky and they are found all over the library. You’ll need to think hard for some of those questions. Of course, my helper was too busy playing trains and reading train books so I did this portion of the hunt on my own!
I love any reason to visit the library. And I especially love exploring new libraries (even when they end in train table meltdowns). The Love Your Library Scavenger Hunt is a fun family event, so if you love libraries too, then you’ll want to check this out! Maybe you’ll discover a new library that you’ve never visited; or maybe you’ll rediscover a local one that you have been meaning to go back to!
And make sure you stay up to date with the East Windsor 250th Anniversary Celebration– they will be having great activities and events all year long!