Have you heard about the Baltimore Mommies yet? Think of them as your personal LAN (local area network) for all things mommy-related. Not only can this group provide a forum space for you to connect with other local moms online, but they run regular mom-events (think book club, breakfasts out and walk groups) and play dates for your little ones. Lila and I were fortunate to attend one of their recent toddler get togethers at Storyville in Rosedale, Maryland. I loved having a chance to talk shop with other like-minded mom and Lila had a blast playing in the baby garden and running around the Storyville “town” with the other kids.

Added bonus? Both of us were completely enchanted with Storyville. Part of the Baltimore County Library, Storyville is a child-size interpretation of the ‘real world’ created for the under 5 crowd. Your infant to just-walker can bumble around the baby garden with it’s brightly colored soft flower sculptures, mirrored ‘garden stones’ and crawler-sized shelves. Soft play toys and books abound in this friendly-tike-sized version of Alice in Wonderland.

If your child needs a bit more physical stimulation (is that the polite way of saying you need to run them around?), send them over to toddler bay. They can toddle in and out of a lighthouse, check out how a crab moves and crawl through a fallen log. Older kids (aka preschoolers) will love playing ‘house’ in the two story playhouse, sorting the mail at the post office, or exploring the ‘construction zone.’

I must becoming a closet germaphobe because I was secretly thrilled with how clean the place was! We’ve been to other ‘play’ places where the dirt, ripped toys or black scum that makes its way into the crevices of every Little Tikes plastic toy when you don’t wipe them down (I know you know what I’m talking about) literally made my skin crawl. Not the case at Storyville. Not only were the toys in fabulous condition, things were easy to find and everyone was doing their part to keep the toys in the play areas where they belonged.

Storyville is a popular play place and they limit how many children and adults can play at any given time. Plan to arrive early so you don’t get stuck waiting to play (we arrived at 10:15 and were the last to be admitted before the wait list started!). Waiting probably isn’t so bad though – – you and your tike can check out the children’s section at the library.

So click on over to Baltimore Mommies (don’t forget to create an account so you can view the calendar or post a question in the forum space!) and plan an outing to Storyville (either the Rosedale Baltimore County Public Library or the Woodlawn branch). We could not be MORE excited about both of these ‘finds.’

PS: We just signed up for the Baltimore Mommies’ play date at Leakin Park and will be riding the miniature trains with other local families. (You may remember our interview with Baltimore Magazine Senior Editor Evan Serpick? Evan thinks Leakin Park is Baltimore’s best kept kid-friendly secret!) If you’re planning to go, please be sure to say hi! We LOVE meeting our readers in person!