One of our favorite after-school activities is visiting the library. We travel all around and visit different libraries in our area. We tend to prefer ones with train tables (obviously) and if you ask my child, he will tell you which trains can be found at each library.
We had discovered the East Hartford Public Library during the Passport to Connecticut Libraries in the spring. We loved it so much we had to go back a few times this summer and devote a whole post to them!
The East Hartford Public Library is located in downtown East Hartford, on the corner of Main Street and Central Avenue.
(From Google Maps)
The parking lot is BEHIND the library, and you will have to turn down Central Avenue to get to it. The entrance to the library faces Central Avenue and is accessible by stairs or a ramp.
When you enter the East Hartford Public Library, you’ll quickly remember just what East Hartford is known for: airplanes! More specifically, Pratt & Whitney. The library pays homage to the town’s aerospace history, and you’ll see that especially in the children’s area!
To the left of the entrance is the adult section of the library. With a noisy child like mine, we just took a quick peek. It looked quiet! There is even more to the adult section of the library upstairs. We did not visit that section but you’ll find the teen library upstairs along with their Makerspace. The Makerspace is home to the library’s 3D printer and other cool tools for “making” things. Also for the older kids, the library recently opened a new Escape Room. The upstairs is not really a place to bring the little ones to – so you’ll want to explore that on your own; or if you have teens, they can discover all the great things the library has for them.
Our primary focus was the children’s library – and my boy took a beeline straight for it! The East Hartford Public Library had recently undergone some renovations – including the brand new children’s library. The library definitely looks brand new! I had never been to the library before these changes but what they have created here in this children’s area is amazing!
The first thing you’ll notice is the runway that goes past the librarian’s desk all the way to the storytime room.
The East Hartford Public Library offers a great variety of story times and children’s events! They have a calendar online. Many of their activities are also drop-in (which is definitely helpful with the younger kids)! During our visit, they were not having any activities in the storytime room, but they did have a movie going on upstairs. So we didn’t get to check out this room but he had a blast just exploring this doorway!
Before the storytime room, you’ll find the librarian’s desk. The librarians at the East Hartford Public Library are super friendly and helpful! Don’t hesitate to ask them any of your questions – they are there to help!
Throughout the children’s library, you’ll see all the little (and big) aerospace touches. There’s no denying what East Hartford is famous for!
They also have an actual Pratt & Whitney J57 Jet Engine on display in the children’s library here at the East Hartford Public Library! As they state on their display, this is the first Pratt & Whitney design turbojet engine. This model is actually one of two remaining functioning models – the other one is at the Smithsonian. It’s impressive!
Of course, the kids can’t play on the turbojet engine. Instead, the library has created some special spaces for children of all ages.
For the little ones, they have a space on the carpet with soft blocks and fun toys on the wall. There is plenty of seating around this area for the adults.
There is also a train table. We basically park ourselves right here when we visit. He loves the special track pieces they have at the East Hartford Public Library and as such, we never leave.
Fortunately, there is some great seating around the corner for me to settle in for a while! It gives me a perfect view of my train-loving child.
When he comes up for air from the train table, I usually find him at the puzzle table. It’s good to explore other things!
Across from the librarian’s desk, they have two rows of computers. We visited on a quiet summer day so these were not really being used- but they had games and other programs on it for the kids. I tend to steer my child away from the computer at this age since all he does is mash on the keyboard. Although I say that, and he probably could navigate that computer better than I could.
For the older kids, they have several tables for the kids to work on their homework. The tables are located near the librarian’s desk.
In addition to all of their books and DVD’s, they also offer kits and backpacks for checkout.
In addition to all these great things, the library has amazing programs offered for free to their patrons. Many of the activities are on a drop-in basis; while some do require registration.
Additionally they offer museum passes for local museums and attractions. East Hartford residents are given preference; however, the passes are available to non-residents.
The East Hartford Public Library is just another great library we have here in Connecticut. We really do have phenomenal libraries in this state. If you are looking for a new library to explore, this is definitely one to add to your list!
This about sums it up…
840 Main Street – East Hartford, Connecticut
Monday – Thursday: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Stroller Friendly!
- Large Children’s library with a storytime room and play area
- Computers, study tables, quiet areas can be found throughout children’s library
- Storytimes and special events held often; check the library’s calendar for dates
- Restrooms with changing table located near the entrance
- Museum Pass Program is available for residents on a preferred basis; but open to non-residents with a library card if available on the same day of checkout