Go on a tour of all the McHenry County libraries when you go on the Library Lovers Expedition. Stop at each library to win prizes.

If you love libraries like I do, then I recommend going on the McHenry County Library Lovers Expedition. Library hop throughout McHenry County (and a few real close) to 14 libraries and win a prize. Last year we visited all the libraries and had a blast. Along the way, we discovered many new-to-us libraries. Read all about the libraries we visited.

How the McHenry County Library Lovers Expedition works

  1. Register at any library (no library card needed) to pick up your official guide.
  2. Collect a unique brag tag from library
  3. Partake in the special activities at each library
  4. Check out a book if you’d like (yes, your library card works there too!)
  5. Repeat until you visit at least 12 of the 14 libraries and enter to win a cool basket prize.

The Library Lovers Expedition runs from February 1st through March 31, 2023. The best part is that it’s free and open to all ages! For more info about each library, visit their respective Facebook pages or check out the Library Lovers Expedition Facebook page.

Libraries Participating in the McHenry County Library Lovers Expedition

Algonquin Area Public Library
Barrington Area Library (new)
Cary Area Public Library
Crystal Lake Public Library
Fox Lake District Library (new)
Fox River Grove Memorial Library
Harvard Diggins Library
Huntley Area Public Library
Marengo-Union Library District
McHenry Public Library District
River East Public Library
Wauconda Area Public Library
Woodstock Public Library

Algonquin Area Public Library

Address:2600 Harnish Drive, Algonquin, IL

Go on a tour of all the McHenry County libraries when you go on the Library Lovers Expedition. Stop at each library to win prizes.

Highlights

A really nice play area with large Lite Brite wall, train table, blocks, play houses

The best book nooks and fun seating in the youth dept

Say hello to their fishy friends

Good to Know

Lots of outdoor space behind the library. Walk up the hill to a playground at Ted Spella Park.

Cary Area Public Library

Address: 1606 Three Oaks Rd, Cary, Illinois

Highlights

A fun play area for little ones with computers, Lego table, light table, wooden dollhouse, puppet area and more


Fun teen seating

Good to Know

  • Couple this with the awesome playground Kaper Park
  • Head to downtown Cary for the best pizza at Uncle Jerry’s or burgers at Tracks

Crystal Lake Public Library

Address: 126 W Paddock St, Crystal Lake, IL

Highlights

Entire basement dedicated to youth books
A little play area with a train table, velcro wall, computers, board games, doll house, blocks, puzzles

Fox River Grove Memorial Library

Address: 407 Lincoln Ave, Fox River Grove, IL

Located right next to the Metra Train stop, the small but mightly library is packed with so much to do!

Go on a tour of all the McHenry County libraries when you go on the Library Lovers Expedition. Stop at each library to win prizes.

Highlights:

  • An awesome ferris wheel greets you when you enter the basement children’s department

  • Play area with Legos, blocks, light table, magma tiles, board games and more

  • A calming corner

  • Grab a puzzle from the puzzle exchange. Bring one back next time!

Harvard Diggins Public Library

Address: 900 E. McKinley St., Harvard, IL

Highlights:

A great historical section. Don’t miss the 100 year old butterfly collection!

Cool teen area where you can play Nintendo Switch

A first floor youth section with games, Lego, and train table

Good to Know

Located next to a park/playground with Story Walk

If you love roadside attractions swing by to pass by Harmilda the cow

Huntley Area Public Library

Address: 11000 Ruth Rd, Huntley, IL, United States, Illinois

This newly renovated library is tops in on our book!

Go on a tour of all the McHenry County libraries when you go on the Library Lovers Expedition. Stop at each library to win prizes.

Highlights:

  • An amazing and bright kids area with train table, magnetic table, ipad stations, board games, and more

  • Vending machines should those munchies take over
  • Plenty of private rooms
  • Borrow books from local authors
  • Bright and airy

Good to Know

 

Johnsburg Public Library

Address: 3000 N Johnsburg Rd, Johnsburg, IL

Highlights:

  • Say hi to their cute mascot a sloth named Sparky Butterscotch

Go on a tour of all the McHenry County libraries when you go on the Library Lovers Expedition. Stop at each library to win prizes.

  • See the cool spaceship made out of egg cartons and bottles

  • Play life-size Connect 4

 

Marengo-Union Library District

Address: 19714 East Grant Hwy., Marengo, IL

Highlights

A first floor youth area with an Imagination Station and a Hot Cocoa Stand; Play area with light table, tablet area, toddler toys,

Grab a puzzle from the puzzle exchange. Bring one back next time!


A really great selection of very inexpensive books, DVDs, puzzles (kids books were only 10 cents!)

 

McHenry Public Library

Address: 809 Front St, McHenry, IL

Go on a tour of all the McHenry County libraries when you go on the Library Lovers Expedition. Stop at each library to win prizes.

Highlights:

Discovery Hub Play area with train table, pretend play areas and more

Lots of options at the book sale section

River East Public Library

Address: 813 W IL Route 120, McHenry, IL

River East may be the smallest libraries out of the group, but there is so much to do here.

Highlights:

  • Challenge someone to a game of Skeeball, pool, or basketball
  • More fun in the basement with board game/puzzles, chess/checkers

  • Say hello to the Bantam chickens

  • An interesting selection Library of Things

Good to Know

  • Couple this with a trip to Riverside Chocolate Factory minutes away. I love the ice cream cookie sandwich dipped in chocolate.

 

Wauconda Area Public Library

Address: 801 N Main St, Wauconda, IL, United States, Illinois

WAPL is bright and modern and easily one of our favorite libraries in the area!

Highlights:

  • No doubt Wauconda has one of the best library play areas around with a rocket ship structure, kitchen area, light table for magnet tiles

  • Kids love playing with the interactive touch screen TV. For older kids, there is also a video game nook (just ask for controllers)

Say hello to their fishy friends


Fun lite brite wall

Good to Know

  • Make it a playground + library day by visiting the playground across the street
  • Take a few minutes make music outside
  • Plenty of parking

Woodstock Public Library

Address:414 W. Judd St., Woodstock

Go on a tour of all the McHenry County libraries when you go on the Library Lovers Expedition. Stop at each library to win prizes.

Highlights

A real great example of giving back to the community. They offer a food pantry, coat/boot donations, a seed library

A bright play area surrounded by windows with huge bean bags, tons of toy, giant Connect 4, blocks, train table. Other fun kids activities like a lego table, I-Spy, board games to play, fidget wall


Say hello to their fishy friends


A great used book section
Groundhog Day memorabilia (located by the teen section). They also have Dick Tracy memorabilia as well.


Carousel horses on display


Piano for all to use

Looking for more libraries? We love these in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago.