Our first week in town, a cold snap came through and we were still unpacking winter clothes. We were stuck trying to find an indoor activity to attend when we found the library near our rental house. When looking at the website we found an events calendar and by pure luck the library had a mother goose story time starting in 45 minutes. We got everyone ready and attended not sure what to expect.
It was exactly what we needed. An one hour sing along / activity time with a dozen other toddlers in the activity room. Everyone was extremely nice and during the socializing afterwards, the parents gave us tons of ideas about the area. After the first trip to the libraries, I have attended functions at 6 of the public libraries before settling on the three days that best fit my schedule.
For the parents wondering, the three locations I prefer are North Asheville, Weaverville and Oakley/South Asheville. The toddler time and the mother goose time at these locations are great and have wonderful staff. You can arrive early to let your child get used to the environment, and stay late socializing and picking out books. Many times groups will form to visit the playgrounds or play at the park afterwards. The downtown Pack Memorial location was a great environment for more active children, but my daughter was a bit overwhelmed with the noise of the room. Most children had a great time and enjoyed the activities.
The outlying towns seem to be a bit hit or miss depending if the regulars attend. Other parents have recommended Fairview, Fletcher and West Asheville locations, but i have not personally attended. The Swannanoa and Black Mountain locations have merged the age groups due to low numbers. They are the longest drive from our location and i prefer going to the more active sites. The staff at both locations were very pleasant and even offered to have a solo story time at Swannanoa before other kids arrived.
Bonus ideas for the kids!
Weaverville library is 1 mile from Lake Louise playground, you can read about the facility here. On sunny days the park is perfect to let them run around in before heading out. If you want to limit the amount of car seat interactions, walk behind the library and up the hill. A small nature park is located there for a quick run.
If you want to read more about the playgrounds, check out the post about our Favorite Playgrounds.
The Oakley library has a small playground and pavilion next to the parking lot. After the toddler time, many parents head over to the playground to socialize while the kids play.
The North Asheville library has a few options. The library parking lot is 50 yards from the Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary. The bird sanctuary is a half mile loop that takes the kids on a combination of board walk and hiking trail that passes a lookout pier on beaver lake. Many parents will park at the Bird Sanctuary and enjoy both destinations. If you want to learn more about Beaver Lake, check out our post detailing Beaver Lake Park.