A woman I met at that super cool playground the first time we went told me about a place called Storyville which she said was super awesome beyond description (like the playground) and was free (also like the playground) since it's part of the Baltimore County Public Library. We drove out to the Rosedale location on Thursday to check it out, and she was right: it's awesome beyond awesome. It's this little village with all kinds of pretend scenarios for the kids to play in including a grocery store, play house, architecture area, garden, post office (and all the buildings have mailboxes so the kids can deliver mail), theater, and library. It's designed for ages birth to five years and is billed as "an interactive early literacy learning center." There are relevant kids books in each building, so, in the grocery store, there are books about foods, and in the house, there are books about family and stuff.
In true mamarazzi style, I took a ton of pics. The light in there was kind of yellow, and there's only so much editing I can do using Microsoft Office Picture Manager (I have GOT to get Photoshop!) so you'll have to use them more as your window into the coolness of Storyville rather than as framers of The Banana.
|This is Toddler Bay. That log in the back is a tunnel to climb through; the boat she's on rocks.
|This is the grocery store. Hannah's manning the cash register.
|Hannah liked carrying around a basket and filling it with groceries!
|This is upstairs in the house. There's an awesome doll house up there and a trunk with dress up clothes.
|Hannah just sat there on that chair and watched that little girl for what felt like eons.
|I got tired of watching Hannah watch that little girl so I took this photo from my vantage point at the top of the stairs.
|This is in the architecture loft so there are lots of blocks here.
|I took this picture of the village while in the architecture loft. In the foreground is the Baby Garden for nonwalkers. The lighthouse in the background is part of Toddler Bay and beyond that is the grocery store.
|The kitchen of the little house.
The only downside to Storyville is the drive. Rosedale is only about 10 miles, but with all the crazy traffic, it takes almost 30 minutes. There's another location to the west in Woodlawn (close to where I-70 starts) that is even newer (finished in March of this year I think) and therefore possibly even cooler that is only 7 miles away. I go that way to get to Hagerstown and think I can make it there in about 20 minutes. I think we're going to try to check that one out this week. Any fellow stay-at-home moms want to come with????