This is number 13 in my series of where and how to parent alone in Naples, Florida. Whether you are divorced, separated or just have your child for the weekend, I hope this list can serve as a quick guide of places to fill the day. Every day with kids should have an organized activity that keeps kids active and engaged. In the heat of Southwestern Florida that usually means someplace indoors. I’m not just a lawyer, I’m also a dad.
On the corner of Airport-Pulling Road and Orange Blossom Drive is the Collier County Library Headquarters. Housed in a Spanish style white terra cotta building with a large courtyard, the Collier County Library Headquarters is divided into two sections: the children’s library and the regular library wing.
There’s no need to worry about your children running around or making noise in the children’s wing of the Collier County Library Headquarters because the children’s wing is completely isolated from the rest of the library.
The children’s wing has sofas and easy chairs for children’s adult care-takers and age appropriate chairs and tables for the kids. The children’s wing also has a computer room with 4 computers where age-appropriate games are easy to access.
There is story time and activities for very young children every day at the library while their older siblings are in preschool or elementary school.
For older kids there is a family game night and even a programs to help with homework.
The library is a great location for a “wind-down” after you’ve done something more active with the kids.
But the issue comes up with little kids. Why take them to a library when they can’t even read before they are six years old? You take them to get into the habit. It is normal to read a book even if you can’t read. It is normal to get a library card in your own name even if you’re a little kid. It’s normal to practice being quiet in a big room. The library is an amazing institution that you want your kids to become familiar with. No one ever said, “My kid spends too much time at the library.”
While you’re at the library, get yourself a book. We all know that we need to wind down after putting the kids to bed and there’s no better way to do that than with a book. After all, watching a TV or computer screen right before bed is a well known way to cause insomnia. More importantly, if your kids see you reading a book they are more likely to read a book themselves.
The adult section of the Collier County Library Headquarters has a very interesting “Florida” section with lots of books about local history that can help you plan your next adventure with your kids (I do lots of stuff like this). Also, there are lots of books about local birds so you can start pointing out the local bird species to your kids like a pro (something else I like to do).
The Collier County Library Headquarters hours are:
Monday through Thursday 9am to 8pm
Friday and Saturday 9am to 5pm
Sunday 1pm to 5pm
Collier County Library Headquarters are 4 miles from my Naples, Florida law office. Directions below: