Preston Royal Library, Advocate stock photo

Preston Royal Library, Advocate stock photo

From weekly story time sessions, to workshops that teach youngsters how to make simple electrical circuits using Play Doh, the Preston Royal branch of the Dallas Public Library knows how to show kids a good time.

So much so that Advocate readers voted it the best place to take kids in Preston Hollow in the annual Best Of contest (see the other winners here).

The Preston Royal branch hosts a rotating schedule of child-oriented events every week in the library’s auditorium so the little ones can play without disturbing library patrons. Story time takes place every Tuesday at 10:30 a.m., which also include ever-changing craft projects for toddlers.

“In the summer we have a lot more programs for children,” said Celadon James, the children’s librarian at the Preston Royal branch, who helps develop a myriad of events for youth of all ages. “For example, this summer the Dallas Zoo came to the library and everyone got to see the animals. They brought a penguin that was, like, 2-feet from the kids!”

James says it wouldn’t be possible without the thriving “Friends of the Library,” which not only raises funds for the library, it helps coordinate the robust lineup of events. In addition, the nonprofit Dallas Foundation has also been hosting STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) programs aimed at both youngsters and teens. Earlier this summer, teens got to test their crime scene skills during a workshop that taught them how to read blood splatter.

“It was just like Dexter’s lab over here,” laughs James.

Coming up this Sunday, the library hosts an End of Summer Bash with face-painting and crafts from 1 to 2 p.m., and a screening of the Pixar film “Big Hero 6” from 2 to 4 p.m.

James credits the community for supporting the library and encouraging her to create unique offerings for children. “We’re so lucky to have a really active and involved community in Preston Hollow,” she beams.

Runner-up: Town North YMCA

Third place: Northhaven Trail