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Best Public Libraries In And Around Los Angeles To Visit With Kids

The Downtown LA Library is one of the great library to take kids in Los Angeles

There is no age limit for public libraries. You’ll find these special institutions offer something for everyone. And, if you’re looking to venture beyond your local neighborhood library, try one of these libraries that are among the best to visit with kids.

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The Central Library in Downtown LA is one of the great library to take kids in Los Angeles

The Central Library in Downtown LA

Beverly Hills Public Library
444 N. Rexford Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210

The children’s department of the Beverly Hills Library is a very special place. This designated children’s area is larger than many of our local public libraries.  You’ll find plenty of chairs, reading areas, study tables, two study rooms, a small play room for the youngest members of the family, and a mini auditorium where story times are regularly held. Additionally, the library offers various seasonal activities including a Summer Reading Program, movie screenings, and more. All activities are free. (Library cards are not restricted to Beverly Hills residents, though proof of current address is required to obtain a card). Parking is free for two hours.

Central Library
630 W. 5th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90071

The Central Library isn’t your usual public library. For starters, it’s huge – as public libraries go. And, it almost serves as a type of museum because of the different art and architectural styles on display. Here, you’ll find examples of Art Deco pieces, an astounding Rotunda, sculptures, murals, and more. A ride in the elevators won’t just take you from floor to floor, but will also give you the chance to teach your children about card catalogs. (The inside of the elevators are papered with them). You’ll find the Children’s Literature Department on level 2 of the Goodhue Building. In addition to the thousands of items available for loan, you’ll also find a wide assortment of activities and programs that are all offered free of charge.

Culver City Julian Dixon Library
4975 Overland Ave., Culver City, CA 90230

The Culver City Julian Dixon Library is a part of the County of Los Angeles Public Library system. While some families complain that parking can get tricky, families also speak very highly of the variety of special programs offered for children. Toddler storytime, baby lapsit storytime, and bedtime stories are some of the programs regularly offered here. This branch also features a children’s area with a Family Place. (A Family Place Library offers special resources for families with young children. You’ll find books, toys, videos, workshops, and information all in one convenient spot). The library is closed on Sundays.

Pasadena Public Library – Central Library
285 E. Walnut St., Pasadena, CA 91101

Visitors to Pasadena’s Central Library speak highly of the outside architecture of the building. Inside, families will find a designated children’s section complete with a play area. You’ll also find a multitude of shelves full with a wide range of titles to choose from. A variety of activities and events are offered as well including homework help, preschool storytime, “baby gym,” seasonal events (including an early Father’s Day-themed event for fathers and daughters), and more.

Cerritos Library
18025 Bloomfield Ave., Cerritos, CA 90703

The Cerritos Library most likely doesn’t look like any other public library you have ever seen before. The Library has attempted to make real many of the topics you might read about. For instance, you’ll find an aquarium symbolizing our planet’s oceans. Inside the Aquarium, kids will marvel at a reef (representing the Great Barrier Reef) as well as fish and a shark! The viewing area is an impressive 10 feet high by 21 feet wide! You’ll also find a “rainforest tree” inside the library, a 14-foot high space shuttle named the “Spirit of Cerritos,” and more. 

West Hollywood Library
625 N. San Vicente Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069

The West Hollywood Library is a part of the County of Los Angeles Library system. It measures 32,000 square feet and is located adjacent to West Hollywood Park. It offers special story times for children as well as periodic art exhibits and other special events. Families generally spend time also marveling at the murals and public art on display.   

Platt Branch Library
23600 Victory Blvd., Woodland Hills, CA 91367

The Platt Branch Library is a part of the Los Angeles Public Library system. You’ll find a colorful, inviting children’s section here with a large variety of titles. The library also hosts many activities and events including a preschool storytime, a chess club, an upcoming summer reading program (all LAPL branches will offer this program), and more. The Library is closed on Sundays.

South Pasadena Public Library
1100 Oxley St., South Pasadena, CA 91030

The South Pasadena Public Library offers many events and activities for families. Story times are offered (both in the morning and in the evening), as well as craft activities, puppet shows, and more. The Library is also hosting a Summer Reading Program. Visitors speak of the “lovely” library building as well as the Library’s location nearby a spacious park.

Santa Monica Public Library – Main Branch
601 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401

The Main Branch of the Santa Monica Public Library System is housed in a large building right on Santa Monica Boulevard. You’ll find a variety of resources here as well as  public art and an on-site cafe, the Bookmark Cafe, which offers breakfast items, salads, sandwiches, beverages, and a special kid’s menu. The Main Library also hosts many programs and special events for children including a toddler storytime, a baby storytime, make-your-own tech projects (for bigger kids), and more. The Library is also inviting kids to participate in its summer reading program.

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Wendy Kennar (360 Posts)

Wendy is a freelance writer who finds inspiration in her nine-year-old son and from her experiences from her twelve-year teaching career. Her writing has appeared in several publications and anthologies, both in print and online. She prefers sunflowers to roses and thinks chocolate is okay at any meal. You can find her at wendykennar.com.


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