I was talking to Katy last week about all the fun we've had and how much of it I failed to blog about. How was I going to go back and remember everything? She suggested that I write some posts on all the free stuff we've managed to find to keep the crazy kids busy. Great idea, huh? So, this is my first installment of Free Nashville. And I'm excited. Because I'm cheap! [And, just a note, even free activities can sometimes include some hidden fees like parking, etc. I'll try to remember to point those out when I can.]
Have I mentioned how much I love the downtown library here in Nashville? Because I super love it. It is an amazing place even if you don't have kids. Restaurant on the main floor, tons of books (duh) and movies for FREE, a great courtyard for reading or eating-best on those days when it is not overrun with nutty preschoolers. It's great. And, if you're a parent, it's even better. Every Tuesday and Wednesday there are three storyhours-9:30, 10:30, & 11:30. That's a total of six story hours for you to choose from. They are very well done, include puppets and just enough routine to make a kid like mine feel at ease. When they crank up "It's a Great Day to Make Some New Friends" or "The Rainbow Song", my son knows just what's coming. For a kid like him, that's a big deal. Each of the three adults who make story time happen-Professor, Mary Mary, and Library Pete-are very approachable and always speak to the kids. I'm pretty sure the kids think the story time players are celebrities. If they were older they'd probably start asking for autographs!! Just today, Library Pete sat with Lyla at the end of story time and showed her the book he had just read. It was sweet. Drew was there too, just sitting a few body widths away-don't want to get too near a stranger!!
Also, a lot of weeks they offer a free craft time for the kids. We opted out today because my son was possessed, um, I mean, not feeling well. Which led us to the courtyard. I don't know what it is about this courtyard, but it brings out the runners in Drew and Lyla. The giant fountain doesn't hurt either. I usually dump some pennies in a baggie and hand them out one at a time for some wish making fun. And a good time filler. Today there was a giant rain puddle by our lunch table and we just let the kids go for it. Drew, Lyla, and their friend Etta had a blast splashing around in the puddle. Us moms tried hard not to focus on the actual contents of the puddle...well, until Lyla dunked her cheese stick in the water and took a big bite. Blech!
The library also hosts tons of special events for kids at different times during the week. Every month or so they will offer a new marionette or other kind of puppet show. Currently they are doing a marionette show of Cinderella. You can even catch these shows on Nashville Public Television sometimes. Which I happen to think is a riot!!
Finally, there is a whole floor dedicated just for the kids, so you don't have to be a complete maniac about keeping your kid quiet. You know, within reason. Which Drew sometimes blurs the lines on...In the middle of the short bookshelves are puppets and a little puppet theater, a bead table, small tables and chairs, child-sized club chairs, and a gigantic window with just enough ledge for Drew to use as his stage.
I've always been a library kind of girl. I used to play library when I was little, taping baggies into the backs of my books and making check-out cards for each of them. Remember check-out cards??? Before the handy scanning system? I even had a date stamper compliments of Dad's work. I was also a library aide in 5th grade. I feel like I've mentioned that before. At any rate, I thought I was 27 kinds of awesome for working in the library. I'm pretty sure I should've been a librarian.
So, if you haven't been, check out the Main Library downtown. The only cost involved is parking. Be sure to get your parking ticket stamped at the front desk (they'll even stamp your hand if you want!) and the cost will be cheaper.